7-Day Honeymoon Backpacking in Mindanao

7-Day Honeymoon Backpacking in Mindanao

Intro

Marriage in itself is a lifetime adventure for any couple. Honeymoons, on the other hand, are another kind of adventure. While most newlyweds prefer to stay in expensive resorts or hotels during their honeymoon. My wife and I had better plans. We packed our backpacks and hit the road. With only P11,000 in our pockets (minus airfare and sea fare which we paid in advance) we flew to Mindanao and did what only a few (if there really is one) newlyweds dreamt to do a 7-Day Honeymoon Backpacking in Mindanao.


These are the places we'll cover for this 7-day trip

DAY 1

Our adventure began a week after our wedding. (This gave us a chance to rest and let the spirit of marriage sink in.) We flew from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City very early in the morning to catch the first bus to the province of Bukidnon

First stop Camp Phillips, Bukidnon 

Next stop - Dahilayan Adventure Park

It took us only a few hours to reach the town of Manolo Fortich for the first leg of our journey. We stayed in the residence of the Gamutan's, my wife's longtime friends, their house is inside the Del Monte Plantation compound. After a few hours of "catching up chats", we headed to Dahilayan Adventure Park which is located several kilometers away from their place. We tried out some rides, like the zorb, and chilled out in the naturally cold weather of the province. 

We then visited KampoJuan and tried out its anicycle

We didn't stay too long in the eco-adventure park because it was too crowded so we decided to transfer to another eco-adventure park instead. Also a few kilometers away from their house is KampoJuan. It also has plenty of rides minus the crowd. I particularly enjoyed the anicycle because of its thrill factor. 

Chow time with friends in Del Monte's Clubhouse

After the back-to-back extreme adventures, we headed back to Del Monte's Clubhouse and ate our late lunch courtesy of our friends. Our first day ended in Bukidnon. However, our adventure was just starting.

Day 1 Places Visited:


DAY 2

We left Manolo Fortich just as the rooster was about to crow. For the second leg of our honeymoon adventure, we rode a bus to Cagayan de Oro City or CDO. We checked in at D' Morvie Suites then proceeded to the "City of Majestic Waterfalls" - Iligan City.

Checking in D' Morvie Suites (CDO)

Boarded a non-stop bus to Iligan City!

First destination NPC Nature's Park

Maria Cristina Falls

During our visit, the majority of the provinces were in the process of rehabilitation due to the damages were done by Typhoon Sendong. Not to offend anyone, but the incident became a blessing for us because the bus companies decided to cut the fare prices of the buses heading to Iligan City. We arrived in ligan City just after lunch due to the traffic caused by roads that are being repaired. My wife and I wasted no time and headed straight to NPC Nature's Park to see one of the most popular waterfalls in the country -Maria Cristina Falls.

Next stop - Tinago Falls

After viewing the falls and eating a quick lunch we immediately proceeded to Tinago Falls. Because we were unfamiliar with the place, we relied heavily on the good people of Iligan City. We met several friendly locals who assisted us in our trip and also made sure we are safe.

Under one of the many cascades of Tinago Falls

We spent the whole day enjoying Iligan City's two waterfalls (sadly if we had more time, I could have visited all). We planned to visit Marawi City after our trip to Tinago Falls. However, we were warned by the locals of Iligan not to push through for safety purposes because it's getting dark already. We heeded their advice and decided to head back to D' Morvie Suites in Cagayan de Oro instead so that we can prepare for the next leg of our trip.

Day 2 Places Visited:


DAY 3

As planned, we woke up early but instead of hoping to on a bus to our next destination, we proceeded to the port and rode a fast craft that brought us to our next destination -the province of Camiguin.

Benoni Port

Right after we docked at Benoni Port, a man carrying a banner "KC & friend" boarded that fast craft obviously looking for us. The other passengers all thought that there was a VIP on board. My wife and I stood up and we felt that all eyes were on us. (Talk about momentary celebrity status.) The guy who picked us up was Kuya Criz. He's a local guide that my wife contacted before the trip. We quickly boarded his minicab and started on the first leg of our adventure in the province dubbed Island Born of Fire.

First stop - Sto. Nino Cold Springs

Our first stop was the Sto. Nino Cold Springs. Although we didn't take a dip there, we had some rest and ordered lunch in one of the many ihaw-ihaws outside.
 
Next stop - Bura Soda Springs

Next stop - Old-Guiob Church Ruins

Next destination - Sunken Cemetery

After eating and taking pictures of the place, we proceeded to Bura Soda Springs then to Old-Guiob Church Ruins followed by the Sunken Cemetery

Next stop - Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross

Checked in for the day - Pabua's Cottages

We then headed to the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross. The back-to-back trips were taking their toll on us and we decided not to hike it. After taking some pictures, we decided to head to Pabua's Resort to have some rest.  

Last destination for the day - Ardent Hot Spring

We probably got at least 2 hours of nap time before Kuya Criz picked us up once again to bring us to our final destination for that day -Ardent Hot Springs. It was a nice place to soak since it was quite cold that night. However, the dimly lit slippery walkways and loud noise proved to be a huge disappointment for us since we came there to relax and not to ski and jam. It was also in that place that I lost one of my board shorts (it was placed in the minicab of Kuya Criz in the parking area.) After the not-so-enjoyable experience, we headed back to our rented room and slept... Once again we were expected very early the next day for our next trip.

Day 3 Places VIsited


DAY 4

We got up very early the next day and headed out to White Island. It is a small uninhabited shoal just a few kilometers away from the resort. We rented a small boat to bring us there and it was the only place in the province where Kuya Criz wasn't able to guide us. We spent several hours on the small island snorkeling and taking pictures.

First destination - White Island

Afterward, we went back to the resort to get our stuff and continue on with our adventure in Camiguin. Our next stop is the PHIVOLCS ObservatoryIt also serves as a mini-museum where one can see pictures of the volcanic activities on the island. Honestly, there's nothing much to do here except look at the old photos of the petrified victims of the volcanic eruption.

Next stop - PHILVOLCS Observatory

Next stop - Katibawasan Falls

Let's taste a kiping

From there, we then headed to Katibawasan Falls to get some pictures but we chose not to swim so that we could save time and visit more scenic spots around Camiguin. Before we left, my wife and I got to taste the local food called kiping. Its crunchiness and sweetness are really worth keeping. 

Camiguin's Ostrich Farm

Kuya Criz then drove us to the Mahinog Ostrich Farm where we saw ostriches (of course). Sadly, we were too late when they cooked one of the eggs for breakfast. Kidding aside, it is also one of the places where you actually have little to do. 
We then drove on going to our next destination. However, I noticed a path and a clearing near the mangrove forest in the town of Mahinog. Kuya Criz was game enough to show us the place and lo and behold we discovered a beautiful place outside the itinerary of most tourists in Camiguin. I decided to call it Lover's Secret Bridge (now it's called Katunggan Park) due to its romantic atmosphere. My wife and I didn't miss having several nice photos together on the said bridge. 

The Giant Clams of the Giant Clam Nursery...

...and the Kabila White Beach

Before we decided to have our lunch and end our tour, we visited one more tourist destination in the province -the Kabila White Beach and Giant Clam Nursery. It's a perfect place to snorkel (which we did not do) and go sunbathing (which we also did not do). 

The final stop for the day - J&A Fishpen and Taguines Lagoon

Thank goodness no piranhas!

Several photo ops later, we were on our way to get lunch. Kuya Criz brought us to a restaurant called J&A Fishpen which is found in the man-made Taguines Lagoon. Despite its unappealing name, the restaurant draws in tourists not only from its delicious food but also from its unique (sinking ship) architecture. 

Bye for now Camiguin!

Kids asking for spare change and diving for it in Benoni Port

Our adventure of Camiguin officially ended when we boarded a RORO in Benoni Port heading back to the main island of Mindanao through the Port of Balingoan in Misamis Oriental. From there we spent the remainder of our 4th day inside the bus heading to Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur (my wife's hometown). As a matter of fact, we got home very late and fell asleep without changing clothes.

Day 4 Places Visited


Day 5

My wife and I were surely tired from the back-to-back trips in Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, and Camiguin so we decided to leave the bed late and just cuddle up on our 5th day in Mindanao. 

Walked around Prosperidad and enjoyed nature.

For our 5th day in Mindanao, we spent some time walking around Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur aside from that we also spent most of the day preparing our things for our departure back home the next day. 

Although there was nothing adventurous in our stay in Prosperidad, we managed to replenish our energy for our trip back home. We also got to bond with my wife's parents for a day. Talk about a holistic adventure!

Day 6-7

Well, everything has an end (well only for our honeymoon that is). However, we decided to end it with a bang -a two-day "cruise" going to Manila aboard the MV Gregory the Great. Which was docked at Nasipit Port in Agusan del Norte. Although we didn't get the most expensive room aboard the ship, we still managed to stay in a decent room with a nice view of the sea and islands that we pass by. 

Diosdado Macapagal Bridge going to Nasipit Port.

Time to go, farewell Mindanao see you again soon!

Our final adventure really ended with a bang because a month after our honeymoon, we were greeted by a piece of really wonderful news -my wife is pregnant! Now that's going to be a new adventure indeed!

Day 6 Places Visited




Comments

  1. Beautiful story. I feel like I was with you travelling. Keep it up, Neil and Daisy. Say hello to your Mom and Dad. I think her name is Cynthia and your beautiful daughter, Bella. Did I get the names right? Happy snapping and travelling. From Marilou Fuertes, the friend you met in Palawan on the way to the Underground River, Puerto Princesa in May, 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Maam Marilou. =) Thank you so much for visiting my blog. =) I would extend your greetings to my parents and family.

      Btw my daughter is Ella and my wife is KC hahahaha =) We do hope to see you again. =) Be safe! =)

      Delete
  2. Usually people I know choose to go for luxurious places for honeymoon, but the idea never interests me much. Your blog is exactly what I would look forward to if I have to go on my honeymoon. Nicely articulated. Had a great time reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shreya. Having an adventure is more memorable than just staying inside a luxurious hotel.

      Delete
  3. Bicycles on the rope? :) I just go to know something new today. The adventure park would be the first priority for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is called anicycle. Makes you feel like a circus performer.

      Delete
  4. Love the place. You introduced it as a non high profile place, but the waterfalls, church ruins and the ride seems like a beautiful option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These provinces are least visited by tourists hence the place is still quite preserved and uncrowded.

      Delete
  5. This looks like a perfect honeymoon backpacking list. Katibawasan Falls look so stunning. And so does the other locations. Thanks for the elaborate guide, it will really help one plan their trip in Mindanao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Neha. =) It really is a perfect honeymoon destination.

      Delete
  6. I am so curious about the Philippines. It is nice to read about all the activities that you can do and see your gorgeous photos. It seems like a wonderful place to take my kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Please do visit the Philippines particularly its provinces (don't visit the cities). There are plenty of wonderful things to see and do here.

      Delete
  7. This is such an adventure packed honeymoon. At quite budget friendly considering you spent a whole week traveling.

    I’ve never been anywhere in the Philippines outside Luzon. Sadly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Noel! You should travel to Mindanao. It is surprisingly safe and beautiful.

      Delete
  8. This is definitely a unique and offbeat honeymoon. So different from the usual ones. I can see you had a great time. The range of experiences that you had are really very interesting. I too liked the Anicycle activity. I need to check with my wife if she is ready to get married again so that we too can go on this kinda honeymoon! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha. =) I think your wife would enjoy the anicycle activity. It is perfect for improving the "trust" in one's marriage.

      Delete
  9. That was some adventure. Loved the beaches you visited, the adventures you had, the lovely waterfalls at Iligan City et all. I do hope more honeymooners do something like this and will have created a memory for life :) .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Swati. =) Gotta love a memorable honeymoon adventure. =)

      Delete
  10. Ahhh those waterfalss, beaches, lakes just make me crazy. How beautiful!!!
    It was an awesome way to spent the honeymoon, love people like you guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Fabio. =) You should visit the Philippines sometimes soon.

      Delete

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