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.


  1. Very well written Carlo! In fact, you had me convinced to stay longer in CdeO lol!!!! As they say, nothing beats HOME!!!

  2. Home is where the heart is.:) thanks for posting this sir carlo, CDO will always be number 1 in my heart.

  3. One more thing I love about CDO is the low crime rate. Well, at least that's the impression I get. I can still text in public and stay safe. My brother on the other hand (who lives in another city) has been mugged once just by walking on the streets in broad daylight without a companion.

  4. great blog carlo. yes i agree. CDO is agrat place. consiudering its a city with not much high cost of living compared to cities in Luzon

    1. hey guys where can I rent ant to pay about 10000 my email is

  5. ok carlo
    where do I sign up!!


Share this to friends!