Monday, June 27, 2011

Initao, Misamis Oriental

One of the things that I really miss about being a Biology student at UP is the never-ending laboratory field works. As Ecology majors, we always travel to different places and explore some terrestrial and aquatic biomes.

Last September 4-6, 2009, we went to Initao, Misamis Oriental to conduct four laboratory exercises in BOT 150 (Plant Ecology). It is an eight-hour ride from Davao City and just an hour drive from the provincial capital of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City.

Transportation was not really a problem for us since one of my classmates owned a rent-a-van business, ergo we availed a big discount. We hired three Toyota Ace vans and left Davao at around 5:30 PM. The highway was paved but it seemed to have lots of 45 to 60 degree sharp turns. We endured that kind of situation until we arrived at Valencia City, Bukidnon. I believe it was already 8 in the evening when we ate our dinner at Jollibee.

We spent our night at a quaint inn at Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. By 6:30 in the morning, we left the inn and ate breakfast AGAIN at Jollibee. Then, after eating, we traveled for another 4 hours to our destination. The Bukidnon scenery was really amazing. We stopped by at a place somewhere outside Malaybalay City. Travelers will have a vantage view of Bukidnon's picturesque landscape - mountain ranges and dense dipterocarp forests.

We ate lunch at a local restaurant in Initao and headed straight to Lasang Secret Adventure. For just Php 200, one has the chance to walk through the canopies of hardwood trees and glide through a hundred meter zipline. We had a short briefing before embarking on a thrilling adventure. Although, some of my classmates were acrophobic (fear of heights), they still conquered it. Walking through the canopies was a great experience.

We finished our lab activities early so we went to this secluded beach-slash-cliff resort. The view of Macajalar Bay was really breathtaking. We even went spelunking! The cave was filled with statactites and... *ehem*, bat poop. Guano aka bat poop is one of the most expensive fertilizers used by farmers. The air inside the cave was thin and it was really hot inside! We were actually gasping for air!

We had an overnight stay at Midway Beach Resort. All we did was to unwind, chill and had a good time after a hard day's work. Karaoke all night long! The next morning, we went to the beach to investigate the marine ecosystem, as part of our laboratory field work. After finishing the activity, we hit the beach. The waves were so big. Moreso, the beach line was clean.

We went home at around two in the afternoon and ate late lunch at Limketkai Complex, Cagayan de Oro City. We ate at McDonalds, bought some pasalubong at the grocery (Pastel) and went home at around 4PM. We reached Valencia City, Bukidnon half past eight in the evening. Again, we ate dinner at Jollibee (saddest part of the trip). Almost everyone was asleep during the remaining part of the road trip. We safely arrived in Davao at around midnight.

It was one of the most memorable trips I have had with my batchmates and three professors.


Arrived at Valencia City, Bukidnon at around 8 in the evening and ate dinner at Jollibee. Spent our night at an inn somewhere in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. The next day, we were greeted by Bukidnon's picturesque green landscape!

Lasang Secret Adventure. The highlight of the trip!

Macajalar Bay and bat cave.

Midway Beach Resort!

PS: The author would like to thank Monzer Abpi, Laurice Alvarado, Prof. Marie Vernaiz and Dr. Rey G. Abad for the photos.


If you're from Davao, there are two possible ways to get there. You can opt to have a twenty-to-thirty minute ride to Cagayan de Oro by air or a six-hour ride by land. Rural Tours offers a non-stop ride from Davao to Cagayan de Oro City via Buda. After arriving at Cagayan de Oro City, hail a jeepney or a bus that plies the route to Initao.

On the other hand, AirPhil Express offers a daily service to Cagayan de Oro. It departs Davao International Airport at 11:40 AM and arrives at 12:20 PM. From Lumbia Airport, take a taxi or PUJ to downtown, ride a jeepney or bus that will take you to Initao.


All-in-all I spent less than Php 2,000. It would have been cheaper if I chose to eat at local karenderyas. Fast food is really expensive. Also, you have to bring your own bottled water, just to be safe. It would be more expensive to travel alone, thus I suggest to bring some of your friends and have a great adventure in Initao. I guarantee you that the place is safe.


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