Every time I travel, I always see to it that I could explore as many places as I could, because we do not really know when would we be visiting the place again. Last October 04, 2011, I got the chance of exploring the Northern part of Mindanao, and that was my first time setting foot in that island. I was travelling alone at that time, but never did I feel scared or threatened in any way. I do not want the exaggerated news about bombing, terrorism, kidnapping, and etc to ruin my 5-day trip (CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon-Iligan) in Mindanao.
Apart from a solo backpacking trip, I also decided to do this on a shoestring budget. Travelling alone is really costly because you have no one to share for the expenses especially for the accommodation. Also as much as possible, I want to go to each of my destination the way the locals are practicing.
Since I resigned from my day job, I've always been doing a solo trip because I do not want to depend my trips on the availability of my travel buddies especially that they are still tied or bound by the so-called "corporate world."
I am not really fond of researching on the internet for itineraries or guide before the trip. I usually do the spontaneous way and just utilized the locals for the direction. Fortunately, the locals in Mindanao were kind enough guiding me to get to my destination. Good thing that we are speaking on the same dialect so communication is not an issue during my travel in Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Bukidnon and Iligan.
Mindanao is it safe to go there or not?
I do not think that there is a specific place in this planet which could be considered as a perfect place. The bombings, kidnapping or terrorism you heard that is happening in Mindanao can also happen in our own place. What I am saying is that no matter where you are heading you could be hit with these incidents and the war thingy were isolated cases.
So, in my personal opinion, it is safe to go to Mindanao. Just do not be careless and stupid. Also try watching or listening to the news about what is going on around you especially to the place you are heading. If you know someone who could accompany you, then that would be better, but again there is no assurance that you will be perfectly safe.