My friend wants me to visit her in Cagayan de Oro city. But I'm a little bit concerned because people says southern parts of Philippines are not that safe for tourists.
I would like to know if someone here knows the area - specifically Cagayan de Oro City and surroundings - and has any suggestions/information about this.
If it safe, what areas do worth checking around that city?
#1 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
I don't know yet exactly when. I'm in Thailand now and how long I stay here depends on for how long I'll be able to get my visa extended. I got as many answers for this as many tourist information offices I've visited so far.
But I'm planning to go to Cagayan de Oro City sometime this spring. I just want to know if there is a possibility of me getting kidnapped by the local islamist rebel gang - MILF or whatever it is called - for ransom or something.
Also, I would like to know people's oppinion about traveling from Manila to southern parts by other means than airplane. I mean, is it possible to get from Manila to region of Mindanao by going from island to island on boats or ferries? If yes, approximatelly how much minimum time it would take?
#4 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
Your post has tipped off the MILF and the Abu Sayyaf and they are eagerly laying in wait to ambush you. In fact, they are already arguing over who gets to keep you. ;-)
It is possible to travel by a combination of ferry and bus from Manila to Mindanao. There is a bus company called Philtranco that offers a bus service to Mindanao.
You can go by ferry as well.
Understood. :) And thanks for the links.
And thanks for all the replies.
#6 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
Enjoy your trip and I hope you will be prepared for the horror that is the Philippine public restroom. Be sure to ask your friend about the ham they have in Cagayan (jamon de Cagayan). It is not proscuitto but it is still pretty tasty. Makes a nice breakfast sandwich. I hope it will be available when you are there.
I am also hearing good stuff about Kablon farms chocolate tablets. They should be available in CDO.
I don't know if you have been to Cagayan de Oro, but just in case...
Northern Mindanao is safe for tourists. That includes foreign travelers. I advise you to take a plane from Manila to Cagayan de Oro. Travel time is about an hour and a half.
The local airport is quite far from the city proper. You have the option to take a jeepney (cost about 7 Philippine pesos or a fraction of a US dollar) or a taxi (cost about 150 pesos or 4-5 US dollars).
The weather is generally fine all year round. Not far from the airport is a river, which is the city's popular tourist destination. Local travelers go there for water rafting. It's quite an experience especially if it's raining.
You may want to visit Malasag Eco-Tourist Village. It's located on an elevated area facing the city. On a clear day, Malasag offers a panoramic view of Misamis coastline. You can go around and check the native huts and the mini-zoo besides it.
Not far from Cagayan De Oro are the provinces of Bukidnon (a treat for mountaineers and cave explorers), Lanao del Norte (more than 20 falls are found there), and Camiguin (a volcanic island with white beaches and springs).
Many provinces in Mindanao are among the Philippines' poorest, and tourism is underdeveloped. But based from my experience, many of the inhabitants there are nice and accommodating.
You may want to get in touch with the Department of Tourism in able to know the contact numbers of the Cagayan De Oro Tourism Office. I'm sure they'll be glad to assist you.
One more thing: Mindanao's dangerous areas are mostly populated by Muslims. They are found in the island's southern and western regions. Mindanao is far from perfect (like the other regions in the Philippines), but it's not bad as the foreign media pictures it.
Thanks you very much for the info Babalugats.
Can you suggest me some kind of guesthouses there around 300-500 php/day in Cagayan de Oro for the first few days? Is it hard to find such places by just looking around locally? And are there motor bike renal services?
#9 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
The only guesthouse/inn that I can mention at the moment is Willshire Inn (Yacapin Street corner Aguinado Street); this is where I spent the night when I visited Cagayan de Oro last year. Their cheaper room rates range from 450 pesos (economy rooms) to 880 pesos (superior rooms). Their suite room rates range from 1,250 pesos to 1,850 pesos.
I don't recall what (cheaper) room I stayed in; I was excited about the water rafting. It's not a bad place to spend the night if you're not looking for class and style. Their contact numbers are (08822) 72-05-31 and (08822) 72-07-62. Mobile phone number is 0915-2332734.
Willshire is located near Xavier University. I remember other lodges and hotels nearby. Like Vines Lodge, Fem Lodge and Maxandrea Hotel. If you're not satisfied with Willshire, you can check out the other three.
I'm not sure about the motor bike rental services. There's probably one. You can ask the Department of Tourism Office in Cagayan de Oro. Their numbers are (+638822) 723696 and (+638822) 726394. Email addy: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm sure they can recommend other guesthouses in the city.
I hope this helps.
Thank you Babalugats, you are more than helpful.
I will call that Tourist Office for sure since I have plenty of more questions.
Two days left till I arrive there, I hope I can arrange everything. Thanks again.
#12 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
Hi Tapsi well most prob you're done with your tour. But anyway in case you'll be travelling back to CDO, i recommend you to visit Camiguin Island, you just need to ride the ferry boat for less than an hour. You'll see the White Island right at the middle of the sea, it's the best virgin beach i visited.
where did you stay in Cagayan de Oro? Did you have a great time? Hope so...
#15 mahj_cha has been a member since 23/6/2010. Posts: 3
First I stayed at YMCA Hostel but I wouldn't recommend that. Their best room was 450 pesos for one night but it was stinky, dirty, no TV, no working air conditioner and most importantly, the lock of the door was broken therefore I had to sleep with unlocked door. And despite it was in a little bit remote part of the city there were no any guards at night. I went out for smoke at night and the gate was opened and the receptionist guy was sleeping in the hall on a sofa. I just stayed there one night because I arrived too late and it was already dark so I didn't want to stroll the dark streets looking for better accommodation with my notebook on my back.
After that I found a place called Executive Pension. The room there was a lot better but a bit small. It was 500 pesos for one night. Working air-conditioner, cable television, relatively clean room, clean bathroom with soap and new towels every day, free wifi internet access (quite slow though), guard at the gate 24/7 and there was a friendly small restaurant on the ground floor in the hall.
I enjoyed my trip after all. The only thing that was bothering me a bit that I drew pretty much attention even with just walking on the streets because there were no any other tourists at all, at least I didn't see any and whenever I went there hundreds of eyes were on me every time. It's was nice that I got a "Hello sir. How are you sir?" on every corners but if you look strange to the locals you don't draw only the attention of the nice people but the bad guys notice you easier as well.
Overall, it was a good experience. But I would suggest only the experienced travelers to visit there alone. I don't consider myself experienced since I traveled only across Thailand - which is not a big deal - before this CDO trip and if there hadn't been a local family that could help me with getting around it would have been pretty hard. Or at least, it requires lot more preparation than a Thailand trip that's sure.
#16 Tapsiful has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 11
I was in Cagayan de Oro and then onto Initao two years ago and it was very safe.
We are going there again in mid December. If I think it is still safe then, I'll post up.
If I don't post up, then I'd be worried....LOL....just kidding!
#18 KevandJho has been a member since 15/9/2011. Posts: 65
Cagayan de Oro is safe. Been there and it's a great place. I never expected it to have good food but after tying some it's okay. Make sure you go Water Rafting.
But with TYPHOON SENDONG, expect a lot of trash and mud as of the moment. The place is under state of calamity.
Cagayan de Oro is a safe destination for tourists. Macahambus Adventure Park is a must place to visit when you're in CDO.
#20 iamshairamae has been a member since 25/9/2012. Posts: 3
You will be fine in northern Mindanao as this area similar to Davao is safe for foreign travel. Just like anywhere in Philippines travel with a local and stay out of remote areas.
Cagayan de Oro is also a safe destination to travel here in the Philippines. This place has a lot of things to offer for tourist such as Whitewater rafting and lots more. Especially today, the city is growing and becoming more vibrant.
#22 threadstone has been a member since 15/11/2013. Posts: 5
I know. who knows somebody might accidentally opened it...
#24 threadstone has been a member since 15/11/2013. Posts: 5