Feb 10, 2013
Abundance in Cagayan de Oro
I'd been to Cagayan de Oro 3 years ago in March of 2009. It was ok, but not memorable. This time, coming from Malaybalay and continuing my exploration within Mindanao, I pass by Cagayan de Oro again. But now, things are very different. Unlike some places where I don't meet business owners who appreciate what I can do for them, here in CDO, I already had replies from some hotels who were willing to see what I'm putting on the table. My first night, instead of scrambling for a place to stay, I already had a one-night reservation at the iconic Pryce Plaza - the only hotel on a hilltop offering a stunning view of the city. At night, the view is even more spectacular. Not surprisingly, the food is also very good. This positive start gave me a glimpse of the abundance that lay ahead.
The following day, I was already checked-in at the exclusive Uptown Condotel near the upscale Xavier Estates. The amenities of this condotel exceeded expectation. The owners went the whole 9 yards on this - 5 gal filtered water with hot/cold dispenser (instead of the usual two 200-ml water), high-definition cable tv with all the channels (instead of simply having cable tv), complete kitchen utilities (including microwave), chiropractic bed (best for support!), etc. The owners saw value in my work and were decisive about it.
I like dealing with forward-thinking owners and high-level managers. I don't have to sell them on the concept of search engine optimization, user attention span, site traffic analytics, etc. - they already get it. The part they want to know are the performance numbers - actual search engine ranking, site traffic, user retention, etc. And this is where I shine - Google delivers the hard empirical numbers that make me look good.
Oma from the Big Apple
Among other unexpected things, Oma, a good friend from my New York days just popped-up after decades of no communication. We chilled out the 2 days she was here before heading back to the US. It's amazing how things change over the years...for good. Having a friend from 'back in the day' was refreshing. It's like stumbling into your old comfortable shoe that fits perfectly. There wasn't much to reminisce - mostly, we talked about what lay ahead. Having her here gave me a chance to explore CDO with company - checking out Chali Beach, going to the market for tuba, drinking hot baterol tablea, lavishing on Mangosteen, Marang and of course, Durian. We did the barbecue rounds too at Butcher's Best and at the Midnight Cafe. We talked a lot. I'm glad we had a chance to catch up after all these years.
Zsa of Base Camp
As my Merrell shoe fell apart, lo and behold, Zsa of Base Camp (store selling everything you'll ever need for the outdoors) visits CDO to put up more outlets for their brand. I met her through her husband, when they sponsored Survivor Philippines, where I made it as one of the 18 castaways, season 1. We met up for dinner together with her key people at Inilog Grill, and by the time the evening was over, I had 2 Sandugo dry-fit shirts and their latest footwear offering, the Sandugo SH1201 outdoor adventure shoe. Whoa! Now, my socks don't have to get wet with every drizzle. Thank you Zsa!
The Shoe Episode
This shoe episode is a funny thing. When Sandugo signed-up for my service 2 years ago, I got gift certificates. At that point, I didn't need footwear. As a general rule, anything I don't need, no matter how valuable, is simply clutter. So, naturally, I gave it away. I made many friends happy. Now that I've given all the GCs away, my Merrell falls apart. So I had it restitched in Cebu and in Davao City - nearly every place I go to. Now in CDO, it really fell apart. I am forced to buy a new one...and Zsa shows up with a pair for me - both on the same day! I love it when life is toying with me.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Repair
Again, as a general rule, I stay away from crass consumerism. I won't replace any of my stuff simply because I can get a new one for cheap (or even free!). I have to keep getting it repaired until it really needs to be retired. Repairing is not just a question of saving up. I'll have a low impact on the land fills, I won't be aiding the mining firms or logging cartels in ravaging the planet to mine for raw ingredients - that's why I'm vehemently opposed to planned obsolescence....ooops I'm now digressing.
Weaving Multiple Pieces of Information on the Net
This has been a stone on my shoe for the longest time and here in CDO, I mean to do something about it. If you go to a new place and Google things to do or things to eat, you get a million results. The links talk about how nice the place or the food is. But they don't tell you where it is located or how to get there. Even if you find the information, it's usually conflicting. Let's consider my Chali Beach example.
Chali Beach Resort
I was looking for best beaches in CDO. I got results and I chose to go to Chali Beach Resort. But I couldn't find a website or info on where it is. I searched in Google Map and found 5 markers for Chali Beach. Which one is right? Turns out, all of them were wrong! Even if I got the right marker, the next question is how do I get there? When I was given the Chali Beach website, it gave me an error. Finally, through more searches, I found a telephone number. Now, I had to get a land line! After calling them up, I finally got directions. Whew! That ate up a lot of my time. So, what's the lesson here? Provide relevant and comprehensive information. In my travel portal, this is what I put for Chali Beach Resort (even if it's not a client for as long as I've personally been there):
Chali Beach Resort - Cugman CDO, GPS Waypoint: N 08 28.334 E 124 42.097 (copy and paste on Google Map), from Xavier University, take RD jeep and ask to be dropped-off at Chali Beach, P13, 30 mins. P100 consumable. Not for beach-swimming, pool (P100 extra), relaxing sea breeze, good food in resto, www.chalibeachresort.com (the old domain, www.chalibeach.com does not work anymore)
Cutting-Edge Travel Portal for Cagayan de Oro
I'm a traveler. I'm also a web designer specializing in search-engine-optimization, usability and information architecture. Together, I have a unique perspective on what info should be up there for the traveler. I'll develop a more detailed travel portal for CDO that will address all those issues in one website. This is an ambitious task but my motivation is high. I'm willing to go the whole 9 yards in providing CDO all the help it can get in aiding travelers get the info they're looking for. If they find it, there is increased likelihood they'll make the trip to CDO - then all the stakeholders benefit; transportation companies, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, down to the ukay-ukay vendors, etc.
As CDO showers me with its abundance, I also shower it with all the merits I can muster on the internet. I only hope that the other hotel deals push thru to ensure my continued stay here. Without that, I am constrained to move on and the ambitious plan I have for CDO will now be put in limbo. I would really hate for that to happen. I hope to stay just long enough to realize that vision. In the famous words from the movie Casablanca, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"...which just hit me, yes, I am after all, in the City of Golden Friendship.
ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.
- Goodbye Cagayan de Oro Jan 31 - May 5, 2013
- Summer Peace Festival 2013, Cagayan de Oro Apr 26-28, 2013
- Visiting Maria Christina Falls, Iligan Apr 24, 2013
- Del Monte Roast Beef and Pineapple Apr 21, 2013
- Exploring Sumalsag Cave Apr 21, 2013
- Abundance and Letting Go Apr 5, 2013
- Cagayan de Oro's Street Masseuse Mar 24, 2013
- Cagayan de Oro - the City of Golden Opportunities Mar 19, 2013
- River rafting along Cagayan de Oro River with Great White Rafting Mar 7, 2013
- Adrenaline Rush at Dahilayan Adventure Park Mar 2/3, 2013
- Abundance in Cagayan de Oro Feb 10, 2013
- Cagayan de Oro Mar 7-9, 2009
Trail-Tested By Mountaineers For Extreme Toughness And Reliability
|Location:||Centrio Ayala Mall, SM, Limketkai Mall
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
|Mobile:||+(63) 908.888.1800 / +(63) 917.326.1800
|Coconut Insider Website: ||Uptown Condotel
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
- 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.
Feb 10, 2013
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