“You cannot go back in time so make out of it while its present”
FEATURES: White Rafting, Great White Waters, Kagay-Anon Restaurant, Missy BonBon and Sogo CDO
Part 1 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary
The long wait is over, after 2 months and 2 weeks of waiting. Cagayan de Oro, here I come!! Marking my first Mindanao trip a SUCCESS. It was July when we booked our plane ticket via Cebu Pacific , offering low fares. I actually booked additional ticket to Butuan and Davao for my 2016 backpacking. Ticket cost us around Php1100.00 / $25.00 round trip, NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to Laguindingan Airport vice versa. Saving us almost Php 3500 per person over normal airfare.
Our itinerary is a bit tough because time is very restricted to cover three provinces. Good thing our aircraft was just delayed for 20 minutes. We schedule a CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon in 3 days and 2 nights arriving in Laguindingan Airport around 1130AM. Van transfer to Cagayan de Oro City proper took us an hour, van fare cost Php100.00.
Other van company offers Php200.00 so you need to haggle to the nth time to minimize the cost of your trip. DISCLAIMER: Porters and barker will actually give you headaches, offering their transfer services upon arriving to the airport to your overall trip which is actually a bit irritating. Imagine speaking to 5 person at the same time while haggling their fares.
Upon reaching CDO proper around 1245, we bought our lunch and picked up by Great White Water Tours for our first activity. The agency picked us up in Ayala Mall, ate on the road and met our partners in rafting (Janine, Elmer, Ed and Marg). Water rafting requires at least 6 persons to cut the expense of the adventure, otherwise, you need to pay for the entire raft. Good thing we met first timers who are willing to undergo the advance level instead of selecting the Beginners Level. Rafting cost Php1000.00 per pax.
It was raining hard due to thunderstorm on our way to Great White Water Office to retrieve rafting equipments and securing personal belongings. You need to leave everything in a secure bag in the agency office. Bringing a un-waterproof dslr camera and not owning an action camera is inconvenient. Due to the rain, I need to leave my camera and we cannot use cellphone to capture our rafting moment (insert SAD FACE here). To trim down the expense of our rafting activity, we opt out the snacks from our package. Two staff from the touring agency will be the once who will capture the photos with their smaller raft that looks like a kayak. Photo ops is part of our package. Haggle all the way!! We were able to cut the price from Php1500 to Php1000.00. Good thing our rafting mates brought their waterproof camera which we owe them a lot!! YEHEY!!
After gearing up, our guides gave the guideline in water rafting. Forward paddle, back paddle and our BATTLECRY. High Five!!! Our guides are very enthusiastic in teaching us the dos and don’ts when it comes to water rafting. We are all newbies but we took the ADVANCE LEVEL with 21 rapids that can last 3-4 hours. The first RAPID was an experience of a lifetime. This sports is quite adrenaline producer which will make your heart EXHILARATE.
The best things about trying WHITE RAFTING in Cagayan de Oro is the endless beauty of the nature. The surrounding is very diverse and you can enjoy it while you paddling in still water. Wherever you look, EVERYTHING IS JUST GREEN and AMAZING. The SEVEN RAPIDS from the Advance Level were very exciting. Our guide, Kuya Ramil was very entertaining giving out old school jokes and pick up line. I smiled, laughed and got excited the entire time. It is very enjoyable incomparable to other water sports activities I tried.
Two hours passed, I asked our guide if we can do the EXTREME LEVEL or TUBING next time. He said those options are currently UNAVAILABLE due to some incidents happened before. I want more and there are few shallows rapids on our way. Our guide said we can do the TITANIC or ICEBERG.
All of us transferred to the last and second to the last row of the boat, then they paddle towards a big rock causing us to submerge in the water. THAT is EXTREME and can cause HEART ATTACK but it was an experience of a LIFETIME. We also jump into water, SHALLOW RAPIDS ahead of US and we just need to GO WITH THE FLOW!!!
My inner self is crying with JOY, truly going to an adventure will make my heart satisfied. Even though VERY HUNGRY. HEHE. Go to Cagayan de Oro, booked your rafting company and try it. Its all worth the pain and fear. Finishing the last RAPIDS of Cagayan de Oro River, all of us are ABSOLUTELY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS. Two thumbs UP!!
Exhausted yet happy, Great White Water shuttle send us off to Jeepney were me can ride to SOGO and checked ourselves in. We got a room for 10 hours for Php 600.00 which is good for 3, cleaned up and went to Limketkai to eat. We dine in KAGAY – ANON Restaurant to try their Ostrich Salpicao which taste like beef tapa softer version. We also tried their cheesy scallops and rice. This is a semi fine dining resto and can can cost from Php 300.00 – 500.00.
After dinner, we went to MISSY BONBON to my heart’s delight. We ate PASTEL and tried their GELLATO. Later on we compare it with VJANDEP PASTEL which taste better.
The GELLATO is really good that you wanted to cry, we selected Pistachio and Strawberry which for I know were MADE IN HEAVEN!!!
Setting foot in MINDANAO for the first time is an lifetime achievement. DAY One is over, I love here and I will continue to conquer all PROVINCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. Next stop, CAMIGUIN.
Source: Camera from Elmer Espino and Janine Bernadette Pobre (Thanks a lot!!!)
Shots from Great White Water Employee! Thank you so much for the wonderful photos!!
Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.