Northern Mindanao in Three Days


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It only takes a few minutes from Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro for a non-suspecting visitor to be freed from the chains of this (wrongful) generalization: The whole of Mindanao is a resource-rich island unfortunately marred by rebellion and terrorism. European-themed subdivisions line both sides of the highway leading to city proper. Noticeable too, is the preference of Kagayanons for Corolla Altis taxis instead of the usual Vios in Manila.

Region 10 is the ‘poster child’ of progress in Mindanao. Its economy is buoyed by thriving agriculture, and manufacturing industries. One begins to wonder why the neighboring regions can’t adopt a similar development template. Recently, northern Mindanao has become synonymous to adventure tourism – partly the reason of our visit last weekend.

I’ll write separate posts on each destination (CDO, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Iligan). For now, here are some of my favorite photos of my second trip to Northern Mindanao (the first one was in 2009).

Mantigue Island in Camiguin

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Dahilayan, Bukidnon

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Rice fields in Camiguin

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Katibawasan Falls

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Tinago Falls, Iligan

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A portion of Tinago falls in Iligan

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A stream coming from Katibawasan Falls

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Whitewater Rafting, Cagayan (Kagay)

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On a Ferry bound to Balingoan (from Camiguin)13

Balingoan Port Area

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A Wedding at Paras Beach resort

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The Sand Bar in Camiguin

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Camiguin Island (the island of 7 volcanoes)

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A variant of Sunflower in Dahilayan, Bukidnon

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12 Responses to Northern Mindanao in Three Days

  1. James says:

    What gorgeous photos James… each one a magical moment captured in vivid technicolour. Looks like Northern Mindanao is right up my alley, I would trade the stress of the big city to go hiking and whitewater rafting any day! Is that first picture the cross from the sunken city of Camiguin?

    • Hi James, you’re correct – it’s the sunken cemetery. Ah, same here. But i’m sure that as someone who had lived in progressive cities for a long time, you will also miss both the comforts and chaos of a big city. 🙂

  2. Bama says:

    Love your pictures James! I’m quite interested in Mindanao as it is sort of off the beaten tracks. But the photo of Balingoan Port Area really took my breath away. Simply beautiful and stunning!

    • Thanks Bama. Yes, Mindanao in general is off the beaten track (mostly because of the bad reputation it has gotten over the years)…but the northern part has a well established tourism industry – case in point: the tourist spots usually have tour guides who know how to take ‘template’ photographs.haha.

  3. Dennis says:

    I’m from Davao – born and raised there – so it’s really sad how Mindanao got the bad rap from the press. Everything that was reported tend to escalate into scary pictures of the island. I’m very proud of where I came from – and I’m always happy to return for a homecoming whenever I can.

    • I share your sentiment Dennis. Ah, I really want to go there. Davao has always been on my list. How often do you come home?

      • Dennis says:

        I usually visit every year. Had my parents stayed in Davao (they’re visiting me now), I’d be there this month. I was there exactly a year ago. Hope I’d find time later this year.

  4. Beautiful shots, I think we definitely need to add Mindanao to our hit list! Simply stunning.

    • Thanks Charlotte and Sarah. Please do. When I was there, I saw lots of non-Filipino travelers (esp in Camiguin) – you will neither feel ‘out of place’ nor scared. 🙂 Safe Travels!

  5. Amazing photos and places! Love all you shots of the waterfalls. Would love to explore Mindanao someday! Too many beautiful places to visit in the Philippines but not enough time for me when I return home to visit.

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