Sunday, July 1, 2012

Winding up at Woodlands of Digos City

Snuggled within the Mt. Apo Natural Park in the highlands of Davao del Sur is this rustic oasis that’s being groomed to be the next eco-tourism-adventure destination in that part of the Davao region:  Ang Tribu Bagobo Woodlands (ATBW), a privately-owned estate-cum-mountain resort approximately 13 km away from downtown Digos. Still a work in progress, the resort is a simple yet salubrious hideaway in the highlands for those seeking solace in the loving arms of Mother Nature.

I’ve wound up at ATBW on two separate occasions, thanks to the generosity of its owner who I only came to know in cyberspace. The Melbourne-based chief executive, Ate Nene, encouraged me to visit the resort whenever I’m free if only to experience a different kind of magical high found only in the uplands. Indeed, the couple of short trips provided me quick fixes to urban anxiety, affording me the much-needed respite from the constriction and chaos of the daily grind. 

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ATBW provides the perfect backdrop where family and friends can relax, unwind, have fun and spend quality time with each other up in the mountains. The resort has open-air cottages, picnic huts and function halls that can accommodate trainings, seminars, retreats, team building sessions, meetings and other corporate and/or family activities. It also boasts of a sprawling campsite equipped with modern camping conveniences. Campers are provided with sleeping bags, lamps and other equipment to make camping out one unforgettable highland experience.

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For those who can stand the early morning cold, taking a dip at any of the three swimming pools in the resort, whose waters come from a cool mountain spring, will do wonders to refresh their tired bodies and also renew their weary souls.

More than these amenities, I guess it’s the refreshingly cool climate that swathes ATBW all year round that is its most distinctive come-on, reminding people of Baguio’s cool, pine-scented air. Like the famous city in the north, that part of Digos where the resort is located is blessed with rolling hills and flatlands, making it an ideal venue for picnics, camp-outs, excursions and outings.

As always, nature tripping proved to be a reliable therapy that soothed mind, body and soul, enabling this promdi at heart to indulge in one of his favorite pastimes—an ecological photowalk that had me moving here, there and everywhere just to capture something from those short-lived yet satisfying adventures up in the mountains. Too bad, I missed the chance to snap at those enchanting fireflies at night! Maybe next time…

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