7-Day Honeymoon Backpacking in Mindanao

Marriage in itself is a lifetime adventure for any couple. Honeymoons on the other hand is another kind of adventure. While most newly weds 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 payed in advanced) we flew to Mindanao and did what only a few (if there really is one) newly weds dreamt to do -a 7-Day Honeymoon Backpacking in Mindanao.



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. 




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 long time 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 also had some photo shoot for documentation (and bragging) purposes. 
The anicycle in KampoJuan
We didn't stay too long in the eco-adventure park because it was too crowded, 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 it's 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 2
Non Stop Iligan!
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.


NPC Nature's Park entrance
Maria Cristina Falls
During our visit, majority of the provinces were in the process of rehabilitation due to the damages 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.
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 Tinago's many cascades
We spent the whole day enjoying Iligan City's two waterfalls (sadly if we had more time, I could have visited all). After all the nature trippin' and photo shoots we headed back to D' Morvie Suites in CDO to prepare for the next leg of our trip.


DAY 3
As usual we woke up early but instead of hopping to on a bus to our next destination, we proceeded to the port and rode a fast craft that will bring 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 stoop up and we felt that all eyes were on us. (Talk about a 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 mini cab and started on the first leg of our adventure in the province dubbed Island Born of Fire.
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. 
Bura Soda Springs
Old-Guiob Church Ruins
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


We then headed to the Walk Way to the Cross. The back-to-back trips were taking its 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.  
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 mini cab 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 4
White Island
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 bangka 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 in the small island snorkeling and taking pictures.
PHILVOLCS Observatory
Afterwards, we went back to the resort to get our stuff and continue on with our adventure in Camiguin. Our next stop is the PHIVOLCS Observatory. It also serves as a mini museum where one can see the pictures of the volcanic activities in the island. Honestly, there's nothing much to do here except look at the old photos of the petrified victims of the volcanic eruption. 
Katibawasan Falls
Let's taste a kiping

Our 4th day was just getting started. 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. It's crunchiness and sweetness are really worth keeping. 
Camiguin's Ostrich Farm
Kuya Criz then drove us to the 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. 
Lover's Secret Bridge
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 due to its romantic atmosphere. My wife and I didn't miss having several nice photos together on the said bridge. 
The Giant Clams...
...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 sun bathing (which we also did not do). 
J&A Fishpen
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 Camiguin!
Kids asking for spare change and diving for it in Benoni Port
Our tour 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 5
My wife and I were surely tired from our back to back trips that we got up very late on our 5th day in Mindanao. We got a chance to walk around town but we decided to spend most of the day preparing our things (wash clothes) 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.

Let's 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 really wonderful news -my wife is pregnant! Now that's going to be a new adventure indeed!

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.

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    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! =)

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  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!

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

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

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

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  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.

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

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  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

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

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  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.

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    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.

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  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.

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

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  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! :)

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

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  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 :) .

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

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  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.

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

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