Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Alone Time in Cagayan de Oro—But that’s OK

As I promised in Facebook, my first travel post is on the southern city of Cagayan de Oro—CDO. My day job involves periods where I stay in key cities of the archipelago. To say that I love my work is an understatement—where else can I get paid to travel?

CDO, the provincial capital city of Misamis Oriental province is strategically located—it sits right at the center in the northern coastline of Mindanao, one of three major island groups of the Philippines, facing the Visayas islands. Locals swear by the peace and order in the city, where tourists rub elbows with the mixed Christian and Muslim population. Last December, the city was battered by typhoon Sendong, triggering flash floods and landslides and leaving around 500 fatalities. An acquaintance told us he lost his house to the deluge. Fortunately for us, the city is in the mend.

I have been to the CDO a few times, but this is the first time I’ll be staying in Lim Ket Kai Center, located at the heart of CDO. We checked-in at Mallberry Suites Hotel, its lobby crawling with people. I thought it must be because of Valentines, but the succeeding nights proved the same. The hotel is walking distance from Rosario Strip, which hosts a string of cafes and dining establishments, one of which I was hoping I could stay in for an hour or two. But alas—alone time would have to wait for another time, and like any well-adapted introvert blessed with company, I had to make do. Thankfully, National Geographic magazine allowed me minutes lost in its pages.

On our second night, I’m glad our host picked the French-Mediterranean restaurant La Vetta (Italian for mountain peak) for our after-dinner get-together. This is my second time in the restaurant, which is located at Rosario Strip LimKetKai Center.

I'll post more in my next entry.

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