Me, Myself, My Backpack, and Western/Northern Mindanao!

Behind my recent CDO-Bukidnon-Camiguin Fun Trip!


THE ZAMBOANGA-CAGAYAN SOLO TRIP

This is the trip where I nearly backed out, because of the bus (Pagadian-Zamboanga) bombing that happened the night before my scheduled roadtrip to CDO (alone!)… But then, you know, like love, when it comes to traveling, “hahamakin ko ang lahat, masunod ka lamang!” :D Di man lang ako pinigilan ng nanay ko at ng mga kapatid ko, knowing it’s a little unsafe to travel by bus! haha! It’s either I got their support, or wala lang silang pakialam! Haha! :D

And so it’s Me, Myself, my Backpack, and Northern Mindanao, for the first 14 hours! Hiyess! because I’ll be coming from my hometown Zamboanga, I decided to take the bus to CDO, approximately about 11-12 hours via a 5-stop Rural Transit Bus. Actually, gusto ko talagang masubukan magsolo! ehehe! Hinatid ako ng nanay ko at ng kuya ko sa Guiwan Bus Terminal, at sinamahan pa’kong antayin ang Zamboanga-CDO bus. Saka na sila umuwi nung nakasakay na’ko, after an hour of waiting… See. I got their support! :)

Here’s a list of why I planned for this solo bus trip:
• I want to prove to the universe that Mindanao’s a safe place to visit… lalalala! Well at least at this part Western/Northern Mindanao. I want to be able to give a clear answer to those people who always ask me if it’s safe to travel in Mindanao. :)
• I want to have a feel of a solo backpacker hahaha! I want to personally find out for myself whether solo traveling is fun or not! :D
• I want to know how much it would cost to go to CDO from Zamboanga and vice versa, and how long the travel actually takes.
• I had a sidetrip plan at the back of my mind (Iligan or Dipolog, wherever my heart and my itchy feet feel like going) :D

Travel Date: August 17-18, 2012
Bus: Rural Transit Bus
Terminal of Departure: Guiwan Bus Terminal, Zamboanga City
Terminal of Arrival: Bulua Bus TerminaL, Cagayan de Oro City
Fare: Php870.00

I was riding on a 5-stop bus, but I wasn’t able to prove if the bus actually did stop at 5 stations! Hehe! I was asleep the whole time! :D And by the time I woke up at 5:20am, I heard the driver say “Oh Cagayan na, Cagayan na!” hehe! And so I got down from the bus and waited for rescue, este wandered around the terminal and looked for any taxi or jeepney to the airport, where I’ll be meeting with my ka-trips from Manila. And there’s none! Buti naman at may habal –habal (motorcycle) na nakaparada sa bus terminal. And after agreeing on a fare of Php150 (because accordingly, the airport’s too far from Bulua and the taxi drivers usually asked for a Php300 fixed fare), off we went to the airport!

Whew! Arrived safely at CDO’s airport after a 45-minute habal-habal ride. Looked for a carinderia to grab an early breakfast, then looked for a decent CR/toilet around the area to freshen up. :) Php10 for using the toilet! Hmm fine! :D Waited at one of the carinderias while watching a film being shown, together with some other bystanders hehe!

At 9am, my ka-trips finally arrived in CDO!


THE TRIP..A preview… Full stories, soon! :)

The 4D3N Itinerary

CDO-Bukidnon-Camiguin Itinerary_2012

The Accommodation
Victoria Suites in Cagayan de Oro – http://www.victoriasuitesonline.com/
Pabualan Cottage (more of a homestay type of accommodation) in Camiguin

The Places I Visited with my Ka-Trips

Cagayan de Oro 2012  --click on image for a full view :)

Me, Myself, My Backpack, and Western/Northern Mindanao!

The Tour Organizers
Esquieres Travel and Events Co.
Main Contact: Richard Esquieres
Email: esquieres16@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.esquierestravel.com/

Camiguin Accommodation Main Contact – Kuya Teddy Pabualan – +63906-4912604
CDO/Bukidnon Driver: Kuya John – +63939-9201685
Camiguin Driver – Kuya Randy


THE CAGAYAN-ZAMBOANGA SOLO TRIP
The solo trip back home…

After the fun trip, had to go back to Zambo via the same route… This time, I was planning to make a sidetrip in Iligan… I wanted to see Tinago Falls! :D wala lang… The rafting tour guide dropped me somewhere in CDO (hahaha! forgot to take down notes!), where I could find jeepneys bound for Bulua Bus Terminal. I arrived safely at the terminal after about 20 minutes.

When I reached the terminal at 2:20pm, I found out the direct CDO-Zambo bus is scheduled at 4:30pm. The 2-hour waiting time gave me a reason to take the CDO-Iligan bus, which at that time was about to leave. And so I went with the 2-hour trip to Iligan…had to talk to a lady stranger to ask about how to go to Tinago Falls (seryoso talaga ako sa plano kahit marami akong bitbit! Haha!) According to her, it would be difficult for me to go to Tinago alone. :( She also added that the Tinago Falls is not anymore that attractive (talaga?). So I decided not to go (ambilis ma-convince eh! hehe!) Epic fail ang plan! #_#

After 2 hours, Iligan it is! Found out that there’s still no bus bound for Zambo, I decided to take the Pagadian-bound bus, hoping I could save my waiting time. The travel time’s 4hours (4:45pm to 8:45pm) and upon reaching the not-so-comfy Pagadian Bus Terminal, I immediately scouted for Zambo-bound bus. I found one, but it’s leaving at 10pm so I had to wait at the bus. Waiting makes me nervous—baka may biglang sumabog sa bus eh! hahaha! Finally, I was bound for Zambo… It was about 5 and a half hours of travel, I was alert the whole time haha!

When I arrived at Guiwan Bus Terminal in Zambo at about 3:30am, I immediately texted my sis to fetch me at the terminal, I didn’t want to stay longer in that place. Hehe! Better be alert than sorry… Buti na lang malapit lang yung bahay ng sis ko sa terminal, so shorter waiting time.

Overall travel experience: all good! :D

Now back to my previous list for the conclusion hehe:
• I want to prove to the universe that Mindanao’s a safe place to visit… lalalala! Well at least at this part Western/Northern Mindanao. I want to be able to give a clear answer to those people who always ask me if it’s safe to travel in Mindanao. :) —of course I’ll say it’s safe… but it wouldn’t hurt to be extra careful and vigilant :)
• I want to have a feel of a solo backpacker hahaha! I want to personally find out for myself whether solo travelling is boring or not! :D —hassle pala, medyo boring, buti na lang tulog ako most of the time… no one to share those kabado moments with! hehe
• I want to know how much it would cost to go to CDO from Zamboanga and vice versa, and how long the travel actually takes. –-check!
Fare Rates:
Zambo – CDO = Php870 regular
CDO – Iligan = Php85 promo; Php120 regular
Iligan – Pagadian = Php240 regular
Pagadian – Zambo = Php450 regular
• I had a sidetrip plan at the back of my mind (Iligan or Dipolog, wherever my heart and my itchy feet feel like going) :D —Epic Fail! Hehe!


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One thought on “Me, Myself, My Backpack, and Western/Northern Mindanao!

  1. Most parts of Mindanao are relatively safe. The people here are friendly and peaceful. It’s just a BIG misconception that ALL of Mindanao is dangerous. I guess those who say and believe that haven’t been here at all. Too bad our region is being stereotyped. I suggest you travel in Northern and eastern parts of Mindanao you can go to lots of beaches in Misamis Oriental, Surigao and Camiguin. Metropolitan cities do exist here like Davao and Cagayan de Oro, where food and shopping is cheaper compared to Manila.

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