THE CITY OF GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP
Cagayan de Oro is known as the “City of Golden Friendship.” For reasons that need no further explanation, this prime tourist destination is simply unequalled in terms of the warmth and virtues of its people. Its accessible location makes it even more deserving of the title as the “Gateway to Northern Mindanao.”
The graciousness of its populace is evident in the city’s annual holding of Higalaay Festival, a weeklong celebration of colorful, culturally-rich and fun-filled core events that culminate every August 28 of the year. The local government website notes with pride that the festivity “has grown not only as the customary day of thanksgiving but also as a rallying point for a campaign to promote Cagayan de Oro City and the surrounding areas globally as an investment and tourism destination.”
The city is not only about merrymaking. This haven is also for eco-tourists as well as the sports lover. Before you grab your backpacks and head to where nature’s beauty will excite your senses, please bear in mind the following seven must-see sites.
1 Cagayan de Oro River
The Cagayan de Oro River is simply amazing. It is known for challenging rapids that quickly follow one after the other, a view that pull together adventure seekers to experience whitewater rafting and river trekking. It earned for the city a title, the Whitewater Rafting Capital of the Philippines.
2 Macahambus Hill
Admire the breath taking view of Macahambus Hill Cave and Gorge from the 120-meter long Sky Bridge suspended 120 feet from the ground. In point of history, the cave is actually the site of the historic Battle of Macahambus on June 4, 1900 marking the country’s first victory against the Americans during the Philippine-American War. The National Historical Institute has placed a marker at the entrance of the cave, a short cavern which leads one to a breathtaking view of the Cagayan de Oro River mending below. Never leave without taking the 120-meter zipline.
3 Museo de Oro
The local customs and traditions are showcased at the Museo de Oro and get a glimpse of the past of the people of Northern Mindanao at the Museum of Three Cultures. The Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village was also established to showcase the tribal houses set amidst nature trails.
4 Mapawa Nature Park
For those who seek peace and solitude, the Mapawa Nature Park is a place for you. It stands on a sprawling property known for its beautiful waterfalls, imposing views and exciting activities – trekking and rappelling. There, you can rappel from a 65 foot waterfall, take a leisurely ride on horseback while exploring the 2,500-hectares property and dip in its spring-fed swimming pools. Take the gripping ziplines.
Local tourism experts would always point that in this park, it’s not all about thrill rides for indeed, what’s a great adventure without culture and heritage?
5 Golden Friendship Park
6 MacArthur Marker
Named in honor of one of the most important figures of World War II, the General MacArthur Marker is a reminder of Cagayan de Oro’s role in history. There, a “scrambled egg hat” which is being considered as the biggest military cap in the world – marks that spot in the Macabalan Port where Gen. MacArthur landed in 1942 enroute to his escape to Australia. Supporting the cap are the big five golden stars which represent the rank of the general. At the center of the marker is a replica of USAFFE PT Boat encased in glass.
7 Gaston Park
Gaston Park was named in honor of the pre-war town executive Mayor Segundo Gaston. In various times in history, it played crucial roles. During the Spanish colonial times, it was the main plaza of Cagayan de Misamis while during the Philippine-American War, it was utilized as a training ground of local patriots. In 1900, it became the site of the Battle of Cagayan de Misamis. Due to its significance, a National Historical Institute marker was erected in the park in the year 2000.
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