Posts

Bukidnon: A Weekend at Dahilayan

Went away for the weekend to Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon! Yay! You could say this was a Dahilayan Weekend. It was lovely and windy way to de-stress from the everyday work routine by being disconnected for a while and just simply taking in a breath of cold fresh air in the mountains. I simply cannot stop pointing out that the weather was exaggeratedly windy and cold day and night! Wish I packed more jackets but this girl has to pack light. There were several things that happened along the way like missing the bus and being ushered to a detour because our mode of transportation wasn’t registered. You can check out what happened by clicking on the photos!

A Dahilayan Weekend

First things first though, there are two resorts that are adjacent to each other which are Dahilayan Forest Park and Dahilayan Adventure Park. The two have their own varied attractions therefore if you go to one, I recommend you go to the other.

Did I also tell you that there may be some rides you cannot take part in if you lean more on the heavy side. You can read more about it by clicking the photo below.

The all around cool breeze blanketed in clouds and mountain ranges. Towering pine trees and lush meadows as far as the eye can see.  This is what it means to be in Dahilayan, Bukidnon. A scene you’d never expect to see here in Mindanao and yet here I am off to spend a weekend here enjoying all it had to offer with the touch of a button thanks to an app with the best deals! I’ll tell you more about this particular app and how you can try it yourself by clicking the photo below!

Here I go eating my way around the area. Their hot coco is exquisite (you can see I’m halfway through already) that I had to go for seconds. I guess this has become my sorta food guide with what’s available in the area. P.S. Always go for pizza.

Check out my other Dahilayan related posts:

Eats: Pinegrove Mountain Lodge

IMG_0803Baked Lasagna

Hunger was setting in pretty quick after the ziplining so we headed to Pinegrove Mountain Lodge for meal time. I was hesitant at first seeing as there were not much people and the place looked fancy for a lodge but the feel was quite comfortable. The food was pretty good too! Their portions were at a considerable size! I scarfed down each plate with gusto for the beast that I am.
IMG_0788

Care for some apple crumble with vanilla ice cream on top?

Here’s a photo of their menu for your perusal: IMG_0791

Maui’s Salad has got mixed greens, sliced apple, carrot strips, sweet corn, toasted cashew nuts, croutons, topped with parmesan cheese and accompanied by a strawberry vinaigrette
IMG_0795Beef Salpicao

I do wish they had their cheese fries available though, I enjoyed it on my last visit. Also, they had the campfire kind of smores which you had to to prepare on their specially made round marble table!

It may not look it but their cheese fries was good for three people, unless you got a voracious appetite for potatoesCampfire smores by the fire!

IMG_0804Pinegrove is quite the ideal place if you’re in for a hearty meal with a homemade feel. It’s cosy and peaceful. The staff were very friendly and they even let us connect our choice of music to their Bluetooth jukebox!  Talk about being accommodating. The service was prompt ohm did I tell you that the food was good? Yes? The prices are mid-range but considering the taste and portion, it was absolutely worth it.

Check out my other Dahilayan related posts:

Eats: Dahilayan Forest Park

Can’t decide what to eat once you get to Dahilayan Forest Park? Fret not. I have listed this post as a sort of food diary and a list of things you can definitely munch on like Ian’s Nuts. They sell roasted chestnuts there at the Forest Cafe Park which you can purchase as an edible souvenir to friends and families.

IMG_0058

Taste some of Ian’s Nuts

IMG_0062 IMG_0063Beef Salpicao and Bibimbap with a side of Kimchi. Their menu is affordable and the service was swift.

IMG_0131

Tinolang Manok

IMG_0129

It’s a hearty chicken soup for dinner that’s good for two with grilled cheese and mango float for dessert at the Forest Park Cafe before calling it a night.

IMG_0174

The weather is frigid at 7AM there. Better bring a couple of sweaters if you’re staying for a couple of days. I recommend you get their hot chocolate because it’s my personal favorite there. It’s made from real cacao beans and the chocolate intensity is mouthwatering. I was already halfway done with my hot choco when I remembered that I had to take a photo of it. They also offer silog meals for breakfast. I added an additional order of waffles which had a side of pineapple. Their balcony view is awesome.IMG_0180 IMG_0183 IMG_0186 IMG_0410

Snacking on some garlic and cheese pizza before trying out their rides. This was pretty good. Then had bulalo for dinner. Soup is the go to during the evenings because it easily warms one up.IMG_0552 IMG_0573

Breakfast for Day 2. I had some dangsilog and added an additional fruit platter. It was a chilly and exclusive morning at the Forest Park Cafe because there was no one alse around the premises.IMG_0580 IMG_0593 IMG_0768Trying out their halo-halo before leaving! Halo-halo is always good any time of the day and at any weather.

If you’re looking for chips and other snackable things to take with you, they have a sari-sari store right beside the Forest Park Cafe which is very convenient. The cafe has a wide variety of food to choose from. I personally don’t see it as a cafe but rather some sort of summer camp mess hall. If neither of these on the list have tickled your fancy, try the food at Pinegrove Mountain Lodge which is just a couple of steps away. You can check it out here.

Check out my other Dahilayan related posts:

13 Things You Can Do at Dahilayan Forest Park

So, thinking about what you’re gonna do once you get there? Fret not my friend! Here’s a guide to the things you can possibly do at Dahilayan Forest Park along with the information you need to know about their activities. First of all be aware that they have an entrance fee of 100PHP for adults and 50PHP for kids. There are some that have weight restrictions, and minimum people requirements. So you better be within their ideal weight measurements because they’re pretty strict about it since its part of their safety protocols. But first! Let me show you around with my photos…IMG_0212IMG_0277IMG_0622IMG_0620a

Fish Feeding (10php a pack)

Here’s one of their main view decks. You get to see a view of a bigger pond with large Tilapia, Koi and floating duck statues. This one also has a pond full of Koi fish! You can also feed them by purchasing their 10PHP fish food by the Forest Park Cafe. Don’t tell management but one actually nibbled my finger. HAHA)
IMG_0227 IMG_0230 IMG_0240

Picnicking at The Picnic Grounds (200PHP a table)

Check out their picnic grounds. This one hectare area is quite nice for a weekend family get together and yeah, I kinda went a bit crazy with the animal statues. Towering pine trees cover the area which made the sound of a passing jet plane whenever a strong breeze passed by. They had chairs and tables at the ready to which one can rent out at 200PHP which can already accommodate ten people.

IMG_0251IMG_0259

tododahilayanLil’ old me going dorky with the animal statues

Zorbit (250php with the Monkey Tree Challenge)

Here’s an activity where you go zorbing down a hill. You got to have a partner though to actually be a potential candidate AND both of you must be below 70kgs. and no more than that because they don’t consider exemptions even if it exceeded about, let’s say…. 2kgs more. I really looked forward to trying this out but sadly was unable to
IMG_0391

ATV & Buggy Trail Adventure (750PHP per head for ATV and 1,200PHP for a 2 person buggy)

Get on an ATV(all-terrain vehicle) or buggy (for two) as a guide takes you on a 3.2 km forest trail of rough terrain, steep hills, scenic views and cool weather. Take note that the ATV is good for one vehicle per person ONLY and the buggy has a maximum weight capacity of 110kgs (this is the combined total weight for two). The ride is good for about 20 minutes of fun and laughs.
IMG_0393

Tree-top Adventure (250PHP with the Monkey Tree Challenge included)

This ladies and gents, is their tree-top adventure. A 21 stationed obstacle course located in between pine trees approximately 8-11 feet in the air. One has to have the will to climb ladders, cross floppy bridges, crawl in tunnels and even zip across just to finish this ordeal! Included in this package is the Monkey Tree Challenge as well.tododahilayan5IMG_0612 IMG_0615

Bumper Boats (150PHP. Just add 50PHP if you want to do a tandem)

This is their man-made mountain lagoon. Great for kids and adults who want to go bump in the water without taking a dip.

IMG_0642

IMG_0649

I find this fern head unusual with its hairy and thorny texture. But I had to touch it. *cringes

Hanging Bridge (100PHP)

This scenic bridge hangs 30-meters above ground, you to to pass this if you want to directly reach the Forest Luge. Helmets are provided of course before you do an 80-meter walk from one end to the other. Below the bridge you will see lagoons and different pathways with an all around view of nature’s glory. Note: This activity is already included if you already got the Forest Luge package.

tododahilayan3 tododahilayan4

Once you cross the bridge, it’s a playground and the Forest Luge that awaits you on the other side. The air gets pretty chilly once you get here but the view is awesome.

IMG_0664IMG_0705

Forest Luge (2 rounds for 600PHP including the Hanging Bridge and Mini Golf)

This luge is part go-cart, part toboggan ride that rolls down a track with thrilling twists n’ turns and mountain views amid the cool fresh air. They got two tracks which you can pick out. I think this one varies with the speed for each luge. It’s open for all ages too!IMG_0659

 Sauna & Jacuzzi (300PHP per head 10pax)

I didn’t get to experience this since they required about 10 people to use this facility. I only got a sneak peek of this area. What I did saw was a great view and separate bathrooms for the males and females. One can either dip in the hot and bubbly 10-seater eternity Jacuzzi pool overlooking a lagoon, get all hot and steamy in the sauna, or simply sit down, relax, get a foot or head massage and breathe in all that order.

IMG_0765

Forest Putt Mini Golf (50PHP & 150PHP for night golf)

It’s an 18-hole putting course with lush landscapes and life-sized animals, this is suitable for the young and old especially for those who like golf. I found this quite amusing considering that I have never played golf in my life and that this was my first time. P.S. my golfball reached their lettuce garden and I dare you to do a hole-in-one with their version of Mt. Kitanglad.

tododahilayan1 tododahilayan2

Other activities which I may have excluded would be…

Barrel Train (50php)

Age does not matter in this ride! Towed by an ATV is a train of animal inspired barrel that can hold up to 1 adult and 1 child at a time. It’s a 10-minute tour around the park. Safe for the little ones and the not so little ones!

Bungee Bounce (150PHP) & Net Trampoline (50PHP for 5mins.)

Once you cross the bridge, it’s a playground and the Forest Luge that awaits you on the other side. Soar up in the air up to 20 feet high, strapped in a safety harness, in the midst of cool weather and a scenic view of the mountains. Take note that they have maximum weight capacity of 30kgs. So you could say let’s just leave it to the kids…unless you’re really petite.

IMG_0690

Boohoo no trampoline for you.

Horseback Riding (100php for 15mins.)

This isn’t part of their activities but I included this here if ever you’re in to try some horseback riding. This one was at 100PHP for 15 mins. You can find these outside of the Forest Park right by the parking area. I got to talk to a kid named Kimkim who said that he helped out during the weekends. I could see how much he cared for the horses. IMG_0374IMG_0382

So that’s about it! This place is very much recommended for families of varying sizes be it large or small, group or corporate meetings or just about anyone looking for a scenic adventure. Long walks are the norm here considering that all activities require every crevice of  your body to work! Warm-up exercises surely would help to anyone who hasn’t moved their butts in ages (like myself?haha).

Check out my other Dahilayan related posts:

How To Commute To Dahilayan Forest Park

I know the best way to get to Dahilayan Forest Park would be to have your own transportation but where’s the adventure in that? I originally had my day planned by taking the shuttle bus early in the morning but there are just some circumstances that can disrupt those said plans. In short, I MISSED THE BUS. Chill. Don’t panic. You have two options which can get you from Cagayan De Oro to Dahilayan by following these steps.

First Option. Take the Shuttle Bus

via Magnum Express
This is for those who want to opt for something stress-free. All you got to do is go to Limketkai Center and ask to be dropped off by the Magnum Express Shuttle Service. Their daily shuttle schedule is always at 9:00AM . Their rate is at 249PHP only so it’s quite affordable. This one was my personal choice. For details and reservations, contact (0999) 888 7999 or (088) 8521 999.

IMG_0276IMG_0275

via Zipzone Shuttle
This is only available every Saturday. There’s a Zipzone Shuttle from Cagayan de Oro to Dahilayan Adventure Park from 8:00-8:30 AM, at Coffeworks in Divisoria. So please make sure you get there earlier than that. Their round trip fare is Php 350.00 per person. Their Dahilayan to Cagayan de Oro trip leaves on the same day at around 3 to 4 PM. For details and reservations, contact 09228801319.

Do make sure you arrive there before their said time or you will definitely miss it (which happened to me having only arrived less than 3 minutes late). Also being early is actually a plus so you won’t have to wrestle your way in fitting their seats (which often happens during their peak seasons and/or weekends). The total travel time is a about an hour and thirty minutes. Fret not, both buses are air-conditioned and the views are worth glancing.

 

Second Option. Take the OTHER bus, jeep or van….and a habal-habal ride!

This is the rather adventurous option. First thing you do to is to go to the Agora Bus Terminal/Market City and take either a van or jeepney ride to Brngy. Camp Philips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. The van terminal is located outside Mang Inasal while the jeep terminal is at the nearest corner. I took the bus going to Bukidnon. They had two buses you can choose from. One with a portable bathrom which costs at 120PHP while the other had none which costs at 50PHP only. Both were airconditioned, bet you knew which one I took. Yep, peed in advance and opted for the second bus.IMG_9988

Travel time was at 30-40 minutes. Also, let the driver and conductor know that you’re going to Dahilayan. They will drop you off by the highway where there’s a lot of motorcycle drivers haggling to take you to Dahilayan. Make sure that you pick out a motorcycle that’s registered because by the time you get to Camp Philips, they become stricter especially towards unregistered motorcycles (like the one I unfortunately rode) and will force you to take a detour. The Habal-habal (motorcycle) fare is around Php 150 per person, depending on your negotiation with the driver. They do offer a back and forth trip for 300PHP for one person.
IMG_0024

Passing through a field of pineapples! This is where the Del Monte Pineapple plantation is located and yes the plantation stretch far and wide with spiky plants as far as the eye can see!IMG_0015IMG_0008

Me hugging their huge ass pineapple at Camp Phillips before a military guy told us to take the detour. Ugh. What a bittersweet moment to hug a pineapple in the middle of a roundabout. He blocked us from entering because he found out that the motorcycle we were on wasn’t registered, YET. So we had to go back and follow another road. T_T
IMG_0030 IMG_0032 IMG_0033 IMG_0034

The  views here were breathtaking. So much mountains and the lush greenery in the area plus the weather was cold yet sunny at the same time. Tie your hair or you could get that ‘mahangin sa labas’ look. Be aware that the road could get rough and dusty in some portions of the route.IMG_0077

Me going nuts over the animal statues. If you wanna read up on where I stayed. click here!

Check out my other Dahilayan related posts:

A Dahilayan Forest Park Weekend via Traveloka

The all around cool breeze blanketed in clouds and mountain ranges. Towering pine trees and lush meadows as far as the eye can see.  This is what it means to be in Dahilayan, Bukidnon. A scene you’d never expect to see here in Mindanao and yet here I am off to spend a weekend here enjoying all it had to offer with the touch of a button thanks to an app with the best deals! More below.

dahilayan3adahilayan2a
I stayed at Dahilayan Forest Park Resort! Located at Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich Bukidnon. It is nestled at the foot of Mount Kitanglad 4,700 ft. above sea level. It’s the ideal tourist destination for  families and groups with its wide array of activities which I’ll talk about later on in this post. Check-in time was 2PM while the check-out time was at 12NN. Here’s an added bonus, all checked-in guests were entitled to a 10% discount for each of their rides and activities!dahilayan9 I booked a standard room which was good for a maximum of three people. They had various room sizes to choose from which had different amenities. The one I stayed at was quite simple (no air-conditioning and TV) but that didn’t matter since my main goal was to actually disconnect from civilization by living in the mountains and the weather was currently at a very cold spell due to the LPA which resulted in a colder than usual climate. But then again this is Bukidnon with temperatures ranging from 18 to 28 °C above sea level. dahilayan5dahilayan14The room was well lit and I was in the third floor so it was quite cool and breezy. It included a ceiling fan which I never turned on because temperatures were almost freezing at night especially when you opened the windows. The room I booked had two beds (one queen sized and the other was a single bed). The only negative thing I could say about my stay was their daily housekeeping. I placed the ‘make up room’ sign prior to starting my day. I then called the hotel concierge as well requesting for my room to be made up. Sadly, when I got back after 4-5 hours, my room still wasn’t made up. Called them again asking for a follow-up and left the room for two hours but yet to no avail the room wasn’t still made up. I called the hotel concierge twice after and waited until 7PM but housekeeping never arrived. I do hope they would improve on their communication with housekeeping next time because there would be some guests who would find this unacceptable.dahilayan8
With all the fluffy pillows and comforters to myself, now it was the most comfy haven. The bed was so cozy, it was tempting to leave the room but I had to tell myself that now isn’t the right mindset to be lazy. Did I tell you they also had a complimentary breakfast that was good for two people. Mind you, they only served this until 10AM so you better be early or you’ll miss out on this one. Here are the other room amenities as well which I have listed:

  • Wi-fi (I was informed prior to my booking that there wouldn’t be wi-fi but surprise!)
  • Ceiling fan
  • Hot & cold shower
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soaps, shampoos and TP)
  • Lots of towels
  • Electric kettle
  • Drinks (bottled water and instant coffee)
  • A phone.

dahilayan12

They had the Forest Park Cafe which served various comfort food and drinks at affordable prices. They also had a small sari-sari store for those simple needs like chips and other things you name it. The souvenir shop was nearby as well, which also sold iceberg lettuce aside from the usual knick-knacks. Their dining area was quite spacious and it looked more like a mess hall camp. No complaints here because the view was awesome and it was an open area. The staff were very accommodating and swift. As for the food, I splurged a bit considering that this weekend of fun required a lot of energy and energy comes from FOOD. I’ll talk more about it!

dahilayan11dahilayan1

Okay, so now we’ve come to the part where you want to find out how I booked this place affordably. It’s all thanks to…

*drumroll* dundundun…

A trusty hotel and flight booking app called Traveloka!
Traveloka_2014
It’s quite easy to use too! Plus they have their own coupons to which members can apply upon check out for a discounted price. Here are several screenshots during my actual booking. It takes 4 steps to complete your booking which are Book > Review > Pay > Voucher.

IMG_3507

First thing I did was search the area for hotels and pick out which one suited me. Input in your check-in date and how many people and how many days will one be staying. I chose Dahilayan Forest Park Resort and then I clicked SELECT ROOM. Take note that they also have special codes which you can use to get discounts which you can find at their homepage screen!

IMG_3510

After that you just select the needed options such as I’M BOOKING FOR MYSELF and then you can review and click CONTINUE TO PAYMENT. It then goes to a screen where you can type in your coupon code for a discount.

IMG_3513a

You can pay through the following:

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Dragonpay
  • 7Eleven
  • Cebuana Lhuilier
  • ML Kwarta Padala

IMG_3514

You can then await for the confirmation and in a couple of minutes you also get an SMS which would be your voucher summary as a confirmation that your booking was successful.

Experience the fastest way to book flights and hotels thanks to Traveloka!

dahilayan15

You can download it free:
appstoregoogleplay


Check out my other Dahilayan related posts: