More than being the “food basket of Mindanao,” Bukidnon offers a mix of exciting activities and rich culture set amidst its vast picturesque countryside, densely forested mountains, and sloping terrains.
Perhaps unknown to many, the landlocked province is a destination for both thrill-seekers hungry for adventure and vacationers looking for an idyllic respite.
When to go
The perfect time to visit is during the Kaamulan Festival which takes place from mid-February until March 10. An ethnic cultural festival held in Malaybalay City, it celebrates the tradition and culture of the province’s tribes namely the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon.
The festival started in 1974 and soon became a regional festival of Northern Mindanao. Every year, the municipalities of the province represent the seven tribes in a lavishly colorful street dancing competition.
The highlight of the month-long celebration opens with a tribal ritual marking the start of the festivities and culminates with tribal music and dance that depict scenes from authentic Bukidnon folk tales.
What to do
Head to Dahilayan Adventure Park and Dahilayan Forest Park and bask in its cold weather perfectly complemented by lush pine trees. It also offers lodging and family-friendly activities like zipline, ropes courses, boot camps, drop zones, and many more.
Adrenaline junkies can also head over to Kampo Juan, a nine-hectare eco-adventure park located in the municipality of Manolo Fortich. Visitors can experience the Philippines’ first anicycle, as well as zipline rides, rappelling, and paramotoring.
Those looking for a different kind of adventure can enjoy the stunning nature while glamour-camping and horseback riding at Montesclaros Farm in Valencia.
Bukidnon is also known for agricultural tourism. Surrounded by deep ravines, thickly forested terrains, farms, and vast pineapple and banana plantations, tourists can immerse themselves in the local culture through physical activities such as planting, harvesting, and sampling crops.
Tourists can also check out Atugan Farms and see how Hinabol, a traditional Higaonon fabric, are woven from abaca fibers. These enriching activities provide sustainable earnings for farmers and the local community.
After a series of physical activities, tourists can rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and spirits at the Benedictine Monastery of Transfiguration. Located in the capital city, the monastery is a peaceful haven for the city-weary souls. Curiously, it is also the home of Monk’s Blend Premium Coffee and Monk’s Peanut Butter, world-class products that have found their way to Manila’s high-end supermarkets.
Of course, any tour is never complete without trying out the local delicacies. Complete the whole Bukidnon experience by tasting the world’s sweetest pineapples found right here. Another must-taste is binaki—ground corn with powdered milk, baking powder, and sugar boiled in corn husks.
How to get there
The best air entry point to Bukidnon is from Cagayan De Oro through Laguindingan Airport. The Davao International Airport is also an option. Sea transport includes ferries offered by Superferry, 2Go, Trans Asia Shipping Lines, and Sulpicio Lines.
Once in CDO, head to the Agora Bus Terminal in Lapasan and take the red Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. (RTMI) bus going to Bukidnon. Tourists may also rent a van or a taxi for convenience.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.