Saturday, August 7, 2010

What to do in Cagayan with less than a thousand

Before even setting foot on the plane and travelling south to Mindanao, I’ve dedicated some time googling about what to do in Cagayan de Oro besides the famous whitewater rafting. We were about to spend 24 hours in the City of Golden Friendship with no idea what the place has in store for us.

But why didn’t we go for the extreme sport? Excluding the activities offered by Kagay from our itinerary was actually part of the plan because aside from the fact that my boyfriend and I didn’t have the luxury of time do it, we allotted 90% of our budget to our Camiguin trip.

So what would two people do in a faraway place with only a grand on hand and the rest of the night to spend? Eat.

I’ve read a lot about a place called Limketkai Center but didn’t know exactly what it was. Apparently it’s a famous local mall – a famous mall that closes a few minutes past 8:00pm. So much for spending the rest of the evening, right? In Makati, 5pm and 8pm are only separated by the sunset The night is young for everyone.But thank God and the Cagayanos for Rosario Strip. It’s a chain of really nice restaurants located right across the East Concourse of the mall that offers al fresco dining. I ‘m a huge fan of al frescos! Anyway, here’s how we spent Php1,000 and generously filled two hungry stomachs.

First stop: Appetizer

What we had: 2 tall glasses of Mojito and chicken quesadilla (not sure if liquor’s valid as appetizer but who cares.)

Chicken Quesadillas


Verdict: The mojitos were cheap at Php150 for 2. They offer buy 1 take 1 on mojitos from 4pm-6pm, Sundays to Thursdays. We got there at around 5:46pm so we were right on time. The chicken quesadilla tasted like a quesadilla –well it better be- nothing special except for its spice. The guacamole and salsa dip were good. The rest of the food on their menu sounded and looked delicious on the picture but were pretty expensive. Prices range from Php150 – Php700.

Second stop: Entree

Where: Cafe Macumba

What we had: Tuna Belly in Mornay Sauce and Tangigue Steak

Tuna Belly in Mornay Sauce

Tangigue Steak

Verdict: The 2 courses didn’t have any significant difference as regards the taste and the ingredients used besides the species of the fish. I don’t know if it was our fault that we didn’t get 2 totally opposite meals but I guess their name should suggest that they’re not exactly the same. But judging from the pictures, they look like one meal. Price-wise though, Cafe Macumba is way cheaper than Bourbon St.

The place had a relaxed atmosphere – perfect for hanging out with friends and drinking and chatting the night away. But probably not for a romantic date.The bill was less than Php 400.

Last stop: Coffee

Where: Taza Coffee

What we had: Almond Roca Coffee, Cappuccino, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Verdict: The oatmeal cookies were tougher than 4 pieces of crackers eaten altogether. I had to dip it in my bitter Almond Roca coffee to soften it a bit. The cappuccino was okay and that was sadly the only good thing. Their prices are cheap though, so I’m not sure if that was just what we got for the value we paid for. Plus we only had 3 out of their long line of coffee and pastry selections so I’m not really in the position to give an overall judgment. Maybe if we ordered a slice or two of their cakes and a frappuccino, the coffee experience would have been different.

The place is worth a try, though. 2 cups of coffee and 2 cookies for less than Php200 can’t be that bad.

All in all, I love CDO! The place may be popular for the sport which we weren’t able to do but there’s more to the city than just that. And I’m definitely hoping to go back to Rosario Strip! There’s not a lot of place where you can hangout and taste good food with just a little budget.

Any experience, as long as it’s new, is always worth a try.:)


  1. I wanna go to Mindanao soon!!! :D

  2. You should, Kristel! Explore the Philippines!:)

  3. What an amazing blog with a budget wise approach. You guys should have allotted time to do the rafting adventure. Anyhow, rafting in Cagayan de Oro is a year round event; you guys could come back anytime. I would suggest during this time of year because the water level of the river is high and the rapids are much more thrilling.

  4. I know! Too bad, huh? We were actually considering doing at least the skybridge walking or zorb or ziplining but we might not be able to catch our flight back on time.

    We hope to return soon and do the rafting! And thanks for the tip.:)