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traveling

Exploring Cagayan de OroMar 7-9, 2009

Backpacking Exploring Cagayan de Oro (CDO)

Sagada-Manila-CDO
It was another offer from Cebu Pacific I couldn't refuse - cheap air fare to explore Cagayan de Oro at a time I was free to travel. It also came at an opportune time. At the time of booking, I had no idea my travel time would fall within a week of my unplanned departure from Sagada. Shortly after moving out of Sagada, I was already in CDO to check out what people were saying about this coastal city on the north side of Mindanao.

Foiled Climb
The initial plan to climb Mt. Dulang-Dulang and Kitanlad was scrapped at the last minute...oh well, these things happen. But it wasn't reason for me to abort my travel plan. I just needed come up with a new IT.

Cheap Lodging
First order for CDO was to find cheap lodging. Increasingly, I notice that P150/room/night was getting rare in the country. I scoured a few places and the best deal I could get was P325/night (Travel View). Yeah, I bit the bullet...but only on the first night. The following day, I found a place for P150/night (King Lawrence). I wouldn't exactly recommend it to anyone, but hey, I was there to rough it.

Midnight Café
I was lucky to catch the Midnight Café on my first night. It's a weekly outdoor eat-out/ukay-ukay event held Fridays and Saturday nights. They close a neighborhood plaza called Divisoria to vehicular traffic. Grill/Barbecue/Ukay-Ukay stalls are assembled and spill over the streets. Locals and tourists crowd the place as they enjoy the weekend evening over beer, grilled seafood, barbequed chicken and roasted pork.

White Water
CDO is known for its white water. Even for a lone traveler, it was no problem. The organizers pool people together to fill a raft. The problem was, it was summer and the water level was low. Instead of pushing through with it and coming out disappointed, I saved it for a next time. My last white water in Sagada still left me some marks...good memories.

Macahambus Cave
Caves? Deep caverns and vertical descents filled my mind. It was only a 14km jeep ride to get to the mouth of the cave...no mountain trekking. Macahambus was short, level and easy...no crawling, no bat dung, no under water river. It was more of a tunnel-like passage that opened up to a gorge overlooking the lush and varied landscape of Cagayan River. Even if there's not much to do there (there's a tourist-friendly railing), the view alone is worth the visit. Bring a flashlight.

A Movie Thing
What I can't do in Manila, I do in the small cities...like watch a movie. Manila rates are simply stratospheric. P170/movie is outrageous! Provincial rates are about half. I catch up by watching a movie nearly everyday when I'm backpacking. I love SM for this.

I was at Limketkai Mall catching the first show, The Professional. The movie started in the middle! I complained and was told the film for the first half of the movie was being shown in another movie house, a few blocks away. The 2 movie houses swap the films to cut costs. I was advised to stay after the 2nd half so I can see the first half! I thought it was a humorous slice of provincial life. I'm glad they refunded my money without making a huge fuss out of it.

Durian
Being in Mindanao, I made sure I could gorge on my fav fruit, the ever exotic Durian. I watch for 2 things in a Durian to ensure its ripeness: the smell (you can smell a ripe Durian a mile away) and the little cracks in its underside. While locals vouch for the supremacy of the native Durian, I find its seeds to be too big and its meaty flesh too thin. I go for the Chanee variety...deep yellow, meaty flesh the size of a golf ball, and small or no seeds!

Love For Food
People in CDO love to eat...like me. Specially in Gaston Park, barbeque stalls are in every corner. Skewered pork and chicken roasted on a mechanical spit is the order of the day. With so much competition, you're assured of quality and reasonable price. No need to cook in CDO...just eat out!

Ending Thoughts
It would have been fun if the water level was high enough for optimum white water rafting. But hey, just like in any other travel, there are no guarantees and you just make do with what's available. Besides, there's plenty to do in CDO. Additionally, it serves as gateway (at least if you're coming in from Manila by air) to other worthwhile destinations - Camiguin to the northeast, Bukidnon to the south and Iligan to the west.

--- TheLoneRider

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Cagayan de Oro Blogs by TheLoneRider

More Travel Info About Cagayan de Oro


Uptown Condotel

Uptown Condotel

Exclusivity, luxury and prestige in a full-service residential hotel

Location:along Masterson Ave, Xavier Heights (about 1km south of SM)
GPS Waypoint:N 08 26.698 E 124 37.305
Land Line:+63(88) 851.1800
Fax:+63(88) 851.5735
Mobile:+(63) 908.888.1800 / +(63) 917.326.1800
Coconut Insider Website: Uptown Condotel

Pryce Plaza Hotel

Pryce Plaza

Majectically enthroned on a hilltop overlooking the city

Location:Carmen Hill, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, 9000
GPS Waypoint:N 08 28.420 E 124 37.927
Land Line:+63(88) 858.4537 / +63(88) 858.3111
Fax:+63(8822) 726.687
Email:reservations@pryceplaza.ph
Website: pryceplaza.ph

Other Hotels in Cagayan de Oro

  • Hotel Koresco - Pueblo de Oro Golf Estates, Lumbia, 859-2294/859-2299, www.hotelkoresco.com
  • Marco Hotel - Alwana Business Park, Cugman, (08822)732.182 / (08822)732.542
  • VIP Hotel - Don Apolinar Velez St., (08822)726.080 / (08822)726.441, www.theviphotel.com.ph
  • Southwinds Hotel - Capt. Vicente Roa Extension, (08822)727.623 / (08822)724.803
  • Ridgeview Chalets - Xavier Estates, Masterson Ave.,(088)858.7946 / (088)858.7930 , www.xavierclub.com.ph
  • Cha-Li Beach Hotel - Cugman, (088)732.929, www.chalibeachresort.com
  • Country Village Hotel - Villarin St., Carmen, (088)858.3004 / (08822)712.201
  • Coconut Bay Resort - Baloy, Tablon, (088)855.2702 /(0822)733.246
  • Deluxe Hotel - Capt. V. Roa St., Cogon
  • King Lawrence Inn - Capistrano Street; (088)857.3728
  • Hotel Ramon - Tel (08822)724.738
  • Park View Lodge - Tirso Neri St.


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