Showing posts with label cagayan de oro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cagayan de oro. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Batman v Superman will be awesome; but it’s even better if it’s for a cause

Excited?  I am.
Comic geek or not, just about everyone knows that certainly the biggest movie event of 2016 will be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, coming out in just a few days!  My kids grew up on the Justice League cartoon (and this big kid watched with them), and the wait to finally see the beginnings of a live-action Justice League forming on the silver screen has been almost unbearable.

No doubt about it, watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be awesome.  However, the experience will be even better if it’s for a cause.  Read on.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Are you giving your family good milk? Find out!

Right below is an infographic from on the GOOD-BETTER-BEST principle when it comes to buying food.  It is an excellent resource on how we should pick the foods that we give our families.  Since this blog entry would focus on dairy, I made a red box around the Dairy portion.

Are you giving your family good milk?  Find out, as the best milk to drink for optimum health is…

Click for larger picture

Here's a little close up of "bad" and "best" of the dairy category, as, again, this is the article's focus.

So I bet you have some questions, such as:
  • What's CAFO milk?  Is that what my kids are drinking?
  • Pasteurized milk is the only way to safely drink milk, right?  You should kill all the bacteria.
  • Low Fat/Skim milk considered “bad” when it’s supposed to be good for you?
  • Raw milk?  Really?  Why does milk have to be raw to be considered “better” or “best”?
  • Is it possible to get the “BEST CATEGORY” of milk in Cagayan de Oro City?  

I’d be happy to answer these questions for you.  Here we go…

Monday, August 26, 2013

Win free tickets to ParenTEEN with Mr. Francis Kong and Dr. Peter Tanchi

There’s this joke that starting and running a business is WAY easier that parenting a teenager.  Well, my eldest child is at the tail end of her first year as a teen, and I think the joke has more than a little bit of truth to it.  Only 9 months into raising a teen and I already grew some white hair.  I have 6 more years to go for this one, plus two more future teens?  Oh boy.

Well, if you keep track of my blog, you’ll know that two of the best speakers on parenting in the Philippines, Mr. Francis Kong and Dr. Peter Tanchi, will come to Cagayan de Oro on September 7, 2013 to speak on an event called ParenTEEN (click here for my article).  They’re fantastic speakers on this topic not only because of their tremendous speaking ability; they’re fantastic because they’re Exhibit A.  It’s a rare treat to see just one of them, but both of them?  Back to back?  WOW!

Here’s an even better deal: I will give three couples a chance to win two tickets each to ParenTEEN.  Yes, you can be in the running to see the two best parenting speakers in the Philippines for free, all you’ll have to do is to do some writing of your own.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Join me at the Xavier Sports and Country Club MUST Fun Run!

I have never really understood the fun in running.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to exercise and I do so as often as I can; but long distance running was never my thing.  You’d probably surmise then that the Fun Run trend that so many people are into these days has me shaking my head.  Pay an entrance fee to run?  Um, no thanks.  It would take a very, very good reason to get me to sign up for a fun run.

Well, that very good reason has arrived…and I would encourage you to enter this fun run as well.  Say hello to the Xavier Sports and Country Club MUST Fun Run, an event on August 25, 2013 that raises funds for the construction of the upcoming Red Cross building.  Yup, that’ll do it, as I have a soft spot for anything that has to do with the Red Cross (well, big charitable causes in general).  Count me in then, folks!

MUST is short for Maayong kaUgmaon Sa Tanan, as the race is also a way for Cagayanons to take to the streets to thank God for this city and to implore everyone to help make CDO soar.  We’ve been through some tough times as of late, and so we need to take to the streets as a show of solidarity.

MUST also stands for the starting point of the race, Mindanao University of Science and Technology.  Participants will converge there at 4am and would run to the crossing of the Bulua terminal and back (well, it depends on the race you’re participating in, actually, as there are three of them: 3k, 5k, and 10k).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Update on how you can continue to help sweet little Cherubim

Cherubim is on the left
If you follow my blog, you may have read an article I did a few months ago about the plight of a sweet little girl, Cherubim.  If you haven’t read it, allow me to use the next paragraph to put you up to speed.

Cherubim has a kidney disease that would require an operation to save her right kidney (see their story here).  Her parents, being quite resourceful, opted to sell Save A Kidney mugs to Cagayan de Oro residents to help fund the operation.  Even if both parents are working, the cost of the operation to save Cherubim’s life is quite insurmountable, and their goal was to sell 1,000 mugs as soon as possible.

That was as of January 19, 2013, when I made a blog article on the subject.

It’s now April, and this update also serves as a second plea to help this family during this darkest of times.  No more buying mugs this time, I’d like to help them out by bringing to you the link to their paypal button, so that donations can be made there.

The family is now in Manila filling out some requirements for the operation and trying to get help there.  I was told that they were not even close to garnering the 1000 mugs needed to help them out, and recent visits to the doctor have shown that Cherubim’s case is quite complicated and the operation must be done the soonest possible time.

They have to raise P200,000 to give their baby girl the treatment she needs.  Like I said, just about nothing is more painful for a parent that to see his or her child suffer…and I cannot leave them alone in their plight.  I have met the mom and the twins when she delivered our mugs.  The girls were adorable (I wish I took their picture).

So, here I am, asking you guys once again to help them out.  Click this link so you can go to their paypal account.  Also, please pass this along to your friends.  P200,000 may be an insurmountable amount, but together, we can make a difference.  

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  (1 John 3:17-18)

Once again, their paypal account: (click here)

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

UPTOWN COW delivers best quality fresh milk to uptown CDO residents

Do you want the freshest milk you can taste delivered straight to your doorstep?  Are you one of those who wants a healthier milk alternative than what is available in the supermarkets?

If you live in the uptown subdivisions of Cagayan de Oro (Xavier Estates, Pueblo de Oro, etc.)  then you’re in luck.  UPTOWN COW now delivers fresh milk to uptown CDO residents!

As you would surmise from the flyer, the milk that UPTOWN COW would distribute will give CDO uptown homeowners a product that is far superior than what is offered in supermarkets.  It is fresher (the cows are milked just one day before delivery); the cows are raised on a pasture instead of commercially raised (not cramped and disease-laden, virtually eliminating the need for the cows to take antibiotics, etc.); the choco milk has less sugar than what you get elsewhere; and there’s a raw milk option to increase the health benefits even more.

Simply put, if you buy milk from commercially raised cows (like from the big companies), where they live cramped, diseased-laden lives, raised on commercial feeds instead of grass, then you may run the risk of getting a whole lot of chemicals in your milk (see Who Knew this Cocktail of up to 20 Chemicals Was in Your Glass of Milk?)

It’s far better to get your milk from pasture-raised cows like the source of UPTOWN COW’s milk, a dairy farm located in nearby Alae.  But then, as the flyer also advertises, I’d like you to try the raw milk option.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

TGIFriday’s now in Cagayan de Oro. OH YES!!

I’m not a food blogger (check out,, and for great Cagayan de Oro food blogs), but I am a huge foodie.  I like to eat and I eat a LOT.  Plus, having grown up in America, I have been exposed to many different restaurants and types of cuisines, and therefore I often have something to say when it comes to good eating.

Speaking of America, one of my favorite casual dining restaurants during those days was TGIFridays.  I loved the great food, the variety of their menu, their huge servings (that’s a must), and the chill-out atmosphere.  As you would expect, when I moved to the lovely provincial town of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines a decade and a half ago, I went through some serious foodie withdrawals.

Fast forward to 2013, and, thank the food gods up above, TGIFridays is now in Cagayan de Oro City!!!  At Ayala Centrio Mall to be exact.

All photos courtesy of my new friend, the owner of

Do you know how happy that made me?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How much is your P200 worth? It could help save a child’s life.

Two hundred pesos could buy you a 2D movie ticket with snacks to spare.  Two hundred pesos can buy you a Micro SD card for your phone or a flash disk for your files.  I load up on Sun Cellular’s UnliText 200 every month, which I use heavily.  My favorite comfort food, White Hat’s sourdough waffles, is roughly P200.

How much is your P200 worth?  Well, if you live in Cagayan de Oro City, it could save a child’s life.

Meet Cherubim and Micah, two adorable little girls who live in Cagayan de Oro City.  From the picture below, they look healthy, bright, and active.

However, one of the twins is seriously ill.  It’s the one on the left, Cherubim.  She was diagnosed with right kidney hydronephrosis…and she urgently needs an operation.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 Non-Traditional Christmas Songs

As Christmas draws near, I’m sure your ears are gonna be saturated with timeless Christmas classics like Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Joy To The World, among many others.

Well, if you’re in the mood for something different, but you’re still willing to feel the Christmas spirit, then there are lots of non-traditional Christmas songs that you can enjoy (and, no, it’s not just All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey).  In fact, if you live in Cagayan de Oro, then the local Christian station here, The New J 103.3 FM plays Christmas songs all throughout December (non-traditional songs as well as modernized versions of the classics).

I’m friends with the guy who runs the show over there at The New J, John de Cleene, and he was kind enough to share with me his Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas songs.  I’m going to give those top ten songs below, with a brief intro by John, himself, and with an accompanying video if possible.  The names are also Amazon links in case you’d like to buy them.  Enjoy John’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Songs!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The White Hat and Bettina open in CdeO’s Centrio mall

If you know me personally, you’d know that I’m quite the health nut, and one of my greatest frustrations when going out is finding a snack that would pass my standards when it comes to being both healthy and delicious.  Furthermore, I have 3 kids and a wife, all who won’t mind the bad stuff unless I give them a better alternative (and, truth be told, I have my own lapses as well).

Well, last Sunday saw the opening of a rare find, indeed: a place that I actually can recommend to those who have similar viewpoints as I do; a place where I can take my family and feel good that they’re snacking on wholesome food.

That place is Cagayan de Oro’s first branch of The White Hat, a frozen yogurt place, located on the first floor of the new Ayala Centrio mall.  

If you’re thinking, “Another frozen yogurt place, big deal!” then allow me to correct you.

That's why it's so good!
Most places of this type use the cheap powdered stuff, which lowers cost but makes poor quality yogurt.  The White Hat uses only real dairy.  Yup, real milk turned into real yogurt….and that makes all the difference.

All you need to do is taste it.  It is creamier, yummier, and healthier.  Real dairy, from real Philippine cows, makes for a really good yogurt experience!   Why is real yogurt so good for you?  Well, all the nutritious food and supplements you ingest mean nothing if you don’t have a healthy stomach to digest it with.  Your stomach needs beneficial bacteria, and real yogurt has lots of it.  You can also check out this article on the many health benefits of yogurt.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do you want some organic lettuce? We’ve got lots of em.

We’re swimming in organic lettuce, and I’m only half-exaggerating.  The high school I work for (it’s in uptown Cagayan de Oro) is a farm school, the only Montessori farm school in Asia, and the students organically planted lots and lots of lettuce.  They planted so much that they don’t know what to do with all these greens. 

So I’m gonna help them out by posting bringing the word out here on my blog.  If you live in Cagayan de Oro, and you want some yummy organic lettuce, feel free to email me at  In your email please indicate how many kilos you want and your contact number (I don’t want to give my students’ or my co-workers’ numbers out on the web).

Monday, January 2, 2012

There’s been an outbreak of leptospirosis in Cagayan de Oro. Here’s how you can safeguard yourself and your family

Bad news, everyone living in Cagayan de Oro City.  The Department of Health (DOH) has announced that there has been an outbreak of leptospirosis in the city.  A child of a friend’s co-worker has already been admitted for several days.

I went to the Leptospirosis Information Center website and got some information on what precautions to take against the disease, and I copy-pasted all the information from that page below for your reference.  Please be careful, everyone.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone, from the Lessons Of A Dad (and the rest of the Alado family as well).

Here’s my favorite non-traditional Christmas song by Chris Tomlin (of Indescribable and How Great Is Our God fame). Mom, thanks for buying me his CD for Christmas! It’s a fantastic CD, maybe the best Christmas CD I’ve ever heard.

Indeed, Lord Jesus, we celebrate You today, because You were born so we may have life.

To my brothers and sisters in Cagayan de Oro, here’s another Chris Tomlin song that I’d like to feature here, imploring today’s Celebrant to show us His light in the recent darkness, and to give us strength and hope in that indeed, “greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city!”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Water rationing, missing persons, free shipping, and more updates in the wake of Typhoon Sendong

Thank you very much for sharing my previous post on Typhoon Sendong on Facebook and others.  I hope people have donated.  If you haven’t donated yet, pls do so by scanning the right margin of this site for the Donate Button.  The people of Cagayan de Oro are surely in dire need.

Free Shipping of relief goods for USA and Canada

If you’re a USA resident and you want to send stuff over, you can have your packed goods for donation picked-up at your residences. Call these numbers for info: 1-800-338-5424 CALIFORNIA, 1-866-377-1192 CHICAGO, 1-800-522-9507 NEW JERSEY, 1-877-983-9686 WASHINGTON STATE

In fact, if you live near an LBC branch, pls note that all LBC branches in the US and Canada will start serving as drop-off centers for your donations to victims of typhoon Sendong.  I think all LBC branches in the Philippines already serve as such.

Water Rationing:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Typhoon Sendong devestates Cagayan de Oro. Here’s how you can help

(Note that the pictures are not mine, but were taken from various news websites)
The eerie thing is: this man used to work for my mom.  His other child is still missing.

Sorry I have been out of the blogsphere for a while.  I'm pretty sure you know why.

To those whose lives have been forever changed by the fury of typhoon Sendong as it tore through Cagayan de Oro, who lost their homes and possessions, who lost family and friends, I offer my sincere condolences and prayers.  

My dear readers, later in this blog I'll show you how you can help the victims of this terrible disaster.

In case you're wondering about us, we are blessed to live uptown (in Xavier Estates) and so we weathered the storm with only the minor inconvenience of having no electricity.  Others were not so lucky.
As of this writing, over 600 people have lost their lives, 800 remain missing, and hundreds upon hundreds more are left homeless as of midnight last Friday night, as flash floods ripped through the lower barangays of Cagayan de Oro, the deluge being so powerful that it easily filled up entire houses in only 5-10 minutes, forcing families to scramble onto their rooftops for survival.  Many, deep in their slumber, never had a chance.

Luckily, all of my friends and loved ones survived; but some of them just barely, losing everything they owned except for the clothes on their backs…yet thankful to escape with their lives.  Here’s a Facebook comment of one of my co-workers:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A CDO radio station interviews one of my students

Two weeks ago, a student of mine, Florence Velasco (a senior at The Abba’s Orchard Erdkinder) was interviewed in a local radio station here in Cagayan de Oro City.

Florence was one of the participants of the Rotary Youth Week (an event that had students from various schools serve as public officials for a week), where she served as First Councilor. One of the Rotarians, my friend John De Cleene, runs The New J 103.3 FM, the city’s all Christian radio station.

When Mr. De Cleene took note of her great performance in the Rotary Youth Week, especially the final day, and also learned that she’s also a leader in her church’s youth ministry, a radio interview was bound to happen.

And so here it is, a video I made of the interview with (uh oh, proud-teacher-moment) an amazing young woman that I am very proud to call my student.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The great things about living in Cagayan de Oro, part 2

Another apology for another delay.  The second part of the Great Things About Living in Cagayan de Oro is way overdue.  My apologies, as I have been swamped with work.

Friends, I hope you had a fun and safe Fiesta weekend.  I sure had an eventful one.  Took my three kids and my father-in-law out to a day at the beach on Monday; and on Tuesday my wife and I (with two of my younger ones) spent the day in the nearby mountains to see her best college friend and her boyfriend, who were in town for a few days. 

Yup, I enjoyed the beach one day and the mountains the next; two beautiful, yet so different, natural sceneries.  Such is one of my top reasons why Cagayan de Oro is a great place to live, one of the best places to live, in my opinion. 

So now comes Part 2 of my list on why there’s no place like Cagayan de Oro.  Click here to see the first half of the list, in case you missed it. 

5.  Not susceptible to any major natural disasters.  We hear of earthquakes here, typhoons there, tsunamis over yonder…and we go, “Oh, that’s too bad; we feel for ya, man!”  Thing is, we’re far from the typhoon belt that messes up Luzon on a yearly basis, and we’re also far from any major earthquake fault lines.  We don’t face the big Pacific Ocean either, so I can’t imagine any tsunamis in CDO.

The worst thing that happens here is the occasional flooding from heavy rains, but nothing nearly as intense or as frequent as what Luzon goes through.  

Really, one of my favorite reasons why I love CDO is that it is spared from any major natural disasters.

(2012 update:  Okay, we just had the Sendong tragedy…but these almost never happened.  In fact, we were so caught of guard because these kinds of storms really don’t come our way)

6.  The local food scene.  I can’t get enough of the Vjandep pastel that our city is famous for, and you should try the Slers ham as well.  Both of these are the most famous pasalubongs of the city. 

As for the places to eat, there are lots to choose from.  It may not be as varied as the bigger cities (I still wait for the day when we get Bros. Burger, Dairy Queen, Cinnabon, or Krispy Kreme in CDO), but we have lots of local fare for your dining pleasure.

Probably my favorite place to eat in Cagayan de Oro, Bourbon St. Bistro
There’s so much to choose from.  My favourite local restaurants are Bourbon St. Bistro, The Xavier Sports and Country Club, Sentro 1850, Bigby’s, and Thai Me Up.  You can also try the local seaside restaurants with the great view of the ocean, such Panagatan, and its neighbor, Tabing Dagat.  For barbeque, I love Bacolod Inasal (their chicken bbq) and Butcher’s Best (their pork bbq). 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of good eats here in this city.  If you have more recommendations, please feel free to comment!

7.  A great place to raise a family.  Actually, this depends.  If money is not a big factor and you can afford to live well, then Cagayan de Oro has some of the best options in this whole country.

Take schools for example.  CDO has some of the best schools in the country, and students from all over Mindanao flock to this city to study.  Students from many schools here do well in national competitions, and Xavier University consistently lands in the top 10 universities in the Philippines.

The Abba’s Orchard, La Granja campus
Special mention, and I know I’ll seem very biased here, is the school I work for, The Abba’s Orchard.  Imagine, it’s the only school in the whole Asia-Pacific region that can boast of having the full Montessori curriculum.  In fact, its high school program is only one of the handful of its kind in the whole world.  My kids are products of their fantastic pre-elementary and elementary programs, and our friends and relatives are often impressed by how smart, vibrant, and confident they’re turning out to be.

Then there’s a place to live.  I’m talkin’ uptown CDO, like Xavier Estates, Pueblo de Oro Golf Estates, and the other ones that are popping up all over the place (such as Alegria Hills and Teakwood Hills). 

Again, this doesn’t apply to everyone, only for the ones that can afford it.  However, in the next several years, many OFWs and balikbayans (not to mention the occasional love-struck expat) will come back to the Philippines to retire.  If I were them and was faced with a decision to choose between uptown Cagayan de Oro or Manila or some Philippine city to build my dream house and retire, I’d choose uptown CDO in a heartbeat.  Xavier Estates, in particular, has fantastic security and a lovely setting, plus a wonderful country club to boot.

And there’s no sign of the real estate development slowing down either.  New subdivisions are being built left and right.  Condo units are being built uptown as well.  Xavier Estates will open up a new Phase 5 this year (hey, if you’re interested, my wife is an agent…she’ll hook you up real nice). 

8.  The attractions.  When my family first settled here 15 years ago, this place was a sleepy provincial town without much to do.  Now, there are attractions within the city or in close proximity to it.  I’m gonna list the tourist attractions the city is famous for:

White water rafting.  CDO is known as the white water rafting capital of the Philippines.  Tourists say that their experience with the rapids here is the best in the country, bar none.

Zipzone Adventure Park Just two hours away is Asia’s longest zip line, nearly a full kilometer long.  If there’s a place where you wanna really experience R Kelly’s song, I Believe I can Fly, it’s in Zip Zone.  Then they also have an ATV course, Zorb, horseback riding, and a very well equipped nature park with a tree top adventure for the kiddos. 

Mapawa Nature Park.  This is the quintessential camping place in the city.  It also has horseback riding, rappelling, river trekking, and a great horseback riding course where you can go up to the top of a hill and see a panoramic view of the whole city.

My daughter, Mesoo loves the slides
Xavier Sports and Country Club.  The best place to swim in the city, but you need to be a guest of one of the club’s members to do so.  If you’re lucky enough to do that, then get ready for great swimming experience, thanks to its awesome slides.  Enjoy its other attractions (pool tables, bowling, indoor tennis court, basketball court) as well as its great food. 

Duka Bay Resort This is a great beach resort about two hours away.  There are others that are closer, but this is still my family’s favourite.  The beaches are nice and clean, there are comfortable places where you can get your barbeque on, and there are other attractions like scuba diving, glass boat, kayaking, and others.

There are many other attractions in and around CDO.  In fact, click here for a pretty comprehensive list of what to do in CDO itself.

I hope you liked my list of the great things about living in Cagayan de Oro City.  Feel free to give your own two cents in the comments section.  I’m sure I missed a few other reasons why one should choose CDO.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The great things about living in Cagayan de Oro, Part 1

The big Fiesta day celebration is now right around the corner.  As promised, I will list down the things I love most about living in Cagayan de Oro.  As a backgrounder, I’m not from here.  I was born in Manila, went to the US at age 9, came to Cagayan de Oro at age 19 and have been a happy Cagayanon ever since.  Why?  You will see below.

Oh yeah, a big thanks to all those who participated in the question I posted.  Be it an email response or a comment on my blog entry…thank you.  I wish there was more participation, but well, what’s done is done.

Anyway, I compiled 8 reasons why CDO is so dear to me and the respondents.  I will put 4 here, the rest will be in a later entry.

1.  Relatively little traffic and pollution. 
Lesser traffic is one of the more obvious blessings of CDO when you compare it to other cities in the country.  Ok, this year’s Fiesta is an exception because of the construction of several flyovers, but when all that is done traffic will be even easier to stand than before.

My friend, Penny’s response was that you can get to anywhere in the city in 20-30 minutes max.  She’s right.  I can get to the mall in two minutes; the wet market in ten minutes; work in a little less than fifteen (including picking up carpoolers); the airport in five; the hospital in ten; church in twenty…you get the picture.

The quality of the air is also more tolerable as compared to our other cities.  In our nation’s capital city, my gosh.  White streamers hanging outside turn brown in no time; and asthma is rampant.  But in CDO?  Well, unless you hang around Divisoria all the time, the air is better here.  This is especially true if you live in the Xavier Estates/Pueblo de Oro area, like I do.

2.  The beach and the mountains are very close by.
Another great thing about CDO is its geographical location.  We are so blessed to be a sea-side town, yet the mountains are only a stone’s throw (as fast as 45 minutes) away.  My friends who live elsewhere can enjoy the mountains but not the beach; others enjoy the beach but not the mountains.  We can enjoy the natural blessings of both. 

I don’t recommend going to the beaches right on the edge of town, though (you’ll have to travel out of town for a few minutes).  But still, we are so blessed to have both very close by.

3.  Cheap, healthy, and abundant food.
Family and friends from other cities always stock up on good eats before leaving, because they can enjoy fruits and other food at a much cheaper price than what they get where they live.  Some of them, bewildered, ask “Do these guys want to make a profit?  How come it’s so cheap?”

And indeed, the food here is great.  Our visitors envy us that we can enjoy a plentiful supply of durian, marang, jackfruit, lanzones and others.  In trying to stock up on the things we so abundantly enjoy, they stink up the planes and other transpo on their way back to their own homes.

I also love the roadside stalls on the highway on the way to the beach or to the mountains, selling all kinds of fruits at very low prices.  Not only do I love the prices, but I also love that much of the stuff is grown at the sellers’ backyards, so there’s no herbicides and pesticides and other bad stuff that you wouldn’t want on your food.

4.  Very nice people.
Cagayan de Oro is not called the “City of Golden Friendship” for nothing.  The people here, for the most part, are truly nice, fun loving, and simple folk.  Friends, such as my co-worker Elaine, who have gone on and settled in other parts have commented that the people in their current location are not as warm as the people from their home town. 

Sure, there’s poverty in many parts of CDO, and so you’d have to be careful with your stuff.  Indeed, I’ve had some bad experiences with petty theft since I stayed here.  But take it as a lesson in vanity, and a lesson in the need to take care of your things.  I don’t wear the kind of bling I used to wear, and I feel fine.  Better even.

In spite of that, this city truly does earn its reputation as the City of Golden Friendship.  Filipinos are known for being hospitable, but Cagayanons take it to another level.  I’ve been treated so well since I came here.  Maybe it’s because I was the new kid in town and I had an American accent, but still…people here are so, so, so nice.

There are four more reasons why I love Cagayan de Oro City so much, and I will post them in part two of this article.  You can also do some last minute suggestions in the form of comments, and I will do my best to include them as well.

Happy Fiesta everyone, and enjoy the long weekend.

Update:  Here’s part 2 of this article.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August is FIESTA TIME, baby! What do you like about living in Cagayan de Oro City?

Cagayan de Oro Fiesta Time!
Well, well, it’s now August, a festive month for those of us who live in Cagayan De Oro City.  At the end of the month, most Cagayanons partake in the city’s Fiesta Celebration (called the Kagay-an Festival)…but the festivities usually start weeks before, with midnight madness sales, huge events, carnivals, celebrity visits, the Ms. Cagayan de Oro Pageant, and all sorts of stuff.

The highlight for many, of course, is the food on the fiesta day itself.  Most Cagayanon families host a big banquet in their houses.  This is one of the few days in the year where frugality is thrown out the window and whole neighborhoods become food extravaganzas.  It’s not uncommon for people to visit one neighbor, stuff themselves on their food and drink, socialize a bit, then move on to another neighbor’s house to do the same thing. 

Viva St. Agustin, indeed.

Well, I say most Cagayanons because non-Catholic families, like ours, usually don’t partake in the festivities.  It doesn’t mean that we refuse invitations…we humbly accept those, it would be rude not to.  But, since this is a Catholic Holiday, celebrating the life of the city’s patron saint, we usually don’t partake in anything beyond accepting friend’s invitations. 

Since the Cagayan de Oro’s Fiesta is coming this month, I’d like you, dear readers who currently or formerly live in the City of Golden Friendship, to answer this simple question:

What do you like about living in Cagayan de Oro City?

Since I don’t celebrate the Fiesta, I want instead use this blog to honor the city that I have called home for the past 15 years.  And you guys are along for the ride. 

Please leave a comment here, explaining why you love Cagayan de Oro.  Then, as the Fiesta draws near, I will consolidate your submissions and make it into a new post.  I already have a handful of things to say, but I’d also like to get the heartbeat of other Cagayanons.

I’ll be waiting.

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