Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ozamis-Pagadian: No Guidebook Challenge

If there's one thing I defied this time as a traveler, it was to research ahead and read any travel guide. The Challenge? Rely upon local know-how.

It's amazing how there is NO functioning tourism office in Ozamis. Booth at the airport was also un-manned, and the one at the city proper was empty!

Given that and the locals' saying there's nothing spectacular to see, I opted to hop on the bus to Pagadian.

I got off at the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) and for P8, took a jeep to the city center. Took a while to get the jeep filled (roughly an hour's wait). We were dropped off at Agora Market where I saw a pension for P399/night. I kept my eyes peeled for lodges after about an hour walking and a bit of acclimatizing to the new area, and decided to stay at New Roxan where they offer a room for P300 (fan but with own toilet).

the iconic view from Rotunda

The next morning, I headed out to Dunkin' Donuts (they do abound here) for breakfast and walked again to look for the tourism office. They were very helpful and found me a guide and a single motor to hire.

Since it was already 11am when we convened, we had early lunch at Hoi Polloi where our lunch only cost P75 (for the 3 of us). One noticeable thing though is their portion. P10 viand is placed in a dipping dish that's why it's that cheap!

First destination is Kendi's Cave. Gruelling heat in the middle of the day! The cave is small and is only about 200 meters length. Once you get out, there's another opening leading to a different cave. We had to wade through waters and there was a portion where it was totally dark. Coming out, we were greeted by numerous bats. On the last stretch, we had to go through crevices.

at the mouth of Kendis Cave

managing to get out of the crevices

bats await us at the end of the tunnel

braving through the scorching heat
to get a glimpse of Kendis Cave

Next stop was Allegria falls, our hike was downhill and a bit of rockies. It was disappointing because there's only trickling of water. Hard lesson learned: waterfalls are almost always dry during the summer. There was a frenzy going back because they caught kasili, a long, snake-like type of fish found at the foot of the falls.

trickling waters of Allegria Falls

"kasili" is a snake-like fish

Manga falls was also dry but the trail to it is paved and they even have cemented steps. A highlight would be the gazebo where you could enjoy and rest.

After the day trip, my new found friend slash tourism officer Mel offered to show me a bit of Pagadian by night. Over at the Rotunda, we met her cousin and together we went to an eatery serving barbecue isaw and balbacoa. One peso (P1) per stick! No wonder the place was packed! We capped the night with a trip to Palpalan and a fish port, where we were surprised and awed at the single Pawikan swimming along the port.

the sleepy fish port where we chanced upon
a swimming Pawikan


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...