Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tibolo Village

Urban life can be so boring and too noisy at times, particularly the everyday demands of routine work in the office which can definitely be insanely toxic and stressful, and what could be a more perfect getaway to relax and be one with nature than to be right in the middle of a remote mountain valley full of lush greenery and a rich variety of flora and fauna among towering forest trees and stately pine trees mixed with the cool mist of fresh mountain air while learning a thing or two about indigenous culture and their simple ways of life . . . but in Tibolo Village at Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur!

Tibolo Village is home to a Bagobo tribe. Located at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain peak, the cultural experience it brings is truly amazing that one will wish to visit over and over again. Here, you will get to meet and interact with the Bagobos, take a peek of their houses, learn their traditional craft, and taste their simply prepared but delectable food. 

Tibolo Village is located at the foot of Mount Apo

The Village

Big House where "Lumad" like activities are held

It is a truly Mindanaoan tribal village that showcases the Bagobo culture at its best where visitors can spend the day and immerse with the community and learn their culture. For a minimal fee, visitors may stay or sleep in a hut similar to the ones used by the Bagobos, perfect for bonding moments with families, groups of friends, colleagues from the office, or team buildings. There is also a big house for special activities and occasions of the "Lumad" like assemblies which has now become a favorite venue for weddings and receptions, business meetings, conventions, corporate events like seminars and workshops. Visitors will also get to learn the traditional craft on how to weave the T’nalak - a piece of handcrafted clothing specially woven by Bagobo women. The Bagobos showcases their traditional craftsmanship in the way they fashion tribal accessories and clothing woven in vibrant colors and intricate designs. 

A Bagobo weaving the traditional T'nalak

Part of this cultural exchange, visitors will get to feast on "Lyurot" or "Nilutlot," a Bagobo cuisine cooked traditionally inside a bamboo. One sumptuous dish is called, "Nilutlot na Manok," a dish of native chicken cut into several bite-sized pieces and then tenderized in its own juices in coconut milk (Gata ng Niyog) cooked with a reasonable amount of ginger, onions, and other spices, then pressure steamed inside a bamboo over fire until done. The bamboo added a layer of natural flavor to the already flavorful recipe. When the bamboo is cracked open, the result is a creamy, and flavorful treat of tenderized chicken served in a plate of banana leaf.

Nilutlot cooked inside a bamboo over fire

A Bagogbo plating Nilutlot

Nilutlot na Manok

Nilutlot na Manok is served alongside with cooked rice in a banana leaf platter of cooked corn Bagobo style, salted dried fish, vegetable salad, and for dessert, a cassava cake also cooked inside a bamboo. The bamboo had kept the cassava cake moist with some burnt portions for a toasty flavor. Choice of their delicious ground rice coffee, lemon grass tea, and a refreshing fruit juice is also served.

A platter served alongside Nilutlot

Lemon Grass Tea and Ground Rice Coffee

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has long supported such cultural exchanges through its project called, "Volun-Tourism for Cultural Survival" that offers immersion packages that promote  mutually beneficial learning experiences for the traveling tourists and the local communities. The DOT also offers a 3-day immersion called, "Cultural Journey". This package facilitates a quick cultural orientation to volunteer-tourists on the landscapes of upland dwellers. Other package include a Cultural Exchange for six days and a Cultural Exposure for 12 days. These packages are open all-year round for small and big group tours.

For those who want to experience Bagobo culture in Kapatagan, Mount Apo Highland Resort offers day tour to Tibolo Village:

(formerly Mount Apo Highland Resort)
Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur
8000 Davao City, Philippines
Phone (082) 300-8636, (082) 286-8883
Mobile 0929-8256606, 0922-8569792
Visit their Facebook page

How to get to Tibolo Village

The easiest way to reach Tibolo Village is through private transportation. The site is about two hours drive from downtown Davao City, or an hour away from of Digos City proper. There are buses at the Ecoland Bus Terminal in Davao City that ply to Digos City, and public utility vans for hire from Digos Terminal to Kapatagan. There is also a motorcycle ride readily available at the Kapatagan Market.

Images courtesy of Mount Apo Highland Resort and Mr. Art Boncato of the Department of Tourism

- - - o0o - - -

Today is Mother's Day.

GOD took pieces of everything wonderful to make MOMS.
 HE took the fragrance of a flower, the majesty of a tree, the gentleness of morning dew, 
the calmness of a quiet sea, the beauty of the twilight hour, the soul of a starry night, 
the laughter of a rippling brook, the grace of a bird in flight.
Then GOD fashioned from these things HIS most beautiful creation.
And when HIS masterpiece was through, HE called it MOTHER!



  1. What a wonderful travel blog! I found lots of necessary info from your blog. Just bookmarked your blog for more explore! Thanx a lot for sharing.

  2. sana lang maayos ng DIZON Farm yung daan patungong Tibolo Tribal Village, para naman maging accessible yung TIBOLO TRIBAL VILLAGE at yung kultura ng mga Bagobo, para mas maraming mga turistang bibisita sa lugar at di madiscourage sa accessibility ng place


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