Showing posts with label Manolo Fortich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manolo Fortich. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cagayan de Oro: Food trip at Butcher's Best Barbeque, CDO Night Cafe, Candy's, Bourbon Street, Sentro 1850, Steve's BBQ & Del Monte Clubhouse

So where does one eat at when in Cagayan de Oro? After that whitewater rafting trip or that day-trip to Bukidnon, I'm sure we're all hungry. And it's good that Cagayan de Oro has a lot of options and choices. So here's CDO for our Food Trip Series.

There's the CDO Night Cafe every Friday and Saturday night. I also visited Butcher's Best Barbeque, Candy's and Bourbon Street in Limketkai, Sentro 1850, and Steve's BBQ. Although in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, the Del Monte Clubhouse is also popular among tourists.

The roads around the plaza in Divisoria are closed every Friday and Saturday night for what is called the CDO Night Cafe. I remember when I first visited CDO in 2004, the Night Cafe was just a new idea. But way back then, it already attracted a lot of people. Today, it's an even bigger enterprise with more food stalls, mostly grilled meats and seafood. But you'd find the occasional ulam and tasty CDO lechon as well.

Speaking of barbecue, Butcher's Best serves good and affordable grilled meats as well. Try their Original Pork BBQ and Pork Sisig. But my personal favorite is the Grilled Angus Beef Belly (Php80) which is really value for money.

When I asked readers for suggestions, Candy's in Limketkai topped the list. Halibut with Fresh Sea Scallops (Php875) was among the highly-recommended dishes. I was told I should have tried the pizza too. Among the dishes we had were the Roasted Chicken with Panzanella (Php345) served with roasted capsicum, artichoke hearts, fresh orange slices, yam, tomatoes and seasoned with warm honey vinaigrette; and Baby Back Ribs (Php345).

For dessert, we tried out their Ice Cream Cake.

Also in Limketkai is Bourbon Street Cafe which serves New Orleans cuisine. I got to try their Cajun Tacos (Php180) and the Beignets with Caramel Sauce (Php110) which they are quite famous for.

Jet Jeff suggested two more restaurants in Limketkai namely Kagay-anon Restaurant and Country Steakhouse (they serve ostrich meat) as well as La Vetta for a gourmet experience.

For more streetfood, Mckoi Pernia suggests chicken a la carte (yes it's a cart) that sprouts around the Cogon Market after 8 p.m. His favorite is Steve's which has now moved to their own restaurant along J.R. Borja Extension near Limketkai. He adds that he remembers 3 a.m. post-gimmick meals at this one particular carinderia inside the Cogon Public Market which serves piping hot Humba and Balbacua (pork knuckle soup).

Another place we had dinner at was Sentro 1850. Among the dishes we ordered was Ima's Kawali (crispy deep fried pork belly with liver sauce and spicy vinaigrette) and Grilled Balinese Swordfish. Sentro also was an interesting selection of foreign beers.

Although not in CDO, visitors to Cagayan de Oro troop to the Del Monte Clubhouse in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon to try their steak. I missed this the last time. So I made sure we ate here on the way to Dahilayan. Yes, we had steak for breakfast!

Well, I didn't have time and space to eat at every place interesting. But here are more suggestions from Jet Jeff. He suggests the old noodle houses of CDO which have been serving customers for decades. There's Yees Kitchenette along Cruz Taal Street, La Paz Batchoy along Capistrano Street, and Bagong Lipunan which now has several branches. He adds "We should support these establishments as they are part of our city's cultural heritage. A few years ago, Ah Fat Bakery, which was one if not the oldest in the city, closed down. They baked salted bread or pan de sal in a brick oven."

Speaking of heritage food, make sure to try binaki or steamed corn cakes when you are in CDO. It's one of the best native snacks I've had. I wonder why it isnt't as popular as it should be. You'll know what I mean when you taste it. Manny Gaerlan suggest that you try also the different home-grown brand of hams such as Oroham, Slers and Pine. Anyway, that sure made me hungry again! Time to schedule another food trip to CDO!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cagayan de Oro: Whitewater rafting and the Dahilayan Adventure Park

Earlier this year, I flew to Cagayan de Oro to try out the famous CDO whitewater rafting courses and visit Bukidnon's newest adventure attractions, the Dahilayan Adventure Park and Dahilayan Forest Park. Little did I realize that I would be back again this month for more fun!

Straight from the airport, we motored to Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon for the trip to Dahilayan. But we made sure to stopover the Del Monte Clubhouse for breakfast (I missed this when I was here in January). Yes, we had their famous steak for breakfast! I'll discuss more about the food we had in another entry.

From there, we went through the Del Monte pineapple plantations and Camp Phillips to get to Dahilayan, quite close to Mount Kitanglad. The Dahilayan Adventure Park is famous for the longest dual-cable zip line in Asia. While the Dahilayan Forest Park has a host of recreational facilities and activities including ATV and buggy rides through a challenging but fun off-road course around the park, Astrozorbit and Aquazorbit rides, and picnic grounds among many others things to do.

After finishing our activities, we had lunch at Cowboy's Grill (popular choices are grilled lamb or ostrich) before proceeding back to CDO. Anyway, here's more information on Dahilayan.

The next day, we did the Advanced 1 whitewater rafting course along the Cagayan River. The last time, we simply did the Basic course. There's also Advanced 2 and Extreme which I'll definitely try next time. The jump-off point for the Advanced 1 course is at the highway boundary between CDO and Bukidnon.

It was a fun morning as we went through at least 21 rapids. To mute the monotony, we did some crazy stuff too such as surfing the rapids. The guide would signal everyone to stand up on the raft during select rapids. And if you don't balance well, everyone tumbles down the raft too which is equally fun.

Sometimes, the raft would slam a large wave which makes things even more exciting. When you reach calmer areas, the guide would allow you to jump off the boat for a swim.

At the end, lunch awaits. It will all depend on the arrangements you've made or the tour company you've booked with (there are two end-points). But you'll definitely be hungry by the time the trip ends. So make sure you've arranged a sumptuous lunch. Ours was none other than CDO lechon, tuna panga, pansit and binaki (steamed corn cakes), one of the best native desserts I've ever had. Here's more information on whitewater rafting in the Cagayan River.

Dahilayan Forest Park
(0917) 7154399
Accommodation: Family Suites (4 to 6 persons) Php5,000; Standard (good for 3) Php2,800; Twin (good for 2) Php2,800; Deluxe (good for 4) Php3,200; Barkada Room (minimum of 10) Php400/person
Activities: Buggy Ride Php800/person; ATV Php500/person both inclusive of Php100 entrance fee; Astrozorbit and Aquazorbit Php250/person; Bungee Trampoline Php150/person; Tree Top Adventure Php250/person

Dahilayan Adventure Park
(0922) 8801319
Accommodation at Pinegrove Mountain Lodge: Family Room (good for 6) Php5,000; Standard (good for 3 with free breakfast for 2) Php2,800; Deluxe (good for 3 with free breakfast for 2) Php3,200; Suite (good for 3 with free breakfast for 2) Php3,500

Swift Travel + Tours
14 G/F Pelaez Sports Center, A. Velez Street, Cagayan de Oro City
(088) 8573897 / (08822) 727629 / (0922) 8333136 to 38

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bukidnon: Asia's longest zipline at the Dahilayan Adventure Park

On the way back to Cagayan de Oro from the Monastery of the Transfiguration, I made sure to stop over at the Dahilayan Adventure Park and Dahilayan Forest Park in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Unfortunately, you will need to arrange transportation to get there. So I met up with Tito Mora of Swift Travel + Tours along the National Highway in Barangay Alae. And we proceeded to Dahilayan from there.

To get to Dahilayan, you have to pass through Camp Phillips and the Del Monte Plantations. I heard they serve really good steak at the Del Monte Clubhouse. But I'll reserve that for another trip since we had lunch at Cowboy's Grill up in Dahilayan. On the menu was Ostrich (Php220), Lamb (Php260), Pink Salmon (Php270) and Wagyu Beef (Php450) among others.

After lunch, we proceeded to ZipZone at the Dahilayan Adventure Park for the 840m zipline, the longest in Asia so far. They actually have three ziplines in the park, the 840m (Php500) and 320m & 120m (Php250) ziplines. If you want to try them all, they have an All Ride Package at Php600. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was quite foggy and drizzling. But we still proceeded with the zipline which was quite fun even if it meant 'flying' through thick fog.

There are other adventure activities further down the road at the Forest Park. I didn't expect that there would be a Zorbit (Php250) all the way up in Dahilayan. But there was. And it was the first thing I got to try. I'm actually motion sick. So trying out the Zorb was a test of my limits. They sometimes refer to the Zorb as the 'astronaut-in-training' ride. I'm not surprised why since I was screaming like hell all the way down, more to get my mind off the motion sickness.

It took quite a while for me to recover from that. But despite the rains, we proceeded with the ATV Trail (Php500). Taking the ATV around the 3.1-kilometer trail in the Forest Park was an experience in itself. It was a challenge driving up the muddy slopes but fun nevertheless.

On sunny days, the Forest Park also offers great picnic grounds and playgrounds for kids. I was told the trees they planted in the park came all the way from New Zealand. So the ambiance and feel of the Forest Park is quite different from that of Baguio or Tagaytay. For those who want to spend the night there, rooms are available from Php2,800 (good for 3 persons). There's a cafe there too which serves some great comfort food. Make sure to try out their pizzas!

Swift Travel + Tours
14 G/F Pelaez Sports Center, A. Velez Street, Cagayan de Oro City
(088) 8573897 / (08822) 727629 / (0922) 8333136 to 38

Dahilayan Adventure Park
(0922) 8801319

Dahilayan Forest Park
(088) 8555346
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