1997 came and I found myself flying yet again, this time to the far end Mindanao. I didn’t actually think hard enough how far Mindanao is or what being in Mindanao means. I just knew at 13 I will be flying again, and that’s what mattered most to me.

Little did I know that I will be exploring more (even more) of the Philippines by coming to Cagayan de Oro, continuing my highschool years. I thought I had been traveling a lot already. Mindanao just proved me that Luzon is not the Philippines.

I would love to post the beauty of Cagayan de Oro (my home for 3 years) but again I have the photos in my treasure chest, at home.

CDO is a gateway to Mindanao. It led me to visit:

(Region IX- Zamboanga Peninsula)

Dapitan (Zamboanga del Sur)– My first most luxurious beach resort was in Dakak Park and Beach Resort. I also get to see the historical house of exile of The Gat Jose Rizal preserved in original structure. Now that’s what I call a history class.

Region X- Northern Mindanao

Bukidnon (went to tour the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation among others) is just a 2-hour ride away to peace, serenity, and simplicity from CDO.

Camiguin deserves a separate post if I had my pictures to show for having so much awesome sights to take pictures of. First few recall for the term Camiguin are the floating cemetery located shortly fronting the sea, which gets submersed during high tide (the idea still gets me thinking gross floating stuff, well that’s just my imagination); virgin nature and white sand beaches, which are really the to-go for in the first place!; and that very beautiful and ambient house we stayed in fronting the beach with oh all the good seafood, fresh fruits and drinks! (hot choco batirol in the morning with danggit and dried pusit for breakfast, super sweet ripe mango and lanzones, crabs, shrimps, crabs, shrimps….and the cold gush of air and the lullaby of waves splashing to the shore, the sounds of the provincial insects, in a wooden 3-storey beachfront house!). Plus, as the home of the Lanzones, every October, when they celebrate the town feast, guests of the Lanzones farm are allowed to to pick and eat as much Lanzones as they can, no take away, no ziplocks. Did I mention they have the sweetest Lanzoness I have tasted, my fingers literally turned brown for eating too much!

Misamis Oriental meant Tagoloan fiestas, beach outings with “the original” very flavorful (and a staple for every event) lechong manok (roasted chicken), and my first debut attendance ever– that awkward stage when you have to find your first dress, wear your first heels, and make your face up.

Iligan (Lanao del Norte) (almost died at Tinago falls for being utterly stupid haha); got to witness the famous Ma Cristina Falls–the source of hydro-electric power (question of a teenager: do we die of electrocution if we accidentally swim through the water? : ]).  Timoga Spring is a cold natural spring, all I can remember are the endless laughter with estrogen-lacking friends, in our shirts and shorts, not a care in the world (well other than parents waiting for us at home).

Region XIII- Caraga Region

Butuan (Agusan del Norte) is fresh air, greenery, quiet. It is a place you go to to clear your mind (not that I needed clearing at that time, my brother just wanted to drive the mile, and well visit girls *wink*) 

(Note to self: find photo albums from ancestral house, scan pictures, attach Mindanao pictures ASAP)