One of the requirements of becoming an Air Traffic Controller here in the Philippines is to take their qualifying exam; much like a college entrance exam. But unfortunately, Davao was not chosen as one of the exam venues. Cagayan de Oro was the nearest one. Thus, I had no choice but to travel all the way to the City of Golden Friendship together with my supportive parents.
We left Davao at around four in the morning. Dad was the one who drove the car all the way to Cagayan de Oro. But don't worry, he's really used to it. The longest trip that he had experienced was from Davao to Pagadian City - it took him whole day to reach that city!
We traversed the intestine-like roads of Buda (Bukidnon-Davao) whilst enjoying the majestic landscape of Bukidnon. The mountains and even the roads were sometimes shrouded by fog, drizzle and clouds.
Here are some photos of the beautiful province of Bukidnon:
|Somewhere in Quezon, Bukidnon|
When in Bukidnon, treat yourself with a huge slice of beef steak at Del Monte Clubhouse in Manolo Fortich. Did I mention that a bottomless pineapple juice is only Php 20?
|Del Monte Clubhouse|
Touchdown Cagayan de Oro
After I acquired my exam permit at Lumbia Airport's control tower, we went to SM City CDO to eat lunch then went back to downtown CDO to check-in at our hotel. We stayed at Ivory Pension House, located near Mallberry Suites. Dad booked a family room (good for three persons) for only Php 1,200. The room comes with a cable TV, free wi-fi connection, hot and cold shower and it's very accessible since it's located near downtown CDO!
Whenever you are in Cagayan de Oro, don't forget to dine at Bigby's! They offer delectable food at a reasonable price! My personal favorite is their Rosemary Chicken. Their Tiki Waki Salad is also a must try! Should you celebrate your birthday at Bigby's, the staff will sing and greet you merrily plus they'll give you a cute cupcake! How sweet!
|Bigby's Rosemary Chicken|
|Missy Bon Bon!|
|Tiki Waki Salad|
Don't forget to try Missy Bon Bon's gelato!
It was actually my fourth time to visit Cagayan de Oro, the first time in 2009. Only a few things have changed in CDO. One was the 20-storey building near Lim Ket Kai Mall and the other were the two new flyovers (aka the giant humps of CDO). Despite the presence of the newly built flyovers, traffic was still terrible... actually it was worse, even worse than the infamous EDSA! I ain't exaggerating here! I do not know what's wrong with the city's traffic system.
It took us more or less 7 hours before reaching Cagayan de Oro City. Travel time was longer than before due to the road maintenance along Maramag, Sumilao and Manolo Fortich. Hmmmm...
We do have plans of visiting Dahilayan near Manolo Fortich to try their rides but the heavy rain hampered our plan. We'll definitely go back there and try their famous zip line! Dad told me that the place is great and worth it.
|Smiling despite everything.|
Cagayan de Oro is a struggling metropolitan city; struggling in a sense that it had a lot of [promising] projects that were poorly supervised; that the city has a big potential but will soon fade out judging from the city's mediocre performance.
One day, my impression about this city will change. But it takes time, you know.