A woman's blog of Life - and living it Wisely!!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


(Cagayan De Oro, Bukidnon,  Iligan City, 

Lanao del Norte – Lanao del Sur)

     CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – said to be the City of Golden Friendships because of its gold deposits and the friendliness of their people… It is also that it is the Gateway to Northern Mindanao – I think this one I have to say yes without a blink basing from my experience when I was there.
I think it was like some 2 – 3 years ago that we went to CdeO, I was with the family of my Tito Johnny Wong, my dad’s Fil – Chi bestfriend. He owns a big piggery farm and a convention was held there. He brought me and my mom with them.
    As usual, plane rides, hotels, transportations were good. We probably got lucky to get  a good travelling agent that booked us in the best accommodations. Plus, the convention itself was held in the nicest places in CdeO. So, having said that, and after signing in to the convention proper, and getting our buffet stubs (which was Chinese foods by the way) for the last dinner ball of the convention… let the picture taking begin and the “pasyalan” rolling. J
     We were able to hire one van, ( I think this is common there) and the driver and his companion serves as the tour guides already.
In the city proper, we only went to the Limketkai Center, the convention center, and the mall that never fails me “wherever” – SM City CdeO.  
     So the tour guide offered now their  tour packages..
     First and last stop here in CdeO, was the gardens of Malasag… it was one hell of trekking a hill. Gardens all over, tribal houses, and native women weaving, a hanging bridge which I did not cross… it was all in all – tiring, cold, and literally breathtaking!! But kidding aside, when we reached the top part.. “the almost” 360 degrees view of the city was right in front of me… and it took me a while to go down again... 
     A must try also while in Cagayan is the NIGHT STREET FOOD STRIP!!! As in, ihaw-ihaw in the street – whole plaza with tables. Lots of choices, happy people, party mode for everyone. I think a lot of tourists really go there.
     Next day, we had a long drive.. long means almost 6 hours, in the van. I was told that we will be going to some nice tourist spots… But I did not know that we will be touring almost  5 provinces of Mindanao.

BUKIDNON – oh how sweet it is to drive by at your long, dusty, pineapple-filled wide roads!!!!!!
Now from what I remember, our First stop was BUKIDNON – the Del Monte province!!! Sadly, we did not make the supposed tour at the plantation due to lack of coordination. (that is just one sad part of it). Unfortunately, We did not get to taste the sumptuous pineapple marinated steak of Bukidnon ala Del Monte style!!! 

We also visited this Monastery of the Transfiguration. very quiet, peaceful and makes you feel so closer with God.

ILIGAN CITY – falls, falls, falls and Gloria’s old house!!!
It was after about 2 hours when we reached ILIGAN CITY. Here, we ate at the restaurant  - ihaw –ihaw – lechon manok – strips in front of the Tinago Falls which, If I remember it right was in front of the ANCESTRAL House of GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO.  And again, after eating, a little rest, we were back in the van of Manong tour guide!!!

Oh MARIA CRISTINA – Look at you!!!
It was probably after another hour when we finally reached these high gated long roads with wild sounds of rumbling water… I was excited… like a kid, my head is turning from left to right, back and front – and again… where is the falls??? WHERE COULD THIS LADY CRISTINA BE?? You see, my excitement has been dying to come out of my system maybe since I was in Grade 5 or 6 maybe… My PAPA (grandfather on my mother’s side – SEGUNDINO LIBRADA DIAZ, ) has been telling me stories about the tallest falls in the world- Angel falls, and here in the country is Maria Cristina. It was just in my Sibika books, it was only discussed by elementary teachers – not ever imagined that I will be here… it is to my surprised that there was a lot of, oh no, a bus load full of tourists!!! From all nations, from different Phil. Provinces. We were first toured around the hydrogen plant – the falls supplies electricity to almost the whole of the Lanao province.           After that was picture taking galore – and of course – the falls as the main backdrop!!! And then we were asked if we would like to visit the dam and the 5 floors high – tunnel down the earth!!! – After hearing that... all said – “YEAH!!!!!”… So there we go, and we asked, what do we see under??? Funny that we asked this like maybe after reaching the second floor deep length of the tunnel!! And they just said actually nothing – but machines, and caves, and an altar at bottom end of the tunnel… ok. That ends all the questions. It was compensation enough that if we all die reaching that very deep tunnel… we have God at the end. But we were surprised to see the different rock formation we saw… several stalagmites and stalactites served as wall decors throughout the tunnel. Then after the long wait, we reached a simple rock altar with the image of maybe around 3ft of the Sacred heart of Jesus. Then we got out – alive of course… and one more surprise... we were on top of the dam!!! Whoa!! We all asked, how did that happen??? Actually I forgot the explanation, but the tour guide explained it well with logic!!! I just forgot. =).

Well… travelling Mindanao is really an experience. No matter how different the languages may be… still, one characteristic of Filipinos really shines – At SM they truly got it all for you. Lol!! But seriously, the Filipino hospitality is a treasure and the foremost tourist attraction that only US can offer all over the world. Not only that we shoudn’t be a tourist in our own country – I think we should also be the number one promoter and patrons of our own beauty!!!!

Ok, see you around. I still have some packing to do before my next stop…. I WENT TO BOHOL STRAIGHT FROM CAGAYAN DE ORO VIA A “FERRY” THAT WILL DEFINITELY NOT SLEEP – it will be my first time to ride this small ship!!! It will be an overnight voyage on the Mindanao-Visayan seas!!!

 Holy crap… heaven help me!!!
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