I’ve only been to Gingoog city when I was like 5, with barely any memory of that place. So you can just imagine how excited I was at the thought of going to Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro city. My sister invited me to go with her and her friends as her birthday gift to me. Our flight to CDO was scheduled 8am and ETA at Laguindingan Airport was 8:45am.
We were initially sidetracked by all the ISIS-negativity going on, which of course directly affects tourism in Mindanao which is a sad sad thing. Mindanao is such a beautiful place, it’s sad that most of the beaches, gardens, and mountains there are left hidden from the world. We didn’t cancel the trip though, and IT. WAS. AMAZING.
Our first stop was the Divine Mercy Shrine of El Salvador in Misamis Oriental, about an hour away from Laguindingan. Their landscaped gardens, which surrounded the giant image of Christ, were breathtaking. We had a few minutes to take pictures and give praise before we went on our way to CDO.
Note: You have to be covered up head to foot before you can enter the gardens. Even though I was wearing jeans and a shirt, I still had to cover my arms and wear a wrap-skirt because my jeans were too tight, apparently. But rules are rules, so there ya go.
We didn’t stop at Cagayan de Oro city for the first leg of our trip though, we headed straight for Bukidnon, 1-2 hours away from CDO. We had the luxury of non-commute because our group arranged for a van to pick us up straight from the airport to Bukidnon. But from my research, you take a bus marked Bu-Da (Bukidnon-Davao) and jump off at the Alae junction. From there, you can haggle with some locals to take you by motorbike or car to Dahilayan Forest Park, roughly a 30-minute drive from there. Don’t worry, the roads don’t have steep drops like Baguio, you’ll be okay with just a motorbike. 😀
Dahilayan Forest Park was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. The view from that altitude was unbelievable, I wish I had great pictures. The climate was also wonderful, chilly but not piercing like Baguio. We checked in at Pinegrove Resort, famous for Asia’s Longest Zipline, 840m if I’m not mistaken. They also have a shorter zip line and the Drop Zone.
Pinegrove’s service was impeccable, their rooms were flawless, and the food was terrific. You won’t tire of fresh salads, sandwiches, brewed coffee, and hot sinigangs here. I’m certainly recommending this if you’re planning to visit Dahilayan anytime soon.
This is it for now. Part 2 will be about our ATV adventure, our shenanigans at the park, our trip to Maramag and Valencia, our stopover at RR Family Springs Resort, and our brief tour at Cagayan de Oro city. 😀