“The name ‘Bukidnon’ means highlander or mountain dweller. Bukidnon is considered to be the food basket of Mindanao.” –Wikipedia
I teamed up with a Bukidnon-based travel blogger, runner and fellow adventurer Earl of Suroy Pilipinas to create something that will help future travelers when they are researching for Bukidnon.
Here’s our Bukidnon Travel Guide:
1. Describe Bukidnon.
Earl: Bukidnon is a landlocked province in the highlands of Northern Mindanao. Its rich fertile grounds which produce rice, corn, sugarcane, banana, pineapple and vegetables make it the breadbasket of Mindanao. Bukidnon does not have an airport but can be reached by land travel from Cagayan de Oro, Davao City or General Santos.
James: Bukidnon’s root word would suggest a province of “bukid” or mountains (Bukid is the Bisaya of mountain). A province that has a climate like that of Baguio, home of the four out of the top ten highest mountains in the Philippines and a collection of united tribes. And of course I will not forgot the unlimited serving of coffee and pineapples fresh from the source.
2. What do you like most about Bukidnon?
Earl: I love Bukidnon for its majestic mountain ranges, virgin forests, waterfalls, lakes and cold spring resorts. I am also proud of the well-preserved culture and tradition of the indigenous people which is celebrated annually through the Kaamulan Festival.
James: I love the serenity of the pine tree mountains and the climate it generates- cool and chill. Bukidnon is a place perfect to write a book or just have a quiet “me” time.
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make the place more tourist friendly.
Earl: Promote Bukidnon beyond the usual. Task every LGU to identify potential tourist spots in their respective jurisdiction. Set up a tourism website which will serve as a one-stop portal for tourists looking for information about the province. A courteous, knowledgeable and helpful tourism office in every municipality would also be a great help.
James: I hope the government would really make sure that their mountains and her inhabitants are protected- tribes, Philippine Eagle and all the near extinct species. I hope they seriously create a sustainable tourism development plan. And maybe encourage every restaurant and carinderia offer local Bukidnon coffee not 3-in-1.
4. Don’t go home without seeing/visiting/experiencing ________________.
Earl: Climb a mountain. Bukidnon, after all, is home to 4 of the Philippines’ Top 10 highest peaks. These are Mount Dulang-Dulang, Mount Kitanglad, Mount Kalatungan and Mount Maagnaw. If you don’t have time to conquer any of these peaks, you may opt for a day climb in Mount Capistrano or Mount Palaopao. For an even shorter hike, trek the famous Two Trees of the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park in Malaybalay or go waterfalls hopping inside the Center for Ecologocial Development and Recreation (CEDAR) in Impalutao, Impasugong. If you want more wet and wild adventure, you can also try water tubing in Can-ayan, Malaybalay City.
James: Wow Earl, I’m learning a lot from this. Definitely a mountain trek is a must. The Monastery of Transfiguration for me is not only a destination but also a place of journey- not only a spiritual one but also of rest and thinking over. If you are not in terms with someone or even with yourself, go there and have a quiet time.
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating _______________.
Earl: Native fried chicken of DG Eatery in Don Carlos, juicy liempo of Kharlas in Maramag, Jaslyn’s Bulalo in Aglayan, Malaybalay and crispy tuna buntot and panga of Rey’s Grill in Malaybalay City. If you are traveling to or from Davao City, don’t forget to drop by Wildberry Gardens and Nowhere Café in Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao, a few hundred meters away from the Provincial Veterinary Checkpoint (locally known as “kwarantinas”). This not-so-popular resto offers absolutely mouthwatering dishes!
James: Now I’m hungry. I can only think of having unlimited coffee at the Monastery of Transfiguration after a buffet brunch with the monks every first Sunday of the month. If your schedule does not fit then maybe you can drop by at the Del Monte Farm for their unlimited pineapple juice at only P20.
6. Traveler’s Tips.
Earl: (1) Adventure shops such as Panahik Adventure Center and Bai & Shop in Malaybalay can provide you guide, contact persons and equipment for outdoor activites. ; (2) Cheap barbeque stalls can be found along Pimentel Street in Malaybalay. This area is more popularly known as “Kanto Dos”. (3)” Moterela” is the main mode of transportation around the city proper. This smaller version of the Pinoy jeepney can accommodate up to 8 passengers and is powered by a motorcycle. Fare starts at 7 pesos per person.
James: The best way to reach Bukidnon if you are flying in is through the new Laguindingan airport near CDO. There are also bus trips from Davao City to Malaybalay and Surigao City to CDO then from CDO take the Malaybalay City.
7. Recommendation Hotel, Inn?
Earl: Plaza View Tourist Inn, Small World Travelers Inn and Villa Alemania offer budget accommodations within the main commercial district of Malaybalay. Green Ridge Apartelle is the lone accommodation that is just within the Provincial Capitol Complex.
James: A night at the Monastery of the Transfiguration costs Php900, it includes a complete meal with morning and afternoon snacks and unlimited serving of Monk’s blend coffee. Place is quiet and you got to train yourself to wake up early to pray with the monks.
8. Pasalubong to buy?
Earl: You can buy the famous Monk’s Blend Coffee at the Monastery of Transfiguration in San Jose, Malaybalay City.
James: I agree with Earl. Visit the Monastery of Transfiguration. The monastery can be reached by taking the jeepney that goes to Brgy. San Jose, get off and look for habal-habal (single motorcycle) that takes visitors to the monastery for only Php50 (the trip is less than 10 minutes). You can also walk from San Jose crossing but its kinda far (about 3 kilometers).
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For more information and stories about Bukidnon, please do check out my past articles:
- Malaybalay City, Bukidnon Quickie
- Short Trek to Bukidnon’s Provincial Tree Park
- Bukidnon: Zipline Crazy Philippines?
- Bukidnon: What Does A Backpacker Do In A Golf Club?
Cebu Pacific have direct flights to CDO from Manila, Cebu, Davao Bacolod and Iloilo and Zamboanga. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebupacificair.com or call (02)7020-888. The latest seat sales and promos can be found on Cebu Pacific Air’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages (/cebupacificair).
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Thanks to Bosing Earl for helping me out in this feature. Do visit Earl’s awesome blogs www.suroypilipinas.com and www.bukidnonphotojournal.blogspot.com. Do like his Facebook pages too: https://www.facebook.com/suroypilipinas and https://www.facebook.com/BukidnonPhotoJournal
If you want to join the Travel Bloggers Collab, please do email me at journeyingjames(AT)gmail(DOT)com together with the place you want to talk about. I want to learn from you and see from your perspective.