My decision was made firm by a Cotabato City bound van that awaited my arrival at early 3 am. It was 5:30 am when I reached Cotabato. I took a tricycle to Lebak terminal. The regular trip from Cotabato to Lebak starts at 9 am. That would be a very long wait. Luckily, a striker Hi-Ace van was waiting at the terminal. Off we departed with I as the only passenger but later fetched another passenger in Awang.
Passing through the well paved road of the highland Upi, Maguindanao is truly amazing. The place is cool, green and silent. The road is uphilling and winding. A refreshing view soothed my sleepless eyes.
Approaching Lebak, the road started to downhill, also winding. The driver, Oric, allowed me to take photos of wonderful views.
When we arrived at Lebak by 9 am, Oric brought me to a Kambingan where we filled our shivering tummies. He then looked for a habal-habal driver to bring me to Kalamansig, 9 kilometers away.
The driver recommended JV 24/7 Lodge for my stay. When I entered the room, I snored my sleepless night right away.
When I woke up by 2 pm, I walked to the market and found pastil for late lunch.
The sun was still up when I rode a payong-payong to Poral beach. Rain delayed my trip. When the sun shed its scorching heat again, I was hopeful to catch the sunset.
I trekked to the other side of a small hill to reach the white-sand Tayandak Beach. There I waited for the sunset.
I was so marveled when red painted the western skies while Celebes waters devoured the fiery ball.
When it started to get dark, I trekked back to Poral beach. While on my way, another celestial light awed from the other side. The moon was high.
When morning came, I walked around the simple town mingling with locals, observing their usual activities. I left Kalamansig by 10 am.
HOW TO GET THERE
1. From Cotabato City, take a van that travels straight to Kalamansig (P350).
2. From Isulan, there are also vans that travel straight to Kalamansig (P350).
3. You may also take a van bound for Lebak (still P350). From Lebak, take a habalhabal to Kalamansig (P50).
WHERE TO STAY
1. Poral Beach Lodge - P400-800/ room
2. JV 24/7 Lodge - P400-500/ room