Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gravitating the Breathtaking Bukidnon

"Mountain and hills, praise and exalt him for ever." 
Daniel 3:75

When I first visited Bukidnon back in 2007, all I saw was the endless landmass of different farms. In 2011, I was lucky to revisit the place and this time, I saw the other side of it.

To reach Bukidnon, we first landed in CDO and rented a van that will take us to our destination. One can also opt to ride a bus and then ride a "habal-habal" on the rough roads.

The above photo are just some of what Bukidnon offers. My favorite is not the pineapple but the paper roses.

Our main goal for this Bukidnon tour.

ZipZone: Dahilayan Adventure Park offers 3 different ziplines. 150m, 320m and 840m and for as cheap as Php 600.00 you can enjoy all this.

The viewdeck will give you a glance of what you will have to endure while spending your time at ZipZone.

The first on your list for the ride-all-you-can is the 150m. I call this the Appetizer. The second is the 320m or the Prologue. In between these rides, you may also opt to do the wall climbing or the Ropes Course.

For the Main Event. The 840m zipline which will take you to the other end for 90kph. Launch point would be 4,700 feet above sea level. I admit that I am not very good with heights, but matched with speed - all I can do was scream my lungs out! I felt like I was Sam Milby from the movie Forever And A Day.

A safari truck stirred the child in me. When I learned that it will tranport us to the lauch point I became so excited and decided to save the best for last. On the other hand, there are also other things that you can enjoy outside the park. One of these is riding an ATV for Php 500/hour.

I saw Po of Kung Fu Panda having a date with another panda at Forest Park. I don't wanna bother them so I just took this Papparazi shot.

Some of the fun and educational stuff that you can see around the park. 

We visited the park on a Saturday, there were a lot of families and group of students having a picnic and enjoying the first streak of summer.

The Zorb. For Php 500.00 at Forest Park, I had the best 30 seconds of my life. I simply cannot say anything what happened while inside the Zorb. What happened in the  Zorb stays in the Zorb. High Five!

We had our lunch after our Zorb experience. Since we were already inside Forest Park, we decided to have lunch there as well. We had 4 serving of their Pizza and some mango shake.

Funny as it is. I have been revisited by my past arch enemy on this trip. The Slide! I never felt comfortable with heights. This time though, I made sure that I will defeat the Slide and never be haunted again. I prevailed!

Again, as any other trip that I had, this one has to end as well. But what separates this one to the others are the rare experience of going back to being a kid and a chance to overcome fears.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rough-ting CDO

"Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. Praise and exalt Him above all forever. All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. Seas and rivers, bless the Lord."
Daniel 3:57,60,78




and then.....SCREAM!

I was not able to perfect the first three basic commands, however, I can say that I became an expert in the last command.

I went to Cagayan De Oro on the first quarter of 2011. I did not expect it to be rainy on that time of year at CDO. Since I am here already, I went ahead with my itinerary. First on my list is city tour.

The city itself is small and one can go around the whole city by foot or by this tricycle cum jeepney called Motorella. This is the Philippines' version of Thai's Tuk-Tuk (or on my own opinion, it is the other way around). Unlike in Thailand, motorella drivers will not take advantage of the tourists.

"Tota pulchra es, Maria" (You are all beautiful, Mary). These are the words inked on the chapel inside Ateneo de Cagayan. For those who have been reading this blog for quite some time now (if there is someone really reading this besides my All Beautiful Sister), you will notice that I have certain fascination in each destination. In this CDO episode, I only have two.

The most prestigious school in Mindanao. CDO became a University City where most of the residents are students from across the country. Amazing as it is, because you will also see other nationalities roaming the city not as tourists but as students at Ateneo de Cagayan.

An old famous street sign. Old because it is old already compared to street signs that we see around Metro Manila. Famous, because of the yummy irresistible grub.

First stop: Butcher's Best BBQ. Do not expect much from the place but everything will be compensated in the food they serve. Do not miss to order their famous Sisig. Also try the delicious Pork BBQ (they are well known for that) and dare to try the Angus Beef Belly BBQ - the buttery meat of the beef will simply melt in your mouth while the flavors of their special Butcher's Best BBQ sauce explodes in your mouth. Heaven is on Earth.

I was already full after our sumptuous meal but this inviting pizza place across the street was tempting me to grab a bite of their pizza. True enough, Mamma Maria's Pizzeria is worthy of my attention.

This Pizzeria did not only stir my appetite but also my curiosity. If you happen to visit this place, you will not miss this one of a kind Crucifix. According to the store manager, this particular Cross was given to the owner by a nun from Brazil. Based on its appearance and how it was crafted, one will know that this Cross is made by a Brazilian telling a story and showcasing its' colorful heritage. This is the second fascination.

Ahhh, Slers. I almost have this secret relationship with Slers. During my stay in CDO, I would sneak out of our hotel and meet up with Slers chicharon. Oh how I love the cold cuts and the well known Jamon.

Big Flat Bread. One of the newest Pizzeria in CDO. My friend brought me here. The only thing that would separate this Pizza place from the other is their size and of course, their flat bread.

Time for some adventure. The main event. On the upper corner, wearing red straps over black recycled truck tires, the intriguing mind-blowing white water river tubing. On the lower right corner, wearing a blue...uhmm...just being blue with black paddle, the death defying white water kayak. Finally, on the left corner, with yellow paddles and yellow helmets, the marvelous wild white water rafting.

To complete the cast, here come the rafts and the guides of Great White Water Tours. We were disappointed on the morning of our rafting trip. It was raining non-stop. We were fetched by a jeep and was brought to GWWT base. We had another 30-min drive to our starting point. From there, the great fun began and the rain was the best thing that can happen on our rafting experience.

The first thing that we were thought during the orientation was how to properly handle the paddle. Tightly hold on to the T-grip. This will eliminate all accidents during the trip. The second thing was to listen to your guides. No questions asked. It was like "Don't Ask, Just Enjoy" (DAJE).

The first thing that our guide, Erwin asked us while on the raft was: Wild or Moderate? The next question was: How many flips? The third thing was not a question but a command: Be open minded. For what you may ask? For all the jokes that they will be telling you throughout your 5 hour trip. "Ika nga nila, limang oras kaming maglolokohan."

So from all the jokes, fact sharing, flips, kissing on the stone, snakes, crocodiles and all the gushing and laughing after all the flips, I can say that this tour would not be complete without Erwin the amazing Raft Guide. Do not miss to ask for the Korean Lift.
After the 5 hour trip, we went back to GWWT base for lunch. Our package includes this amazing lunch. Just to tickle your curiosity. We had this pork barbeque almost like the one in Butcher's Best. Then this really tasty chicken inasal. On the side, we have rice, kilawin and seaweed salad.

The Rafting tour was exhausting but that didn't stop me from venturing out in the rain to take some more pictures. Above is the Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral.

The high five. It is the most important command on the raft. This is done when the group accomplished and surpassed the raging rapids. High five is the act of praising each other and recognizing that you are part of the team.

My CDO experience was enriched mainly by my rafting tour. Our guide, Erwin taught us a lot about CDO, rafting and being a part of a team.

I will definitely go back to Cagayan de Oro for there are a lot of reasons such as the food, the river tubing and the food. Did I mention I was going back because of the food?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturating the Lustrous Camiguin Island

"God said, "Let the water below the sky be gathered together in one place...and the water gathered together and he called Seas."

Gen 1:9-10

Camiguin is a pear shaped volcanic island at the northern tip of Mindanao. According to my research, it is said to be the most peaceful island paradise in the whole of Philippines.

Yes, yes, yes. We are going to talk about Camiguin.

This island was discovered in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. It is the second smallest province in population and land area (first is Batanes). Camiguin was visited by Me on 2006, the year when I only have a point and shoot camera.

Camiguin has been famous for its sunken cemetery. This part of Camiguin used to be the capital of this province. When Mount Vulcan erupted in 1875, this part of Camiguin sunk. The whole area was still visible then when it is low tide but in 1948 to 1953, the area sunk deeper for at least 25 feet due to eruptions of Mt. Vulcan. According to our tour guide, the big cross was built in 1982 as a landmark for the graves of their ancestors.
Mount Hibok Hibok is one of the many active volcanos in Camiguin. This mountain rose behind the town of Mambajao. It won't be an easy climb up that bump. One must be a seasoned climber to reach its top. This has been a background of the White Island beach.

There are a couple of water formations that can be found in this little island. No not a couple, a lot actually. Let's start with Katibawasan Falls, Tuasan Falls, Esperanza Ardent Hot spring, Tangub Hot spring, Sto. Nino Cold spring, Macao Cold spring, Tanguines Lagoon and the beaches. Yes, they have it all, even the Holy Water.

What really stood out among all forms of water that can be found in Camiguin, the Soda water swimming pool. Oh yeah! Unlimited soda. Nah, kidding aside. It is the only one in our country. Soda water is the liquid used to make our drinks sparkle.

As my tour ended, I cannot help asking why was it called Camiguin. I asked around and i had a very satisfactory answer from the locals but let me first tell you what I found out based on my research. Camiguin was derived from the word "Kamagong". 
I know what you're thinking, it doesn't make any sense! So here's what the locals of Camiguin told me. The early spanish settlers was called Guinsiliban - which comes from the word Kinamiguin, and so the place was called Kinamiguin. Which was later turned into Camiguin for a shorter and faster pronunciation.

Here's the best answer I got though. Camiguin was derived from an english phrase and since they have a regional accent, they pronounce "Come Again" as Camiguin - and that how they call their province since then. 

Come Again?