Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Transit: Cagayan de Oro to Camiguin

Since there is no commercial flight to Camiguin island, most tourists fly to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) as their jump off point. We stayed in Victoria Suites, a budget hotel in the Divisoria district of CDO, for Php 1,000/night inclusive of set breakfast for two persons.

My preferred suite room is not available, so the four of us crammed ourselves into a deluxe room with 2 twin beds. Aside from towels, they only provided small bath soaps and tissue roll, no shampoo or other toiletries. 

Portion size of their set breakfast is small, and has to be pre-ordered the night before. The place seems clean enough, and its not noisy inside our room, inspite of being situated in a busy road.

One advantage of this hotel is its location, which is within CDO's nightspots. Arriving there at Friday night, there was a band performing at the park, less than 5-minute walk from the hotel. Banks, spas and fastfood chains are also within the vicinity. 

Ukay-ukay stalls sell their clothes at night. I tried a balut (steamed duck embryo), and the vendor offered a clean towel and alcohol spray for use of clients, which was new to me. Security seems fine, as there are many police officers on duty at the park with many tourists.

We left Victoria Suites at 8:00 am of Saturday to Macabalan port of CDO, shown on the 2 photos. To ride the only CDO-Camiguin trip of Oceanjet ferry at 8:30 am, we paid Php 600 each per adult, while kids paid half price. There was a promo of Php 800 for round trip tickets back to CDO on next day afternoon, but we won't be able to catch our flight the next day if we availed that promo.

Below is the Benoni port of Camiguin as we approach it.

The Mantigue island on the east side of Camiguin, famous for its white sand beach and nice snorkeling/diving sites. 

A hidden gem in CDO is the Lighthouse Restaurant at Gaisano mall. Arriving from Camiguin and looking for a place to have lunch, we saw this restaurant with lots of local patrons at the 4th floor of the mall. 

After paying only Php 220/adult and Php 120 for children 6-12 years old, we were given our plates so that we can have our fill of the restaurant's buffet spread. The waiter served us a round of softdrinks, which is part of the buffet price.

Most protein items are pork, chicken, and beef dishes. Only one fish item and two squid items on the hot dishes. A few appetizers and dessert items, which were not replenished until we finished our lunch. But at the price we paid, I did not bothered to complain. Besides, we were already full anyway after feasting on bulalo, squid dish, chopsuey, and roasted beef leg.

This ends our 3-day weekend escapade at Northern Mindanao!  
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