Packing For a Mindanao "Backpacking" Trip

I'm now in Tacurong city, Sultan Kudarat. I plan to embark on yet another long trip to this southern part of the Philippines. With just one way ticket, my first long trip to Mindanao, happened in 2008, right after I left my job. It lasted for a month. Then in 2010 I found myself wandering in South Cotabato again for 2 months hopping from one habalhabal to another. This 2013, I'm back in Mindanao.

my packs onboard Yellow Bus Liner from GenSan to Tacurong

For this particular trip, a Sandugo Ascent 45L Backpack will serve as my home for 3 months.
I’ve only used it during my Catanduanes trip where we experienced a gloomy and rainy weather all throughout. And although its aesthetics may not be too pleasing for a girl’s eye, it served its purpose well. The backpack provided me with good back support compared with my previous so-so backpacks that left me a sprained back many times.

Travel details:
3 Regions, 7 Provinces and 8 Cities 
Travel Date: July – September, 2013
Activities: street parades, city tours, trekking, swimming, farm visits, lake tours etc.


Most of the clothes I’ll be bringing are made of light, breathable and wrinkle free fabrics. Outfits that no longer need pressing and that are basically wash and wear types. Tip: If you know you’ll be coming back to your home province once in a while, why not leave a couple of clothes or towel there so you can bring less outfits on your next visit.


  • 3 Tank Tops
  • 3 Dry fits
  • 3 Light cotton tops
  • 1 casual top

  • Sports pants (the only thick clothing I’ll bring since it can get crazy cold in Lake Sebu at night)
  • Dark jeggings (jeans+leggings: great from city tours to church wear)
  • Convertible cargo pants
  • Gray Leggings
  • Convertible cargo pants
  • 2 walking shorts
  • A set of swimwear
  • Beach shorts (also good for house wear)
  • Socks
  • 5 pairs of undergarments
  • Arm warmer
  • Jacket


I think 2 footwear would do.
  • Merrell Hiking shoes
  • Flipflops with strap


My bath essentials are packed in a pouch that can easily be hanged in bathrooms. Liquids are refilled in small containers so it’s lighter to bring. After all, it’s very easy to buy stuff like these (in tingi tingi) from nearby sari-sari stores.

  • Soap
  • Sunblock
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant Hand
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Oil Control
  • Lip balm
  • Face powder
  • Moisturizer
  • Body scrub


  • Pen (one small thing travelers tend to forget, always a must have!)
  • Scarf for cooler places
  • Sarong
  • Headware
  • Pocket Towel from Sea to Summit
  • Extra foldable bag
  • Sandugo dry bag
  • Ziplocs (small and large packs)
  • Foldable Raincoat
  • Navi (my planner)
  • Extra pair of Contacts and eye solution
  • Sunglasses and Eyeglasses
  • Goggles (to protect my contacts during swimming)
  • Waterproof pouch (for beach and/or island hopping trips)
  • Vitamins and medicines 
  • A pack of biscuit
  • Coffee of choice (comfort food)
  • Travel mug
  • Headlight for blackouts, emergency purposes and possible night time habalhabal trips
  • Printed maps 


I’ll be working online while traveling so I need my laptop. This is the first time I’ll be bringing my laptop since I usually work at home. I’m really torn between buying a netbook as to bringing the laptop, but I did try carrying it with my clothes in the backpack and looks like I can handle the weight. I’ll be doing some video editing as well so I prefer one with a bigger screen. Besides, this is not really a hardcore backpacking trip where I’ll be aggressively hopping from one place to another. I'll travel slowly, staying for a week or more per province.
  • Samsung Laptop
  • 2 Point and Shoot Cameras (Canon Ixus and Fujifilm)
  • 2 Phones (Blackberry and MyPhone)
  • MiniTripod
  • Chargers and Adaptors
  • Portable Hard drive
  • Extra memory cards and battery
  • Usb
  • Globe Tattoo

Keeping it organized 

I ordered my packing cubes from an online store here in the Philippines, Paccube. The rest were bought from Sandugo and SM Department Store. These products are a must to keep travel essentials organized.


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