Last week (July 24-28) my mom went to the island of Mindanao for work purposes and since I still didn’t have a regular job, I decided to tag along.
I had fun and learned a lot, but this trip wasn’t as much as a vacation as one would expect. Since the purpose of my mom’s trip was to present to some of her longtime clients and some new ones, we were always on-the-go. During night time, her clients’ events would end at 10-11pm and the next morning, we’d have to be checked out of the hotel and ready for boarding the van before 9am. We also kept traveling from place-to-place- kinda like what gypsies do. Still it was an experience I’ll never forget.
1st Day: Manila to Cagayan De Oro
My brother joined my mom and I for some lunch at Tokyo Bubble Tea. Our flight wasn’t until the evening so we had some time to spare.
Once we landed in Cagayan De Oro after an hour and a half flight, we took a one-hour shuttle bus (the vehicle looked like something off of Hong Kong) ride to our hotel. Then we had dinner at 9pm at an Italian restaurant at the hotel.
2nd Day: Cagayan De Oro to Bukidnon
By 9am, we had already eaten breakfast at the morning buffet, checked out of our hotel, and were just waiting for our ride to the meet-up place. We then transferred to a big shuttle bus that took us to Dahilayan Adventure Park, Bukidnon. It was a two-hour drive.
The place was so beautiful- you could see the mountains and the many pine trees surrounding it from our room. Also, can I just say: the rooms were very cozy and had the softest beds ever. The fact that we had a loft was also pretty cool. I’m hoping to be back soon!
However during our stay, it rained pretty hard so we didn’t get to do a lot of activities. I only got to do two: a walk on the hanging bridge and two rides on the luge (which was SO much fun! I made mine go really fast). Thank God that I had my trusty brown Doc Martens with me- my feet remained warm and dry the whole time + it was so easy to tread the muddy areas.
We headed back to our rooms wet and cold from the rainy cool weather, but with smiles on our faces from all the fun we had.
At night, we attended the company awarding event of my mom’s clients. There was a short program and lots of food!
3rd Day: Bukidnon to Cagayan De Oro to Davao
We left Dahilayan at 9:30am and rode the shuttle back to Cagayan De Oro.
Once back, we ate some more Filipino food for lunch at Mesa in Ayala Centrio Mall. We then headed to the new bookstore of one of my mom’s former clients and I managed to pick up an old book I loved back in my childhood.
We had an evening flight to Davao and let me tell you, it was probably the worst flight I’ve been on. The turbulence was mad crazy- the seatbelt sign was practically on for the whole flight. Even my mom’s friend was terrified and she was a frequent flier in that area. I’m not usually scared of plane flights but because of all the tension of the passengers around, it was hard not to feel the fear. My mom sat beside me and she literally whispered some prayers as she gripped my hand tight. The part that especially had me on the edge of my seat were the times the pilot sped up into some bumpy clouds.
I guess one factor that contributed was the plane was a 72-seater so we had to fly low and close to the clouds. It didn’t help that the weather was really bad too- thunder and lightning all around. But thank God we made it through. I found out later on that that specific route was notorious for bad flights. My mom’s friend shared this one incident where all passengers but four, cancelled their flight because of fear from the bad weather.
On to the good parts. From the airport, we had a one-hour van ride to our destination: the Waterfront Insular Hotel. We then had a quick dinner at Mandarin in SM Lanang Mall.
4th Day: Davao
For the first time in this trip, we didn’t have to get up very early! We strolled along the beach (which frankly, was more of a port) as we headed to the breakfast buffet by 9am. I ate sooo much food, I totally skipped lunch. It was a shame though because the lunch was served at another client event so they had another buffet ready.
My mom had a few meetings the rest of the afternoon so I spent time napping back in the room. Around late afternoon, my mom and I headed to SM Lanang once again to purchase some gifts for her clients.
At night, there was another company awarding event from my mom’s clients. This time, it was made even more epic by holding the event near the beach area. There was also a short program and a bunch of amazing fire dancers to entertain. The food was really good too! I can’t count how many Shanghai Chicken Tenders I ate from the buffet.
(no photos because this was a private company event)
5th Day: Davao to Manila
This was the last day of our trip so my mom had to fit in a lot of work before we left. We woke up early again and had a very rushed breakfast at the morning buffet area. It’s a shame because the food they served was a lot better this day. For one, they had loads of bacon.
By 10:30am, we had already arrived at the company office of my mom’s clients. It was an hour drive from the hotel. My mom did a bunch of work while I doodled quietly nearby. By lunch time though, we headed to SM Ecoland to have some Filipino food at Mesa (again). I’m not big on Filipino food but I did enjoy what I ordered.
For the rest of the afternoon, my mom had various meetings and the whole time, I just sat quietly next to her surfing the web and doodling on my art journal.
Before evening hit, we rushed out of the office and rode the company van all the way to the airpot only to find out that our flight had been delayed to an hour and a half later.
Nothing much happened after. We safely arrived at home at around midnight (the traffic was really bad when we got back to Manila).