Malaybalay Bukidnon – Being a landlocked province in Mindanao, Bukidnon is devoid of beaches but exhibits such irresistible raw appeal that will make you forget its lack of sand and sea!
I was blessed to be toured around to some top tourist attractions of Bukidnon’s modest capital – Malaybalay by my good friends Kuya Bon Panganiban and Earl Bolivar. This bountiful province is indeed bursting with gorgeous mountains clad by pine trees-strewn forests plummeting into mammoth cornfields, rice field, and pineapple and banana plantations. I just love walking around Malaybalay while being embraced by its cozy atmosphere and unassuming lifestyle. I feel safest here!
Here are some of Malaybalay Bukidnon’s Top Tourist Spots:
Nasuli Spring – Located in Bangcud, it is an idyllic spot for family picnics and swimming.
Two Trees Mountain – Located beside the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park, this peak is a local favorite. For non-mountaineers like me, taking the easy trail via Gawad Kalinga Village is the suggested route. The Two Trees Mountain summit offers a scenic view of the farmlands of Sitio Tigbawan of the Can-ayan village on the eastern side while on the west; climbers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the lively Malaybalay city. The 4th highest peak in the country – Mount Kitanglad is also clearly visible here; Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park is an ASEAN Heritage Park. It is best to climb Two Trees Mountain early in the morning so you can marvel at the the majestic scene of fogs as it slowly moves away and reveal the evergreen rice field.
Bukidnon Provincial Capitol – Fronting the nature park is the region’s capitol with a traditional architecture.
Kaamulan Nature Park – Another suggested activity to start your morning in Malaybalay is by strolling at the emerald-green park dappled with pine trees and native-inspired cottages that provides a leisurely highland ambiance somewhat similar to Baguio.
Roxas Monument – Located in the village of Casisang, this was built in honor of the late Manuel Roxas, the Philippine’s first president of the independent Third Republic
Ereccion Del Pueblo – The monument of creation of the town is proudly standing at Rizal Park. It depicts the 1877 agreement between the Spanish colonizers and the local leaders.
Lapanday Pineapple Farm – The Lapanday Food Corporation has a pineapple farm near Malaybalay’s city center. They grow and pack pineapples under the brands –“Estrella” and “Aloha” including the super-sweet line of Honey Pines.
The Del Monte Pineapple Plantation and Golf Course at Manolo Fortich is near Malaybalay too. To commute here, take a bus bound to Cagayan de Oro, and drop off at the intersection going to this pineapple plantation. Must try is the famous steak at the Clubhouse. Bukidnon boasts of having the sweetest pineapples, exported all over the world.
Monastery of the Transfiguration – The much sought-after home of the Benedictine monks is located in sitio San Jose is actually the last project of the National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin. It has a distinct pyramid-shaped church sitting in a hill overlooking the greenery. Staying at the monastery is also popular among visitors on retreat. An overnight stay here costs around Php 750, inclusive of food. If you’re pressed for time, you can just drop by and buy their famous products like Monk’s Blend Premium Coffee, Monk’s Peanut Butter, roasted peanut, peanut brittle and tablea. A Malaybalay also houses two other spiritual destinations: the Monastery of Carmelite Nuns and Jesuit Retreat House.
World War II Prisoners of War Memorial Shrine
Dalwangan Centennial Marker
D’Stable Eco Resort (Quadra) – This ranch offers affordable rooms for tourists and the place to be for dinning with a tranquil ambiance. They also offer short or day-long horse rides. Quadra is dotted with charming traditional shacks where visitors can dine ; they also serve delicious and reasonably priced dishes.
Malaybalay Souvenir Shops – For souvenirs, don’t leave without visiting Nida’s Handicrafts, Malaybalay Choice Handicrafts, Zeta Trading or Valdez Handicrafts. Must have is the woven fabric native to Malaybalay called hinabol. It is made of abaca fibers and used for making house decor, fashion accessories, purses, blinds, flowers, place mats and bags.
How to Get to Malaybalay Bukidnon:
Nearest airport and port to Malaybalay, Bukidnon is located at Cagayan de Oro (CDO) city. From CDO, Malaybalay is roughly 2 .5 to 3 hour ride. Take a bus bound for Valencia (Bukidnon) or Davao from Agora Terminal in CDO. Get off at Malaybalay Bus Terminal. Ride a motorela to take you to the city center.
If you’re coming from Davao, ride a bus en route to Malaybalay, Bukidnon from Ecoland Terminal. Travel time is roughly 7 hours.