Monday, August 20, 2012

Solo Trip: Misamis Occidental and Zanorte

June 9 - 11, 2012

The idea of travelling alone made me stirred up, so I pushed through with my trip in spite of my friends refusing or cancelling their trip with me. Morning of June 9, I hastily went to the airport thinking that I'll not be able to check-in on time. Oddly, my flight to Dipolog was cancelled and they offered flights via Manila with free lunch or via Ozamis with 500Php bus allowance. Obviously, I went for the latter! I didn't have any plans, nor reserved anybody so anything goes with my trip.

It felt great to arrive at Ozamis safe. I tried calling my friends nearby but to no avail. A friend wanted me to go to Pagadian, but its far from what I have planned. Show must go on, I went straight to Hoyohoy Highland Adventure Park which I thought would be very near. I had to get off the habal-habal few times for an almost impassable terrain. I still have trauma riding a motorbike but I didn't have a choice, or so I thought. There's actually a more safe and cheaper way going there, via bus and van. Riding the longest zipline was addictive, I so wanted to do it over and over again. Their buffet was  not bad considering its price.

I checked-in at a cheap yet cozy hotel, took a nap then toured around Ozamis. Of course, I never missed checking out their night scene, met some locals and chilled. The next day, I did not waste any minute to pack-up my things and headed on to my next stop, Dolphin Island. I was able to watch Pacquiao's fight and had a full lunch while waiting for the boat. It wasn't really that much of a must-do and a No for a solo traveler, but their restaurant in the middle of the sea was very much refreshing plus a nice set of meals. I also was entertained by their monkeys while roaming around their mangrove forest.

Before I arrived at Dipolog, I had to take a quick tour around Oroquieta City. Nothing is written about this city online so I didn't stay that long. Dipolog on the other hand has a lot of things to discover, but I lacked the time. I stopped by Galeria Indelecio to check impressive artworks and I was able to see the artist himself! They serve snacks and while waiting he toured me around all of his masterpiece. I'm glad that his works were featured in magazines and the government acknowledged his talent through many awards and support. Just before sunset, I hurriedly went to Dapitan to find a decent place to freshen up. I'm so excited to check out the rides at Gloria de Dapitan's Fantasyland. The amusement park never ceased to surpass my expectations. I never thought a small city like Dapitan could pull off a park like that! People in costumes greeted me as I entered into their huge castle door. There were plenty of rides to choose from. Their Haunted House was awesome! Its a place locals should be really proud of and a spot tourists should never miss.

Morning the next day, I went to Rizal Shrine then Dakak. I've read some negative comments online about this resort, that its overrated. I beg to disagree. Everything was inviting - the beach, the pool, the slides, the gardens, needless to say their food! I was able to sleep under the shade not knowing about the time!

Will there be a solo trip again? Probably yes.




Things I spent:

Airfare - 444 Php (one way) + 200 Php terminal fee
Trike airport to Ozamis City - 60 Php
Habal-habal Ozamis to Hoyohoy Highlands - 150 Php
Buffet lunch at Hoyohoy - 150 Php
Zipline - 600 Php
Habal-habal Hoyohoy to Tangub - 100 Php
Tangub to Ozamis City - 45 Php
Overnight at 67th Boulevard Pension - 370 Php
Dinner at city proper - 65 Php
Iced frap at Dewberry Coffee - 75 Php
Bus Ozamis to Tudela (MOAP) - 22 Php
Lunch at MOAP Grilled Chicken Meal + Halo halo - 155 Php
Entrance MOAP - 10 Php
Non aircon van to Oroquieta - 35 Php
Non aircon bus to Dipolog - 120 Php
Good Times Cafe (Galeria Indelecio) - 110 Php
Non aircon minibus - 20 Php
Monina's Pension - 700 Php
Gloria's Fantasyland - 500 Php + 100 Php (Haunted House)
Dinner - 60 Php + Free coupon from Gloria's Fantasyland
Dakak Resort - 500 Php with free meal
Habal-habal around Dapitan - 500 Php
Oceanjet Fast Craft Dapitan to Cebu - 1330 Php
Terminal Fee - 15 Php
Total Expense : 6,436 Php

Things I learned:

1. Solo trip is fun after all. If you're up for something different, loves interacting with locals, wants to have your own pace, be lost and just do whatever you want to do, then traveling alone is for you. You just don't have somebody to share the memories though after your trip.
2. Mindanao is accessible. Modes of transport is ever present and roads are safe and paved. Local tourism must promote their attractions more for there's just a huge potential in these places.
3. Dapitan never ceased to amaze me. With such a small community, I never imagined that world class resort and amusement park reside. It brings back the kid in me. It's perfect for family trips, there's Rizal Park for a slice of history and Galeria Indelecio in Dipolog for arts.

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