We are now at the last leg of our Travel Mindanao journey and our final stop is the city of Cagayan de Oro in the province of Misamis Oriental. After our adventure-packed, the group needed a much-deserved breather and we are glad our Cagayan de Oro stay offered those and more. For the first two nights we were billeted at the fast growing budget hotel chain Tune Hotels and in out final night the small but cozy lodging at DDD Habitat Pension House CDO.
I’ve always imagined myself living in a coast close to nature. A beautiful beach cove just a stretch away, mountains surrounding my home and cool fresh air naturally in abundance. I got to experience what is like to live in a community as such when we visited Pico Sands Hotel in Pico de Loro, Hamilo Coast, Batangas. An exclusive private residential development, the Pico Sands Hotel caters to guest and club members within the area.
The “Joy Of Quiet”. I remember reading Pico Iyer’s New York Time’s article on black-hole resorts, where people are now paying a premium do get disconnected and having their mobile gadgets tucked away on their duration of stay. It seems that with some people, the more ways we have to connect the more people seem desperate to unplug. Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan in IGACOS (Island Garden City of Samal), Davao del Norte somehow reminds me of this article. Not entirely a black-hole resort, but the limited internet and cellular coverage gives visitors a choice to enjoy nature more. Which honestly was a personal struggle but later I fully embraced for this much deserved quiet getaway.
A sprawling 1120 hectare of land situated on the lower part of the mighty Magat River in Cagayan Valley has been converted into an eco-park, descriptively named Lower Magat Eco Tourism Park of LMET. The eco-park is under the municipality of Diadi, north of Nueva Vizcaya, already bounded by Isabela and Ifugao provinces. This was our playground after covering the Ammungan Festival’s Street Dancing for that day. A much deserved brief respite at the heart of a forest.
I was looking forward to those oh so comfortable chiropractic beds from Microtel when I heard we’ll be staying at their new branch in General Santos City. Microtel by Wyndham is no stranger to me as I’ve already stayed at their branches Baguio, Tarlac, Puerto Princesa and Boracay. The good thing about this chain hotel is that I can expect the same comfort I’ve enjoyed all through their branches, which is the bed where I’ve always felt rejuvenated waking up even with only a few hours of sleep. Microtel General Santos is no exception.
It was the holiday season long-break and a couple of my friends (RoadworthyMan and Hapipaks) wanted to visit Fang-Od, the famed mambabatok in Buscalan Kalinga and have themselves inked. It was kind of unexpected that transportation options quickly ran out even a few days ahead before the trip. I guess gone are the days where I can easily go to Baguio, Banaue or Sagada on a whim during this season as this time, people should book way ahead. I volunteered to help and give them another option to Buscalan, not only to accompany them but partly to join them as well as I wanted to revisit Kalinga again for the holidays. What ensued was a trip of misadventures on our way to Riverside Inn, Luplupa, Kalinga.
After relatively roughing it up for a few days in Surigao del Sur for Cantilan Beach and Hinatuan Enchanted River, the Travel Mindanao team makes its way down south to Davao City. While we did stay for a night at EscapeManila’s crib when we arrived, Marco Polo Davao was our abode for two nights after. This chain hotel’s trademark elegance was a welcome comfort after a long travel.