Friday, November 09, 2012

My trip to Bangsamoroland

 When I revisited Central Mindanao, I had the chance to take a glimpse of familiar places from the sky above. This is the  ever reliable UH-1H 'Huey' Chopper, my favorite air transport. Huey got its name from its previous military designation HU-1 (Helicopter Utility-1).

This photo was taken as we prepared to depart from Cotabato City airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. When I was here in mid 90's, mortar high-explosive rounds from rebel positions sometimes landed in these areas.

Because of the ongoing peace process, all the guns are silent. I am now comfortable taking photos of my second home here in Central Mindanao about 15 years ago.
About 1 minute after take-off, I took this photo of the terrain as seen from Bgy Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao.

The built-up area in the horizon is the city of Cotabato. It got its name from Kuta Wato or stone fort, the seat of Sultan Kudarat's power when he resisted colonial rule. Currently named as PC Hill,  I had visited this place in 1997. The police headquarters can be found in this place.

This is the Tamontaka river, one of the tributaries that can be found in the 220,000 hectare Liguasan marsh. This community is part of Kabuntalan town.

This is the Libungan marsh, part of the larger Liguasan marsh. There are few houses that can be found here. This 'water world' is home to various aquatic animals like the endangered crocodiles, herons, various species of fish and of course, the infamous water hyacinth which caused heavy flooding in Cotabao City in 2011.

Datu Saudi Ampatuan town and Mamasapano town lie in this part of Maguindanao

Shariff Aguak town, the home of the Ampatuan clan. The hills in the background used to be my trekking grounds in 1997.

This is the terrain in Esperanza-Isulan area in Sultan Kudarat. The dark green areas are oil palm tree plantations.

Tacurong City

Another view of Tacurong City, showing the Liguasan marsh in the horizon (top left) where Sultan sa Barongis town, my 2nd home in 1997 is located.

I took this photo over Bgy Kalandagan in Tacurong City. You can see Buluan Lake in the horizon and the surrounding hills of Mangungudatu and Lutayan towns.

Buluan Lake

Koronadal City is formerly known as Marbel, the capital of South Cotabato
The commanding grounds that can be found while approaching Tupi town

This is Polomolok town.

Dole pineapple plantation in Polomolok town

The heavy rains made navigation much more difficult for our pilots

These are the surrounding hills that can be found west of General Santos City
NHA New Bayanihan village in General Santos City, located in the right bank of Makar river

General Santos City Airport. You can see Sarangani bay and the towns of Alabel and Glan in the horizon.
Our buddy chopper is preparing to land, guided by an Aircraft Marshaller.

If there is peace, it's more fun in Bangsamoro lands!


  1. I have always wanted to ride a Huey. The one with all the equipment and not standstill like I see at the Air Force Museum.

    Sigh, dreams don't usually come true.

    - Drey Roque

  2. when i was in high school, i joined photo journalism...attempt i saw the pictures taken by my instructor in marksmanship, now the spokesperson of PA, sir cabunoc....parang gusto ko maulit yung nasimulan ko noon..thanks sir.. isa na namang nakakainspire na article ang nabasa ko..


  3. ang ganda ng view.

  4. Jerry,

    Pursue this hobby. Pang-Bayanihan missions, for a change. :-)

    Best regards!

    Ranger C

  5. nice to see my former town w/c i was grow's totally different now,b4 going to any places you can saw military detachment for repellling moro attack but now it's more civilian and have so many small business's a sign of progress....thanks for the peace deal ang to our afp who fought for PEACE.....