since i posted a blog on camiguin, i think i ought to have a piece on cagayan de oro too. i could write very little on the side trips though since most of our stay in cdo were spent in our chosen schools, churches and radio stations where we conducted our community education program (which i hope to write about more in a future blog) on migration and trafficking. or we were holed up in our hotel room. we really wanted to do white water rafting, which is one of the attractions cdo boasts of but there was just not enough time since one needs to free up a whole morning for it. there wasn’t much we can do during the short intervals of free time that we had. and we couldn’t stray far such that we weren’t able to visit its known caves or do ziplining.
we got to go to malasag eco village though. i must note here that cdo is much like manila–it has all the amenities, perks and other whatnots, though it’s not as polluted nor highly populated. although with the latter, cdo is fast catching up what with all these local migrants from nearby and far provinces coming to settle there with the lure of jobs because of the industries and businesses setting offices. cdo is the hub of northern mindanao, much like davao and general santos in the south. i like it that we can get taxis fast and there was much to chose from in restos, clubs, malls, etc. we, however, opted to eat in the hotel’s restaurant because 1) the food was great the first time we ate there so we came back for more; and 2) we were too lazy and tired to go out anymore after coming “home” exhausted from traveling to and from other municipalities in misamis oriental and giving talks to hundreds of people per day. we didn’t get to explore much when it came to the gustatory delights that cdo can offer. anyhow, the hotel was cozy and the staff were nice and really, really accommodating. it was an old hotel but it doesn’t give you the creepy feeling that you’re in an old building. kinda like you’re in a grandmother’s house but airconditioned and well-lighted. our room was a bit cramped but we can’t complain as we’re on a budget and we chose the most standard one with an extra little bed.
the trip to malasag took about 20 minutes. the taxi took us almost at the city limits into an uphill area of cdo. i’ve been here once when i accompanied a donor some few years ago. i again marveled at the beauty as we entered a forested area. all became quiet as one becomes in tune with nature. you could hear the crickets chirping, the birds flapping from a tree to another, and the occasional drip of water. it’s a wonder to find this in a highly urbanized city. manila surely couldn’t boast of the same save for golf courses around the metro.
the eco village is simple, unadorned and unobtrusive. we paid php30 and on we went our way. the whole compound is predominantly giant, ageless trees. they’ve been here for generations, never changing, sheltering animals and people under their great trunks and bodies from the rain and sun. here and there are replicas of dwelling places, which are tacked with tidbits of trivia of the indigenous tribes of mindanao who occupied them. during our visit, there were natives dressed in local outfits who playing various instruments and dancing to the beat. it’s a showcase for tourists, both filipinos and foreigners. there is a souvenir shop and a cafe overlooking the macalajar bay. it must be prettier during the night when lights from the city down under are all lit up. living quarters intended for overnight stays are also available. can’t say anything about the accommodations here though.
we just got majorly tired after our little expedition. the compound was on slopes, and while we enjoyed the scenery and the breeze as we came in and started exploring, it was a pain to go back up. as we reached the way we came from, our tongues were literally hanging out! lol. it was fun to be with nature though. we hardly ever get to breath all that fresh air these days. it’s good to spend some time in the province where you won’t choke to death on badly polluted air mixed in with the oxygen as you fill your lungs. all that greenery was a welcome experience. if you’ve been living in the city long enough, you long for that kind of moments.