Cotabato: Just Passing By

The final stage of our Mindanao road trip was Cagayan De Oro.  From Sultan Kudarat, we were limited with 2 options to reach Cagayan De Oro. When time is a constraint, a 5-hour land trip to Davao is coupled with less than an hour flight from Davao International Airport to Cagayan De Oro. However, when considering cost, the 12-hour bus trip via North Cotabato is the option.

WE had an extended stay in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat and had to leave early Friday morning to be able to arrive in Cagayan De Oro before it gets dark. The Rural Transit was scheduled to leave Tacurong City Terminal at 5 am, but it left around 6 am.

Public Transport in Cotabato

Security Check at Public Terminals in Cotabato

Cotabato Matalam Public Terminal

It was rainy in February. I was rather thankful because it was very hot in Tacurong City a few days before we left.

Mobile Networks in Cotabato, Bukidnon and CDO

The road was lightly in zigzag. Still, nothing beats the highway from Baguio to Sagada! I was anticipating messages from the person I am meeting in CDO. So it was necessary for me to check my phone every now and then. Both Smart and TM had strong network coverage. Smart and TM lost signal 3 times. Although, there was a single instance when TM’s network disappeared for a few minutes along the highway between Cotabato and Bukidnon. And Smart phone continued to have limited  network coverage (my HTC displayed just a bar).

North Cotabato National Highway

WiFi at Stopovers

Selected stopovers have free wifi. Just ask the attendants if they are password enabled. Though some are not aware, you may be lucky enough to be able to speak with owners who would politely assist you.

Flood after Light Rainshower

Not a good sight, huh? It was a disturbing sight from the highway. I hope most roads are not like this. From stories of acquaintances who live in North Cotabato, many areas have limited access to public transportation. Bad roads could be a reason.

This may not be a good sign of the government’s attempt to improve infrastructure, public roads and highways. Better roads make rural areas accessible and ease the burden of farmers who have to transport their goods from isolated fields to the market.


~ by theorangehut on March 10, 2011.

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