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Wanderlust | My top Mindanao quarantine destinations

The coronavirus that is currently plaguing this planet has definitely changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks. It has affected every aspect of our lives, including the way we think.

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Seven days into quarantine got me thinking, “if not in my scrubby abode, where would I prefer to get stuck alone in 30 days?” Good question.

After more than 30 years of traveling, I made a rundown of my preferred places in Mindanao where I can enjoy solitary isolation.

Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring in Maco, Davao de Oro. Taking daily hot spring showers from mineral-rich water that cascades over a huge boulder ain’t a bad thing. Also, heat or humidity is said to decrease the virulence and infectivity of certain viruses. Who knows, this could be the antidote to my boredom.

Camiguin Island. Isolated from mainland Mindanao, Camiguin is quarantine heaven. With just more than 88,000 population scattered in a 23,794-hectare area, there’s social distancing guaranteed. With waterfalls, white sand island and dietary fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants-rich lanzones, what’s not to love?

Fetam Klego in Columbo, Sultan Kudarat. This piece of paradise is so remote that not many tourists visit it. Hidden behind cogon grass-covered mountains, it has fresh spring water from an underground river and waterfalls, and vegetation in nearby valleys. While this was also the epicenter in one of last year’s earthquakes, there’s not much to worry since there are no buildings in the area. I can live here for a month.

Dinagat Islands. The tiny island province is surrounded by sparsely populated islets, such as Cabilan Island in Dinagat, La Isla Aga and Lalaking Bukid in Basilisa, Kisses Islets in Libjo, and Hibuson, Stingray Islet, and Puyo Islet in Loreto municipalities. Now, which one should I choose? With crabs, lobsters and other kinds of seafood as a staple food, this is what bliss is all about.

Municipality of Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi. It is one of the few remaining major nesting sites of the Green Sea turtles in the world. Social distancing, check. It only has 4,727 inhabitants. Yes, I don’t mind sharing my space with turtles. Availability of necessary provisions, check – procured from nearby Lahad Datu, Malaysia (180 kilometers away – roughly the distance between Davao City and Trento, Agusan del Sur).

Talikud Island in the Island Garden City of Samal. If I can’t afford to go too far, I can settle for Talikud. I just need to stay away from those pesky bats in the island’s caves. But besides that, with the availability of fruits, vegetable, seafood, and the beach, who am I to complain?

Mount Apo, Davao City. It is far enough – highest peak at 9,692 feet – to sever me from the rest of the population. There’s freshwater supply, vegetation for food, and data signal, in case I want to post my daily grind on Instagram. And the view? Priceless. For a nature lover, like me, Apo is the ultimate in confinement.

Now, if given a chance to choose, where would you want to be quarantined?

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