Do You Know the Way to... (Malaybalay)
Up until this year, I didn't have the slightest idea where Malaybalay was. I learned it was in Bukidnon and about a week ago, I found myself in that area.
"Hindi ba delikado dun?" my mom asked when she learned I would be travelling to Mindanao. I guess the situation is similar to foreigners who have never been to the Philippines and have nothing to base their impression on but what they see on CNN. I wasn't too worried though. Anything can happen anywhere if it is meant. Some people sleep and a plane falls on their house. That sort of stuff.
Anyway, Malaybalay is about two hours' drive from Cagayan de Oro. Cagayan is more than an hour's plane ride from Manila. I had been in Cagayan before, on my way to Iligan - and that's about it. And that was years ago.
Seeing Bukidnon was a pleasant surprise to say the least. The place is quiet, peaceful - a definite break from stressful Manila. People looking for activity and action may be a bit disappointed but it was the perfect place for me for a few days. Seeing green mountains (with trees, actually!)was relaxing enough. Add to that the pine trees which give some areas that Baguio-like look. And there are quite a few monasteries there which we visited and which I shall write about in the next few days.
Visiting Bukidnon is a lot like life. We sometimes are unsure or doubtful because of the unknown but such situations can bring pleasant surprises. Things need not be complicated to bring joy. Often, its the simple things that make us realize just how thankful we should be for life and things around us. I actually wonder now when my kids can go to a place like Bukidnon, get away from toys and Cartoon Network, and just enjoy a few days where life is a little slower yet vibrant.
Malaybalay City: In the Heart of Mindanao - you'll find a location and street map, plus photos covering the Kaamulan Festival.
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