|Region 10 - thru the Golden Gateway
Region 10, usually called Northern Mindanao, is composed of the 5 province of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Lanao del Norte and their 9 cities of Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, El Salvador, Ozamiz,Tangub, Oroquieta, Ma- Iaybalay,Valencia and Iligan.
The whole region covers a total land area of 19,279.60 sq km. with a total population of 3,505,558 as of 2000 Census, some 84 municipalities and about 2,020 barangays.
The region is a combination of rugged mountain ranges, rolling hills and plains with rich agricultural and mineral resources. Its four bays of Panguil, Iligan, Macajalar and Gingoog provide deep harbor for ships and a long coastline of gray and white sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs.
Its strategic and typhoon-free location with its modern port facilities and an ex- tensive road network linking it to various parts of Mindanao makes the region an ideal gateway to Mindanao and an ideal destination all year round.
The region is considered the dominant economy in Mindanao contributing about 27.2% of the island's total production in 2005 with the services sector as the region’s largest and fastest growing industry at 39.4% share,followed by the industry sec 30.7% and agriculture, fishery and forestry sector at 29.9%.
Meanwhile,the region's real per capita GRDP in 2005 was P14,820,the highest
among the Mindanao regions and the third highest among all the regions in the try. In 2006, Region 10 was the country's sixth largest regional economy contributing 4.8% to the country's gross domestic production.
Throughout the region, Misamis Oriental accounted for the bulk of the regional investments, sharing about 68%. It was also the fastest growing investment area ing by 44% between 2005 and 2006. Bukidnon was the second biggest contribut the 2006 annual investment. Misamis Occidental with a 26% growth was the second fastest growing area in terms of investment.
Language and Ethnicity
Bisaya, Cebuano and Boholano are the major ethnic languages in the region. Native languages still considerably used are Higaonon in Misamis Oriental, Binukid in Bukidnon, Maranao in Lanao del Norte, Subanen in Misamis Occidental and Kinamiging in Camiguin.
Hiligaynon, a language in the Visalas, is also used in Bukidnon.
English is generally understood. Tagalog is also understood but not commonly spoken.
Roman Catholicism is the major religion. Others are Aglipayan, Evengelicals and Seventh Day Adventist. Islam is considerably high in Lanao del Norte and Iligan City but Roman catholicism remains to be the dominant religion.
Cagayan de Oro – the Golden Gateway
Cagayan de Oro is a highly urbanized city. It has a major port, an international container yard about 25 kilometers away, an airport with at least 6 flights to and from the capital of Manila, 3 universities, several highly competitive private, secondary schools and at least 4 major shopping malls. This regional capital –the golden gateway to Northern Mindanao –is the center of trade, education and shopping in Region 10.
With its numerous tourism facilities such as hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, nightspots and tourism attractions and activities within the city and its nearby environs plus a highly efficient information technology facilities, the city is a favorite choice for various national convention every year.
Being the hub of the region, this travel handbook, will take Cagayan de Oro as the main reference point for travel to the region in this edition.
Region 10 has four at least 4 major port facilities: the cagayan de Oro port, Iligan port, the now operational Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan within the 3,000 hectare PIHVIDEC Industrial Estate and the Ozamis port, the busiest port in terms of passenger traffic.
By air, the region is most accessible through Cagayan de Oro airport which has 7 daily flights from Manila and 1 daily flight from Cebu. The city is serviced by several shipping lines plying the Manila-Cagayan routes. It is accessible by land from Davao, Butuan and Zamboanga.
Cagayan de Oro: A Walking Tour of the old settlement by the river:
Cagayan River, stretching up to 69,518 meters long, is a major witness to the city's life and history. Its riverbanks were said to abound with "lambago"trees in the past. The term Kagay-an is believed to have come from a Proto- Malay word "kagay"which means river.
The first bridge of the city, YsaIina bridge, connects barangay Carmen to the Poblacion area. Its predecessor built in 1892, made of stone and bricks and spanning 128 meters long, was then called "the longest hanging bridge of the Philippines."
San Agustin Metropolitan Cathedral
This church's history started as early as 1626 when a Portuguese Augustinian Recollect Fray Pedro de San Agustin, popularly called El Padre Capitan,decided to transfer the early inhabitants from their original settlement in Himologan since he found the latter to be a difficult location to defend in case of attacks from the men of Maguindanao's Sultan Qudarat who wanted to regain Cagayan as part of Maguindanao territory.
Despite the transfer, the church was still torched by the invaders at least four times until 1834 when it was rebuilt replacing its old materials of old and nipa with marine stones from China.
In 1942, during the Second World War, it was occupied by the Japanese and subsequently bombed by the Americans. In 1946, Bishop James T.G. Hayes, S.J. D.D., the first bishop of Cagayan who arrived in 1933, rebuilt the cathedral along semi Gothic lines.
On this site, El Padre Capitan built a wooden fortress called Fuerza Real de San Jose which served as the public plaza. Later, it was rebuilt in stones until it was demolished in 1875 and the stones were used to pave the streets of the growing town.
The park was named Gaston Park in the early 1960s after Segundo Gaston who was governor of Misamis and mayor of Cagayan before World War II.
On the north side of the park is the site of the Battle of Cagayan that took place on 7 April 1900.The battle was part of the Philippine-American War which saw the death and heroism of almost a hundred Cagayan revolutionaries who fought under the banner of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. A marker was installed in solemn ceremonies by the National Historical Institute on 7 April 2000, the centenary of the Battle of Cagayan. Across the northeast side is another historical marker that marks the spot where hundreds of Cagayan members of Club Popular, a local organization of nationalistic cause, signed a manifesto on 6 January 1900 signifying their intention to fight in the Philippine-American War in Cagayan.
The City Hall building or Casa Real on Capistrano St. or Calle Real during the Spanish period, along with the water tank and the Archbishop's Palace nearby, are the only remaining American period built buildings in the area.
Built in 1882, this "balay nga bato"or house of stone is made of bricks, transported from China by Chinese junks.The bricks served as ballast for the long voyage.The owner, Sia Ygua, was a Chinese merchant from Amoy, China.
During the Philippine-American War, Sia Ygua supported the Filipino revolutionaries in the Battle of Cagayan on April 7,1900 against the Americans. During the centenary of the battle on 7 April 2000, the National Historical Institute honored the brave revolutionaries with a national historical marker.The house stands on the corner of Apolinar Velez St. and Hayes St., formerly called Calle del Mar y Calle Victoria.
This elongated promenade was built in 1901 by Cagayan's town mayor Tirso Neri, to serve as a fire breech or"divider"to contain the spread of fires in the town. It also divided the town into north and south sections.Today, it is also called the Golden Friendship Park.
Along the stretch of the Plaza are monuments of national heroes and local leaders such as that of national hero, Jose Rizal, which was inaugurated in 1916,-- considered one of the earliest Rizal statues in the entire Mindanao.The Centennial flagpole beside it was inaugurated in 1998 during the Philippine Centennial to mark the country's independence from Spanish colonialism.
The monument of former President Ramon Magsaysay was inaugurated in early 1960s by Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez and Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir who later became Isarael's Prime Minister.
Museo de Oro, a folkloric museum started in August 1967, displays an array of relics of the Bukidnon and Maranao cultures. Among those that one would find in the museum are paintings and ethnographic artifacts that depict the ancient stories of the origin of the world and of man in mythic tradition. The various displays also highlight the belief in supernatural beings or spirits, the institution of shamanism and the rituals for curing; the ways of settling disputes and their peacepacts..
A notable piece in the museum collection is a human skeletal remain found at Huluga Cave, calibrated by the University of California in San Diego as dated 377 A.D., one of the earliest known human existence in the entire Mindanao.
Another is one of the three extant copies in the en1 tire Philippines of the menu in the presidential banquet of Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 in Malolos, Bulacan.
The museum is located inside Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan--the first university in the entire island of Mindanao and the first of all the Jesuit Ateneos in the country to become a university having been declared as such as early as March 1958.
During World War Il,the university was used by the occupying Japanese forces as a garrison and concentration camp and was the regional headquarters of the Japanese Military Command. It was severely damaged by American bombs in 1945.
Makahambus Hill-A Historical Landmark
The Cagayan revolutionaries had the historic record of winning the first battle against the Americans in the entire Philippines in the Battle of Makahambus Hill that took place on 14 June 1900.
Makahambus Cave is a short cave where the end opens to a precipice that over looks the meandering Cagayan river. On top of the cave is the Makahambus Hill.At the other side of the present road is the
Makahambus Gorge, a 130 foot circular gorge where an underground river flows from one cave to another cave. Today, the parkis being used as an adventure park where one can do skybridge, rapel and zipline.The ravine is covered by lush tropical rain forest trees and various species of plants.
Gardens of Malasag
Located in a 7.2 ha. botanical garden on the slopes of Cugman watershed with a breathtaking view of historic Macajalar Bay, this cultural showcase offers the visitors a glimpse into the rich and colorful cultural heritage of Northern Mindanao. Here, one can interact with some of the regions' tribal people such as the Higaonons and the Talaandigs of Bukidnon and the Subanons from Misamis Occidental who live in their own tribal homes found in the village where they grow some of their crops their crafts. Everyday, around 3:30 p.m. the tribalpeople perform their dance to the visitors to the beat of their own music.
Whitewater Rafting Adventure
Mikhail Angelo F. Bautista
White Water Rafting is so much fun! I've actually done it twice already-and I'm still looking forward to doing it again and again! My rafting days have been among the best experiences of my life.
Waking up at around 4 AM to prepare for the rafting adventure was nothing. I was a little hung over but as the day progressed my headache was soon forgotten as I had one exciting, exhilirating, action-packed day!
My first time was a tour with about 50 other people including my cousins, a few friends, and some strangers. But this didn't faze me because everyone there was super nice ... as what they say, Kagay-anons are friendly(ahem!). Anyway, we drove for almost an hour through the mountains until we arrived at our starting point somewhere in Barangay Kabula. It was such a beautiful day. Clear vivid blue sky with the sun shin- ing so brightly amidst cotton candy white clouds.The hillsides were lush and green and many of them terraced all the way to the top.The scenery was spectacular!
When we got to the drop-off site, all of us had to put on helmets and life jackets. The very accommodating and friendly river guides then gave us a few instructions safety procedures and a brief orientation on what to expect.We were taught the tech- niques of paddling and as well as what to do in case we falloff the raft (scary!).One of the guides informed that this particular ride was not that dangerous, as it was the shorter course. If that doesn't make much sense let me put it this way, some of the rapids were so strong you could be thrown off the raft if you didn't hang on for dear Iife.There were about 7 rafts with six people each.The raft I was in had 7 riders, including one guide, a requisite in every raft.
We went on. Our guide asked us if we wanted to hit the surf and we all eagerly agreed. He told us that when the boat flips or if we fall, we musn't panic, instead he instructed that we try to grab the rescue rope and if we miss it, we should assume the safety position (by facing downstream with our legs elevated) and one of the trained rescuers would get to us. It was really intense. Luckily, nothing of that kind happened to me or my friends. However, there was a raft behind us that got turned upside down while they were maneuvering one of the higher class rapids. When I looked back after we safely got out of that rapid, I saw addles and some people immersed in the river.Only four of them had managed to hang onto the overturned raft. Fortunately,the two others were safe and had managed to bravely swim their way to the riverside, inspite of
the very very strong current. Our guide flipped it back over and hoisted them up. After getting everyone back together and organized again, both rafts, ours and theirs, set off once more. From there, we went to the snakes'cave, bats'cave and many more captivating views and challenging currents. At the end of the river run, we had a super awesome and delicious lunch at the endpoint.
Basically, on my second rafting adventure, I shared the fun with my cousins and
relatives, there were around twenty of us. It was so much more exciting since we all knew each other.And having this as my second time around, I was definitely more prepared. Nevertheless, it was still full of surprises--another truly awesome and memorable experience!
White water Rafting runs
This run starts at Sitio Aura in Bgy. Mambuya, the put-in point, and ends at Sitio Kabula,the take-out point, on the border of Bgy Lumbia and Bgy Bayanga. Covering about 12.32 kilometers,the run takes about 3 hours, including lunch and sidetrips.One sidetrip,taking about 10 minutes, is toTumilaong River which is already a part of Bukidnon. Here, the rafters get off the raft and cross the river (river-crossing) with arms locked to those beside them to counter the strong river current.
This run starts at Sitio Ugyaban in Bgy. Dansolihon where there are higher rapids along the course. It is considered the master's course and open for those who have done the basic Mambuaya-Kabula run. The run from Ugyaban-Mambuaya covers about 4 kilometers, making the whole stretch from Ugyaban to Kabula a total of kilometer run in hours, crossing 25 rapids of class II-IV.
3. Kabula-Taguanao Run
This is the main course for tubing e fondly called, Pinoy Rafting--another fo of white water rafting which uses inflat, tubes. This run covers 6.4 km with IN classes of rapids.
Optional activities with Pinoy Rafti include a 30 feet bridgejump and a rock jump from the graduation Rock. Another option is to do a cliff rapel at the exit of the historic Makahambus cave.
All white water rafting adventure tour’s are run year round!
This is technical caving which includes rapelling110 feet down to the entrance of the cave and exploration of an underground river. So, definitely expect to get wet as you will have to swim to be able to get to the exit of the cave!
Please call Gerome Garcia at (0919) 4043930.
This is a real high adventure for those who dare. Located in Mag-bais, Mat-i in the municipality of Claveria, Misamis Oriental about 40 kilometers from the city of Cagayan de Oro.
Before getting to the canopy walk proper, be ready to trek the slopes of the rainforest for at least 30 minutes, depending on your speed. At the Walk, you will be pulleyed up to a deck where you start The Walk through 6 hanging bridges that swing at least 100 feet above the ground. Enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime experience of being on top of the world with the birds and being close to Mother Nature.
Please call Gerome Garcia at (0919) 4043930.
MACAHAMBUS ADVENTURE PARK
An interesting stop before or after a white water rafting activity is the Macahambus Adventure Park which opened on 28 December 2004. It is located in a 72-hectare forest reserve, 17 kilometers away from the city proper.
There are three activities that you can do in the park: skybridge,zip line and rapel. Before the activity, adventurers will have to wear the safety equipment such as a helmet and a safety harness which is attached to a safety line above the head.
Skybridge is a bridge with wooden planks and cable railings. It hangs over Macahambus Gorge which has a depth of approximately 150 feet.The bridge consists of 3 spans totaling 123 meters.: the first span is 51 meters; the second has 18 meters; while the third span has 54 meters.
The zip line has a 120 meter distance from the zip station to the starting deck.You zip through the distance in only 14-20 seconds, depending on your weight!
This activity starts at the 1 st deck --after the 1 st span of the skybridge-- from where the adventurer rapels down Macahambus Gorge.
Cost: P300- skybridge and zip line; add P200 if including rapel
Contact: Chisum Factura of Sinkhole, Inc. at (088) 856-3972.
Pueblo de Oro Golf Course
Cagayan de Oro
Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club, operating since 1980, is conveniently located at the Pueblo de Oro Township, about 6 kilometers from the airport and 5 kilometers from the city center.
It is considered one of the top golf courses in the country with an18-hole, par 72, all-weather championship golf course designed by world-renowned golf course architect RobertTrent Jones ll. Its daunting natural ravines, especially its signature Eleventh and Thirteenth Holes are said to pose a challenging play to any golfer.
The golf course has played host to various tournaments such as the PAL Interclub, the Rotary international Foundation golf tournament, the Southern Ladies Club and Samsung Golf Tour. It has magnificent views of the mountains of Bukidnon with occacasional glimpses of Macajalar Bay from the back nine holes.
Del Monte Golf Course
Camp Philips, Bukidnon
Del Monte Golf and Country Club was built as early as 1928 right within the vast pineapple plantation. It offers a cool and scenic location about 620 meters above sea level and provides a good view of the Mt. Kitanglad range.
It has an 18-hole par 72 golf course with challenging, tree-lined fairways, manmade lakes, treacherous sand traps,fast and slow greens and a sloping front 9 considered by golfers-pros and amateurs alike-as one of the most scenic and difficult courses in the country.
The golf course's first 9 holes were designed by the company's first general manager James McNeil Crawford while the second 9 by former Del Monte employee, and later 7-time Philippine Open Champion Celestino Tugot together with former Del Monte Executive George Richardson.
The location is at Cawayanon, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, approximately a 45 -minute drive from Cagayan de Oro.
The golf course has produced world -class champions such as Celestino Tugot and the famous Frankie Minoza who made the golf course his playground when he was still a child.
It has been the site of the country's most prestigious tournaments including the
annual M ,u U . gion Tour ament since 1975, the Philippien Golf Circuit and the Philip Morris Open and the PAL interclub.
Camiguin, the smallest of region 10's provinces is a favorite tourist destination in the region popular among sun-lovers, divers and those who simply want to take a break from their busy lifestyle.
This pear-shaped island with a total land area of only 292 sq.km. offers visitors the simplicity and tranquility of a provincial destination with warm and honest people.
It 64-kilometer road circumference makes it easy for the tourist to tour the island during a weekend, covering its five municipalities of Mambajao,the capital town, Mahinog,Guinsiliban, Sagay, and Catarman and trying out its natural hot and cold springs nd beautiful, white sandy beaches.
Originally inhabited by Manobos from Surigao,this island still largely remains agricultural, producing mainly copra, rice, corn. Fishing is also major source of income.
Old Spanish documents indicate that the great explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Camiguin in 1521 and 1565 respectively, but it was not until 1598 when the Spanish settlement was established in what later came to be Guinsiliban.The first major settlement of the Spanish era was Catarman which grew and prospered but was destroyed by the 871 Mt.Vulcan Daan.Today,what remains of this illustrious past are the ruins of the buried ancient Spanish church and convent located at the center of Catarman.
PLACES OF INTEREST
CATARMAN CHURCH RUINS
Located in Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman, these ruins of adobe walls, belfry and convent that are testimonials to the devastating 1871 earthquake and volcanic eruption that wiped out the illustrious town of Catarman established earlier as a Spanish settlement in 1697.
CROSS MARKER AND SUNKEN CEMETERY
The huge cross was installed to mark the community cemetery which sank during the 1871 volcanic holocaust.
This uninhabited small white sandbar, 2 kilometers off Agoho beach, is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. From here, one could get a good view of Mt. HibokHibok and old Vulcan.
ARDENT HOT SPRING
Located six kilometers southwest of Mambajao proper, this hot spa of the locality is a natural pool of about 40 degrees centigrade coming from the bowels of Mt. Hibok Hibok.
This man-made lagoon located in Benoni, Mahinog, is said to be the crescent of a sunken volcanic crater. It has a good seafood restaurant where one can go fishing for your meal in one of its fish pens.
Located 13 kms. west of Mambajao, this is the newest landmark for PANAAD, a holy week activity, when devotees come to offer prayers and sacrifices while trekkinq around the island and up the 14 Stations of the Cross on the mountain.