wow philippines: TSADA CAGAYAN DE ORO!

The first thing you’ll see at the Cagayan de Oro airport is a sign that says, “WELCOME TO THE CITY OF GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP!” According to my friend Mark, it’s because the gold is no longer in the mountains (c/o massive mining… boo), “it is now in our hearts.” Charing.

My CEC-CDO flight was super mega delayed, so I had to buy another ticket. The difference was big, but well worth it.

over text:
me: ang mahal ng difference pero okay lang.
man: ang mahal nga. pero mas mahal ang oras.

juancho’s comment: hindi mo malalagyan ng presyo ang oras…


over text:
me: ron! let’s have dinner at butcher’s nest at mga 6:30 PM.
ron: ann, baka butcher’s best? iba yung butcher’s nest, mga agogo dancers mga nandun.



Upon arrival, I already felt the golden friendshipness. It seemed like everyone was smiling at me. (Maaari ring nababaliw lang ako.) Juanch and Donna arrived earlier than I did, so Man took them to the famous Bigby’s to try the ribs, which changed their lives forever. They died at first taste and were brought back to life to eat some more. They loved it so much that they even talked to the manager about franchising. Natuwa naman si Mr. Manager at binigyan sila ng free cake.


CDO is also known as the White Water Rafting Capital of the Philippines. On the way to the rapids, na-flat yung jeep namin TWICE!

The sticker on the windshield reads: BASTA DRIVER, SWEET LOVER. BASTA FUNGI, PATAY!

our first jeep

second jeep to the rescue


We did our tour with the Detour Adventure Company. Please contact them if you’re going to CDO. Awesome and professional service! Before we began, we were asked if we wanted the MILD or WILD course. The three of us responded in unison, “WIIIIIIIILDDD!!!” The Wild route had 21 rapids all in all, and the guides would flip the raft. The most number of flips in CDO history is 7 flips.

The start of the rapids was super calm and Juanch was like, “Ito lang ba? Flip! Flip! Fliiiiiiiiiippp!” Me: “Hay nako Juanch, be careful what you wish for!” True enough… Flip #1: Juanch hit his ass on a rock. Flip #2: Juanch hit the sole of his foot on a rock. Flip #3: Juanch’s paddle slid and his ring finger started bleeding.


juanch: wow ah, these plants are growing on rocks. how does that happen kaya?

after ten minutes
juanch: anns, i’ve figured it out. parang puso yan… kahit gaano katigas ang puso ng isang tao, may magmamahal din sa kanila… parang yung mga plants na tumutubo sa bato…


Our guides, siblings Bugoy and Boyet, were the best guides we could ever ask for. They were the epitome of funny and friendly.

bugoy: ang tawag sa rock na to ay lava rock.
us: bakit?
boyet: kasi pag summer, yung mga babae diyan NAGLALAVA!!!! ehehehehehe!!!!


me: kuya, i heard there were monkeys here. pero parang wala pa akong nakikita.
bugoy: day off nila today eh!!!!

boyet: okay guys put on some sunblock!
me: kuya, naglalagay pa ba kayo in sunblock?
bugoy: oo. kiwi.
me: kiwi?
boyet: kiwi shoe shine!!! MAITIM NA KAMI EH AHEHEHEHEHE!!!!
bugoy: di na kami umiitim, kumikintab nalang! AHEHEHEHEHE!!!!!!


juanch: kuya, ilang rapids pa?
bugoy: 3…
juanch: wow sandali nalang!
them: …..3 hours to go!


boyet: ok please lean back. lie down pag dumaan tayo sa rock.
donns: limboROCK?

bugoy: ang tawag dito ay eraser rock.
us: bakit?
bugoy: kasi pag hindi ka humiga, ma-eerase ang mukha niyo! HAHAHAHA!!!!

daghang salamat, kuya bugoy and boyet!

Afterwards we had a big, DELICIOUS all-you-can-eat lunch at the Detour office. I still have daydreams about their chicken bbq.


We ate dinner here before meeting up with my uncle, Tito Ricky.

tito ricky: if you have ten pesos and you spend 20, you are P-O-O-R!
donns: poverty???


On our third day, we headed to the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. This is a funny sign.



Juanch and Donns had the crazy idea of trying the Zorb Ball.

Tanong: Ano ang tawag sa nago-operate ng Zorb?

Please watch our video here. It was the worst part of my trip. I threw up after. (TMI, sorry. But ya’ll must be warned!)

Post-Zorb faces

For some reason, Ron was still a happy camper.

The Zipline made up for it. We did all three: 150m, 350m, and the longest one in Asia at 840m. It was aweeeeesommmmmeee. A thrill like no other.


me and my MoSu

donns and juanch

Donns conquered her fear of heights by flying. She cried before and after, but what matters is that she DID IT! I’m so proud of you Bushkie!

We finally ate in Butcher’s Best on our last night. If Manila has Kenny Rogers, CDO has…

When Juanch, Donns, and I were on the bus back to the city from Camiguin, the last song we heard on the radio was, “Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on meeee…” GRABE TALAGA!!!! WHAT IS GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP?!?!?!

Next entries: on the Bantayan Arts Festival and Island Born of Fire!

About Anna Oposa

Anna Oposa graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a BA in English. She is now a freelance writer, teacher, and director for environmental law compliance and enforcement at the Law of Nature Foundation. She blogs at