Mindanao is often portrayed as a place of conflict and war. It only figures in the media landscape as a backdrop for conflict, bombings, kidnappings and insurgency. “Is it safe?” is a common question people ask when they hear of ANY destination in Mindanao. But Mindanao is a vast region — though conflict may occur in isolated areas – in other places, you will find beautiful natural wonders, diverse culture, and peace-loving people.
Here nestled in the foothills of Davao, one of Mindanao’s many provinces, is one of the most blissful and memorable places that I’ve visited in the country. The trip may have been a few years ago, but I still remember how special it felt to witness the fiesta of the Matigsalog tribe (“people of the river”), who reside in the forests and remote barangays of Marilog, near the riverbanks of the Davao River (formerly known as Salug River). Continue reading