Thursday, August 15

Travel Thursday: Amazing Race 2013 (Bu-Ca-Ca Edition)

SEAT SALE. Two words that made us say YES for booking a second trip for 2013. WE ARE EXCITED (as in really excited)! For me, it will be a dream come true to visit Camiguin since I saw the movie of Gelli de Belen and Ariel Rivera in Katibawasan Falls (circa 1997). My memory serves me well.

The original cast: Phil, Con, Miguel, Leo, Zehl and Vita. As it gets nearer to our date of flight out, Phil backed out and offered his ticket for free. Gelo gladly stepped in with his wife Owie and friend Titto. We are a big group of 8. Hooray!!! The more, the merrier… and cheaper!

Early on, I read almost all the blogs I saw about the trip. It seems impossible to cover all 3 provinces in only 3 days with different flight schedules so I tried to get the best tips online. I also pestered friends who went for the same adventure! PS: Thanks Mimi and Cha for answering all my questions and for assuring me that everything will go according to plan… as long as it doesn’t rain and our rides are prompt. Finally, a detailed budget and ITI were born. HA! The Queen of OC, I know. I made necessary reservations for accommodation, transport and activities. All went well in a day of calling! WOWZAAAAAH! You are welcome.


Day 1. Car pool to NAIA 3! Thank you to the Esposos for hitching us. We met with Con and had breakfast at DnD. The ladies used the waiting time for chikahan while the boys went on a snoozing fest. Thank goodness, the weather is fine (this is early AM in Manila) and CebPac is being kind for not being delayed. Clap clap! And despite some turbulence that woke Gelo up while crossing Visayas, it was a smooth flight.

We landed safely in Laguindingan airport and kuya Tata, our cheerful chauffer is early. What a good way to welcome us in Mindanao (the farthest I’ve been from home yet)! My heart is overjoyed. We rented a van from airport to bring us to our hotel. It is a loooong drive – the kind wherein you can’t count the number of “Are we there yet” using your fingers and toes. Good vibes pa rin, at least we can rest before the real adventure begins.

We checked in to the only available room at that time (because we were early) then we’re ready to explore the city. I’m amazed at quirky cafes we passed by. Finally, we had lunch at the BEST BBQ IN TOWN. Butcher’s BBQ did not fail us – so delicious that we want to hoard them and is budget-friendly too. Their Angus beef BBQ is at 80php for sharing. Hallelujah! Because we were so full, we went to Brew Berry for hot tea and for the yummiest blueberry cheesecake!

Fast forward, we found ourselves signing waivers for Advance White Water Rafting through Bugsay team. It was a tiring but super fun day. Congratulations to us for surviving the 21 rapids! Before going back to our hotel, we checked out the Night Market at Divisoria. It was a weekend market of BBQ and ukay-ukay. We got the sweetest pineapples as we made our way to Inilog Grill. Our guide Amo from Bugsay suggested this place. We gladly obeyed and we went home with a happy big belly. Their ostrich dish tastes as good as adobo but we truly loved their chopsuey and sub-zero beers. Lakas ding maka-throwback ng mga songs from the 80’s! <3

Day 2. We checked out at 4am. Kuya Tata drove us safely (but really fast) to Balingoan Port to get the first ferry trip to Benoni Port. Thank God, the coast guard gave us a clearance to sail. WEEEEE!!! Here we go! We hired a multicab to tour us around the island of Camiguin. Next thing… we were soaking in the cold water of Katibawasan Falls. It was magical! Thank you to friends who made the experience more memorable. Then we went to the Walkway to Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, Sto. Nino Cold Spring, White Beach and Ardent Hot Springs. I couldn’t believe it – everything went according to plan. A girl can dream, right? ;) After a long day, in and out of the water we relaxed and shared stories over beer and nuts. CRAZY PEANUTS! Another hallelujah moment when Titto found his lost iPhone! ;)

Day 3. I played the annoying mommah waking up her kids VERY early in the morning (at 2.30 am) to catch the earliest ferry ride back to Balingoan. We missed the first but we were lucky to get in to the 2nd trip. Snoozefest!
We had our favorite adobong pusit for breakfast and hopped in our van for a long drive to Bukidnon. SNOREFEST!!! HAHA we are definitely tired from the activities but we want more before we head back to Manila. At Dahilayan Adventure Park, we turned into vegetarians munching on strawberries and sweet corns. Each one took their own battles. Zehl, Leo and Titto were the bravest for trying out the Asia’s longest zipline and the the Dropzone (from 125ft crane). While Con and Gelo, took the Ropes Course. Owie bailed out at the 840-meter zipline so I took her place. I AM SUPERWOMAN or BATWOMAN. Whatever!

We rushed to the airport with the thought, Titto and Owie missed their flight. This is the day we are grateful for delayed flights. HAHA! Thank you, ZestAir for sparing them a thousand bucks of rebooking fee.

Overall, it was a successful BU-CA-CA trip. We were legit tourists there! We are already planning when to get back for Iligan to see the majestic Maria Cristina Falls.

*** This is a long (overused word) post because I want to remember every detail of this trip and hopefully, it can encourage you too to visit all the other provinces of the Philippines. 

Cheers! It’s more fun in the Philippines!  


breakfast at NAIA 3 (DnD)
MNL to Laguindingan airport
van rental to Casa Isabella (1.5kvan/6pax)
triple deluxe room (950room/3pax)
lunch at Butcher's BBQ
white water rafting advance
for the souvenir CD - photos (500CD/6pax)
dinner at Inilog
hotel to Balingoan port (2.7van/8pax)
ferry boat fare + terminal fee from Balingoan Port to Benoni Port
breakfast at Port
island tour c/o multicab driver (1700 fee)/7pax
Katibawasan Falls
Sto Nino Cold Spring
Walkway to Old Volcano
Sunken Cemetery
Ardent Hot Springs
White Beach entrance
boat ride rental to White Island (400 boat/6pax)
family loft at Paras Beach Resort (4000 family loft/8pax)
ferry boat fare from Benoni Port to Balingoan Port
van rental c/o  Cagatranspo from Balingoan to Bukidnon to airport (6000/8pax)
terminal fee at Laguindingan airport
MNL to Laguindingan airport

Cagatransco c/o Kuya Tata 0916-5509688
White Water Rafting
Paras Beach Resort in Camiguin

Happy being young & free,


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