“How much have you traveled your hometown?” A random person messaged me once. That very question left me pondering for some time. Later did I know I was actually a tourist of my own hometown. It’s kinda embarrassing (a bit) on my part since I’ve traveled much to other cities and provinces than my birth province. Well, it’s not yet too late. And so, who else would I be bugging this time? I could never think of anyone else than my family. They could not say no to me, and I’m sure of that.
Months before my travel homebound, searching for destinations/spots made me more excited that I’m almost always daydreaming of how the trip will go. I ended up planning a road trip instead of having a staycation in one place since there are many to go to but not that long with limited vacation. Funny though, the itinerary was too ideal for the whole trip. We caught short of time without just a glimpse of some spots. Touring north of Bukidnon in 14 hours isn’t enough. What? Yes, you heard it right. How’s our trip? Read through ‘til end.
While Bukidnon does not have waves and white sands to lure us, it is rich in natural scenic spots. You could see greens around you. Just how relaxing it is to be hitting the road to the countryside.
Okay, let’s start-off. We left home by 5:30 AM first up for Dahilayan Forest Park Resort (roughly 3 hours of straight travel) which took us 5 hours with several stops along the way. At the forest park (specifically located at the base of Mt. Kitanglad in Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon), we’ve got to enjoy anything that nature has to offer. I guess a day stay there wouldn’t be enough if you want to tour around the hectares-wide park and experience all its pleasurable activities especially the extreme ones.
So if you are an adrenaline junkie who would want to know how extreme you can go, this is the place to be. Test your adrenaline rush with their zipride, Zipxtreme packages, sky jump, dropzone, helicopter ride, phyton roller zipline, ATV and buggy trail, luge, zorb, bungee bounce, monkey tree climb, and a lot more. Never miss their dual zipline, the first longest dual zipline in Asia, a really awesome ride in the middle of the woods surrounded by lush of pine trees with fresh breeze kissing your cheeks while overlooking the whole park and neighboring mountain ranges and lakes. Security and safety is nothing to worry about since they have more than enough personnel overlooking every ride.
The park caters all age levels, making it perfect for family and barkada (friend) bonding and relaxation. Their abundant selection of nature tripping and activities will surely make everyone’s stay a lifetime memory. Children will enjoy their playground even adults like me. Just bring more cash when you visit here especially when you’re with the entire family because most rides can cost you more than you’ve expected. I suggest you go for packages like all rides so you can save in cost. 😉
It’s almost 1 PM when my mother asked everyone to pack up as she could hardly bear the cold and the since the fogs start engulfing the whole area. Just as we’ve expected since it is 4,700 feet above sea level.
Practically, the best, easiest way to reach Dahilayan Forest Park is to have your own transportation. Adventure is what you’re looking for? Then get a shuttle, bus, jeep, van, and/or motorcycle. Never mind if some of these transportation modes can be time-consuming because you’ll be entertained by the scenic view around.
From Cagayan de Oro City
If you’re from Cagayan de Oro, your first option is to hail on a Shuttle Bus via Magnum Express Shuttle Service at Limketkai Center with its daily schedule from 9 AM to 4:30 PM at Php 249/person. The Zipzone Shuttle at Coffeeworks in Divisoria is only available every Saturday from 8:00-8:30 AM and back from Dahilayan to Cagayan De Oro at around 3-4 PM the same day. Round trip ticket for this shuttle service is Php 350/person. Your second option is to ride a jeep, bus or van from Agora Bus Terminal/Market then get off the vehicle when you’re in Barangay Camp Philips, Manolo Fortich. The fare varies between 70 and 100. From here, ride a habal–habal (motorcycle) going up to the park at Php 300, which is approximately 20 kilometers (one hour) from the national highway.
From Valencia City
Go to the Integrated Bus Terminal of Valencia City in Barangay Bagontaas and get into a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City then tell the driver/conductor that you’re dropping by Camp Philips then get a habal–habal ride to Dahilayan. Bus fare is about Php 145 for about 2 hours ride and motorcycle fee about Php 300.
From Davao City
Go to the Bus Terminal of Davao City and get into a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City then drop by in Camp Philips then get a habal–habal ride to Dahilayan. Bus fare from Davao is about Php 430 for about 6-7 hours depending on bus stops.
Our next stop was in the Municipality of Impasugong or Impasug-ong, north-eastern part of the province. We drop by the huge statues symbolizing the rich culture of the province which also serves as the tourism center of the municipality.
We took the now rarely trodden Old Atugan Highway which is used to be the main highway traversed by travelers from Cagayan de Oro City to Bukidnon.
We stopped by the historic “Banga” (Earthern Jar) or Atugan Drinking Fountain near Panoon Falls where potable water continuously flows from it and some tranquil scenic and photographic spots along the road. The cold water from the jar serves as a source for travelers and locals to get quenched and refreshed. We did as well as it’s still a long drive to our next destinations.
A little trivia: Legend has it (and as told by some locals near the area) that the jar is only a replica of the original that was stolen mainly because of its gold component. It’s also been said that beneath it is where golden treasures were buried during the Japanese era.
Adjacent to the jar is a white cross atop the hill, which is said to be a burial site of a remarkable priest in town.
From Cagayan de Oro
The municipality is approximately 75 kilometers (1.5-hour ride) from Cagayan de Oro. From Agora Bus Terminal, get a bus ride bound for Valencia City, Malaybalay City or Davao City. Get off the vehicle at the terminal or at its landmark, Impasugong Tourism Center.
From Davao City:
Travel time from Davao City to this municipality is about 5 hours and 25 minutes (228.1 kilometers). From Davao City bus terminal, ride a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro and drop by at Impasugong Tourism Center.
Time is so fast and we’re enjoying the ride then suddenly realized that we only have lesser time to visit the other places. We then headed to the province’s capital (Malaybalay City) and went directly to Kaamulan Grounds and walk around for a little while. Kaamulan Grounds is a nature park developed in commendation to the province’s tribes. Tall narra trees and age-old pine trees are abundant throughout the park. It has Tribal Houses which are available for rent if you want to stay longer and hang-out here. What else to find here are a small bridge, rest house, footbridge, Kaamulan Folks Arts Theatre, and the Provincial Tourism Office of Bukidnon.
From Cagayan de Oro
Malaybalay City is approximately 100 kilometers (2 hours and 37 minutes ride) from Cagayan de Oro. From Agora Bus Terminal, get a bus ride bound for Valencia City, Malaybalay City or Davao City. Drop by at the city’s terminal. Ride a motorela (public transportation around the city) going to the Kaamulan Grounds.
From Davao City:
Travel time from Davao City to this city is about 3 hours and 25 minutes (161.0 kilometers). From Davao City bus terminal, ride a bus bound for Malaybalay City and drop by at its terminal. Ride a motorela (public transportation around the city) going to the Kaamulan Grounds.
We were supposed to visit Nasuli Spring and other falls, but nightfall left us no choice but to head back home. Seeing the tired faces of my buddies of the day? We should call it a day then. Have some other time Stella, you and your companies had enough for the day already.
Some of my scenic snaps along the road
I just realized how big my vision was; much bigger than my capability to wander. Hahaha… And I suddenly felt the exhaustion as we hit home. Indeed the tantalizing greenery, the fresh and cozy breeze, and the electrifying rural vibe make Bukidnon one of a kind in its unique sense across the country. Sigh.. This would mean that months of waiting again until my next visit. One trip at a time Stella… Yeah.. I’m just too excited for more from my hometown.
So until our next road trip, I guess, fellas. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have fun wandering with me as well.