Though I am now a long-time resident of Metro Manila, I still prefer to stay in my beloved hometown in Bukidnon province. Every year, I always find time to go home and reminisce my childhood days in the serene environs of my hinterland village located southwest of Dangcagan town. In most occasions, I tagged along my son to introduce him to the quiet life of a 'promdi' in the landlocked province I call my 'home sweet home'. You can reach this place either from Davao City or Cagayan de Oro City.
Rural life in Bukidnon
This is the scene in the village of Miaray, a place that is known for its durian, rubber and sugarcane. Though most of the communities are linked by road nets and accessed by wheeled vehicles, many people still travel on horseback.
As a Manileno, my son is excited to try horseback riding after hearing endless stories about my experiences as a 'vaquero'. I gave him a hands-on training during my latest visit just before New Year (2013).
This is the rubber tree which produces the sap that is manufactured to become rubber tires, lastiko and many other products. The one who harvests the sap from the rubber trees is called a rubber tapper.
Kissing the hands of elder relatives is a cherished tradition in rural areas. My son kisses the hands of her Auntie Lola whom we visited.
This is the typical rubber plantation that can be found in our village.
Do you like to taste the durian?
My son touches the langka fruit after seeing it for the first time
My son inspects the rice plants and became curious with the source of his favorite steamed rice.
There are several rice fields that can be found in southern Bukidnon like the one behind me.
We call them 'tapasero', the people who harvest the sugar cane.
Pinamaloy Lake, Don Carlos, Bukidnon
One of the most famous landmarks in southern Bukidnon is the Musuan Peak, an active volcano that is also known among the local tribesmen as Mount Kalayo (Fire Mountain). There is a dairy farm and a botanical garden near the slopes of the mountain.
Philippine Carabao Center, Central Mindanao University
If you want the taste of fresh carabao's milk, drop by at the Philippine Carabao Center's shop that offers dairy products taken from the farm nearby. This place is located at the foot of Musuan Peak ,4.5 kilometers away from Valencia City.
Monastery of the Transfiguration
Known for its Monk's Blend coffee, the Monastery of the Transfiguration is worth your visit. At least 3 kilometers from downtown Malaybalay, you can find this marker when you're traveling southbound towards Valencia City.
The monastery is located at the foot of these hills about a kilometer away from Sayre highway.
The Benedictine Monks ensure that they can sustain their stay here. You can find a rice field, coffee plants and livestock inside the vast compound.
If you need to impress your friends with 'pasalubong' items like the Monk's Blend coffee, religious artifacts, souvenir items and Bukidnon sweets, this is the perfect place to go.
The main highway has remained a two-lane road for many years now. The growing number of vehicles plying the road to transport farm products and travelers, have significantly increased the travel time from Cagayan de Oro City towards the different towns down south. I took this slow pace of travel as an opportunity to take photos of farm lands and the beautiful terrain.
My son enjoys the scenic view of the Mangima canyon where 4x4 off-road races and other outdoor adventures are held. Not far from this point, you can find Bukidnon's version of the Kennon road.
Del Monte Club House
If you want to taste Bukidnon's famous beef steak, drop by at the Del Monte Club House that is located about 35 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro City. If you want to hit golf balls and mimic Frankie Minoza, the excellent fairway is waiting for you as well.
Sunset photo of Cagayan de Oro City
It took me around 6 hours to travel 170 kilometers (with all the stopovers for photo ops). This excellent view of Cagayan de Oro City greeted me when I arrived at a hilltop in Puerto.
I will always come back to see my home sweet home again and again!
*** Some of the photos are taken by my wife, Evelyn Tejerero-Cabunoc and my brother, Serville Cabunoc.