Philippines / North Mindanao

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Geography

Area: 37,675sqkm (14,546sqmi)

Topography: the northernmost part of the region is a rugged lowland with some upland on the western side, the rest of the region is mountainous

Mountains: Mt Diwata near Lianga, Surigao del Sur 800m (2,624ft); Mt Hilonghilong near Tubay, Agusan del Norte 2,012m (6,601ft); Mt Katanglad near Malaybalay, Bukidnon 2,938m (9,640ft); Mt Initao near Initao, Lanao del Norte 1,586m (5,204ft); Mt Butig near Malabang, Lanao del Sur 531m (1,743ft)

Rivers: Agusan, Tubay, Pulangi rivers in Agusan; Surigao and Hinatuan rivers in Surigao; Tagaloon river in Misamis Oriental; Kapai river in Lanao

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Population

Majority Group: Cebuanos, Maranaos in Lanao del Sur province

Language: Cebuano in the whole area except Lanao del Sur province where Maranao is spoken

Minorities: Manmannas, Manobos, Bukidnons

Region Population: 4,687,000

Cities, Towns (Census of 1990; x1000):

Province Surigao del Norte: Alegria 10, Bacuag 11, Basilisa 21, Burgos 3, Cagdianao 12, Claver 13, Dapa 17, Del Carmen 12, Dinagat 9, General Luna 12, Gigaquit 14, Libjo (Albor) 14, Loreto 7, Mainit 22, Malimono 16, Pilar 8, Placer 18, San Benito 4, San Francisco (Anao-aon) 9, San Isidro 5, San Jose 30, Santa Monica (Sacpao) 7, Sison 8, Socorro 14, Surigao City 100, Tagana-an 12, Tubajon 6, Tubod 11.

Province Surigao del Sur: Barobo 33, Bayabas 6, Bislig 104, Cagwait 17, Cantillan 25, Carmen 9, Carrascal 13, Cortes 13, Hinatuan 33, Lanuza 9, Lianga 25, Lingig 21, Madrid 13, Marihatag 11, San Agustin 12, San Miguel 22, Tagbina 29, Tago 24, Tandag 34.

Province Agusan del Norte: Buenavista 39, Butuan City 228, Cabadbaran 46, Carmen 16, Jabonga 19, Kitcharao 14, Las Nieves 15, Magallanes 16, Nasipit 34, R.T. Romualdez 10, Santiago 13, Tubay 15.

Province Agusan del Sur: Bayugan 79, Bunawan 21, Esperanza 36, La Paz 16, Loreto 21, Prosperidad 51, Rosario 25, San Francisco 44, San Luis 19, Sibagat 24, Sta. Josefa 11, Talacogon 22, Trento 31, Veruela 20.

Province Bukidnon: Baungon 20, Cabanglasan 26, Damulog 14, Dangcagan 15, Don Carlos 46, Imapsugong 23, Kadingilan 24, Kalilangan 24, Kibawe 29, Kitaotao 34, Lantapan 34, Libona 30, Malaybalay 95, Malitbog 15, Manolo Fortich 61, Maramag 55, Pangantocan 36, Quezon 71, San Fernando 29, Sumilao 13, Talakag 35, Valencia 116.

Province Misamis Oriental: Alubijid 20, Balingasag 42, Balingoan 7, Binuangan 5, Cagayan De Oro City 340, Claveria 31, El Salvador 27, Gingoog City 83, Gitagum 11, Initao 23, Jasaan 29, Kinogitan 9, Lagonlong 13, Laguindingan 16, Libertad 8, Lugait 12, Magsaysay 22, Manticao 21, Medina 22, Naawan 13, Opol 20, Salay 18, Sugbongcogon 6, Tagoloan 34, Talisayan 17, Villanueva 17.

Province Lanao del Norte: Bacolod 15, Balo-i 28, Baroy 19, Iligan City 227, Kapatagan 33, Karomatan 27, Kauswagan 17, Kolambugan 23, Lala 50, Linamon 13, Magsaysay 9, Maigo 15, Matungao 7, Munai 12, Nunungan 10, Pantao Ragat 13, Pantar 10, Poona Piagapo 13, Salvador 14, Sapad 13, Tagoloan 7, Tangcal 4, Tubod 36.

Province Lanao del Sur: Bacolod Grande 12, Balabagan 18, Balindong (Watu) 20, Bayang 19, Binidayan 15, Buadiposo-buntong 10, Bubong 11, Bumbaran 4, Butig 14, Calanogas 8, Ganassi 15, Kapai 11, Kapatagan 6, Lumba-a-bayabao 19, Lumbatan 15, Lumbayanague 13, Madalum 15, Madamba 10, Maguing 15, Malabang 26, Marantao 18, Marawi City 92, Marogong 13, Masiu 17, Molundo 11, Pagayawan 9, Piagapo 17, Poon-a-bayabao 13, Pualas 7, Ramain 13, Saguiaran 15, Sultan Gumander 9, Tagoloan 7, Tamparan 16, Taraka 15, Tubaran 8, Tugaya 17, Wao 23.

Political Structure Provinces (Population x1000, Area, Capital): Agusan del Norte (465, 2590sqkm, 1000sqm, Butuan City), Agusan del Sur (421, 8966sqkm, 3462sqm, Prosperidad), Bukidnon (844, 8299sqkm, 3204sqm, Malaybalay), Lanao del Norte (614, 3092sqkm, 1194sqm, Iligan City), Lanao del Sur (600, 3873sqkm, 1495sqm , Marawi City), Misamis Oriental (865, 3570sqkm, 1378sqm, Cagayan de Oro), Surigao del Norte (426, 2739sqkm, 1058sqm, Surigao City), Surigao del Sur (452, 4552sqkm, 1758sqm, Tandag).

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / The City

This city on the northernmost tip of Mindanao, dubbed 'Gateway to Mindanao' serves as a jumping-off point for many beautiful but little developed islets off the north Mindanao coast. They have beautiful beaches but a reasonable infrastructure does not yet exist.

The seas around the city are endowed with vast marine resources and have been the site of the Philippine Invitational Game Fishing Tournament in 1989 and 1990.

The port of Surigao City, with a total area of 26,352sqm and a berthing area 529 meters in length, has in recent years substantially gained in importance. Among the principal commodities shipped are copra, coconuts, logs, lumber, chromium and nickel ores as well as marine products and agricultural produce. In 1990, the new Surigao wharf was named Senator Felisberto M. Verano, Sr. Wharf in honor of the first senator from the province.

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Restaurants

Tavern Hotel Restaurant (17) - Borromeo St

(Filipino, international)

Uni Garden (27) - San Nicolas St. (Dimsum, Chinese)

Jet's Sinugba (34) - Narciso St (Filipino, seafood)

Surigao Beefhouse and Kingburger (29)

Borromeo St (Filipino)

Mack's Foodland (29) - Borromeo St (Filipino)

Anahaw ( 23) - Borromeo St

(Filipino, best fried chicken)

Downtown (28) - Rizal St (Filipino, Chinese, fast-food)

Cherry Blossoms (30)

San Nicolas St corner Vasquez St (Filipino)

Reginas Grille (18)

Tamayo Building, Capitol Road (Filipino)

Ocean Park Boulevard (31) - Borromeo St, Port Area

(Filipino, international)

SLB Fastfoods (32) - Amat St (Filipino)

Inakaya (33) - Amat St (Filipino, Japanese)

Berna and Carol Drive Inn (17) - Tavern Hotel Compound, Borromeo St (chicken barbecue)

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Entertainment

Ambassador Cinema (35) - San Nicolas St

Corazon Cinema (36) - San Nicolas St

Pioneer Cinema (37) - Narciso St (adult movies)

Boons Disco (18) - Tamayo Building, Capitol Road

(disco)

Macks Foodland (29) - Borromeo St (live band)

Anahaw Restaurant (23) - Borromeo St (live band)

SLB Fastfoods (32) - Amat St (live band)

Centerfold (20) - Rizal St (live female show)

Pier 69 (34) - Port Area (live female show)

*****

Philippines / Palawan / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Attractions

City Park (38) - Centrally located between the bustling city hall (1), the San Nicolas' College compound and the city cathedral. The park features a tree house, pavilion, and a children's playground. The City Tourism Office is on the second floor of the City Hall building.

Santo Niño Shrine - The shrine is situated at Ceniza Heights, 4km from the city proper. It's a quiet place that offers a nice view of Surigao City.

Surigao Memorial Park - From the park, about 7km from the city proper, one has a nice view on Surigao's harbor and the off-shore islets.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Shopping

Public Market (39) - behind city hall

Eduhome (40) - Rizal St; department store

Alesandra (41) - Rizal St

LKS Mercantile (42) - Rizal St

Galaxy Supermarket (43) - San Nicolas St

Ages Rattan (29) - Borromeo St; native crafts

B. Aguilar (29) - Borromeo St; native products

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Miscellaneous

City Tourism Office (2) - 2nd fl City Hall

Borromeo St; Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00

Post Office (2) - Kaskag, main office

Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00, Sat 13:00-17:00

Post Office (1) - back of City Hall, branch office

PT&T (5) - San Nicolas St

telegrams, long distance calls, 8:00-19:00

RCPI (6) - Burgos St

telegrams, long distance calls, 8:00-19:00

Bureau of Telecommunications (7) - Rizal St

at the sports complex

Philippine National Bank (8) - Rizal St

at the sports complex

Central Police Station (3) - City Hall compound

Borromeo St

Provincial Hospital (4) - National Highway

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Transportation

It is possible to travel between Surigao and Manila by bus and ferry (between Mindanao and Leyte and between Luzon and Samar; there is a bridge connecting Leyte and Samar). Buses between Surigao and Manila are operated by Philtranco.

PAL has a daily early morning connection between Surigao and Cebu City; between Cebu City and Manila several flights daily.

The MV Legazpi of Aboitiz Lines and the MV Surigao Princess of Sulpicio Lines connect Surigao directly with Manila, though both ships have stopovers and are certainly not the most comfortable in Philippine waters. One travels a minimum of two days.

There are overnight connections with Cebu City at least on every weekday, in both directions. The MV Sweet Pearl of Sweet Lines departs from Surigao every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 19:00 for Cebu and makes the return journey, also overnight, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Tuesday and Thursday 19:00, the trip to Cebu is made by the MV Princess Mika or the MV Lucille; both ships belong to Georgia Lines. All listed departures are from Pier 3. Travel time between Surigao and Cebu is 10 to 12 hours.

There are 6 to 8 buses daily for Cagayan de Oro. Travel time is 5 to 6 hours.

Boats to the small islets off the Surigao coast can be hired behind the market, regular ferries to Dinagat and Siargao depart from the wharf.

PAL Office - at the airport

4km (2.5mi) from city, tricycle P 20

Philtranco Bus Pick-up Station (9)

Gemina St; to Manila at about 15:00

to Davao at about 12:00

Bachelor Express, Ceres Liner, Surigao Bus Co. (10)

Borromeo St corner Espina St; buses to Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and Davao

Jeepney Terminal (11 & 12) - Kaskag and Rizal St

jeepneys to the surrounding municipalities and Butuan

Shipping Lines

Aboitiz (13) - Navarro St

Sweet Lines (14) - Borromeo St

Sulpicio Lines (15) - Kaimo St

Georgia Lines (16) - Navarro St

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Beaches around Surigao

Northwest of Surigao are 3 moderate beaches with fine grayish sand, smooth rounded pebbles and clear shallow water; food should be taken along since there are no restaurants, only kiosks; picnic huts and tables can be rented; no accommodation, quiet places.

Sabang Beach - next beach west of Surigao, by tricycle 10 minutes (P 10); it is the beach most popular with the Surigao town folks; food and drinks are available on Sundays

Ipil Beach - 10km (6mi) west of the city

30 minutes by tricycle (P 50)

Lipata Beach - 10km (6mi) northwest of the city proper, 30 minutes by tricycle (P 50)

Punta Bilar Beach - 12km (7mi) northwest of Surigao, 30-40 minutes by tricycle (P 50-60); a rocky beach with clear waters that are good for snorkeling

Mabua Beach - 15km (9mi) northwest of Surigao, 30-40 minutes by tricycle (P 50-70)

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Surigao City / Islets off the Surigao Coast

Northeast of Surigao City are a number of islets and islands off the Mindanao shore which are noted for their white sand beaches, fringed with palm gardens and surrounded by clear waters. All islets are suitable for swimming and snorkeling. They are accessible by motorized outrigger boats that can be hired at the pier behind the market. It is advisable to hire a boat for the whole day (P 250-400 depending on the distance) to combine a trip to several islets and to assure return to Surigao in time since often accommodations and restaurants are not available. A number of the islets also have no drinking water.

Basul - nearest islet from Surigao, 10 minutes by pump boat; fine white sand beach on the one side, a rocky shore on the other; good for swimming, snorkeling

Danawan - the islet, 40 minutes by pump boat from Surigao City, has a thriving fishing community

Hikdop - this islet, 30 minutes from Surigao City is known for the Buenavista Cave on its southern coast; near the village of Buenavista is a nice beach, suitable for swimming and snorkeling; food and drinks are available

Sibale - east of Hikdop, and about 40 minutes by bangka; the islet is known for the Zaragoza Rock Formation on the west coast which served as an ancient burial ground

Hanigad - east of Sibale, about 45 minutes by pump boat from Surigao City; beautiful beach on the southern tip near the village of San Pedro

Nonoc - a regular ferry of the Marinduque Mining and Industrial Corporation connects this bigger islet with Surigao City; apart from mining activities there is nothing else to see, and the sea around is already slightly polluted.

Bayagnan - south of Nonoc, about 1 hour by bangka from Surigao City; the islet is noted for the Buyho Waterfalls near the village of San Jose on the southern coast

Raza - from this uninhabited islet northeast of Surigao an unusual tidal interplay can be observed: the simultaneous occurrence of a high tide and a low tide on the eastern and western coast, respectively

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Dinagat Island

Dinagat, about 1 hour by motorboat from Surigao City, has so far almost no tourist infrastructure though this may change as soon as some investors will have discovered the beautiful tiny islets along its western coast. There are many excellent though unexplored sites for divers as well as spelunkers.

Places of Interest

Unib Islet - This islet, just ten minutes by pump boat from Basilisa, has the unspoiled Bitaug beach and several unexplored caves. It is surrounded by so far mostly undestroyed coral reefs in between interesting underwater rock formations.

Hagakhak Islet - This uninhabited islet, best reached by pump boat from the village of San Roque, is known for beautiful above-water and underwater rock formations. There are several good but unexplored dive sites around the islet.

Magsaysay Islets - Not just one but a whole group of beautiful islets off the shore of Dinagat Island; several beaches with pure white sand and a cave, Suy-ang Cave, that waits to be explored.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Siargao Island

A regular boat to Dapa, the islands main town, departs from the wharf in Surigao (44) usually at around 8:00; but sometimes later, as the skipper is reluctant to go before the boat is full; the trip takes 4 hours.

Places of Interest

General Luna - A beautiful white sand beaches stretches for several kilometers from General Luna towards Union. There are crystal clear waters, and especially a site around a reef extending into the Pacific Ocean is very suitable for surfing. The best time is from July to January. Accommodation is available in native cottages with bathrooms.

Pilar and Del Carmen - both towns, located on the east and the west coast of Siargao, respectively, are known for their lush mangrove forests streaked by waterways. The mangrove forests make an exciting day trip by motor bangka. The mangrove forests abound with crabs, shrimp and prawns, and the surrounding waters are very rich in fish.

Bucas Grande Island - This large islet, about half the size of Siargao and just south of it, is known for the Suhuton Cave that connects the sea with a small open lagoon rich in marine life. The cave is passable only during low tide.

Guyam, Daku and Lajanosa Islets - These islets southeast of Siargao all have beaches with fine white sand. They can be reached by bangka from Dapa and General Luna on Siargao Island.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Hinatuan

Hinatuan faces the Pacific Ocean some 60km east of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. It has pristine beaches but transportation is scarce and infrastructure lacking. White sand beaches beckon and one can find sea crabs and numerous starfish. The small market, located on the shore not far from the old church, has small octopus, baby sharks, and many exotic fish. It's a destination only for adventurous tourists both domestic and foreign as lodging can be a problem.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / The City

It is a typical provincial city with a busy day and relatively peaceful early night.

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Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Restaurants

Sinugba (9) - Villanueva St; (seafood, ac)

New Mansion House (17) - Concepcion St

(seafood, ac)

Punta Engano (32) - Almont Hotel

San Jose St (international, ac, video)

New Narra (34) - Concepcion St (international, ac)

singers, band nightly, relatively expensive

Red Apple (27) - Juan Luna St (Filipino, ac)

JB's Cafe 7 (20) - San Francisco St (coffee shop)

Tita's Cafe (25) - Burgos St (Filipino, ac)

Lucibenio Kiosk (31)

San Jose St corner Juan Luna St (Filipino, barbecue)

Sunrise Chicken (50) - Montilla Blvd

beside Boulevard City Lodge (Filipino, barbecue)

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Entertainment

Doorland (54) - Zamora St; disco pub

Supreme Cinema (22) - Montilla Blvd

Janet Cinema (24) - San Francisco St corner Burgos St

Maya Cinema (29) - San Jose St

Dalisay Cinema (35) - San Jose St

Crown Cinema (44) - Montilla Blvd; ac

Empress Cinema (46) - Montilla Blvd; ac

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Attractions

Northern Mindanao Museum - near the city hall. This museum is the repository for historical and cultural materials and artifacts of northern Mindanao.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Shopping

Langihan Market (2) - public market on Langihan Rd; handicraft stalls with quality products near the bus terminal

The 3 Roses (26) - Juan Luna St, supermarket, 8:00-20:00

Mancao Supermarket (30) - San Jose St

Plaza Mart (37) - Silongan St; department store

Crown Thrift Market (43) - Zamora St

department store & supermarket

Otis (53) - Zamora St; department store & supermarket

Alcor (16) - Lopez Jaena St; 1-hour film developing

Kodak Developing Center (45) - Montilla Blvd

1-hour film developing service

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Communication

Post Office & Bureau of Telecom. (5)

Rosales St corner Flores St; 8:00-17:00

PT&T (46) - Montilla Blvd; 8:00-17:00

RCPI (32) - Almont Hotel, San Jose St; 8:00-18:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Health

M.J. Santos Hospital (47) - Montilla Blvd

Freeman Farmacia (19) - Lopez Jaena St

Mercury Drug (27) - Juan Luna St; 8:00-21:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Miscellaneous

Police Station (39) - Zamora St corner Juan Luna St

Philippine National Bank (49) - Montilla Blvd

Butuan City Public Library (52) - Juan Luna St

tourist information

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Transportation

Traffic within

PAL Office (51) - Del Pilar St

Mon-Sat 8:00-12:00, 13:00-16:00

Bus Terminal (3) - Langihan Rd, 5 minutes by tricycle (P 1) from the city center: Ceres Liner, Fortune Express, Bachelor Express, Subusco; buses to all major destinations

Jeepney Terminals

Langihan Market (2) - to Cagayan de Oro, Balingoan, Nasipit, Cabadbaran, Surigao

Old River Harbor (6) - to Carmen, Buenavista, Bayugan, Taligaman, Libertad, Cabadbaran

Shipping - ticket offices are in Nasipit, the harbor of Butuan, 30km (20mi) west of the city

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Butuan City / Around Butuan

Lake Mainit - along the highway between Surigao and Butuan; a pear shaped lake where hundreds of wild ducks have a sanctuary; beautiful landscape

Secuanda Beach - Cabadbaran town, north of Butuan; jeepney to Cabadbaran, then tricycle to the beach; light-gray colored sand beach; cottages 25 per person; simple restaurant

Samaga or Sak-a Waterfalls - at San Antonio, near Cabadbaran; difficult to find

Tinago Beach - Buenavista, between Butuan and Nasipit; light-gray colored sand beach; picnic huts for rent; no accommodation

Bolihon and Vinapor Beach - near Carmen, 36km (22mi) west of Butuan, light-gray colored sand beaches; picnic huts only; no accommodation

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / The City

This university city is the economic and cultural center of northern Mindanao. It is a lively and noisy city with a relatively small downtown and extensive suburbs. Nevertheless, for this author it's probably the most pleasant city of Mindanao, and it's also easy to reach as ships from Cebu City and other ports in the Visayas have convenient overnight connections with Cagayan de Oro. The plaza in downtown is not quite as nice as Luneta in Manila or the plaza of Bacolod City but it's not unpleasant though a little bit too small. Several times when this author visited Cagayan de Oro, the central area of the city was closed for vehicle traffic during the night - probably rather for security reasons and not to ensure a good sleep for residents and visitors. However, one doesn't mind that security measure as it does permit a night without being awakened by tricycles.

Large plantations of pineapples owned by the Dole Company are located at nearby Camp Phillips.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Restaurants

Paolo's Ristorante (71) - Velez Ave (Italian)

ac, exclusive; 11:00-24:00

The Dynasty Court (73) - Victoria St (Chinese)

ac, exclusive

Comedor Real (34) - VIP Hotel, Velez Ave

(Filipino-French) ac, exclusive

Oriental (10) - Philtown Hotel

Macahambuc St (Filipino, international) ac, exclusive

Sunburst Fried Chicken (12) - Capistrano St (Filip., ac)

Consuelo (76) - Gaerlan St (Filipino-Spanish)

ac, Spanish interior

Divisoria Plaza (65) - Abejuela St (Chinese, ac)

Caprice Steakhouse (7) - Velez Ave

Tel 35-23 (Filipino, international, ac)

Peninsula Steakhouse (20) - Yacapin St (Filipino, ac)

Tivoli (74) - Victoria St corner Rizal St (Filipino, ac)

Downtown (15) - Velez Ave (Filipino)

ac & garden restaurant with big video screen

crowded at night time

Palaybok (15) - Velez Ave (Filipino)

ac, live band nightly

Thrives (24) - Capistrano St corner Yacapin St

(Filipino) ac, live band & show nightly

Trabajo (24) - Capistrano St corner Yacapin St

(Filipino) ac, live band nightly,

Luton Bahay (37) - Borja St (Filipino, ac)

Barrio Gaisano (47) - Osmeña St (Filipino, ac)

Barrio Fiesta (55) - Rizal St (Filipino)

compound of numerous barbecue stalls

Tita Carols (57) - Pabayo St (Filipino)

ac, simple, friendly

Sesame (36) - Borja St (American fast-food)

Sesame (51) - Tal St (American fast-food, ice cream)

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Entertainment

As there is a lot of military stationed in and around Cagayan de Oro, entertainment has a tendency to be shaped to attract soldiers.

Alabama Disco & Pub - Capistrano St;

One Deck Disco (53) - Tal St

live band, show, disco

Love City (56) - Tal St; show disco

Garden Restaurant (78) - Agustin St

in front of Gaston Park; disco, live band, show

Rocket Cinema (54) - Capistrano St

Nation Cinema (49) - Velez Ave

SkyHi Cinema (43) - Daumar St corner Borja St (ac)

Gala Cinema (38) - Borja St

Kairo Super Cinema (25) - Capistrano St

World Cinema (18) - Yacapin St

Rizal Cinema (13) - Capistrano St

Gold City Coliseum (9) - cock fight arena

Osmeña St; (ringside)

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Attractions

Xavier University Museum (63) - Corrales Ave; the museum is a repository for artifacts primarily of the Bukidnon and Maranao cultures.

Golden Friendship Park (61-62) - along the city's commercial center featuring a grandstand, statues of national heroes and a tourist information kiosk at corner Velez Ave; cultural events almost every evening

Gaston Park (79) - in front of the San Agustin Cathedral, no shade but pleasant in the early evening

San Agustin Cathedral (81)

Bishop's Palace (82) - beside Gaston Park; the area behind the Bishop's Palace offers a nice view of the Cagayan River; closed at 18:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Shopping

Cogon Market (19) - between Borja, Yacapin, Roa and Osmeña Streets; public market

Maya's Fruit Garden (28) - Capistrano St

assorted fruits, open until 24:00

City Golden Fruits Market (59) - Neri St

assorted fruits, open until 24:00

Ororama Superstore (41) - Borja St

department store & supermarket

Jerry Shopping Center (42) - Borja St; textiles

SkyHi (43) - Borja St; department store

Gaisano (45) - Borja St; department store

Gaisano Supermarket (46) - Osmeña St

Trendline (48) - Victoria St; department store

Golden Friendship Supermarket (68) - Abejuela St

Juan Sia (70) - Velez Ave; supermarket

Kodak & Agfa (67) - Abejuela St; 1-hr film developing

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Communication

Post Office & Telecom Service (69)

Chavez St; 8:00-17:00

PT&T - 8:00-17:00

(11) - Sports Complex, Velez Ave

(72) - 4th fl Corrales St

(52) - Capistrano St

(58) - Neri St

RCPI

(52) - Capistrano St; 24 hours

(58) - Neri St; 8:00-17:00

Globe Mackay (8) - Velez Ave; 8:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Health

Cagayan Medical Center (5) - Nacalaban St

Mercury Drug (58) - Neri St; 8:00-22:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Miscellaneous

Department of Tourism (11)

Sports Complex, Velez Ave, Tel 33-40

City Tourist Office (75) - behind City Hall; Victoria St

Tourist Information Kiosk (62)

Golden Friendship Park, corner Velez Ave

Philippine National Bank (64) - Abejuela St

City Hall (75) - Capistrano St corner Victoria St

City Public Library (16) - Velez Ave

Misamis Provincial Capitol (6) - Velez Ave

Tennis Club & Court (80) - Gaerlan St

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Transportation

Within the city proper tricycles are the dominant means of transportation. Taxis are available in front of the VIP Hotel on Velez Ave.

PAL Office - 21 Tirso Neri St, Tel 37-01

Mon-Sat 8:00-11:00, 13:30-16:00

New Bus Terminal - beside Agora Market

Lapasan District, out of the city; jeepneys from Cogon market with sign 'Lapasan-Agora' (P 1)

buses to all destinations, especially to Central Mindanao; Philtranco bus departs daily at 9:00 to Manila

Jeepneys - there are two main routes:

Cogon (market) - Corrales - Lapasan

Cogon (market) - Velez Ave - Pier

Shipping Lines

Ticket offices of all lines are in and around the harbor.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Cagayan de Oro / Around Cagayan de Oro

Catanico Falls - 6km (4mi) east of Cagayan de Oro, jeepneys from Velez St; with natural swimming pool; a refreshing site for swimming, picnicking

Macahambuc Cave - at Lumbia, 15km (9mi) southeast of Cagayan de Oro. The cave is a reminder of a battle where Filipino troops emerged victorious over well-equipped US troops.

San Pedro Beach - at Opol

Initao National Park - at Mt Initao, 76km (47mi) west of Cagayan de Oro

Orchidarium - in Tablon, 10km (6.2mi) from Cagayan de Oro. Garcia's Orchid Garden has varieties from Hawaii, Bukidnon, Palawan, Davao and Bohol.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / The City

Iligan is an industrial city with steel, metal and petrochemical factories. The city is relatively quiet at night. However, the impression of peace is disturbed by a large military presence in the suburbs, and there are numerous check points along the roads.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Restaurants

Galeria (25) - Ramiro St (Filipino-Chinese) ac

first-class, dinner only

Patio Alejandra (22) - San Miguel St

(Filipino, international) ac, dinner only


Chrisleen Steakhouse (24) - Burgos St (Filipino)

ac, good quality, dinner only

Ocean Pearl Restaurant (8) - Quezon Ave (Chinese)

Bar-B-Q Inn (14) - Mabini St (Filipino, ac)

Iceberg (19) - Del Pilar St (Filipino, international, ac)

Bayhin (19) - Del Pilar St (Filipino, ac)

Casa Blanca (34) - Roxas Ave (Filipino)

ac; dinner only

Canton Eatery (21) - San Miguel St (Chinese, ac)

Snow Land (41) - Aguinaldo St (Filipino, ac)

Map-Inn (27) - Quezon Ave (Filipino)

reasonable, 6:00-19:00; good breakfast

Dragon City (27) - Quezon Ave (Chinese)

nightly singers and show

Terrace (29) - Ramiro St (Filipino), garden restaurant

Sesame (5) - Cabili St (American fast-food, ac)

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Entertainment

Molawe & Paradise Disco (23) - Aguinaldo St

SK Disco (30) - Ramiro St

Premier Cinema (7) - Cabili St

Maharlika Cinema (9) - Quezon Ave

Berds Cinema (41) - Aguinaldo St

Midtown Lanes (40) - near Berds Cinema

bowling lanes

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Shopping

Fish Market & Muslim Stores (3)

near the pier; textiles and brass wares

Gaisano (4) - Cabili St; department store; 8:00-18:00

J+L Supermarket (39) - Aguinaldo St; 8:00-18:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Communication

Post Office (17) - Mabini St

PT&T (6) - Cabili St; 8:00-17:00

RCPI (26) - Quezon Ave; 8:00-17:00

LBC (38) - Roxas Ave; 8:00-17:00

This listing is not a recommendation! One should not send anything of value without having a written receipt for it.

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Miscellaneous

Philippine National Bank (10) - Aguinaldo St

Police Station (11) - Labao St

City Hall - Palao, near Village Hotel

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Transportation

PAL Office (26) - Quezon Ave, Tel 203-07

Bus Terminals

buses to the north and to Pagadian

(35) - Roxas Ave; Fortune Liner and Bachelor Express

(36) - Roxas Ave; Sunshine Express

Jeepneys - to Marawi at Roxas Ave near the bus terminals

Shipping Line

William Lines (2) - port area

Tel 203-43, 205-03; 8:00-17:00

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Iligan / Around Iligan

Maria Christina Falls and Agus Power Plant

9km (6mi) south of Iligan, jeepneys from Iligan, signboard 'Linamon', until Agus Bridge, then 30 minutes walk

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Marawi City

Marawi is the center of Philippine Muslim culture. However, at the time this book was printed it was not advisable to enter the tension-filled region around Lake Lanao. Several foreigners were kidnapped around Marawi (see paragraphs on Law and Order in the chapter Insight).

Sightseeing

Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts and King Feisal Mosque on the campus of Mindanao State University (MSU); several mosques within the city proper

Miscellaneous

Department of Tourism

Ford Guest House No 2, MSU campus

RP-Libya-Hospital - MSU campus

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Festivals

January (movable) - Binalbal in Tudila / Misamis Orien.

February (movable) - Hari-Raya Hadji (Mecca Pilgrimage) in Muslim provinces

May 18/19 - Mazaua Festival in Butuan

June 10-15 - Joint Independence & Charter Day festivities in Cagayan de Oro

June 13-15 - Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay

July (movable) - Sta Ana Abayan Race & Fluvial Procession in Agusan del Norte

July 20-26 - Grand Kalga Festival in Ginoog

July 27 - Abayan Festival in Butuan

August 26-28 - Kagayha-an Festival in Cagayan de Oro

September 29 - Señor San Miguel in Iligan

*****

Philippines / North Mindanao / Transportation

Land Transportation

Surigao - Butuan (2-3 hours); frequent jeeps and buses

Butuan - Cagayan de Oro (3 hours); frequent buses

Cagayan de Oro - Iligan (2 hours); frequent buses

Iligan - Marawi: jeepneys or taxis

Iligan - Pagadian (3-4 hours): at least one bus daily in the morning; from Pagadian buses to Zamboanga

Flights

There are two to three direct flights daily between Manila and Cagayan de Oro, one in the morning and at least one in the afternoon. Three times a week there is also a direct flight between Manila and Butuan. There are many more options via Cebu City.

There are daily flights between Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Surigao, and several flights a week between Cebu and Bislig, Iligan and Tandag.

From Cagayan de Oro, one can fly to Davao four times a week, and from Iligan to Cotabato five times a week.

Sea Transportation

To Island (port) from port (company, departure days & time, travel time, via, vessel)

Bohol (Tagbilaran) Cagayan de Oro (Trans Asia, Mon 12:00, 6 hours)

Bohol (Jagna) Cagayan de Oro (Trans Asia, Sun 12:00, 8 hours)

Bohol (Jagna) Cagayan de Oro (Sulpicio, Sat 12:00, 8 hours)

Camiguin (Binone) Balingoan (Tamula, 5 trips daily between 7:30 and 16:30, 1 hours)

Camiguin (Binone) Cagayan de Oro (Tamula 1 trip weekly, usually Mon or Sun, 5 hours)

Cebu (Cebu City) Butuan (Gothong, 3 trips weekly, 12 hours, MV Don Calvin)

Cebu (Cebu City) Butuan (Trans Asia, 3 trips weekly, 12 hours, MV Cagayan de Oro Princess)

Cebu (Cebu City) Butuan (Sulpicio, 3 trips weekly, 12 hours, MV Butuan Princess)

Cebu (Cebu City) Cagayan de Oro (Trans Asia, daily 19:00, 12 hours)

Cebu (Cebu City) Cagayan de Oro (Sulpicio Tue, Thu, Sun 19:00, 12 hours, Cagayan de Oro Princess)

Cebu (Cebu City) Cagayan de Oro (Gothong, 3 trips weekly, 12 hours, MV Doña Lili)

Cebu (Cebu City) Iligan (William, 2 trips weekly)

Cebu (Cebu City) Iligan (Gothong, 3 trips weekly, 12 hours, MV Don Benjamin)

Cebu (Cebu City) Surigao (Sweet, Mon, Wed, Fri 19:00, 10-12 hours, MV Sweet Pearl)

Cebu (Cebu City) Surigao (Georgia, Tue, Thu 19:00, 10-12 hours, MV Princess Mika or MV Lucille)

Leyte (Baybay) Surigao (Aboitiz, Fri 24:00, 7 hours)

Leyte (Liloan) Surigao (at least 2 trips daily, car & passenger ferry)

Luzon (Manila) Cagayan de Oro (William, Thu 23:00, 30 hours, MV Cebu City)

Luzon (Manila) Cagayan de Oro (Negros Navigation. Sun 16:00, 42 hours, via Iloilo, MV Sta Florentina)

Luzon (Manila) Surigao (Aboitiz, MV Legazpi & Sulpicio, MV Surigao Princess, at least once a week, 2 days)

Panay (Iloilo) Cagayan de Oro (Negros Navigation, Sun 16:00, 15 hours, MV Sta Florentina)