I dubbed this year as my "Year of Travel" and I started the year revisiting Tagaytay and going to a new place - Currimao in Ilocos Norte. However, these two places were not included in my list to visit this year, though, it actually opened the year for me.
Last January 22, I boarded a flight for Cagayan de Oro with my little gurl, Marteena Asher. It was the first of the 10 trips that I plan to do this year. I guess the great thing about the trip was the fact that it was bonding time for both me and Asher.
Cagayan de Oro City, dubbed as the City of Golden Friendship, will always have a special place in my heart. I was born there more than 30 years ago and have spent countless summers in the city - exploring and getting to know the place. In fact, I can go around the place without any assistance at all. Hence, I needed a new adventure for this visit, apart from the fact that it should be child friendly.
Arriving in Cagayan de Oro was just the same. It is the same quaint airport that I have seen since I was a child. Nothing much really changed...probably because a new airport is underway in a couple of years that could accomodate international flights - which would help boost the tourism in the region.
The city in itself has changed. A new road system was built to make it a lot easier to move around the city. Talk about development...I kinda missed the old road going to our place in Macasandig. I missed the fact that the new road system did not go through the usual sights that I identified with Cagayan de Oro. Nevertheless, my visit this year was a lot different.
One of the major attractions that Cagayan de Oro is driving at this time is their White Water Rafting. I wanted to do it this time around but one of the factors that I had to consider was the fact that I wanted my 1 year and 7 month baby to join the adventure. Luckily, First White Water Adventure did allow my daughter to join the fray but with two setbacks on my end. One, I need to purchase a lifejacket for my little girl, and two, I allowed to hold a paddle. That meant that I would have to sit in the middle of the raft with the primary responsibility of holding Asher. The first was one was okay but the second option was a bit of a shaker for me. I wanted a little adventure to go with the experience but I also did not want my little gurl to miss out on the experience.
In the end, I chose to have my daughter join me in this adventure.
We did try out the Beginner's Rapids - about 14 rapids (if my memory serves me right.). The rapids adventure will take you about three hours to traverse. Apart from the rapids, there are spots in the ride that will just give you serenity and make you bond with nature. It did help that clouds hovered above us but I would have had enjoyed it with the sun. I love the sun and I love getting a natural tan. It is also a great family bonding experience since you really get to spend quality time with the company you are with, in my case, my family. It is also a great opportunity to commune with nature. At the end of the rapids, you can get to enjoy a sumptous lunch at a restaurant stop. It is a must try for any person who visits Cagayan de Oro...just a piece of advice...you better buy your souvenirs at the starting point because you won't have any at the end of the rapids.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.