Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Mayon, Philippines

Location: 13.3N, 123.7E
Elevation: 8,075 feet (2,460 m)
Mayon has the classic conical shape of a stratovolcano. It is the most active volcano in the Philippines. Since 1616, Mayon has erupted 47 times.

The most recent eruption, in 1993, began unexpectedly with an explosion. The initial eruption lasted only 30 minutes but it generated pyroclastic flows that killed 68 people and prompted the evacuation of 60,000 others. This photo shows pyroclastic flows descending Mayon on March 2, 1993.

Summit of Mayon with a small ash plume. March 7, 1993. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Missing Oregon climbers use cell phone to make contact

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) -- A pair of climbers missing in treacherous weather on Mount Hood used a cell phone Tuesday to report that they had spent the night in a snow cave and were on their way down the mountain.

Climbers were expected off of Mount Hood on Monday, said Oregon authorities.

The men, described as experienced climbers, had been due off the mountain Monday afternoon.

One of the men called his girlfriend Tuesday to let her know they had dug into the snow for shelter when conditions became so bad they could not continue.

They were near the tree line on the 11,239-foot mountain, said Detective Jim Strovink of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. He said 18 rescuers were on their way to meet the climbers.

Earlier, search teams had been waiting for a break in the stormy weather before heading up the mountain. The temperature at Timberline Lodge, the resort where the climbers had left their car, was around 10 degrees Tuesday morning and snow was blowing sideways.

The resort, on the mountain's south slope, is at an elevation of about 6,000 feet on the 11,239-foot mountain.

Searchers included representatives of Portland Mountain Rescue, Mountain Wave, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, American Medical Response and the Portland-based 304th U.S. Air Force Rescue Squadron.

More than 35 climbers have died on Mount Hood in the past 25 years.

cagayan de oro~paradise philippines

The area was first inhabited around 377 AD (the late Neolithic Period), island natives lived in a settlement then known as Himologan[2] (now known as Huluga), eight kilometers from present day Cagayan de Oro. The natives were polytheistic animist and paid tributes to Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, the Sultan of Maguindanao. In 1622, two Spanish Augustinian Recollect missionaries came in contact with the natives of Himologan and in 1626, Fray Agustin de San Pedro persuaded the chief of Himologan, Datu Salangsang, to transfer his settlement down river, to the present day Gaston Park. Fray Agustin later fortified the new settlement against warriors who were sent by Sultan Kudarat.

On February 27, 1872, the Spanish Governor General Carlos Maria de la Torre issued a decree declaring Cagayan the permanent capital of Segundo Distrito de Misamis. During this era, the name of the town was known as Cagayan de Misamis. On January 10, 1899, Cagayan de Misamis joined the Philippine government of Emilio Aguinaldo and celebrated its independence from Spain. It was the second time the Aguinaldo government was declared and the new Philippine flag raised on the Mindanao island. By virtue of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States; this caused friction and resulted in the Philippine-American War. In March 31, 1900, the Americans occupied Cagayan de Misamis and on April 7, 1900, battle erupted in the town center led by General Nicolas Capistrano[3] and Filipino resistance fighters. The Americans won the war, and about forty years later, gave the Philippines its independence on July 4, 1946.[4] When World War II erupted on May 1, 1942, Japanese forces invaded Cagayan de Misamis, destroying most of the town. Entered to the Filipino and United States forces in Cagayan De Misamis was liberated from Japanese occupation forces was defeated on May 10, 1945.

Through the efforts of Congressman Emmanuel Pelaez, the town of Cagayan de Misamis became a city on June 15, 1950 and its name changed to Cagayan de Oro. Congressman Pelaez appended "de Oro" to "Cagayan" in recognition of the gold mining activities in the area known to Spanish explorers.


Cagayan de Oro is located along the central coast of Northern Mindanao. To the south, the city is bordered by the Bukidnon Province. The Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental borders the city on the west and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental to the east. To the north lies Macajalar Bay facing the Bohol Sea. Its total land area is 488.86 km² representing 13.9% of the entire Misamis Oriental Province. It includes 25 kilometers of coastline and a fine deep water harbor, Macajalar Bay. 44.7% of the surface of Cagayan de Oro is classified as agricultural land, and 38.4% is classified as open spaces.


Cagayan de Oro has a tropical climate. The average temperature whole year round is 28 °C (82 °F). The highest recorded temperature in the city was 36 °C (97 °F) on May 1998. Cagayan de Oro receives an even amount of rain through out the year. The driest month is April, while July is the wettest. Wet season in the city starts in June and ends in November. Drier season starts in December and ends in May. Cagayan de Oro is rarely visited by a typhoon since it is outside the Pacific typhoon belt.


Cagayan de Oro has 3 major universities namely: Capitol University, Liceo de Cagayan University, and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. These universities specialize in various disciplines such as medicine, nursing, commerce, engineering, law, masteral and doctorate degrees. While AMA Computer University and Philippine Womens University are campus branches offering fewer courses.

See: List of colleges and universities in the Philippines

Health Care

The city has a hospital bed to population ratio of 1:474 as of 2003. There are 12 major well-equipped private and government-run hospitals including 50 Barangay Health Centers and 20 Family Planning Centers. There are also modern diagnostic centers and laboratories operating in the city.[5]

Northern Mindanao Medical Center (Provincial Hospital) and JR Borja Memorial Medical Hospital (City Hospital) are the two main government run hospitals in the city. The new Capitol University Medical City Hospital is one of the newer developments of the health services in city. In the recent years, private hospitals in the city have embarked on an aggressive expansion program. There has been a strong demand for medical facilities not only within the city but from nearby Mindanao provinces.


Lumbia Airport caters to domestic flights to and from Manila and Cebu. From Manila, it is an hour and fifteen minutes away by plane and from Cebu it is forty-five minutes away. There is ongoing construction on the Laguindingan International Airport. When finished, the international airport will serve Northern Mindanao including its major cities; Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.
Cagayan de Oro Seaport in 2005 with two quay cranes
Cagayan de Oro Seaport in 2005 with two quay cranes

The Macabalan seaport serves regular trips to Manila, Cebu, Tagbilaran, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Iligan, Jagna and Nasipit/Butuan. It is the busiest seaport in the region.

Cagayan de Oro Seaport is a modern international seaport situated near the estuary of Cagayan de Oro River, it has an anchorage depth of 18 meters and is around 400 meters from the shoreline. Cagayan de Oro Seaport has two authorized cargo handling operators.[9] With the recent completion of the 250 Million Peso Rehabilitation Project, the Cagayan de Oro seaport is now the largest international and domestic seaport in Mindanao.[10] General Milling and Del Monte Philippines also operates their own port facilities within Cagayan de Oro. The US $85 Million Mindanao Container Terminal located in Tagoloan, 17 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro serves the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate.

There are three bus and jeepney terminals in the city which offer regular land trips. The Agora Bus Terminal caters trips to and from Balingoan (port going to Camiguin), Gingoog, Davao, Butuan and Surigao in the Caraga Region, Valencia and Malaybalay in Bukidnon. While the Bulua-Westbound Bus Terminal caters trips to and from Iligan, Ozamiz, and western parts of Mindanao.

Executive Building (Old City Hall)
Executive Building (Old City Hall)

Cagayan de Oro City has been administered by elected and appointed officials since June 15, 1950. The city political government is composed of the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, sixteen City Councilors and one Sangguniang Kabataan Federation representative.

Barangays and Congressional districts

The city is politically subdivided into eighty barangays (bä-räng-gīs) and two Congressional districts. Cagayan de Oro was divided into two Congressional Districts with Cagayan de Oro river as its natural boundary in February 22, 2007. Each district elects eight City Councilors and one Congressional Representative. The first Congressional District is composed of twenty-five Barangays while the 2nd Congressional District is composed of fifty-five Barangays; forty of these barangays are located within the municipality.

Law Enforcement
National Police

Camp Vicente Alagar is the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP). It is located in Barangay Lapasan on top of a hilly area overlooking the city. Camp Alagar has jurisdiction over the entire Northern Mindanao.[13] Recently the national government provided new vehicles and equipments to improve Police response time and increase Police visibility in the city streets.


Camp Edilberto Evangelista, located in Barangay Patag of Cagayan de Oro, is the largest military camp in Mindanao with an area of 129 hectares. It is home to the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. Camp Evangelista's external jurisdiction covers the Northern Mindanao and Caraga region. Minor military camps are also located in Barangay Lumbia and upper Puerto.


Parks and resorts
Saint Augustine Cathedral
Saint Augustine Cathedral
View from Malasag Eco-Tourism Village
View from Malasag Eco-Tourism Village

* Gaston Park and Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral Gaston Park is located in front of the San Agustin Metropolitan Cathedral. The park, noted for its water fountain, is a favorite place to unwind for many locals, especially during sundays. Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral is the home of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. Every 28th of August, Cagayan de Oro celebrates the feast of Saint Augustine, now known as the Kagay-an (kä-gī-än) Festival. It is highlighted by the Miss Kagay-an Tourism beauty pagent, Sakay-Sakay sa Lambago fluvial parade, street dancing in native costumes and the Golden Float parade.[8]

* Whitewater river rafting along the Cagayan de Oro river has gained popularity through the years after President Macapagal-Arroyo herself went whitewater rafting last 2002.[14]

* Catanico Falls is concealed by huge boulders, the rapids, cascading falls and natural pool of Barangay. F.S. Catanico.

* Mapawa Nature Park is ideal for horseback riding, biking, zipline and nature trekking.

* Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village is located in a reforested area in Malasag Hill. This 7 hectare village has replicas of tribal houses in the region and a panoramic view of Macajalar Bay. The tourism village is owned and managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority.[15]

* Vicente de Lara Park is situated in front of the Provincial Capitol of Misamis Oriental with age-old mahogany trees that provide a therapeutic canopy for the promenades. The park is a popular jogging area during the morning.

* Plaza Divisoria was built in 1901 as a town divider and fire breaker after a large fire burned most of the town. It is now a park dedicated to national heroes like President Ramon Magsaysay, Andres Bonifacio, Dr. Jose Rizal, as well as other local Philippine heroes.[8]

* Bonifacio Park is among several parks located in Plaza Divisoria. Most of the local soldiers who died during the Philippine-American War of 1900 are buried beneath the monument.

* Kagay-an Resort, formerly known as Lawndale Spring Resort, in the Taguanao Area, is usually packed with families and groups on weekends lounging in the cold springs.

* The Pueblo de Oro Golf Course in upper Carmen is an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.

Museums and historical places

* La Castilla Museum is a museum of Philippine household heirlooms and antiques. This is the Rodolfo and Elsa Pelaez family memorabilia administered by the Liceo de Cagayan University.

* Museo de Oro is a museum located within the campus of Xavier University. The museum exhibits artifacts dug from Huluga Cave and repertoire of Bukidnon and Maranao Cultures that have survived the ravages of time.[8]

* Huluga is an archaeological site in sitio Taguanao, barangay Indahag. It is composed of an open site and two caves where skeletal remains of a child and woman were found. A fragment of the woman's skull was dated 377 AD by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. The open site is the venue of prehistoric settlement.

* Macahambus Cave and Gorge is an underground cave with a 130 foot (40 m) circular gorge. The ravine is thick with various species of plants and huge trees. It is the site of the historic battle between local and American soldiers during the Philippine-American War (1900).[16]

Limketkai Mall
Limketkai Mall
SM City Cagayan de Oro
SM City Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City is the shopping capital of the Northern Mindanao region. Residents from nearby provinces visit the city to shop and enjoy the mall facilities. Ayala Land recently launched its residential estate in Indahag and would soon construct its own shopping center, the Ayala Mall. SM City and Robinsons Mall are drawing plans to further expand their operations in the city center. Plans are also underway for the construction of the Pacific Island City Mall along Barangay Nazareth.

Major Shopping Centers, are as follows:

* Limketkai Center is located in Barangay Lapasan, near the National Highway. The Atrium located inside the mall is ideal for conventions, concerts, exhibits, and other events. Events held in the Atrium include concerts by local and foreign artists, beauty pageants, including the annual Miss Cagayan de Oro, and local and national conventions.

* Robinsons Cagayan de Oro is located behind the Limketkai Mall. It is right beside Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center.

* Gaisano City Mall is at the Claro M. Recto Avenue cor Corrales Extension, Lapasan Highway. Gaisano also has branches in Cogon and Carmen.

* SM City Cagayan de Oro at Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen

* Makro at Kauswagan Highway.

* Ororama Chain of Stores in Lapasan, Cogon, and Carmen.

* The Night Café at the Divisoria area is set up on Friday and Saturday nights. Locals and visitors gather in the streets of Divisoria to have barbecue and seafood, among many choices, and enjoy the music, beer, and also the great bargains from the nearby Night Market.[8]


Due to the national government's aggressive tourism campaign, local and foreign tourist arrivals in the city is on the rise. In 2004, the city registered a tourist arrival of 307,820; an increase from a previous of 232,257 in 2003.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mt.pico de loro

Dudes and Geoff

training climb before major climb
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Mt.pico de loro

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Mt.pico de loro~paradise philippines


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Mt.pico de loro

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Explore Cagayan de Oro, Paradise Philippines

Misamis was derived from the word "kuyamis", a local variety of sweet coconut. First people who resided in the province were the Bukidnons and Manobos. Centuries later, they were driven into the interior when the Visayans arrived.

Primarily, Misamis Oriental is part of Cebu. It was in 1818 when the province was divided into 4: Partido de Misamis, Partido de Dapitan, Partido de Cagayan and Partido de Catarman.

A simple life best describe the lifestyle of the Kagayanons. Majority of them are involved in farming and fishing. Their main crops include coconut, corn, coffee and bananas. A smaller version of the rice terraces can be found in the small town of Claveria, known to be the Salas Bowl of Northern Mindanao.

Cagayan de Oro is the center trade of Northern Mindanao, were many ethnic products are sold in the city. Muslim crafts like earring, bracelets, rings are sold in stalls located in the Cogon Market.

Misamis Oriental celebrates the feast of the city’s patron, Saint Augustine, every 28th of August. A carnival-like parade of colorful costumes, magnificent floats and a variety of sounds and colors highlighted the Kagayhaan Festival.

Cagayan de Oro, capital of Misamis, is a haven of ecotourist attractions: Acuna Beach, Bulakena Beach, Baloy Beach, Bonbon Beach, White Beach, Raagas, Chali Beach, Golden Friendship Park, Gaston, McArthur Park, and Dauw Cagayan Park.

A Canopy Walk has been built in a lush virgin rainforest in Claveria, enabling tourist to commune with nature and enjoy the fascinating birdlife and butterflies. Sagpulon Springs and San Isidro are an excursioner's delight. One of the many fine dive spots The Sapong Cold Spring and Agutayan Reef are just a few diving spots within the area. Whale watching can also be done in the surrounding waters of the province.

Philippine Airlines has a daily flight going to Cagayan de Oro City. If you want to travel by land, a bus from Philtranco travels from Manila to Misamis Oriental.

Initao Cave Unusual species of bats with cauliflower-like noses can be found in this cave. This is the only region in the country where you can find these animals and perhaps unique in the whole world, are found here.

Shell Museum – This is the best place for shell lovers and those who appreciate the sea. The museum is located at A. Velez St., City Library Building.

Macahambus Cave This is one of the tunnels leading to a point overlooking Cagayan River. About 30-50 meters further is a 130 ft. gorge. It is actually a "miniparadise" of ferns, wild trees and gigantic rocks.

Libon - Lawit Waterfalls This tourist spot has 3 waterfalls connected by the same stream, intervals at 100 and 80 meters. Truly one of nature’s wonders.

Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village – This is located at Sitio Malasag, Cugman, 20 mins. from the center of the city. It is a cultural village in botanical setting, which serves as learning center for eco-tourism. The village has souvenir shops, features cozy cottages, swimming pool, a mini-garden, a native restaurant, a butterfly garden and a multipurpose hall that showcases the tribal practices and crafts of Mindanao tribes.

Getting to Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro is considered as the gateway to Northern Mindanao. With its strategic location, it can easily be reached by any mode of transportation (be it by air, by water, or by land).

Cagayan de Oro is just 810 air kilometers away from Manila (Capital of the Philippines). By plane it is just one hour and twenty minutes away (1:20mins), approximately 30 hours by ship, and 40 hours by bus (travel through ferry boats).

Cagayan de Oro is just a 30-minute plane ride from Cebu; a 9-hour ride by ship.

Please contact your local travel agent for the fees, frequency, and schedule of these modes of transportation.

Getting around Cagayan de Oro

Arriving at the Cagayan de Oro Airport (Lumbia), you can spot numerous air conditioned taxicabs in queue. Taxis have open routes and can pretty much get you anywhere in the city and beyond. Flag down rates for taxis apply around the city. However, taxicabs that have lined up in the airport generally ask for Php 200.00-250.00 (around US$ 5.00) to get you to the heart of the city (downtown) or to the nearest hotel accommodation. If you are planning to go out of town (and you have not booked any car rental service), just talk and negotiate with the cab driver of your choice and he’ll gladly take you to your destination.

In the city proper, there are several modes of transportation. The most popular means of traveling from one spot to another are the jeepneys (which come in flashing colors equipped with sounds). Jeepneys have been the staple ride of the Filipinos since the early 20th century. Fares of the jeepney rides range from Php 6.50 to Php 20.00, depending on the distance between your starting place and destination.

However, aside from the national highways, Cagayan de Oro also has little streets that are already out of the normal route of jeepneys. This is where the tricycles come in. These are motorcycles that have been transformed into another lucrative mode of transportation by being put on with uniquely designed bodies in order to accommodate more passengers. FYI, each province in the Philippines has their own unique form of tricycles. So if you’re a curious traveler who wants to experience being a “local” for a while (and you don’t mind giving up the luxury of air conditioned taxis), then riding a tricycle may just be a good idea.

Cagayan de Oro is connected by two separate bridges. Marcos Bridge links the Kauswagan highway and CM Recto Avenue. The bridge serves a vital role for the continuity of the National Highway. On the other hand, Ysalina Bridge joins Carmen and Divisoria. Traffic can really build up in these areas during rush hours. And for the alternative commuters, they have the choice to take the River Taxi ride to get them across the other side.

Buses have no internal routes for the city itself. Nonetheless, buses are commonly used in going out of town, and the starting point of these vehicles are conveniently located at the Agora Bus Terminal and Westbound (Bulua) Bus terminal.

Car rental service is widely available in the city. You’ll have a wide range of cars to choose from (economy cars, premium cars, compact cars, luxury cars, minivans, SUV’s and a whole more). Contact your local travel agent to book ahead or you can always make reservations in the internet.

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