BORACAY: What can you say?

Have you been to Boracay before it has been this popular to each and every person in the universe? Where you can still find peace and less party. Well, if you say that you did, you are lucky. But if not, then we (including me) missed something beautiful.

Boracay has been a luxury and at the same time, most of the people’s dream destination. An airplane ticket costs much that it is better to spend it to more useful thing. And I am one of those people who wished to visit this island.

If you would asked me 7 to 10 years ago if where or how to get there, I could not even say a word. You know why? Because I have no idea. Literally, no idea. Zero. Hahaha!

But as of today, I have been to Boracay three or four times within this year and a couple of times every year since 2013. Thanks to my work though. Of all those times, I just visited the island once for a personal trip and the rest is for work. Call me blessed! πŸ˜€

Actually, I just got home today from the island since Tuesday. And I have a lot of things to say based on what I have observed and experienced.

  1. There are many tourists visiting the island even if the weather these past few days has been bad and unpredictable. More tourists only mean that more income and good for the country’s tourism.
  2. The patience of the people in the island. Traffic is real because there are many vehicles already yet the road is small to accommodate everyone. But I really admire how patient the people are. They will not complain if there is a tricycle who will stop to unload or load a passenger. They give and take. They understand about each other’s needs. And that is important.
  3. The locals are friendly. If it is your first time in the island, definitely you will not have a problem going around. You can always ask for help and they are willing to. Some can understand Bisaya while mostly, they speak Tagalog and English.
  4. The island is safe, I could say. Maybe because the tourism police is everywhere checking everyone. They have a huge concern especially to the tourists. Any complain that you have as long as it is valid especially regarding the tour/activities, you can escalate it to the tourism police. They will be glad to assist you. Those tour coordinators are afraid of them and so, you have an assurance that you won’t be fooled.
  5. Many things can be done in the island whether it is raining or sunny.Β  There is a long list of activities in the island from island hopping to beach bumming to ATV riding to cliff jumping to scuba diving to eating to partying to just strolling around to taking photos to sunbathing to sunset viewing, etc. If it is sunny and the weather is good, you can do all these stuff and more. But if it is rainy and windy, then there are few activities that cannot be done. Yet you can still have fun. I have been to the island both the rainy and summer seasons.
  6. Many tourists could also mean more traffic and more garbage. Imagine how many bags of garbage will they produce everyday and how to dispose it.
  7. Many buildings and resorts are being constructed. The island has been damaged because of the people (especially the business minded one).Β  They keep on destroying the nature to free up the space for a new resort to be built. You can see more infrastructure than nature. The essence of being an island has almost been lost. Maybe the government should stop giving permits and just stick to the resorts now.
  8. The cost of living is high. Everything is expensive from foods to fruits, etc. They have fast food chains in the island (in fact there are a lot already) but the prices are way more expensive than from Cebu or other places. The fruits are expensive. Imagine, one kilo of mangosteen costs Php 300 while the mango is Php 230. The price is too much I believe. Unless, exporting or bringing these to the island really cost a lot then that is fine. But, I am more concern of the local people who live in the island and earn the minimum wage that is lower than in Cebu. If they will eat in those fast food chains, then it will cost them more. Yet, I am not sure how this can be addressed because two prices (one for the local residents and one for the tourists) would be not appropriate to do. πŸ˜€

 

I think everyone of us would want for the best for Boracay. It is the pride of our country. It was even known as the Best Island in the World. And being called that means big to all of us. It means that we have a gem in this country. We own a diamond, a gold. And like any gem, diamond and gold; it is expensive but you have to take good care of it. Or else it might be taken away from you.

Like Boracay, we all need to be responsible as a local resident and as a tourist. Let us stop damaging the nature. Let us throw the garbage properly. And help protect the island and avoid it from being destroyed.

Because what we do now will have its result in the future. We will not feel the consequence of our actions today. But the time will come and it will surely happen. And when that day will come, all we can do is regret. We will cry and blame ourselves for the irresponsibility and abusive we did. Yet it can’t do anything anymore. It won’t change the drastic outcome.

So, while we can still do something and avoid it, let us help one another.

Let us keep Boracay the best island in the world. For real. Forever. Without Mother Earth suffering. πŸ˜‰

P.S. Share the things that you can say also about Boracay. Either your experiences if you have been there or your expectations if you haven’t.

Day 3: Advance Water Rafting and Trip to UBEC

Rise and shine, Cagayan de Oro!

Wow! How time flies so fast. Our vacation is about to end. But, in all honesty, it seems that we were traveling for a week. Maybe because we were able to visit many destinations and there are a lot of things that happened.

The places that we visited, the experiences that we had and the people we met in the past two days made our trip memorable, fun and one for the book. We will always be grateful to The Harwarts and Ontanillas Family for everything and making our trip possible.

However it did not end there. Let us add to that. This time is an adventure that each one of us will surely be proud of that we survived safe and sound. I know that you know what it was. Of course, it is the title of this blog post. Hahaha!

But how the activity went and what we can say about it will be what I am going to talk about in this post.

So yeah! Our last activity on our last day is the Water Rafting. This is my second time. My first was last June 2013 still with my friends. We did the Lower Section or the Beginner Water Rafting.

Where to book?

If I am not wrong, there are three companies that organize Water Rafting in Cagayan de Oro. There isΒ Kagay, BugsayΒ andΒ Great White Rafting. You can check their website for the rates and schedule. But based on my research, their rate is most likely just the same.

What Company did we choose?

It took me quite some time to finalize my mind and book for the activity. I have been researching and comparing these companies over and over again. But, I ended up booking at Kagay. Why? Simply because we already had a wonderful experience with them. During our last rafting, we also booked with Kagay. And so far, we have nothing bad to say about it. Plus, they are very accommodating and responsive.

What levels are available and what did we choose?

There are three levels of the rafting. The lower section that has 14 rapids, the middle section with 24 rapids and upper section with 14 more difficult rapids.

We chose the middle section or the Advanced Course since half of us experienced the lower section already and the rest were too excited and adventurous.

When is our schedule?

Supposedly, our schedule is on our Day 1 right after we arrive CDO. But because we have a friend who asked me if we can move the activity to either Sunday or Monday since he will go to CDO on Sunday. So, yes! We chose to have the activity on our last day (Monday) in the morning so that we have enough time before our flight.

How long is the rafting?

The Advanced Course or Middle Section took us 3 hours to finish.

How is the experience?

There are different types of rapids that we passed through. There are easy and manageable and there are also scary that we stopped paddling and just held to the rope in the raft. Hahaha!

But, the rapids are not the only thing exciting about the activity. The beautiful river, trees, birds, the fresh air, the calmness and wildness of the river, the relaxation, the time to swim and cliff jump, all the High Paddles, the stop, forward paddle, and even the stubborn friends. Everything made the whole experience one-of-a-kind that we can narrate to everyone over and over again without getting tired. Plus the idea that we are in a river that connects Bukidnon (on our right) and Cagayan de Oro (on our left). Along the way, you can also get a glimpse on how the people in the area live. We passed that area where people need to cross a rope from Bukidnon side to CDO then climb on a ladder made of bamboo and tire.

Ooopppsss! It seems I have been talking too much already when I am still in the beginning of the blog. πŸ˜›

So, how did everything go?

Let us start with waking up at 6:30AM and had a morning swim. Actually, only Toj did it. Our schedule pick up time is at 8AM.

After swimming, relaxing, packing our clothes because we will check out already and changing to our rafting clothes, we went to Jollibee Georgetown. They will supposedly pick us up at Middleton Apartelle. But, we asked them to pick us up at Jollibee because we need to buy our breakfast.

When we arrived there, the jeepney that will take us to the starting point of the activity was already there waiting for us. We just bought the foods and then hop on to the jeepney. All of us except Maizel joined the activity. Actually, Howell won’t supposedly join but he did not have a choice because we need to reach the minimum requirement of 6 persons. Otherwise, we will pay for the 6th person. So, thanks to Howell for joining even if you are tired driving us around and to Maizel for letting him join when he should be accompanying you to the hospital. πŸ˜€

The trip from the city to the starting point takes about an hour. You can pass an area of buildings, trees, cliff and even the check point of the soldiers. We finished eating, talking and some were able to sleep yet we still did not reach our destination. That’s how far it is. Hahaha!

IMG_7492

Hey, bee! Thanks for making me happy. πŸ˜‰

Also, while we were on our way to the starting point, we were asked to sign the waiver. This is a dangerous activity and so, waiver is required.

A couple of minutes later, we stopped and welcomed by a breathtaking view. A chocolate like river. It’s dark brown this time because it kept on raining. It only means that the rapids will be more difficult and the current will be stronger.

IMG_7508

IMG_7509

I will not miss this chance to have a photo before the challenge. πŸ˜›

IMG_7523

The calm before the storm. The excitement before the action. πŸ˜€

Before we can hop on our raft, we need to be briefed by the guide on the rules and rescue procedure during the activity. He taught us how to use the paddle and the commands that they will use. Everyone seriously listened to the instructions. Then, we were asked to try paddling using the commands.

RIMG8971

Before we can move to our first rapid, we need to try how to paddle.

RIMG8968

This is it, guys! Let’s do this.

RIMG8975

Hello to our first rapid. Not so bad though. πŸ˜›

Of course, it is not always about passing through the rapids. There are also times that the river is calm. We used this time to relax and prepare for the next rapid.

We can also jump off the raft and swim but we need to follow the instruction given earlier and not to go far though the current is really strong. However, the hardest part is getting back the raft. Really a struggle! πŸ˜€

Hello rapids again!

The looks of a success after passing the rapids. But the game is not yet over!

RIMG9138

Wondering if where I am?

RIMG9152

So, I am in this Kayak with the photographer/rescuer. Toj did try riding this first then I followed. The best part was that I was able to pass the rapid (above photo) with this. Imagine how scary it was. But totally fun and one for the book. πŸ˜€ Bucketlist checked! πŸ˜›

RIMG9157

If I am not wrong, this was the rapid.

Then, we were allowed again to jump off the raft. But again, going back is totally hard.

But, Howell and Chinkee did notΒ  join us.

We swam towards this big rock and have that jump shot.

RIMG9188

I climbed on the rock but jumping is not really my thing. Hahaha!

RIMG9190

But Chinkee’s feeling at that moment was the best. Chillin’ like the boss. πŸ˜€

What a nice splash! Followed by the calm river.

RIMG9283

The smile of the survivors.

RIMG9285

We made it, guys! Thanks to Kagay for the super fun experience. Thanks to the one who oriented us, Kuya Arlan, to our guide, Kuya Allan and to our photographer, Kuya Dodong.Β 

After that, we went to Kagay Office to get the CD where the photos &videos were stored and asked for a favor to take a bath. Maizel was already waiting for us there.

Then, we had our lunch at Redtail Shrimp & MoreΒ in their branch near Mallberry Suites Hotel. They also have a branch at Velez St.

IMG_7543

All set for our delicious lunch. Yuuuum!

Our last stop before heading to the airport is at Vjandep Bakeshop to buy the famous pasalubong, Pastel.

Afterwards, we went straight to the airport. The passengers were all sleeping (Howell is driving the car). It seems they really got tired from the rafting. (Supposedly, I will post the photo of them sleeping but I don’t want to ruin their image. Kidding! Hahaha!)

Maize & Howell dropped us off at Laguindingan Airport then they headed back to CDO.

The 5 of us then proceeded to the check in counter for the check in process and was informed that our flight will be delayed for approximately 2 hours. WHAAAAATTTTTT????

Our flight was at 7PM and if be delayed for 2 hours, then new ETA is 9PM. Wow! It means that we will arrive Cebu at around 10PM. Too late! But we don’t have a choice because that is the only flight left. So, Toj & Jessie just asked for a Certificate from Cebu Pacific which they can show to their managers why they will be absent.

When we were in the departure lounge and waiting for the flight or any announcement regarding it, I was hoping that it might just be a few minutes delay. Unfortunately, it was really 2 hours. What happened was that the airplane that will take us to Cebu is coming from Davao.
The route seems to be like this: Cebu -> CDO -> Davao -> CDO -> Cebu -> CDO -> Davao -> CDO -> Cebu. It only means that one delay from any of this flight could cause the delay of the rest. Unfortunately, our flight is the last.

Since we cannot do anything than wait, we just occupied ourselves from anything so that we don’t get bored and stuff like that. Some were eating, surfing the net, walking here and there, etc. Until the crew announced that they are serving snacks. Then when we lined up, they gave cup noodles and bottled water.

IMG_7587

Maybe, we should be thankful that they provided this. Even though it was never our fault. However, I hope they could be more generous and provided the passengers dinner instead since it’s past the meal time. Anyway, we just bought our dinner from the stalls in the airport. πŸ™‚

On the positive note, we had a great 3-day vacation and whatever challenges we encountered, these were all worth it in exchange to the experiences and memories we created together.

When travelling, it is not always being on your comfort zone. We should expect the unexpected and leave our comforts at home. We need to spread our wings and fly without worrying where to land. What matters most is the story we can tell when we go back to the comfort of our home. πŸ˜‰

TIPS! (Still have though heheh)

  1. Booked and reserved ahead to what company or organizer are you going to avail the Water Rafting activity.
  2. They also offer tour packages that include Dahilayan. If you want to, you can check their rates on this as well. It can be seen on their website.
  3. Prepare for the activity. Have an enough sleep and rest. The activity is really tiring and needs energy especially when paddling during rapids.
  4. Bring water and foods. You need the water during the activity. As you might get thirsty. The foods are important after the activity.
  5. You can leave your stuff in the jeepney. Somebody from the team will be left on the jeepney to guard the things.
  6. Listen and follow the guide. They know what they are doing and they know what is the best, so always listen carefully and follow religiously. One mistake might ruin the whole experience. And it is kinda dangerous.
  7. Wear sunblock but do not apply on the forehead as it might flow down to your eyes.
  8. Be a responsible citizen. Do not throw garbage in the river and its surrounding. Let us all help in maintaining the cleanliness of the river especially that there are people who are depending in there.
  9. Enjoy every moment. Whether you are passing through the rapids or swimming or just relaxing on the calm water. It might only happen once so grab the chance. Leave without regrets. As long as you are all safe.
  10. Do not forget for the captured moments. The photographer usually stopped near the rapids. Stolen shots are the best but you can still give your desired pose when the water is calm.
  11. They can provide the copy of the photos and videos but on a certain amount. The CD is cheaper than the Flash Drive (USB). You can get it immediately at their office after the activity.
  12. Redtail restaurant is a must try. They served delicious yet not so expensive foods.
  13. Vjandep bakeshop has many branches within the city. If you do not have enough time, you can drop by their branch in going to the airport.
  14. Traffic in CDO especially in going to the airport can be real at some time. So better leave the city with more than enough time. Or else you will end up panicking and wondering if you can still catch your flight.
  15. Laguindingan Airport’s Terminal Fee is already included in the ticket just recently. Please no stupid jokes in the airport.

With this, I want to thank again the Maize, Howell and Ontanillas Family for everything that they had done and extended during this trip. To our parents for letting us go with the trip (though sometimes, they do not have a choice). To our bosses for approving our VLs. To all the people we had met (from the restaurant to our destinations to the hotel to the rafting to the stores to the airport). Lastly, thanks to the Tropang Laagan people for making it possible (nahitabo jud sa wala’y pagduha-duha).

Until next time everyone! πŸ˜€

Day 2: MN Farms, Squash Mountain, Lake Apo, Hotel de Susana Resort and Middleton Apartelle

Good morning, Bukidnon!πŸŒžβ›°

Wow! I really love waking up in the province with fresh air, peaceful surrounding and just hearing the dogs barking or the cows mooing or the people talking. No pollution! No traffic! And no noise from the cars. πŸ˜ƒ

We have a lot of activities to do in our Day 2. We started it by harvesting Rambutan from one of the trees in the farm. Everybody was excited and tried doing it (except me because the stick is so heavy for my thin arms 😜).

IMG_7160

The happy kids after harvesting. FarmVille Level 01 Unlocked! πŸ˜›

IMG_7164

But it did not stop there! We just asked permission to get Rambutan but when we saw this tree of Tamarind, we had a stopped and got some. Sorry maize! πŸ™‚βœŒπŸ»

After harvesting, having our breakfast and talking with Maize’s father, Tatay Mario, we went to our first stop for the day and third for the whole trip. It is called the Squash Mountain. If there are lots of squash, we don’t know. But if it is beautiful, we believe so it is a yes! This is what we saw in the FB. Hehehe.

But before we can step on the mountain, we have to travel for about 20 minutes to reach there. The only thing you can see is a field of either sugarcane or rice or pineapple. And it is such a good experience being able to pass the road like this. It is not an everyday opportunity though.πŸ˜‰

IMG_7174

This is Squash Mountain from afar. It looks beautiful and so green. And it seems that it is not a long trek but if the trek is easy or not, let us all find out. πŸ™‚

The trek was not that long. Maybe, it was just 10 minutes. But it is not an easy trek and kinda tiring. It is so steep and there is just a small walkway to take. One missed step and you might end up with a bruise or a wound and have to pick up yourself at the foot of the mountain. πŸ™‚

These photos were taken during the time that we stopped and rested for a little while. Unluckily, we were not able to bring water.πŸ˜“

IMG_7186

This is one of the views from the top. Actually, you can have a 360 degrees view from the top. Unfortunately, I only have a video of it and I cannot upload it here.

DCIM103GOPRO

This is our mandatory group picture. πŸ™‚

After a couple of minutes on the top, enjoying the view and taking pictures, we headed back to the house.

If getting to the top is hard, going down is much harder. You have to walk slowly and with care. Or else you will really end up in the finish line the fastest but the most painful way. Howell had wounds because he slipped. Jessie ended up with a damaged slippers. Chinkee sat on the ground a few times. It is just me, Tatay and Toj who did not have any bloopers. πŸ˜› Maybe because Toj was wearing a pair of shoes (the shoes that he bought just for this activity and will throw after! Kidding! Hahaha), Tatay is becoming a mountaineer (with all the lovely ladies accompanying him! :D) and I have a Go Pole that I used as a support when it’s kinda hard (just like the crutch!Poor pole. :P).

So if you are confused why it is called Squash Mountain, we are too. At first! Hahaha. Because there is no squash in the mountain. Not even one. But Howell explained it to us. The form of the mountain is like a squash. It looks more like it when it is summer and the grass becomes brown. Indeed, it is.

When we got back to the house, we then took a bath and prepared our things because we will go to CDO after in Valencia. So we need to bring all our stuff.

IMG_7221

This is Tristan a.k.a Longlong. The nephew of Maizel. He was camera shy. πŸ˜€

Before heading out, we went to thank the family especially the parents of Maizel for the warm welcome and wonderful accommodation. We just asked permission that we will go because we will still see later that afternoon.

IMG_7687

With us here is the loving mother of Maize, Nanay Norma ❀️

We passed lots of like these in going to Lake Apo.

An hour after, we were able to reach our second destination for the day, Lake Apo, timeless distinction place.

IMG_7250

Here’s my trying to be a blogger who is emo pose. πŸ™‚

The entrance fee here is Php 50.00 while the floating cottage costs Php 230 plus Php 100 for the tour guide.

IMG_7254

Let the exploration begin. πŸ™‚

Indeed, this place is wonderful, relaxing (again :D), and instagrammable (so millenial hahaha). I hope my photos can give justice to the beauty of this place.

IMG_7270

IMG_7274

The floating cottage that is available for rent.

WHAT TO DO IN LAKE APO

IMG_7383

  1. Fishing – you just need to rent for the fishing rod (Tatay)
  2. Take pictures – the place is both picturesque and instagrammable so take an unlimited shots as much as you want (Chinkee)
  3. Picnic and some photo under the heat of the sun – you can bring your foods and even grill then enjoy eating while cruising the lake and being surrounded by the beautiful Mother NatureΒ (Howell)
  4. Cruise around the lake – pull the rope in order for your cottage to move. You can either hire a guide to do it for you or do it by yourself for free (Jessie)
  5. Emote and enjoy the moment – you can just sit in the cottage and enjoy the view. Or play some playlist that can let you remember your loved one. Or just cherish the moment to be in this beautiful place once in your life. (Toj)
  6. Rest and relaxation – the place is perfect for everyone to rest and relax. You can even sleep with the cold and fresh air plus it is peaceful.
IMG_7908

Tropang Laagan mandatory group picture. πŸ™‚

Where Lake Apo located?

It is located inΒ Barangay Guinoyoran in the city of Valencia in Bukidnon Province. It can be found in a hilly area which is about 11KM from the city proper of Valencia.

Why it is called Lake Apo?

According to my friend,Β Wikipedia, its name is derived from the bisaya word “Apo” which means elder or grandparent.Β Β According to legend, there was a man living in the mountains who assaulted his granddaughter and was punished by the mountain deities for his disrespectful act by flooding the area forming the Lake Apo.

As of today, no one can determine how deep the lake is as no one has been able to reach it.

We did not stay that long in Lake Apo because Howell needs to be in Hotel de Susana Resort (our next stop) at 2:30PM.

So we went there at around 2PM, and he just dropped us off since he needed to be in the church for their nephew’s baptism. For the 5 of us, we decided to have our lunch in the restaurant. The foods were all delicious. And we stayed their for a couple of minutes before deciding to go out in the pool area for some pictorial (as always hahaha).

The Ontanillas Family was already there when we went out but we still proceeded to the pool because they were still settling down.

This is Hotel de Susana Resort in Valencia.

IMG_7406

They have an amazing pool and garden. πŸ™‚

IMG_7419

And it is instagrammable again. hehe

IMG_7425

Plus the sunset is so lovely here. ❀

Then, Howell called us because it is eating time.

So, we did gatecrash the event plus we were given giveaways. How blessed are we. πŸ˜€

Took these photos while waiting for The Harwarts before heading to CDO. The hotel’s chandelier is beautiful too.

Then, we departed at aroung 6:30PM and arrived in CDO after 3 hours. We directly went to Middleton Apartelle in Carmen, CDO where we will stay for the night.

After arranging our stuff and changing, we went for a night swimming and the continuation of Tatay’s birthday celebration. Another night of Emperador Light plus the Rambutan plus the cake and Tatay ordered Alberto’s pizza. Burp! hahahahaha

IMG_7468

Their pool has 6ft, 5ft and 4ft depth.

IMG_7470

Swimming, drinking and eating while having some chitchat and catch up with Howell’s cousin, Kristian who we first and last met during The Harwarts wedding back in December 2015. πŸ™‚

We ended the session and decided to sleep at around 12MN because we still have an early wake up call for the most exciting and adventurous activity for the whole trip. πŸ˜‰

TIPS

  1. Hire a vehicle for the tour. It is totally difficult to reach there by commuting. You might get lost and end up looking for the place the whole time.
  2. If you want to visit Squash Mountain, it is better if you know someone from the area that can guide you in getting there. It will surely be hard to find and go.
  3. Lake Apo should be spent a longer time than we did. I believe the rent of the floating cottage is maximum of 2 hours. So if possible, use all these hours to make it worthy.
  4. Bring some foods and drinks for you to munch while cruising.
  5. Take as many pictures that you can. Getting there is hard so better take advantage of the chance that you had reached there.
  6. When in Valencia City, you can check in at Hotel de Susana Resort. They offer good foods, service and amenities.
  7. Middleton Apartelle is a perfect place for those people who is visiting CDO but wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is quite far from the city and at least you can really rest.
  8. The Apartelle is perfect for big groups. The unit that we rented have 2 bedrooms.
  9. The Apartelle’s pool only operates until 11AM. After that, the security guard or staff will placed chlorine on the pool whether someone is still swimming or not. Hahaha!
  10. It is better to buy Alberto’s Pizza in their store than ordering and have it delivered. The first is I think much faster. Hahaha. (Sorry iapil na lang sad nih nako!)

Day 1: Dahilayan & Nasuli Spring

On our first day, our itinerary is to visit Dahilayan and Nasuli Spring. Dahilayan is about 3 hours from Cagayan de Oro.

But before reaching the park, we had a stopover at Del Monte in Manolo Fortich and took a photo on the big pineapple and the signage. (This is my first time to stop here and took a photo after a couple of trips here.)

IMG_6953

IMG_6959

Thanks to the friendly Guard who took our picture. πŸ™‚

Then, our roadtrip continued…

After travelling for less than an hour, we finally arrived in Dahilayan. Dahilayan is a Barangay in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

IMG_6974.JPG

Dahilayan has two parks, the Dahilayan Forest Park wherein you can experience their Luge, ATV & Buggy Ride, Tree Top Adventure, hanging bridge and a park for everyone. They also offer accommodation for an overnight stay and restaurant for guests to dine.

The second park is the Dahilayan Adventure Park that includes the famous Asia’s First Longest Dual Zipline, Drop Zone, Rope Course, Python Roller Zipride and a lot more. There is also a package that includes a round-trip transfer from CDO and water rafting activity. Picnic Grove is located here where guests can rent a room for overnight stay.

You can check their sites for the rate of the rides and the accommodation. They also offer shuttle from CDO for a hassle-free trip via Magnum Express.

IMG_6977

This is the admission ticket to Dahilayan Forest Park that cost Php 100 each. Then, you will be stamped upon entering so that you can get in & out anytime.

IMG_6999

Our mandatory groufie. πŸ˜€

Then we planned to try their Buggy which costs Php 1,200 for 2 persons. As we reached the briefing station, we were asked to weigh. And so, we obliged. Unfortunately, they have a weight requirement of 110 kgs for the two persons. But, we were all overweight. Unfortunately! 😦 #strike01

So we went to the bridge and took a picture until Toj decided to try Zorbit. He really wanted to try it. Then, he went to the cashier booth. A few minutes later, he was running back to us and told us that they need two guests in order to do it. The bad thing is that no one wanted to try it because the rest of us was afraid that we might feel sick after. Too bad! 😦 #strike02

Finally, we all agreed to try the ATV ride since we can all do it except for Maize. We went back to the briefing station, they gave this paper which we need to show to the cashier for the payment and signed the waiver. After that, the staff oriented us on how to use it and the rules. Then, the two guides (one in the front and the other in the back) arrived for the trail which is 3.5KM. With the kind of environment Dahilayan have, it will surely be a wonderful experience.

IMG_7026

22279620_1813918012254340_3185163351124522410_n

After a few minutes, we finished the ride with disappointment. The trail is amazing with all those trees and overlooking view. But, the guides are not that approachable, friendly and helpful. The ATVs are not that well maintained. Toj kept on going to the side but the guides are not that helpful to bring him back to the trail. It came to the point that I shouted for the guide in the front to help him because he just kept on telling Toj to move backwards. But how can he do it if his ATV has powered off. They did not even let us stop to take some pictures. Actually, just once because we kept on nagging the guide in the front. It seems like they are both in a hurry. That’s why we decided to write a comment at their reception. I hope they will take action on it.Β  What can I say! 😦 #strike03

IMG_7030

The only photo that our guide took.

IMG_7034

I took this photo while we stopped because my ATV powered off.

However, we did not let this not good experience ruined our trip. We all travelled far and we won’t let anything destroyed the fun. So, we then headed to Dahilayan Adventure Park.

22310172_1813919015587573_6966664887350272051_n

It’s my third time visiting this place and I already tried their zipline. But 3 out of 7 are first timers and Toj wanted to try the rides.

When we arrived, Toj & Maize went to the cashier booth. When Toj was about to buy the ticket of the ride he wanted to try, the window was placed with the Lunch Break signage. And so, they both came to us with Toj voicing out his disappointments and the rest of us laughing. That what friends are for, ya know. They will be open again by 1PM which is an hour away and we are all hungry.

IMG_7071

So, we decided to have lunch and proceed to our next stop. With Toj babbling while eating and the rest of us laughing again. Hahaha!

We had our lunch at Pinutos Restaurant. After that, we head to our next stop, Nasuli Spring in Valencia. We travelled for about 1 to 1.5 hours to get there. Since we have not taken a bath the whole day and it was already around 3:30PM, we decided to take a dip in the cold spring (Literally, cold! hehe..).

The entrance fee is Php 50 for adults. Their life jacket is for rent at Php 50 and so their salbabida or lifebuoy.

The place is serene and perfect for some relaxation especially after the disappointments we had and the sweaty feeling of not taking a bath. πŸ˜›

This lovely place welcomed us.

There are only few visitors when we got there. And we have the chance to enjoy the place.

22339016_1814694532176688_2211198310197121084_o

22467326_1814695798843228_1993240179488630291_o22426377_1814694905509984_6901327187727069955_o22384310_1814695968843211_1286909765016145536_o22382198_1814695425509932_8073286098349700470_o22382096_1814695318843276_5971859878257260617_o22382144_1814694858843322_2569766935524798700_oIMG_7102

By the looked of these photos, we really had a great and fun time in the spring. We were able to relax, bond and freshen up at the same time.

The resort is open until 5PM only. So, we decided to just changed to dry clothes and head to our next stop before going to Maizel’s house.

Maize had to do some errands for the baptism of his nephew the next day. And we did some grocery shopping for their vitamins (meaning Emperador and Tequila) and the cake for Tatay.

Since, it will take us about 2 hours to reach MN Farms in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, we stopped in a carenderia for dinner. Their lechon manok and liempo tasted so good.

After dinner, we headed to the farm/hacienda of Maizel’s family where we will be staying. It was around 8PM when we reached there and her family was still awake.

After settling down to our room, we then planned for the surprise for Tatay. Too bad I cannot post here the video of the whole surprise but I can say that it was successful. We brought the cake with magic candles (those candles that keep on lighting unless you will put them in the water) then broke eggs on his head (5 eggs if I am not wrong and that was painful and smelly). Hahaha! But Tatay is so assuming, really assuming that the cake we bought was for him. And it seems he was expecting for the surprise except for the eggs. πŸ˜›

IMG_7125

This photo was taken after he took a bath after we messed up. hahaha

Then, we ended the day with some drinking and eating session while watching IT. πŸ˜€

P.S. Prior to our trip, Maizel told me that the mobile signal in their area is not that good. However, they have a Wi-Fi that we can connect to. But, I told her not to give the password to us so that we won’t be just spending our time on the phone.

And it really did happen. We were just able to use our phones to take photos. But, the good thing was that we were able to talk and bond with each other. Instead of just browsing the net or our social media and chatting or stuff like that. This is a good way to make everyone closer. πŸ™‚

After the IT movie, we decided to head back to our room and sleep. Because we cannot wait for our activity the next day. πŸ˜‰

TIPS!

  1. You can go to Dahilayan through their Shuttle service but better check the schedule and the meeting place ahead. If not, you can commute but it will gonna be hard.
  2. These tips are based on the strikes I put on a hashtag above. πŸ™‚
    1. If you want to try buggy, make sure that you and your partner will weigh 110 kilograms only. So if you have a total weight of 112kg, diet diet lang ng slight bes! hehehe
    2. If you want to try Zorbit, convince someone from your group to try it. Otherwise, convince yourself not to try it. πŸ™‚
    3. If you want to try ATV ride, negotiate with the guides before the ride that you want to have stopovers to take some shots. And that make sure of your safety always. Take it slow but sure. You will pass an area that might let you fall on the cliff or to the road below. I almost fell. Good thing was that there’s a railing. Otherwise, they will pick me up on the road below with maybe a broken leg. πŸ˜› Thanks God we were all safe. ❀
    4. If you are going to Dahilayan Adventure Park, make sure that you were able to buy the tickets and take the rides before or after lunch break. Because all of them are really taking the lunch break.
    5. It is best to plan ahead on what rides you will try. But unplanned things can be fun too. Just make sure that you have enough time to try everything that you want.
  3. Use some sunscreen when you are out. Dahilayan is not so hot but still it can damage your skin being exposed from the heat of the sun.
  4. Prepare a coat or sweater in case it will really be cold.
  5. You can bring foods for lunch and snacks. I am not just sure if there is corkage or none.
  6. It is better to rent a car or van to get there so that you can follow your own time. There are many for rent vehicles in CDO that offer a tour to Dahilayan.
  7. If you are going to visit Nasuli Spring, ask ahead about how to get there. Or use Google Maps. The road going there is kinda confusing especially if it is your first time.
  8. An afternoon visit is a good time since the water is so cold.
  9. Relax and take a good dip.
  10. The roads in Bukidnon are kinda dangerous because there is this zigzag road. So make sure to always be careful when driving and not that fast.

 

And do not forget to enjoy and live the moment! You cannot be there all the time. πŸ˜‰

Tropang Laagan goes to CDO & Bukidnon

One day, Howell posted a photo & video about their farm in Bukidnon. Then, Tropang Laagan started to comment on how nice it is and that if we can go. How & Maizel told us that we can. And so, we then started planning on when to.

Until Cebu PacificΒ had a promo fare where Cagayan to Cebu only costs Php 499.00. That’s so cheap, right? IΒ  messaged my friends if who wants to join and we booked the ticket right there and then. Of course, the seats might be sold out. That was about 2 to 3 months before our scheduled trip.

From 6 to 8 to 9 to 8 to 6 to 5… That is how complicated to organize a trip. When the date is near, you no longer have an idea if you will be travelling with a group or all by yourself. Good thing, 5 of us still pushed through. And we can understand our friends who backed out because of some important matters.

Anyway, we reached Cagayan de Oro City from Cebu City via the Lite Ferries. Their schedule is as follows:

  • Cebu – CDO => Departs at 7PM on Monday, Wednesday & Friday from Pier 1 in Cebu
  • CDO – Cebu => Departs at 7PM on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday from CDO Port

The fare is Php 890 for non air-conditioned room and Php 980 for air-conditioned room.

So, we started our journey by meeting up at 6:30PM in Pier 1. When we got there, it is already boarding and we still need to pay for the Terminal Fee (costs Php 25.00 each). After which, we went inside and fell in line at the gate for CDO Lite Ferries and was taken by a bus to the ship.

At 5AM, I woke up and checked if we were already near, but we are still kinda far. I sawΒ  my friends who were already awake and we decided to head on the 3rd floor of the ship. When we reached, we saw Tatay sitting in the raft. It was his birthday yet no one greeted him because we were planning for a surprise later that night. πŸ˜€

IMG_6872[1]

And when we went out here, the view was totally amazing. It’s sunrise.

IMG_6870[1]

Watching sunrise for me is a rare thing because I am not a morning person. I can only witness its beauty if I have a super early flight. But I have an obsession for both sunrise and sunset. πŸ˜€

We stayed a little longer, taking pictures, talking, and just enjoying the view and the cold air.

IMG_6889[1]

This is us on our just woke up look. πŸ˜›

About 7AM, we saw the port of Cagayan de Oro. Finally, we arrived! πŸ˜€

IMG_6903

We went down after we called Maize & How.


 

 

 

IMG_6908

This is the ship of Lite Ferries.

IMG_6914

Cagayan de Oro City Port

IMG_6921

Toj & Chinkee trying the kart of the porters. While waiting for Maize & How to arrive.

Then, we saw Howell went out of from Moxie, the name of their car. πŸ˜€

IMG_6924

22365292_1813565468956261_5927918627302719909_n

With Howell πŸ™‚ (this photo is grabbed from him :D)

We then headed to D’ Original La Paz Batchoy for our breakfast.

22279523_1813565402289601_7055123471342817633_n

Another photo grabbed from Howell.

After our breakfast, we headed to our first destination, Dahilayan. πŸ˜‰

I will be sharing our experiences on different posts. For the following:

  • Dahilayan Forest Park and Adventure Park
  • Nasuli Spring
  • Squash Mountain
  • MN Farms
  • Lake Apo
  • Hotel de Susana Resort
  • Advance Water Rafting by Kagay

And I will include our delayed flight from Cagayan de Oro to Cebu. Plus the super unforgettable experience in Dahilayan. πŸ˜€

Day 1 ->Β Dahilayan + Nasuli Spring + Tatay’s Birthday Surprise

Day 2 ->Β MN Farms + Squash Mountain + Lake Apo + Hotel de Susana Resort + Middleton Apartelle

Day 3 ->Β Advance Water Rafting by Kagay + Redtail Shrimp & More + Vjandep Pastel + Delayed Flight

JSJS Mountain Resort

I was invited by my friend for the 1st Birthday Celebration of my goddaughter, Kasandra. It will be held in a resort in Argao, Cebu. It is called JSJS Mountain Resort.

I haven’t heard about it before until this invitation. And so I just asked Lhoven & Kath on how to get there.

But the day before Kasandra’s birthday, my officemate shared a photo in our viber group. And guess what, it is in JSJS Mountain Resort. He shared photos of the swimming pools. The place looks beautiful and the pools are so inviting.

So, let’s find out when we get there if reality is better than expectation. πŸ˜‰

My friend, Toj accompanied me to the party. We met at Cebu South Bus Terminal at around 9:30AM. And departed at 10AM through Ceres Bus with a route of Bato via Liloan. The fare is Php 100 per person. We informed the conductor that we are going to JSJS Mountain Resort. They already know where to drop you.

JSJS Mountain Resort is located in Dob-dob, Talaga, Argao.

After 2 hours of travelling, we reached at the bus station for the resort. A habal-habal driver then approached us and took us there. The fare is Php 20 per person for about 10-15 minutes trip.

We then went to the reception desk and informed that we are guests of the birthday party. She noted then instructed us what cottage number they were renting.

An entrance fee of Php 100 per person is collected at the reception desk.

There were already guests and family of both Lhoven and Kath. After having our lunch with the delicious lechon, me and Toj decided to have some pictorials in the resort.

This is my pretty inaanak, Kasandra! ❀️

This delicious and cute cupcakes are from Baker Buddies. 🍰

The resort has an overlooking view and perfect for relaxation away from the busy and stressful life in the city.

They have 2ft, 4ft, 9ft and 10ft swimming pools in which both the kids and adults can enjoy. There are small slides too.

4 feet pool. 🐳

9 feet pool. 🐬

If you want to stay overnight, they have available rooms for rent. There is also function hall for events and restaurant. You can ask the front desk staff if you want to ride a habal-habal in going back to the bus stop.

Here are some of the photos that Toj and I took! πŸ˜‹πŸšΆπŸΌπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

We really did have a good time in the resort and it is a perfect way to destress and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus we’re able to have our tummy full.

Thanks for the invite Lhoven and Kath. Thanks also to Toj for accompanying me even if we were able to arrive in the city late. 😘

Hope you can visit the resort because indeed, it is β€œA place of serenity and relaxation in Southern Cebu”. Check their Facebook or Website for more details. πŸ˜‰