Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nature Tripping at the Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village

Gardens of Malasag Entrance SignSometimes, when the taste of the city starts to become too much for my senses, what I do is loosen up a bit and go to some place that cradles me back to my roots, some place that invokes the word earth. A place where I could just sit back and say, "Wow, this Earth is beautiful." A place that deceives you into believing that you're in a vacation and that there are no classes or work the following day. One such place here in Cagayan de Oro City would be the fresh and green Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village.

All you nature lovers out there, I know you're expecting most places in the world to have at least one ecological park or anything similar to that. So here's one here in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Gardens of Malasag is one of the spots here in Cagayan which is constantly promoted by the government. Go to the City Tourism Showhouse, and you're likely to be pointed towards this place (The Gardens of Malasag is currently 2nd in the list at Cagayan de Oro City's official website), and for a good reason.

Cagayan de Oro City Tourism Showhouse
Photo in courtesy of

One Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a visit to this getaway. To get there, I have to take two rides from the city: a jeepney ride towards Malasag which costs me only P10.00, and another ride by motorcycle (called habal-habal in the dialect) going uphill (locals there say fare only costs P6.00, but I usually give them P10.00).

Just one advice when riding the habal-habal, take note of the muffler's location and go down the opposite side--after that ride, I had a minor accident wherein my right leg touched the burning muffler. It was painful, of course. After that, lesson learned.

On the entrance, you have to pay for the entrance fee. The prices will be attached at the end of this article.

The first thing that greeted me at the entrance were the friendly smiles of the natives dressed in their colorful costumes, and a music so beautiful played by some natives using flutes and percussions. The music sounded so attached to these beautiful people's culture, and at the same time it felt like it reminded me of the presence of nature. I believe in music culture they call this World Music. Below are some of the natives parading inside the venue's streets. They do this around 4-5pm everyday. Not all of them were taken though--I was only using a phone camera while taking this.

Malasag Ethnic Performers

Some Observations
The place showcases some of the country's resources that affirms the country's richness. From plants to trees, butterflies to birds, from lizards to several types of snakes, and other several types of animals—you'll find them here.

Of course, how would I forget the beautiful ethnic groups that are living there to showcase the rich and colorful culture that Mindanao nests even before the foreign colonizers of Philippines' history has reached these shores. Ethnic groups such as the Subanons, the Higaunons, the Talaandigs, and many more are very welcoming. You are free to go and make some interviews, check out their livelihood products, arts, or just have a chat with them. I myself had conducted a couple of interviews with the different tribes in the place during different times, and still they remain as hospitable as they were the first time.

Having mentioned about their livelihood products, yes, the place is packed with souvenirs. And I would recommend every tourist or local visitors to set aside some extra cash and grab some souvenirs when you get there. It's worth the few pesos. As for their price, well the price varies depending on the material. But I would say a P100.00 is more than enough for a small souvenir that would last a lifetime of wonderful memories on your visit to that place.


Entrance FeeDayNight
Swimming Pool
Camping Fee: (Overnight stay at the campground)
Children or Adult100.00 per person
Fixing Fee or Tent (irrespective of size)100.00 per tent

These are the prices as of the time this article is written. Prices may slightly change any time after this, but usually it won't be as much as P5.00. During my elementary days (that was more than 10 years ago), entrance fee for children was P15.00. Eight years after that, it only increased P5.00.

The place also has cottages available for people planning to stay there for the night. For the rates, check out this site:

Just Hanging Out at the Restocafe

Higaunon Restocafe inside Gardens of MalasagNow for most of the part, just staying at the Higaunon Restocafe may be the only thing I will be doing when I come back there. The view there is just amazing. A beautiful sketch of the Macajalar Bay caresses my eyes as I sit there, just gazing, wishing that the moment will never end. It's a beautiful place for friends, families, or couples to hang-out. I really recommend the place. At the same time, while enjoying the view, you guys can munch on their menu which they serve at reasonable prices. For warm afternoons, they have fruit shakes. For the other extreme, I believe they serve coffee (or beer perhaps). The restocafe closes at 10pm on every day of the week. So you could plan to have your dinners there.

Overview spot of Macajalar Bay at Higaunon Restocafe
A magnificent view of Macajalar Bay and Camiguin Island.
Overview spot of Macajalar Bay at Higaunon Restocafe

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