Misamis Occidental

Went with the family on a year-ender trip on the roads of Mindanao. We left Iligan at around 5:30 and we were at the ferry at Tubod by around 7. Unfortunately, the queue of vehicles were rather long so we decided to take the land route.

It took longer but it was fine with me since it was my turn at the steering wheel and I’m driving Edong’s new Mazda 3. I didn’t like the steering at the parking or in city traffic because it is overly soft. But out in the twisty country roads, the steering stiffened and felt so much better, funner. Definitely lives up to Mazda’s zoom-zoom slogan.

Our first stop, after breakfast at a Jollibee along the way, was the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) at Sinacaban. The place is famous (infamous?) for its dolphins. It’s not hard to imagine our disappointment when we got there and were told that the dolphins were gone, their pens blown away by a typhoon. A year ago. On the bright side, the dolphins are free! Yay to that!

We thought of having lunch at their restaurant since it was already noontime. But it was not available either because there was a private party. Double bummer. So we just walked around the grounds and wharf, checked out some caged monkeys, then left.

We proceeded to Panaon and asked around for a beach resort. We were directed to Punta Meriam which is supposed to be the best resort in the area. You pay for everything up front before entering the resort. This included the food which we were informed will take 45 minutes to prepare. We were already hungry but the alternative was going to another town for food so we ordered, paid, and went in.

The resort looked pretty nice and well-kept. The beach looked nice, too. The sand is black to gray but it was pretty fine. Unfortunately, the waves were strong so we didn’t swim. We just waited for the food. And waited. And waited. It took more almost two hours before the food was finally served! Fortunately, it was quite good. Or maybe we were just too hungry.

After lunch, we went back to Ozamiz to check in to our hotel, Royal Garden. We had a hard time parking but once we got in we decided it was a pretty good hotel. The parking was just full because a lot of people hang out at the attached restaurant, “Hukad sa Golden Cowrie”. We didn’t try the place but I’ve tried Hukad and I’ve tried Golden Cowrie so I bet this one is twice as good :P

When evening came, we headed over to Tangub, the famed Christmas village. It’s not really a village but rather a full-fledged city. There were Christmas decorations all over the city and the city plaza was lit up by themed Christmas (not simply Christmas-themed) displays. There’s Frozen (of course), Titanic, etc. Around the plaza were restaurants where we had dinner before exploring the displays. We didn’t stay long because it started to drizzle.

The next day, James, Jack, and I explored the area around the hotel. Everything was still closed except for bakeries and the usual fast food joints. We settled for Mr. Donut which actually turned out to have a pretty decent breakfast menu (they had bacon!). Back at the hotel, I recommended it to Michelle and we went back there with the kids for their breakfast.

After breakfast, we packed up, checked out and went to the ferry. The loading, the trip, and the unloading was pretty fast and efficient. We were in Tubod and back on the road in less than an hour. We had a quick lunch at a roadside restaurant at Maigo and were soon back in Iligan.