Posted by July 18, 2011on
A few months back. My blogger friends and I had the chance to do a road trip in the Northern Mindanao region, from Cagayan de Oro down to the town of Jimenez in Misamis Occidental.
It was an unforgettable trip, when I got to visit Cagayan de Oro city. When I was there, I had the chance to visit the Gardens of Malasag. The whole park is full of trees and flowers! It is a very lovely place and perfect for family weekend picnic. There are also areas in the garden that has offers a breathtaking view of the Macajalar Bay.
Sler’s Ham Café is a must-try while in Cagayan de Oro. The quaint café offers one of the best tasting hams in the city. Their ham sandwiches are very flavorful and very juicy!
During our overnight stay in Cagayan de Oro, we had our dinner at the Kagay-anon restaurant. The restaurant offers Filipino fares, but probably their best seller here are dishes with ostrich meat. So we ordered Ostrich Salpicao and it was really good!
From Cagayan de Oro we then moved to Iligan City. We did not really explore much of Iligan as we just used it as our jump off point going to our next destination: Marawi City. The Islamic City of Marawi is I guess the only city in the Philippines that whose population is majority Muslim. Marawi is a charming city. Numerous mosques dot the corners of the city. It is an amazing sight! One misadventure happened while we were in Marawi is my friend accidentally left his bag insive the van we took from Iligan. His bag contains his phone, iTouch, and DSLR camera! Syempre na stress kami lahat! So off we went to the van terminal to look for the van. The drivers told us that the van we described did not park there. They added that it is possible that the said van could have gone to the JIMMY Terminal.
So we took another tricycle ride and told the driver to bring us to Jimmy Terminal, wherever it is. We got a big surprise when we arrived at the terminal. It’s GMA Terminal and not JIMMY Terminal! Kaloka lang!
The van was not there, but fortunately we were able to trace its location. It was making its way towards Iligan City. So we had to wait at the GMA terminal (not Jimmy!) for the van driver to return and get the bag. We waited for the van driver in one of the Caltex gas stations. We finally got the bag with all the valuables intact at around past 4. Good thing there was a clean restroom so I had to unload my bladder before taking another hour of land trip from Marawi in Lanao del Sur Back to Iligan City. The gas station staff is also very friendly. It was already sundown when we arrived in Iligan. From there we have to take another bus that’s bound for Ozamis City.
We arrived in Ozamis City at around 8PM due to the late arrival of the RORO barge, but were still high in energy. We’re excited to to tour this side of Northern Mindanao!
The next day, we took an early morning jeepney ride to the town of Sinacaban. Our main destination: Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park! MOAP is an enclosure where hundreds or thousands of colorful fishes, a sea turtle, anf the main highlight of our trip close encounter with the dolphins!
For a minimal fee, who doesn’t want to swim in a sea surrounded by dolphins? I also had the chance to feed them with fish. It was a very exciting feeling. The dolphins are very playful creatures.
From MOAP we took another jeepney ride that would lead us further north to the town of Jimenez. The town of Jimenez is known for the church of San Juan Bautista. It is one of the best preserved heritage churches in the Mindanao. The artwork on its ceiling is simply breathtaking. Unlike most churches, the paintings on its ceilings were first painted on a canvass then just plastered on the ceiling.
From Jimenez, we went back to Ozamis via jeepney ride. Upon arrival visited the Cotta Fort. The Cotta Fort is one of the popular landmarks in Ozamis. It is pretty amazing to see the locals gather near the beach every afternoon over fishballs, kikiam, and other streetfoods.
It was a four day road trip of Northern Mindanao. It was a trip full of adventures and misadventures. Thanks to the friendly people like the staff of Caltex in Marawi for allowing to to stay there for awhile, while waiting for my friend’s bag to arrive from Iligan. The trip also became much comfortable because of the readily available clean restroom in gas stations strategically located along the highway.
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