A lot of tourists and locals have tried the usual adventure spots in the city. Dahilayan gives us adventure and relaxation like no other, and the intense adrenaline rush of rafting Cagayan de Oro River is unparalleled. But these top destinations aside, CDO has much, much more to offer. Take for example, we just experienced these at our one day adventure trip right inside the city.
It started with a trek to Mintugsok Falls in the boundary of Indahag and Mapawa (Cugman). We rode a multicab near Kevin Enterprises in Cogon, bound for Indahag. Most people would think Indahag is synonymous to countryside Bukidnon: rural, quiet, and very far. While the former two were true, the “very far” bit is completely wrong. Our trip felt exactly like riding uptown to Pueblo de Oro. Instead of Carmen we pass by Camaman-an, then we encounter a winding road uphill (which is unfortunately a rough road), then after the steady ascent, we reach a wide plateau. It’s a surprise when you find out that Indahag is smaller but similar to the geography of Uptown CDO. So much potential!
As we dropped at Indahag proper, we walked past Kamakawan and found incomplete subdivision developments which connected all the way to Gusa in Fil Estate. Pending issues aside, these developments could pave the way for the second uptown expansion in the city, a “Middle Uptown” to our existing West uptown (Upper Balulang, Lumbia) and East Uptown (Mambatangan, Balubal, Alae).
At the side of the subdivision development, we followed a foot path downhill. It’s easily recognizable as this path can fit motorcycles.
At the end of the wide foot path, the start of the descent met us with a beautiful scenery of the mountains of Malasag/Mapawa.
We started going downhill. The path is filled with loose rocks and soil, so we held on to twigs if the path got too steep. We met one horseman, and we had to give way because we won’t fit, and we’d rather not get kicked by a surprised horse. 😛 By this time, we’re already hearing splashes of water following stream which kept us going.
Upon reaching the side of the stream, we are greeted by clear waters, lush greenery and fluttering butterflies. It was like a dream countryside scene.
(c) Mike Sivintin
We started trekking downstream, and when we reached the intersection of the two streams, we started going up the left stream. After a few meters ahead, we started encountering big rocks, locally known as “Mangima Stone.” That’s when we heard the loud splashes of water, and we reached the first cascade.
It was already so tempting to dip in, but we continued upstream. By this time, we had to remove our shoes to have the best chance of climbing up the slant rocks. The second cascade is high and we had to get to a foot path at the left side of the stream to go beyond.
After the steep climb, we return to the stream and find the beautiful Mintugsok Falls.
The pool beneath Mintugsok Falls is already deep and tempting, but beyond this high waterfall sits another waterfall. Let’s call this one the lower waterfall, and beyond is the upper waterfall. We took the only stream on the right, and in just a few meters we reached a big steep rock with stairways on top. We climbed this rock and the stairs, which led to two paths, upward is the Mapawa cottage for trekkers, and downward is the upper waterfall. Upon reaching the side of the waterfall, we settled down.
The upper waterfall is not as tall and impressive as the lower one, but it is far relaxing and enjoyable. Mapawa Adventure Park has enhanced and developed the waterfall, adding stairs to the top for “jumpers,” while the waterfall itself is made smooth for those who would like to slide down and have fun. The water pool is also deeper (estimated more than 10ft deep) and wider than the lower waterfall. And as with rivers and streams, the water is very cold. Like bathing in iced water.
After we had thoroughly enjoyed our food and the cold water, it’s time to trek back. But instead of following the Indahag path back, we opted to follow the Mapawa path. On the way back up we walked uphill and started to sweat and tire. Then it started to rain and fortunately we had an umbrella to protect our things. Though the rain drenched us, it was what revived us. It was easier to walk further, and the cool foggy air of Mapawa further soothed our lungs and legs. Soon we were walking the track, sweaty but less tired.
We passed by the decade-old trees that Mapawa is protecting in its area. It was cool to see rain forests in this side of the city. When we reached the Mapawa area we moved through the gate, grabbed a bottle of water and moved on to Malasag, where we see very clearly the bustling city of golden friendship. It had just rained, and lucky for us, we see a clear view of the city with less smog than usual. Picture time!
We continued on our way down to Malasag, then exited at Cugman. On the national highway, we rode an RC Gusa route then dropped at Divisoria with some more friends, and we hit a Karaoke joint. The city is littered with these karaoke joints. We have private rooms for a more intimate sing-together with friends, and we have Open Mic bars. Even some sari-sari stores have karaoke machines.
After a few hours of rest and belting our hearts out to famous and well loved hits, we ended the day with a sweet dip on the pool. we had a grand time at Primavera Residences, where the pool is located at the 3rd floor. As you swim around, you get a very beautiful vantage point of east, middle uptown, and downtown Cagayan de Oro. What’s more, the pool is sheltered, yet outdoor so it remains cool all throughout the day. It is part of the natural design of the condominium that extends to the inner courtyard, bringing in gusts of wind and cooling down the entire building. What a perfect way to chill down.
It was one fun day, and all inside the confines of the borders of Cagayan de Oro. And that’s just one part explored. There are thousands of other hidden adventures the city has to offer. So hop along, and have the best fun in your life in the ciudad de la amistad de oro!
Expenses of adventure: 11.00 fare from Cogon to Indahag, 10.00 fare from Cugman to Divisoria, 8.00 fare to Uptown CDO, +Cost of Foods.
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