A new chapter for MindanaoBob

Flowers from WowPhilippines

I have had something in the works for nearly a year now, something very exciting.  I’ve wanted to let all of you in on the excitement, but I have had to keep quiet for reasons that will be obvious.  Thankfully, the day has finally come that I can let the cat out of the bag and fill you all in on what is going on.

It all started more than 20 years ago when we still lived in the States.  As regular readers here will know, in the States, we lived in Vancouver, Washington, just in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.  While living there I had  a very good friend also living in the Portland area, his name is Todd.  I have kept in touch with Todd fairly regularly over the years after moving to the Philippines.  Well, in May of 2013, I got an e-mail from Todd and he had some interesting things to say.

My friend, Todd Hoffman

My friend, Todd Hoffman

Some of you may know who Todd is as well, because in recent years he has become well known.  Todd’s last name is Hoffman.  He has become famous as the lead star of a TV series called Gold Rush Alaska.  Starting about 5 years ago, Todd has gotten into Gold Mining to earn money, as he became a victim of unemployment back in 2008 when the recession hit hard in the States.  I have been watching as Todd went from an unknown person to the point where he has become a household name.  In 2012/2013, Todd and his cohorts mined about a Million Dollars worth of Gold in Canada.  Not bad for a beginner!

Gold Rush

Gold Rush

Well, when Todd contacted me last year, he came to me with a proposal.  You see, Discovery Channel had gold mining shows on a number of continents already:

  1. North America – Gold Rush Alaska
  2. South America – Todd’s operation moved to South America this year
  3. Africa – a related show called “Jungle Gold”

Discovery Channel wanted to be the first to expand it’s selection of Gold Mining shows to Asia, and the Philippines was their prime target.  For many years they had active Gold Mining going on in an area called Diwalwal, Mindanao, just a few hours from Davao where I live.  I couldn’t believe it when Todd asked if I was interested in joining Discover Channel on this new venture!

Flowers from WowPhilippines

Negotiations with Discovery Channel

The shaft into our claim

The shaft into our claim

Through Todd’s experience in working with Discovery Channel, he helped get me set up to start negotiating with the right people at Discovery Channel, and over a period of about 6 months we were able to reach an agreement to be pivotal characters for the upcoming series, Gold Rush Asia, which will be premiering on Discovery very soon.

Todd flew to Davao and helped me scout out a mining claim in Diwalwal, and showed me what equipment was needed, how to acquire it, and we spent about 3 months learning the gold mining process and how to operate all of the equipment.  Security has been an issue, as Diwalwal can be a dangerous area, and foreigners are not very welcome in the area.  Thankfully, all of that has been ironed out, though.  In fact, many episodes for the new series have already been filmed, and the filming is continuing for the complete season.

I’m sworn to secrecy

I really want to give you the whole story, but at this point I am sworn to secrecy under my contract with Discovery Channel.  I cannot reveal the success or failure of our gold operations at this point.  Please tune in, though, to Discovery Channel to watch Gold Rush Asia, though, to follow our adventures in Philippine Gold Mining, and you will see how our operation has worked out.

One thing I can reveal is that I will be featured on the show along with two of my sons, Aaron and Chris.  The three of us are joined by a crew of Filipino miners who will help show us the ropes in the mining area, help us navigate our way through dealing with other local miners and hopefully hit it big and satisfy our lust for Mindanao Gold!

I hope that you are able to join us by watching our new venture on the Discovery Channel!  Also, thanks to my old friend Todd for bringing me in on this opportunity!



OK, guys, time for me to fess up!  Some of you guessed, but many did not!  Yes, this was all an April Fools joke!  Yes, I know that it was not yet April 1 in many parts of the world at the time I published this article, but it was already April 1 here in Asia!  Remember, we are ahead of most other time zones here.  So, I got many of you, and some of you had it all figured out since the beginning!  I hope that you all had a little fun with this, as I did.  To be honest, I felt a little bit guilty because some of you were so genuinely happy for me on this!  But, it was all just a joke and meant for all to enjoy and get a badly needed laugh!  I hope that is how you felt!

Happy First of April, guys!  Thanks for supporting me by reading my site, and for participating too.  I have a great group of readers, people who I happily call my friends!  I value you all greatly.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (940 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

Author Info


  1. says

    Fantastic Bob, I have also Known for some time about the gold hereon Mindanao and wondered if it would be possible for a foreigner to prospect and mine here. Glad to see that you have found a way to Git r done. And I do follow those shows on Discovery. Another that I watch Faithfully is the Tuna shows Out of Gloucester Mass. Been wondering if that Could happen here as there is a lot of Blue Fin tuna caught here.

  2. says

    Wow congrats sir! I’m an avid watcher of the Goldrush series. I wish you the best of luck. Wish I had the opportunity to visit your operation once it gets running. edit, if it’s an april fools joke, you got me good :D

  3. Kevin K says

    My friend, Mr. Google can’t find anything on Gold Rush Asia. You said Discovery Channel already filmed some episodes and you are sworn to secrecy? Something smells fishy (a tuna show?). I hope this turns out to be true so Aaron can go to Hollywood and not Louisiana lol

    • says

      I don’t understand why everybody is so happy that it’s April already. I like April too, but didn’t expect people to be so overjoyed and writing comments about it!

  4. says

    Yes, I understand that.. what do you mean about it, though? You want to send me a message? Fire away. If you mean something else, I don’t understand.

  5. says

    Bob, congratulations! That is very cool. I wish you and your family the best of success, health, and happiness in every thing you do. God is good!

  6. tom moskal says

    Bob, if does not pan out down there come visit our area there is a lot of people panning for gold every day in the river

    Good luck on your venture

    Tom/Roxas City

  7. Heinz Schirmaier says

    Congrats Bob! this is fantastic! a Vancouver, WA native a gold miner in Asia, btw Bob, I’ll let it slide this time that you called Vancouver, WA a Suburb of Portland, OR, hahahaha!
    Any idea yet when the show will air? I’ll be watching it for sure!!!!!

  8. Lenny says

    April 1st has been known in the past to be Bob Martin Day…. also…..BUT… if true …Cool ….. and send me a couple of Nuggetts so i can live in peace hahahaha.

  9. Heinz Schirmaier says

    Oh! forgot to tell you, I’ve been panning the Clatskanie river/creek for a couple of years now and found a few small silver nuggets. Nothing to brag about, about pea sized, but mostly smaller.
    Have not found any gold yet, just silver and iron pyrite, also lots of aluminum and glass!
    Keep on diggi’n Bob, that vein is just around the corner!

  10. Terry Allen says

    My wife is from Gingoog City and says it can be dangerous there. Please be careful. BTW I have never missed any of that show, not 1.

  11. James Speight says

    I don’t know why everyone is giving Bob a hard time about it being April the 1st. This is a very plausible story. The only thing though? on the show Todd Hoffman seems to be a very competitive person. Bob you must be a really good friend for him to bring you in to compete with him on the show, or maybe it is an additional program. But then again maybe you have been rubbing off on him, sharing your knowledge and being happy helping others do what you have done, like on the internet. Wait I get it Todd made a lot of money on the internet. I remember it was over a million dollars or something. Was that you that helped him? I bet he bought some of your books. Or even got a pre-published addition.

    Well I am happy that sharing your information with others had paid off big.

    • says

      Hi James – I didn’t really share this part of the thing, but when Todd came here to Asia, we negotiated a deal. His help was invaluable to me, and for the help he extended to me, he has a percentage of the Asian Gold. I think it was a very fair deal.

  12. says

    Hi Bob – When you’ve amassed a fortune from your golden opportunity, perhaps you can make the further discovery of the pedestrian bridge system I have for sale. Tuesday’s are buy one take one! :lol:

  13. scott b says

    umm,todd didnt find all that gold in 2012-2013 in canada,it was alaska where he found the million so nice try.

  14. says

    WOW Bob this is awesome. I actually watch that show from time to time. Very cool. You are a blog/online guy and when featured on discovery I’m sure you could start a very successful Gold blog, not only for AM’s living in the PH but for anyone. My dad likes to poke around in gold panning etc so I’ll stay tuned for more info from you Bob. Congratz Bob!

  15. Ron says

    Bob one of my favorite shows. I am so happy for you. I am going to assume this one of those life changer events. Look forward to seeing you digging.

  16. says

    Wow, Bob, that’s so exciting! I’ll definitely be tuning in for this show, man. Mindanao seems like a great place for gold mining and it makes sense they’d want to do a show here. Glad you were selected!

    To be honest, I’d love to hear about the behind-the-scenes with your friend and the Discovery Channel on getting the deal and how that all worked out. No need explain how it all played out (I understand needing to keep that private for the show) but the negotiations would be interesting to me. (From a business perspective)

    Either way – excited for you! Best of luck with everything.

  17. James Speight says

    well at least with only a few hours to travel back and fourth you will not have all the expenses Todd had to do going north and south to find gold. That has to be a plus. Right in your own backyard.

  18. Bob New York says

    I have always heard about the unrealized mining potentials of Mindanao. I wonder if this will be something to start another blog site about. I have never had any of those premium cable channels so maybe some clips will eventually appear somewhere on the internet. Can we expect glodleaf border on the front page of LIP from now on Bob ?

    Good thing you got over that spider bite disease in time for tv production. Maybe you should have some insect repellent as who knows what may be lurking in the mine.

    Good luck on this new venture Bob. Maybe your new blog can be titled ” Mindanao Gold “. or ” Mining In Mindanao Dot Com ” .

  19. says

    Such wonderful news! And coming right after I won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes! Please let me know when you start the guided tours. I’ll fire up the chopper and fly down with the missus and the clan. I can’t tell you how easy it is to island hop since I bought that surplus Huey. Maintenance is a bit of a pain though. Take care and happy digging! Gold digging that is! ;-)

  20. Bill S. says

    Too bad you wernt trying to sell me an island there, you would have money in your pocket by now. I bought it,,, hook line and sinker,,,then I started reading the comments, damn if it isnt April 1st.

  21. Edwin says

    Bob, I am glad to see your sense of humor. It tell’s me that you are really feeling better. That’s good!

    I have seen the show “Gold Rush Alaska”. I have also seen a real-estate type show where private islands are sold. I recently saw this show in the Philippines. Chris Krolow CEO of Toronto Based Private Island Inc. was selling to two guys (non filipino) in the Palawan area.
    I did not think that foreigner’s could buy this type of property (non-condo) in the Philippines and I do not believe either one was married. Are you or any of your readers aware if this is possible?

  22. says

    This sure is exciting news Bob; Mindanao Bob is now an international TV star! That’s one show I never expected to be watching. I can’t wait!

  23. says

    Oh no, I can not believe I fell for this Aprils Fools joke 24 hours late. I am wide awake to them down in New Zealand but never thought I would have to be on watch for Jokers in the Philippines!

  24. Aklan Heat says

    Hi Bob,

    I think I heard of the TV show Gold Rush America before, but very faintly, and for sure have not watched any of its episodes. Now, with you saying there will be a similar show titled Gold Rush Asia on the Discovery Channel and it will be shot in Diwalwal, Mindanao, Philippines, well, I for one would be glued to TV once that show is on air, and Bob, you being in the cast of the characters of the show, well, you’d be a star!

    No matter what happens shall happens, belated Happy April 1st! :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *