Wondering on where to spend an idyllic vacation in the Philippines? Here is a travel tip - breeze into Bukidnon in northern Mindanao to get a feel of a relaxing countryside vacation. This landlocked province, the fourth largest in the country with a land area of 10,498.59 square kilometers, charms its guests with a collage of mountains, plateaus, canyons, waterfalls, and vast pineapple farms.
Bukidnon is regarded as the food basket of Mindanao, one of the three island groups in the country along with Luzon and Visayas. The majority of the population depends on agriculture, with rice, corn, sugar, coffee, rubber, and pineapple being the major crops. The rural setting makes Bukidnon a favorite destination among travelers seeking to escape the hassles of the city life.
As most Philippine travel guides tell tourists, getting to Bukidnon is quite inconvenient as there are no direct flights to the province from major cities in the Philippines. Cagayan de Oro City serves a jump-off point to Bukidnon. One can take a bus or a ferry from the city all the way to the province, where tourists are welcomed by cool breeze and magnificent mountain views.
Here is a sampling of the astonishing attractions in Bukidnon.
One of the wonderful waterfalls of Bukidnon is in the fourth-class municipality of Sumilao. Alalum Falls is located just along the Sayre Highway, making it readily visible to motorists and travelers. Across the top, the falls measures 148 feet high. It is surrounded by lush trees, rocks, and green plants. Bukidnon is also home to Dila Falls, Minlaya Falls, Tingag Falls, Bawa Falls, and Bindol Falls.
Bukidnon has its own share of colorful events. Come February, the provincial capital, Malaybalay City, hosts the Kaamulan Festival, wherein the province's seven prominent tribes come together to celebrate their customs and traditions. During the festival, which runs until the first week of March, the streets are filled with people wearing colorful costumes with intricate patterns. The occasion is part of the celebrations for the foundation anniversary of Bukidnon.
Dahilayan Adventure Park
A recent addition to the growing list of tourist attractions in Bukidnon is the Dahilayan Adventure Park. The park is home to Asia's longest dual zipline with a length of 840 meters. The zipline is placed some 4,700 feet above sea level. It also provides daredevils a breathtaking view of the lush greenery in the mountains of Dahilayan. Park officials guarantee that the zip zone is 100% safe.
Monastery of Transfiguration
One way to unwind and rediscover your spiritual path while in Bukidnon is to visit the Monastery of Transfiguration. The famed monastery, an architectural work of the late national artist Leandro Locsin, is nestled on the slopes of Malaybalay City. The spiritual center is perfect for retreats where one can hear monks reciting and singing Latin prayers.
Aside from the above-mentioned attractions, other tourist draws in Bukidnon are Mt. Dulangdulang, the Talaandig Ancestral Territory, and Napalit Lake. Accommodations in the province range from the basic to the luxurious. Some of the recommended hotels and resorts in the province are the MGM Mountain Resort, Lucky 9 Resort, and Edlimar Farm and Spring Resort.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.