Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental: Bus trip to Nothern Mindanao

The bus left Davao City at 2:30 a.m. I tried to get as much sleep as I could but it was quite difficult since the seats were too stiff. Good thing I had the whole row to myself since there weren't a lot of passengers. So I was able to sleep on my backpack. The next thing I knew was the bus was already in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. The sun was already out but the temperature was quite cool. The climate in Malaybalay is very pleasing since it is located in a high altitude.

It was back to sleep when we left the bus station and I woke up again when the bus stopped over for breakfast at a canteen in Impasug-Ong. The views of the nearby mountains were just spectacular. It reminded me that outside Metro Manila and its suburbs, so much of the Philippines is still pristine and untouched. I hope we keep these areas the way they are. From there, the road zigzagged up and down green mountains offering breathtaking views of the hilly agricultural province.

I arrived at the Agora Bus Station in Cagayan de Oro at about 9 a.m. and could distinctly remember the hot and humid weather which greeted me when I got off the bus. I was told CDO has exceptionally hot weather. I waited there since my SSEAYP batchmates MJ and Simone Moneva were picking me up for breakfast.

We went straight to Rosario Arcade in Limketkai for a buffet breakfast at East Wok, a Chinese restaurant. The food was filling especially after the long trip from Davao. After breakfast, we passed by the Misamis Oriental Capitol for a while since MJ had to meet a client. So I was able to go around the capitol grounds with Sim. There was a provincial tourism and trade fair on the grounds so we went around to check it out.

After that, we drove north towards Jasaan since I wanted to visit the church which was declared a national cultural treasure in 2001. On the way, we dropped Simone off at the Polymedic Hospital in Tagoloan since she had to meet her patients.

I was not quite impressed with the Jasaan Church. If it were compared to other churches in the country, it would look quite ordinary. It reminded me of my impressions of the churches in Tabaco, Albay and Bacong, Negros Oriental. I guess they declared it since it was the best-preserved church in Misamis Oriental and rare since it was in Mindanao. Built by the Jesuits in the late 19th to early 20th century, I think a more significant element of the church is its convent, an old wooden structure with huge wooden posts.

In Jasaan, I waited for a bus to the ferry terminal in Balingoan which was still an hour away. I spent PHP50 for the bus ride. There used to be fastcrafts from Cagayan de Oro to Camiguin but since some politicians in Camiguin wanted to earn from it as well, the operator had no choice but to increase his fare to accommodate this unnecessary expense. As a result, people still used the ferry service in Balingoan and the one from CDO was forced to close. So one has no choice but to use this slow ferry service to the island.

More photos of Misamis Oriental in Multiply.
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