Its the great Northern Mindanao get away!

photo credits: Claudinne Esperanza, Elmer Lagumbay, Joanne Gimena, Toffee Yurong






Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities and the Province of Bukidnon

I just cant be any prouder w/ my hometown (erg home province or home region if demographically speaking).

Last February 2010, I together w/ 2 of my fellow backstage boys barkada (jb and mackoy) and 3 of my equally ‘laagan’ officemates (joann,porky and ladz) went on a 4-day adventure in one of the more progressive yet still ecologically charming regions in the country – Northern Mindanao.

Armed w/ our back packs, travel essentials, 200P back and forth Cebu Pacific and PAL Express tickets, our parents’ nods, and the urge to explore the world, we braced ourselves for one heck of an adventure and preface to a unique but still very much Filipino culture of Mindanao. I may have spent more than half of my life in this island but it still never fails to amaze me. Truly indeed, this place lives up to its title as ‘The Land of Promise’.

Day 1 ILIGAN CITY

After arriving in Cagayan de Oro City from our early morning flight, we immediately checked in at one of the city’s cheap pension house the Wilshire Inn. a room that is good for 4 persons only cost us 1,200P a day. Such a bargain.

After about an hour of power nap and freshening up we immediately hopped on a bus that was bound for Iligan City (my place babeh!). air-conditioned buses ply between these two cities every 30 mins. that’s why traveling in between them isn’t much of a problem. The fare was cheap at around 80P one way. About an hour and 45mins we were in the city terminal of iligan! We were welcomed by my uncle who owns a jeep which we rented for an amount ( i totally forgot sorry, parente ra man gud haha) so that we have some transportation around the city. We wasted no time and visited Iligan’s own icon, that one gem of nature that truly depicts ‘ILIGAN’ in its truest sense – the Maria Christina Falls. oftentimes called as the twin waterfalls,this landmark is always seen in all of promotional media for Iligan City. It is situated at around 10 kms away south of Iligan City proper. it is considered as the primary source of electricity in this part of Mindanao being harnessed by the Agus group of hydrolecetric power plants. after picture taking we immediately went to another landmark of this city – the TIMOGA swimming pools. we wasted no time and jump over the cold waters of the pools in different depths (the deepest was at 16ft where me and JB took a few jumps). we had our lunch in Timoga over a few kilos of lechon baboy and manok. If manila has la loma and Cebu is known for its lechon, Iligan too is a lechon city! after that oily lunch we just spent a few more hours in the really cold waters of Timoga. Whew! they loved it and of course me too! We then went to one of the city’s 24 water falls – Tinago falls. And all of us fell inlove w/ the place. It was worth the several hundreds of steep climb to the place. before leaving we went to CHEDING’s, home to the world famous Iligan’s peanuts to buy pasalubong. The day ended up w/ a trip back to CDO. We met up w/ Mackoy and Adz and had some drinks till the not so wee hours of the morning at one of the city’s famous tabayan w/c I forgot the name sorry Macoy lolz.

DAY 2 CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY

Its again another wet day for all of us as we had our white water rafting in Cagayan river. for 700P (1,000P if food is included. we opt to just buy sky flakes instead haha) we had the intermediate course which took us about 4-5 hours of rafting in the rough waters of the river. This experience i should say was one of the most unforgettable ever. i will let the photos do the talking. and yeah bring tons and tons of sun block since 4 hours exposure in the sun isn’t really noticeable in this trip.

after the rafting we were all dead tired but THE SITE was scraming for us ( CDO’s equivalent of Manila’s the Fort and Cebu’s IT park) and it was just so loud that we couldn’t resist it and finally gave in to the temptation for a couple of san mig lights before we actually called it a day.

DAY 3 BUKIDNON

The next day, we went on towards the central part of Mindanao – in Bukidnon to try what they claim as Asia’s longest zip line at the Dahilayan Adventure Park. we opt to rent a taxi for 1000P for the whole day to bring us to the place. On our way to the place, we stopped at the famous pine apple plantation in Camp Philips wherein what welcomed as was a sea of pineapples, something that my companions went gaga over. We also toured around camp Philips and appreciated the beauty of the American-country side setting of the residences there. When we arrived in Dahilayan, yet again, we were surprised to know, we were up to one of the most exhilarating experience ever! 1 minute of ziplining in indeed Asia’s longest zipline was well worth the 1,200P payment (there were actually 4 zip lines in the area and the last one was the longest). again let the photos do the talking.

The day ended again in CDO’s nightlife and brought us to PULSE (CDO’s Penthouse version) and had a blast while dancing the night away.

DAY 4 CDO City tour

Since our flight was still at around 5pm, we decided to sepnd our last hours strolling in the city. We went to Basilica del San Agustin to pray, went to Limketkai Mall to see the place, and stayed in SM Cdo and watched Valentine’s day to kill time. We went horse back riding just right in front of SM at 10 pesos per round. After, we bought pasalubongs which obviously was all about Camiguin’s fave food attraction – the Pastel. We bought all the flavours. Good thing though we still passed the ‘go lite’ category for Cebu Pacific despite the cartons of Pastel we brought.

This has got to be the saddest day since nobody wanted to leave actually. it was just a very happy and nice experience that me myself didnt want it to end. hahay. Yet another one unforgettable trip because of the people I was with.

I’m so darn  proud to showcase my place …proud to be Mindanaon!