Cagayan De Oro is geographically located in the island of Mindanao between the central coastline of Macajalar Bay and the naturally rich plateaus and mountains of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte to the South. It is bounded by two municipalities of Misamis Oriental: Tagoloan and Opol on the east and west respectively. The city has a total land area of 488.86 square kilometers, representing 13.7% of the entire Misamis Oriental. It has about 25 kilometers of coastline and a fine deep water harbor with Macajalar Bay. It has now been coined with terms such as The Gateway to Northern Mindanao, ICT Goldmine of the Philippines, City of white water rafting & river trekking, and of course The City of Golden Friendship. – from yahoosearch.com & cagayandeoro.gov.ph
The description I have provided may not suffice the actual beauty and richness of Cagayan de Oro, but I am a bit lost for ideas on how to start this blog entry. It has been four days since we came back and I haven’t started the first part so I thought of like a traveler’s approach haha! Anyway, as I have discussed in my Multiply, the CDO trip was a bit of unplanned. The main reason why we flew last Sunday is for Heart’s (Sidney’s baby) dedication. He’s really eager to make me, mom and the twins attend that momentous event, because he and his wife has long been waiting for a baby. Problem is, I am having some budget constraints and since it was short notice, I was not able to file for a leave. But Sidney was actually planning to ask for some financial assistance to his and the twins dad (Kuya Tony) working in the US. Thank God Kuya Tony willingly obliged although he was hesitant at first. That’s why I right away fixed my schedule for the following week. Good thing I was given a Monday off, then I just traded a Tuesday off to make it two consecutive days (thanks to Mavic & Raech for letting me have their days off!). I also dropped my Wednesday to make sure I will have around four days in the city of golden friendship.
At the eve of our flight, I’m having mix feelings because the last time I went there was when I was, I think, 6 years old! Why it took me almost 20 years to go back and visit my birthplace, please don’t make me enumerate reasons I wouldn’t dare think of. I can’t even remember the last still image playing in my head when I think of CDO. That is why I am so excited! It must’ve changed a lot! And I probably, well surely, won’t recognize it anymore. Aside from the baby’s dedication, the main event for me is that I’d get reunited with my cousins and relatives whom I haven’t seen in ages! Too bad our dear lola is not around anymore, it would be more memorable if I’m going to see her there alive. Well, so much for that emote mode hehe! I actually didn’t get to sleep at all the night before our trip, you can tell I am that excited! Mom and the twins took a nap and they woke up around 1:30am. After checking our baggage and all the things needed, we headed to the airport arriving there two hours earlier our 4:45am flight, the first flight of the day.
To our surprise, even if we’re a couple of hours early, there are already number of people waiting to check-in. The counters opened at exactly 3am, then we proceeded to the pre-departure area after checking-in our luggage and paying for the terminal fee, which costs us Php800. We boarded the plane 4:15am, and this time I am really really excited! Thinking that I will be stepping on the land of my father’s clan in just about two more hours. And will finally get to see the city which I only get to write the name on the Birthplace section of my resume. The plane took off 4:45am and I just couldn’t contain the happiness I’m feeling. But despite of that, I of course didn’t forget to take snap shots of us and the beautiful views just outside the plane’s window. Too bad I didn’t get to take pictures of the mountain area of CDO when we’re about to land!
We arrived 10 minutes earlier the supposed arrival time. And when we finally landed and set foot on the golden city, it was such a nice feeling! The cold morning breeze and the warm ray of the sun gently touched our pollution-immune Manila skin, as if they were gladly welcoming us to the city. I was expecting a band and an entire barangay to do it, taking pictures of us, announcing our arrival on big loud speakers, giving us a royal treatment with all those sampaguita garlands around our neck. But instead, bisaya-speaking natives were the first ones to greet us asking if we need someone to carry our baggage or if we already have a cab or a van to rent. But since we already had someone with a car to pick us up, we just politely turned their offers down. While waiting for our luggage, I called a cousin of mine informing her that we just arrived. She got surprised, as I intended not to inform them that we’re coming. I told them we’ll drop by their place later, which made me much much more excited! After a while, we proceeded outside where Sidney and his father-in-law is waiting for us with their Adventure. On our way to Bugo where they reside, I just couldn’t stop smiling as I am now looking at the nice views and now in the city where I was born some 20plus years ago. After roughly an hour, we arrived in Bugo where we’ll stay for the rest of our CDO vacation. Humbly we were welcomed to Sidney’s place by his wife, then we had breakfast after settling our things in our assigned room. It was actually becoming humid in the place, but still we managed to rest a bit and sleep our heads off.
After a couple of hours, I just couldn’t wait to go to Patag where my cousins and relatives are. Since the twins are still asleep, mom & I were the only ones to go. It was another about-an-hour travel by jeep and by a cab. I was a bit surprised that jeepneys there are more like the ones here, specially the Patok ones! They’re fast! And the cab drivers were all nice, and never ask for additional payment. They will even give you your change! When finally mom & I are slowly approaching our relatives place, it’s as if my heart is jumping out for joy! It did jumped even more the moment I saw all my cousins and relatives! They were sort of having a party when we arrived, dancing with loud music! As if the whole compound is already aware that we’re coming. It was so much fun! We hugged and kissed each other like we haven’t seen each other for 20years! And then the seemingly endless kumustahan and catching up starts. Which is why we didn’t get to take much pictures as much as I wanted to. Well, it’s just the first day anyway, there’s still three more. Here are the first two shots we had:
with my cousin Raine & baby Notnot
with tito Dong, cousins Faith, Eula & Raine
My tito prepared a sumptuous lunch and we can’t help but give in, even if I am on a diet haha! I tend not to practice it the entire CDO stay anyway. As much as I wanted to stay longer and sing more with their awesome videoke player, we had to go back to Bugo for the baby’s dedication. Mom will also try to help in the preparation, and I am actually one of the ninongs. So we said goodbye to each other for the meantime, me promising them that I’ll be back tomorrow. Around 5pm, people in Bugo were all busy preparing for the christening. And may I just say that the dedication was more like a girl’s debut! They really worked hard for it because of the much awaited angel. Here are some of its highlights:
the princess cake
the uber yummy cake!!
And yes, that night was flooded with food! Goodness, we really stuffed our tummies with yummy and mouth-watering CDO delights! Thank God no one became the restroom’s frequent visitor. I guess this is really how it is when you celebrate in provinces. So after the extremely fun and full night, I got sleepy very early because I didn’t get to sleep very well earlier unlike the twins. And as much as I wanted to stay longer for the night and help in cleaning up, the next thing I know I was snoring my butt off! It was indeed a jam-packed first CDO day!
To be continued….