April 1, 2013

2012 Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin Trip

Cagayan de Oro is great destination for thrill seekers because of its famous whitewater rapids. A haven for water sports enthusiasts. Opposite is the Camiguin Island which is just few hours away from Cagayan de Oro. It's a peaceful getaway of virgin forests, waterfalls and natural springs.
Cagayan de Oro Whitewater Rafting
About Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro is the capital city of the province of Misamis Oriental in the Northern part of Mindanao. The city is popularly known for its initials CDO and also called "The Gateway to Northern Mindanao". The "Kagayanons" or people from Cagayan de Oro's main dialect in the area is Cebuano or Bisaya.

Manila to CDO via AirPhil Express
It was my first time to travel via AirPhil Express, and it wasn't disappointing at all. Same service you'll get when you board cebu pacific. But I did hear bad things from friends, so I guess it's just case to case and a bit of luck. Cebu Pacific started out the same anyways.
Checking in AirPhil Express
We have to ride a bus to the plane. Smaller planes don't get to use the jet-bridge.
AirPhil Bus to Airplane
AirPhil Cabin
Cagayan de Oro Areal View
Arriving at Cagayan de Oro Airport
Cagayan de Oro's airport is still outdated. I wish every provincial airport is like the new Caticlan Boracay airport. But even so, you'll get your baggage fast. 
AirPhil Airplane to Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro Airport - City of Golden Friendship
The airport is small, upon entering you'll see the baggage claiming area. 
Baggage Claim Area
Cagayan de Oro Airport - Area Center IX
Overnight stay at Camiguin Island from CDO
We decided to go straight to Camiguin first since we wanted to be in Cagayan de Oro the day we go home so we won't be in such a hurry. We rented a private van that will drive us to the Balingoan Port. From there we took the RORO boat to the island. Although there is an airport in Camiguin, it is not used since the locals prefer the RORO boats since it's far cheaper. Travel time is around 1 hour depending on the tide. Check out Overnight Stay at Camiguin Island for more details.
RoRo - Roll-On, Roll-Off boat to Camiguin from Cagayan de Oro
Camiguin Island Tour
We arrived at Camiguin port and rented a multicab van to Paras Beach Resort. It is one of the most well-known resorts in the island, located at the edge of the island of Camiguin. It's a short ride from the capital town of Mambajao. Check Paras Beach Resort at Camiguin Island for more information and amenities.
Main entrance of Paras Beach Resort
One of Paras' Swimming Pool
Here are some of the best tourist attractions we visited. More on our trip to Camiguin.
Katibawasan Falls
Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort
White Island Beach
Sunken Cemetery
Travel back to Cagayan de Oro from Camiguin
After an overnight stay in Camiguin we went back to Cagayan de Oro. We tried the fast craft on the way back, another way to travel back and fort between CDO and Camiguin. More expensive and just a bit faster. The big difference is that Ocean Jet docks to Macabalan Port, a nearer port to the city center compared to Balingoan Port. More about fees and schedules of Ocean Jet Fast Craft.
Ocean Jet Fast Craft
Checking in at De Luxe Hotel
It was already night when we arrived at Macabalan Port. We were suppose to take a taxi to De Luxe Hotel, but I saw a empty jeepney in the parking lot and asked if how much he would charge us to our hotel. He only charged us 100 pesos and we have the whole jeep. I though it was a bargain since we didn't know how far the hotel was. But the hotel was just less than 10 minutes away from the port. It was still cheaper, but made a small difference. Upside is that our jeep was fix rate so traffic or not we pay the same.
Cagayan de Oro De Luxe Hotel
Dinner at Dear Manok
We asked the hotel staff what's the popular restaurant in the area and they all said Dear Manok. So we hired a taxi and went to the nearest branch. It's a local CDO fast food chain similar to Mang Inasal. Very well-known in the area for being affordable. More about Dear Manok Grilled Chicken.
Dear Manok Cagayan de Oro
Whitewater Rafting
Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro River is one of the main tourist attraction of Cagayan de Oro City. It has 34 or more breathtaking rapids and also scenic views. It's the main reason why we went to Cagayan de Oro. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush this sport gives you. It's a must try when you're visiting the Cagayan de Oro. More about our Whitewater Rafting Experience.
Our Group
Rafting near rock formations
Dahilayan Adventure Park
After whitewater rafting we went straight to Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. Zipzone is located in the park, which is a popular destination. They have the 840m Zipline, which is boasted as the longest in Asia. We took a package for both whitewater rafting and zipline, so all expenses were already covered. I highly recommend the package and I'm sure it will be worth your money. More about our Zipline experience at Dahilayan Adventure Park
840m Zipline
Dinner at Candy's Cafe
We asked to be dropped off at Lim Ket Kai Mall. We were starving since it was already past dinner time. We were dropped in Rosario Arcade, one of the most eye catching restaurants there was Candy's Cafe and decided to eat there. More about Candy's Cafe Restaurant.
Candy's Cafe at Lim Ket Kai Mall
Mall Hopping
On our last day we just went mall hopping. We first went to the Gaisano Mall which is one of the old malls in the city. Gaisano family is very well known in the provinces and have many malls in different cities. This particular Gaisano Mall in CDO looks and feels out of date. It reminds me of SM malls in Manila back in the 90s. 
Gaisano Mall Cagayan de Oro
Gaisano Supermarket
Gaisano Mall elevator
They should really invest on a major renovation since Ayala's Centrio Mall is about to rise in front of the Gaisano Mall. Can't wait for this new mall in Cagayan de Oro to open. 
Construction of Ayala Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro

Construction of Ayala Centrio Mall Cagayan de Oro
Lastly we went back to Limketkai Mall. We didn't had the chance to walk around last time since it was almost closing time when we finished dinner at Candy's Cafe

LimketKai Mall
We had lunch at Kagay-nnon Restaurant, a well-known Filipino restaurant in Cagayan de Oro. It specialty is Ostrich meat. More about Kagay-anon Restaurant
Kagay-anon Restaurant Cagayan de Oro
Limketkai Mall North Entrance
Limketkai Mall renovation
At the back of Limketkai Mall is Robinson's Mall. Was not able to go there since we needed to leave. 
Robinsons Cagayan de Oro
I saw this building near Limketkai and asked the guards what it was. Looks like Limketkai is expanding in the area. It is building the Limketkai Hotel and would be the highest hotel of Cagayan de Oro and probably even of Mindanao. 
Construction of Limketkai Hotel Cagayan de Oro
Back to Manila
Want to buy pasalubongs (gifts)? there are plenty to buy inside Cagayan de Oro airport. There's also a few shops beside the airport. It's a little cheaper there. 

Shop beside Cagayan de Oro Airport
They have lots of products there like souvenir shirts, local peanuts, pastel, and many more. Be sure to check the expiration dates.
Cagayan de Oro Food and other souvenirs
Having seen the CDO airport's arrival area, the departure waiting area isn't that bad. It was quite spacious and they have lots of chairs. The room is air conditioned and drinks and food are also sold inside almost the same price as outside.
Cagayan de Oro Airport Departure Waiting Area
Cagayan de Oro Airport Runway
Finally we got to board the plane. It was raining outside and good thing the AirPhil staff has lots of umbrellas with them. 
Airphil Boarding Cagayan de Oro
Raining while boarding Plane
Sunset Flying out of Cagayan de Oro

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