Seizing the holidays, the family decided to have a tour around Buda. Originally, we booked a tour to Panimahawa Ridge, CEDAR and visit 3 wonderful water falls around the area. However, some unwanted situations happened, we decided to go with the Buda tour.
We met up with our tour guide at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro city 10:30 in the evening the day before our tour. We traveled at 11 pm going to the highway road of Marilog District, Davao where an off-road going to the Hills View Mountain Villa is located, and arrived there at 3:30 am.
Honestly, I was disappointed since I wanted to hike Panimahawa, until we arrived at the place.
While still sleepy from the overnight ride, the first adventure came unexpectedly that I forgot what sleep was and was wide awake for 10-15 mins or so. Because Skylab happened.
Hearing it the first time would make you think that you’ll be riding a cable car–like. But man, I was wrong.
It’s somehow the same as that of habal-habal (motorbike) but it has extensions made of lumber on both sides for more passengers (talk about optimization). Riding this is really frightening but the experience is so worth it.
I mean, how does it even differ from zip lines and such except for having a rough road, ey?
I was holding on the rope under my legs so tightly the whole ride. The going was so rough that’s why cars are discouraged to travel the road. Lance, the habal-habal driver dropped us off at the foot of Hills View Mountain Villa and for the record, the Skylab we were riding was unbalanced, and it toppled on the left side just when we stopped at our destination.
Fortunately, nothing serious happened and we treated it as one of the great experience during the whole tour.
The villa has this barrio aesthetic. The ambiance welcomes you just like your home. The setting is like an open living room with lots of couches and tables.
Breakfast with coffee is available and it’s like an everybody’s home. You can stay overnight and have the option to rent a room or a tent.
Also, you are welcome to bring your own comfort foods, and even bedding for your own convenience while waiting for the perfect moment to see a life-changing view.
This villa is said to offer you a stunning sunrise and a sea of clouds. While I fly a lot of times above a sea of clouds, I wouldn’t count them as part of the adventure since being in an airplane feels like I’m stuck in a vacuumed capsule.
This would be so much different. I would be breathing fresh and cold air, not the one processed inside a luxurious machine.
I was so excited for the clouds since the same thing would be experienced if we hiked Panimahawa Ridge. However, “expectation is so far from reality” must be true that time. We didn’t see clouds, instead just fogs.
I got disappointed and was actually sad about it until the sun came out.
The view is actually so breathtaking. The sea of clouds may be shy but the sun, the fogs and the mountains were perfect that time.
At 7 am, the fogs started to cloud up near the villa but we were already going out to our next destination. Habal-habals were just at the foot of the hill waiting for the tourists.
One thing to like about the tour is how the locals befriended us. They engage in conversing with their tourists and give trivia about the place.
Next, we were brought to Captain’s Haven Resort and the Garden of Gethsemane Mountain Resort. These two resorts are just next to each other and so we decided to just go for the Garden of Gethsemane.
To go for swimming is an option but here’s a note: the water is very cold. It’s like having an ice bucket challenge. It is comparable to the cold spring in Camiguin which is expected since both resorts are located in a mountain.
We skipped swimming and just enjoyed taking some Instagram-worthy photos and toured around the garden.
At around 10 am, we went to Bemwa Farm, still riding the Skylab. It’s originally a strawberry farm but they also grow various plants, from beautiful flowers to vegetables, which are very healthy.
If you are a nature person and are growing a garden, plants are available to be bought.
The P50 worth of ticket is consumable. You can exchange it for some strawberry flavored sundae, Taho, and some drinks like Pineapple and lemonade. When it’s the season, you have the option to pick some strawberries.
They said it’s like a Baguio feels but I’ve never been to Baguio so I don’t know much about it.
There were a lot of people lining up to taste their goods and having delicious breakfast of Lugaw.
The farm is so vast you would get tired of strolling up to the ends.
Being awake for about 24 hrs now minus the discontinuous 5 mins sleep during our ride at dawn, tiredness is unstoppable and so we went back to the van a bit early.
After the Bemwa Farm, we traveled next to the eagle statue located the the boundary of Davao and Bukidnon and just took some photos there.
Next stop is Highway 81. It’s also a villa where you can rent rooms and spend a night or two there. It’s on a hillside and perfect for an out of town stay-cation this summer. We just checked the place and I think it’s a nice place to stay in next time.
At around 11 am, we started our way back to CDO and stopped at an eatery to have our lunch. We thought the tour would end with food but then there’s still one left to stop by.
Our final destination in the itinerary is at Overview Nature and Culture Park located in Quezon, Bukidnon. From it’s name itself, you’ll see mountains from afar and the roads you’ll be traveling by. Really an overview.
Also, it’s the best time to buy some souvenirs. There are a lot of stores there selling different stuff which will remind you of the beautiful place.
Being in places like these pleases your eyes with greater scopes of beautiful sights. It makes you wander and wonder a lot about nature and science.
And, I decided that next time, I would like to go for trekking and hiking. (And also plan the tour in the right season with a perfect weather!)
These spots are located on higher grounds, on the mountains which are really cold. Pine trees are everywhere, which you don’t see much of anywhere around the Philippines.
Even though the places were a bit crowded, since we went during the holiday, it wouldn’t be able to spoil the fun. From the accommodation of the travel and tours agency up to the tour itself, the time, money and effort are all worth it.
If you want to know the travel and tours agency, the cost and the itinerary of this trip, visit My Expedition Travel And Tours.
You’ll see different tour packages they offer around Mindanao with affordable rates and adventurous trips in their itinerary. (I highly recommend them! Plus they have free DSLR photography. 😊)
I hope you had fun experiencing the place by reading this blog post. ‘Til next time.