Saturday, July 14, 2012

Road Trip: Northern Mindanao

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.

CDO

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:

CDO
Somewhere in Quezon, Bukidnon


CDO


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?

CDO

CDO
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!

Sweet Treat

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!

CDO
Bigby's Rosemary Chicken

CDO
Missy Bon Bon!

CDO
Tiki Waki Salad
Don't forget to try Missy Bon Bon's gelato!

In Retrospect

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.

37 comments:

  1. I love family roadtrips! Malaki nga ang potential ng CDO, pero kelangan pa talaga ng improvement. Went there two years ago at nasaktong umulan na hindi naman kalakasan, pero baha na.

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  2. I used to work for Del Monte Philippines but I was not able to visit Bukidnon :( Perhaps in the coming months. I want the bottomless PJ you were saying. ^_^

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  3. So how was the exam? I've never known any air traffic controller. You'd be the first! :)

    Wow, road trip from Davao to CDO - that's almost traversing half of the width of Mindanao! Lovely sights along the way.

    Btw, going to CDO soon. I'll check out Ivory Pension. :) And love the last photo!

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    Replies
    1. The exam was okay! Did manage to finish it on time :) Hehe

      Ivory Pension House wasn't bad at all! It's a decent place to stay in CDO and it's located near the downtown area :)

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  4. Ayos ah! Sana makadaan kami sa ganitong lugar!

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  5. Disregarding the traffic, I'm sure CDO is one of the best place for an outdoor adventures.

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  6. Oh, the bottomless pineapple juice!

    Hahaha.. It's nice to have someone show the beauty of Mindanao. Living here in Luzon, you might not see the beauty down below.

    And, congrats on your exam! :)

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  7. ilove bukidnon naalala ko tuloy yung field trip nmin dati

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  8. Same lang din ba yan sa Bigby's sa Davao?

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    Replies
    1. Same lng cya. actually Bigby's is a CDO based resto. :)

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    2. Yes. Same taste, same price, same serving :)

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  9. Did you notice the ongoing construction of drainage system along C.M. Recto Avenue up to Cagayan de Oro River? That is the reason of the terrible traffic situation on that main thoroughfare. Ang project na 'yan ay donated ng Ayala habang ginagawa nila ang kanilang Centrio Mall, Kukun Hotel and soon Centrio Tower condominium.
    Balik ka uli next year. Baka at that time malapit na din matapos yung 36 -storey Tower ng Limketkai at ang 18-Storey Riviera Hotel na ginagawa na ngayon...

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    Replies
    1. GAH. I'd rather stay here in Davao because... Life Is Here! :P

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    2. si damarre yan koya. :-)

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  10. you're lucky to have supportive parents! and i so envy the P20 bottomless pineapple juice! thanks for sharing!

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  11. mapupuntahan ba namin ung mga restos? haha. congrats again sa exam, kambal! so proud of yooo!

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    Replies
    1. THANKS KAMBAL!!! :3 Sure, pupuntahan natin to! :D Food trip nanaman to!

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  12. Here's hoping that Cagayan de Oro will soon rise to its real potentials.

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  13. Hopefully things get better in time.

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  14. I don't get to visit CDO as often as I would want to, but would relish any bit of chance I had...the last 2 visits I had in this city was a good 6 months apart, but trust me, I noticed the big stride of improvements in infrastructure, save for the usual inconvenience that comes with constructions. There were more upscale boutiques and restos opening in Cagayan de Oro way ahead of the opening of Centrio, an Ayala mall...I was happy that I could now find a Starbucks in this tiny but progressive city, which incidentally is the first Starbucks in Mindanao. I am glad that Payless and Gap are now also in CDO, so no need to go to Manila...

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    1. There are more upscale stores can be found in Davao. :)

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    2. I have been traveling to CDO a lot from Manila. I only noticed that the traffic keeps on getting worse, nothing much. The truth is CDO is just a boring mid size city with malls as their way of life. Night cafe in Divisoria is the best spot if you want to be scammed. Rafting at the CM Recto Ave during rainy season is arguably the best CDO can offer. (River rafting actually starts in Bukidnon anyway). walking on water at lumbia seaport...err. airport (haha... the airport is like a seaport when there is rains).Taxi drivers can drain your wallet faster than you can count .001 Northern Mindanao has more to offer. In fact most of the best sites for tourism is OUTSIDE of CDO... like Camiguin province, Bukidnon Province.
      Yes. CDO is an adventure capital. You are not just sure if you can come out alive...

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    3. bumabaha ang mga 1st sa davao. duh.. LOL. ferst.. ferst.. ferst..

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    4. Can't get over sa 1st starbucks... go to abreeza mall, gaisano mall peak and sm city davao annex daming first dun not just first pati second...

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    5. Its logical for big named retail and food brands to first set up shop in Davao. After all, it's mindanao's premier economic hub. Kumbaga it's no-brainer for DC to have these world-class brands right at their doorsteps. It's noteworthy lang that CDO already have world-class stores without going either to Cebu or Manila. It can stand up on its own. Sorry, I didn't mean to offend your sensibilities. I love DC and I also love CDO. Peace out!

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  15. Hope to visit Mindanao also, someday. I love Bigby's!! Too bad their branch here in Manila, closed already.

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  16. You are so lucky to have a supportive dad to take you for a long drive. Bottomless pineapple for Php20? I love it! It's too expensive here in Manila.

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  17. THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS GUYS! Really appreciate it! :D

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  18. CDO, little by little makakabangon din yan. Tiis tiis lang. Need lang din ng mga tao na be vigilant para umayos mga politician. Lets hope for the best though

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  19. It's a blessing to have parents who support us. I'll always treasure our family road trips, from at least 2 hours to half-day travel, my dad always behind the wheel coz I don't know how to drive. We also had a long road trip from Negros to Cebu, about half-day trip, we drove through the mountains of Salvador Benedicto then on board an interisland vessel/barge to get to Cebu. The reason? Go to PRC Cebu office to renew my license, lol.

    btw, Bigby's is a family favorite... though quite pricey for us... we love their baby back ribs.

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  20. You are blessed to have supportive parents. Ok na bonding yan, continue building memories with them! :)

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  21. I totally agree with your impression with Cagayan de Oro.

    Always like your photos.

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  22. Bigbys is my default dinner place when I was still studying in CDO. The food is super sulit! Well, CDO is still struggling due to sendong. but surely we will rise in time :) And yea I dont mind if there are lesser upscale stores in the city. It is and will always be beautiful for me :) Lovely photos up there! Love the photos you took of the roads..

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  23. hahaha parati kaming pinapasalubongan ng missy bonbon ni papa everytime makadayo sia sa cdo.. :)

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  24. I hope you were able to pass your exam. ^_^

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  25. That road actually reminded me of our trip to Baguio.. I know it's quite different, but the greens and the fog's quite familiar.. haha.. :D Anyway, I'd definitely visit the Del Monte Clubhouse when I go to Bukidnon.. :) And how I've wanted to visit CDO! Anyway, hope you passed the exam.. :)

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