Last week Friday to Wednesday, I flew to Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao (the day after super hurricane Milenyo) and took a 2-hour bus ride to Iligan City to visit my friend and former classmate, Amabelle. Why? Nothing in particular. Just missed her and fulfilled a long overdue promise to visit her province.
She was first runner-up in Miss Iligan 2006 and Miss Photogenic, Miss Popular and Miss Tourism. Whoa. Beauty queen! Too bad I wasn’t there during the coronation night. On top of that, I missed the whole fiesta week.
There are bands in Iligan. Although, I didnt get to see the band show during the fiesta, they have bars (or more like restaurants) with live acoustic performances. We hung out in Am’s neighbor and they had complete band equipment (drums, acoustic bass, electric guitar). Although they are more into pop, love and folk songs, they’re good (musically)! If you plan on going to the province and jam with some of the people there, be sure to have a significant amount of well-known songs in your chord bank.
Iligan is peaceful, fun and friendly. You can hang-out with neighbors, eat good food and get drunk without having to shell out too much. Unfortunately if you don’t know how to speak Bisaya, you’ll be left out. And if sellers find out you’re Tagalog, they’ll exploit you. I also noticed that there are lots of gay guys in Iligan.
Nature spots are only a jeep or two away from the city proper. They have fantastic waterfalls and cold spring pools. Entrance fee? 10 to 50 pesos depending on the resort.
Delicacies? Chedings peanuts! I love their peanut butter. Also the native sawsawan Pinakurat that almost got me held-up at the airport checkin eek. They have lots and lots of native lechon and kinilaw!