When I heard this Maitum word, ano ‘to siya, maitim. From the root word “maitim” at tama nga naman ako. Maitum means black, earned its name from black stones of a river where a T’boli (natives) warrior and a village princess vanished while escaping from her enraged father. Thereafter, the stones turned black as they disappeared up to this day. Kaya nga naman. Nanosebleed ako sa tale story ng Maitum. At hanggang ngayon, walang senyales na natagpuan ang prinsesa at ang T’boli warrior. Nakalimutan atang ipa-bombo radio ng ama ang kanyang anak.
By the way, Maitum is not just rich in fables, though this small town has lots to offer, especially to local and foreign tourists. The place is considered as Mindanao’s Old World. You can find remarkably unique archaeological assemblage unparalleled in Southeast Asia. Aba, ang taray ng Lola mo! Hundreds of anthropomorphic jars were used as covers for burial jars associated to the Metal Age in the Philippines circa 5 B.C. to A.D. 225. Well, too much for history but this only means that maybe some of our first ancestors live in caves of Maitum and those artifacts found in that place are just the evidence that they are making jars to use for burials of their relatives. This diorama can be seen in Maitum Municipal Hall and in National Museum, Manila. I can remember that these artifacts were featured in National Geographic Channel and dubbed as the Anthropomorphic Pottery in Maitum.
I think we are done dealing with history. Now it’s time for my fave part of this article. Adventure!
If you want to visit Maitum, you need to visit Gen San first! Around 127 kilometers away, two and a half hours travel from Gen San. But don’t worry. Sarangani Province, so far, and as far as my concern, has the neatest or should I say smoothest roads in the Philippines. Maybe followed by going to Tagaytay or Subic but this one is definitely smooth. Less prone to vehicular accidents plus great views, ganyan ang Sarangani!
Once you arrived in Maitum, don’t forget to take a challenge at Pangi River, 1.6 kilometer tube ride in New La Union, Maitum. Ngayon ko lang na realize that I was about 1.6 kilometers of water tubing splashing and tumbling experience! Pangi River was ranked 3rd as the cleanest river in the Philippines last 2003. No ebola, no ecoli or salmonella, or even a single ebak on that river. Ang lakas ng flow ng tubig sa river! It was really a challenge for me to take that tube ride. Because of my blogger colleagues are ever supportive, natauhan akong sumali sa kanila. Then I asked Ate Leah to borrow some pants over a small house nearby the river (kasi ayokong mabasa ang shorts ko) and took that 100 million peso challenge. And my time has come. Well, it’s up to you Lord, whatever happens. But oh c’mon, chicken little. The’was totally fun! I can’t explain the happiness and thrill. Para akong si Manny Pacquiao (picture cited) o ala Marc Nelson ng Sports Unlimited. I promised to myself to come back in that place in 2011. I don’t want to elaborate it further though I let you try this water tubing challenge. It was really fun! Aside from water tubing experience, you can also enjoy day-trekking or horseback riding and commune with nature along the way. The village offers overnight cottages and tents.
Kung nagugutom naman kayo, visit Cresing’s Food Products in Purok Namnama, Maitum. When we had this Neyem Saranggani Adventure last December 12, pinasurprise kami nang todong todo. Pinakain kami ng maraming pagkain. Whatta jam-packed breakfast! I ever love the Bangsi, Maitum’s Pride. If you are wondering what is bangsi, it is a half-dried flying fish or “marinated bangsi”, very dominant in the waters of Sarangani. And now, one of Maitum’s Pride. Kung ang Gen San may Tuna Festival, sa Maitum naman, may Bangsi Festival. Every last week of January, this celebration honors the fisherfolks who capture flying fish or bangsi for livelihood. Ang hirap kaya maging mangingisda at hulihin ang mga nagsisiliparang mga isda sa dagat. It’s like you’re capturing grasshoppers in the field. Maitum also celebrates the feast of Sto. Nino every January.
*Photos by Sir Arnel Joshua Lim
Kulang ang breakfast kung walang kape para sa mga Pinoy, Coffee in English. But this coffee is very strange. Rice is never out the picture when we talk of Maitum. It continues to be one of the top rice-producing municipalities in the province. It is the origin of Cresing’s Organic Rice Coffee which is now becoming a popular alternative beverage. The good thing about this coffee is that there is no caffeine, no preservatives added, unlike the commercial coffees in the market today, but take note of this: it relieves gas pain, good for the taste buds and soul. But all of these descriptions were true. Unfortunately, I joined this tour suffering from stomachache. Good thing I tried their Rice Coffee. Maybe because of its aroma and probably laughter (dahil kay Ate Leah), dahan-dahang nawala ang sakit ng aking tiyan. They are also selling a bottle of Rice and Corn Coffee. If you have enough money, then you need to buy it. You can also try their local products such as bagoong, tinagtag (rice crisps), and bangsi, my favorite.
Maitum has lots to offer but unfortunately, we had only limited time to explore other sites such as Bat Sanctuary in Pinol and Ticulab, Pawikan Sanctuary in coastal barangay of Old poblacion, Twin Falls of Bati-an and Maitum Jars in Pinol Cave. But these experience brought to us to the new Sarangani, which we can proudly showcase it to the world how Maitum, in specific, and Sarangani, in general, as the one stop tourism destination of the south.
For more info about Cresing’s Food Products, call Ms. Nieda N. Ramos through mobile no.: 09193045279 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want adventure in Maitum, don’t hesitate to contact the Municipal Information Officer, Ms. Elizabeth Ramos-Palma Gil, CPA through her mobile no.: 09215944228 or e-mail her at email@example.com
Municipal Government of Maitum and Cresing’s Food Products are proud sponsors of Neyem Sarangani Adventure 2010. Special thanks SOCSKSARGEN Bloggers, the Department of Trade and Industry and Provincial Government of Sarangani.