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Showing posts from September 1, 2019

The Abu Sayyaf.

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"Everything You Have Ever Wanted is on the Other Side of Fear."
In the mid to late 1990s, there were travel warnings for Americans traveling to the Philippines, and the warnings recommended NOT to visit the Southern Islands of Mindanao. I did not read travel warnings. I went where I wanted to go. 





Talikud Island in 1996 had a few tiny rustic resorts along the coastline that were mostly thatch roof huts on stilts and were we reachable only by water. The island was covered by dense jungle and primarily uninhabited. One tiny beachfront resort had about 8 cabins, no running water, and no electricity, except for a small generator. The resort was managed by a married local Filipino couple and catered to Filipinos tourists with the rooms renting for 200 - 300 Pesos ($8-12) per night for a small 12 x 12 ft thatched-roof hut on the beach. 

To get to the islands, one would take a small ferry from Davao City to Samal Island, the larger of the two islands.   Samal island was more developed…