Another weekend, another getaway! This time it was in Cagayan de Oro, the “City of Golden Friendship,” and my first ever trip to Mindanao!
First stop was the Macahambus Adventure Park located in Brgy. Lumbia and Bayanga. It’s about 15 minutes away from our lodge, Golden Pension House in Macapagal Drive at the back of SM CDO. I’ve read some good reviews about the place and wanted to try the canopy walk, zip line and rappelling. To get there, we boarded a jeepney to Lumbia (10php) at the SM Terminal and asked the driver to drop us off in Lumbia Airport. We had the option to ride another jeep from the airport to Talakag but opted to hire a taxi (70php) instead. There are no regular jeepneys going to that town. Waiting for a Talakag jeep would take very long.
But here’s the upsetting part – surprise, surprise! The Macahambus Adventure Park is temporarily closed! Nyarks. The place looks derelict – the hanging bridge has missing platforms, zip line is rusty, it’s filthy! Whaaatt!? We asked the settlers nearby and said that the park is under renovation. There’s no mention of this in wiki travel! I should have researched in other travel forums.
Disappointed, we just took some shots in the canopy walk then walked to the adjacent Macahambus Underground Cave, the famous site of the historic battle between the Cagayanon and American soldiers during the Philippine-American War. There’s no other visitor except us. A caretaker welcomed us in the entrance, asked us to write our names in the logbook, then guided us in the cave. Flashlights came very handy as it’s pitch dark inside. For about some 10 meter walk, we reached a veranda overlooking the Cagayan River. We did the usual photo-ops and bought some zodiac necklaces before leaving.
Now the challenging part – going back to the city! All jeepneys passing by were full and none of the taxis were vacant. We impatiently waited for almost an hour, but had no luck. So Maysa finally decided to stop a pick-up van and used her “charm”. Fortunately, the driver and his family were sympathetic enough and let us get a free ride to the main highway. CDO is indeed the City of Golden Friendship. Haha!
We were dropped off in front of Pueblo de Oro to catch a jeepney to Carmen. Malasag Eco-Tourism Village was supposed to be our next destination, but time and luck weren’t on our side, so we changed plan and headed off to Plaza Divisoria (Golden Friendship Park) instead. Every Friday and Saturday nights, the entire area is transformed into a night market and shopping haven for bargain hunters. The streets are closed to traffic and filled with a long stretch of food and ukay-ukay stalls.
Tired and hungry, we had an early dinner at Divisoria Café and, before going back to our lodge, visited the San Agustin Cathedral, a Gothic-inspired church, located in Gaston Park.
Our itinerary didn’t go as planned, but we had a pleasing time wandering around the city. It was quite an experience!