Davao Scheduled Brownouts {9}

Davao Scheduled Brownouts

Brownouts are part of life here in the Philippines. Those of us that live in, or near, the bigger cities are generally spared the frequency that those in the outer areas experience them. That’s recently changed for us in the Davao area.

It seems we’ve been put on a scheduled rotation with daily brownouts. The terms brownout and blackout are used interchangeably here, and I’ve heard various opinions in regards to the terms, but what I’m going to use for now is – brownout = scheduled, blackout = unscheduled. Regardless of the term you are fond of, we’ll be without electricity, and therefore water after 30 minutes, for 1-2 hours daily. For how long? That hasn’t been stated specifically, but potentially until the next power plant comes on board.

Mindanao Maps {5}

Mindanao Maps

Given that I have a number of visitors that come to my site searching for Mindanao Maps, and the fact that Mindanao has been in the news so much recently, both locally and internationally, I thought I’d share some of the more useful and interesting maps of Mindanao that I’ve collected.

I don’t own any of these, of course. I’ve gotten them all from the internet. In a couple of cases you can go to the site indicated on the maps themselves and find larger versions. I put up what I thought were large enough files for them to be of use and to not overload the server too much.

Davao City Overland Transport Terminal Fares {3}

Davao City Overland Transport Terminal Fares

I looked everywhere for a fare schedule for the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (Ecoland Bus Terminal) with no success. I even started the project of going down there and taking notes/photos from each of the bus companies with the intent of putting one together. I gave up on that, as it was too much work and there was not enough cooperation.

Just recently, when I was researching for a post on my other site – Where To Find It – Davao, I stumbled across a spreadsheet with fare listings. I couldn’t find an owner of this document, and to be honest I’m not sure the fares are up to date. In fact, they seem just a little higher than what I’ve paid on my last two trips. Possibly this is a fare increase proposal, or a fare increase that was just implemented? Whatever it is, it is close enough to give an idea of what you can expect to pay when traveling by bus from Davao to other locations in Mindanao.

Taking the Bus From Davao to Cagayan de Oro {17}

Taking the Bus From Davao to Cagayan de Oro

One of the things I wanted to do when I retired and moved to the Philippines was to travel and visit more of the country. I had been to the Philippines many times before moving here, but my trips had been limited to just a few areas. I had seen the Manila area, Davao/Samal and a few small towns outside of those. My intention was to spend some of my free time exploring other parts of Mindanao, in particular, since that is where I live.

Since moving I have had the opportunity to go to Cebu on a few occasions. That was nice, in that Cebu is a very busy and modern city. There are plenty of foreigners there, in particular Koreans. As much as I enjoyed those visits, I still had the urge to explore more of the areas around me. I had targeted Cagayan de Oro (CDO) as likely first trip to make on my own, as there are nice buses headed that way on a regular basis going right through the heart of Bukidnon. That’s an area I have a lot of interest in.

Is Mindanao Safe {18}

Is Mindanao Safe

Do you feel safe traveling to Mindanao? Are you worried about terrorists? Believe it or not, those are questions I often get before I travel to southern Philippines. Surprisingly, that question does not usually come from my American friends, but instead from Pilipinos.

My first trip to Mindanao was just a short visit to Davao. In and out in a couple of days. It was a side trip from Manila, and I really did not know where I was going, and where I had been when I got back. That was also my first exposure to Samal Island, but at the time I had little idea what it was and what that might mean to me later.

By my second trip to Mindanao, I had not only become more familiar with the Davao area, but I also ventured out into North Cotabato. This, I learned, is an area that has gotten a bit of a bad reputation, primarily among those that have lived in the Philippines. But it also doesn’t help that the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of Consular Affairs has a travel warning regarding the region: