IMPASUG-ONG’S CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT AND RECREATION

The old towering mahogany trees perfectly lining on both sides of tranquil unpaved footpath was the perfect welcoming scene as we enter the verdant world of Impasung-ong’s Center for Ecological Development And Recreation popularly known as CEDAR. This is the second leg of my Bukidnon Travel Series.

Fresh from the beat and heat of Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, together with another travel buddy Dr. Ophelia Casel, our Bukidnon-based friend Christopher Diaz brought us to nearby town of Impasug-ong to experience yet another Bukidnon’s point of interest they called CEDAR, an eco-tourism site packed with astonishing natural wonders and surprising manmade sights.

The Charming Entrance of CEDAR

CEDAR or Center for Ecological Development And Recreation is managed and developed by the Local Government of Impasug-ong, one of the 20 municipalities of the Province of Bukidnon in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The eco-park covers a total land area of approximately 1,703 hectares featuring manmade and natural forests, cold springs, grasslands, rolling hills and natural waterfalls.

The Camping Cabin of CEDAR

About 20 minutes ride from Malaybalay City, the capital town of Bukidnon, CEDAR can be reached conveniently from the highway of Barangay Impalutao, still in Impasug-ong. At the opening of the eco-park, the soaring trees that beautifully erected on both side of serene trail signaled the feeling of being one with the forest. That alone was a picture perfect view for us. Nostalgic, if only we had bicycles at that time, we could go cycling the whole day at that scene.

The Bamboo Bridge

Our points of destination at CEDAR were the three waterfalls that can be found there – Natigbasan Falls, Gantungan Falls and Dila Falls. These three waterfalls are surrounded by lush green vegetation. Big old trees and thick shrubberies abound the place making us feel being one with nature. Natigbasan Falls and Gantungan Falls are relatively close to each other while Dila Falls is pretty much secluded.

Natigbasan Falls

From the starting point in CEDAR, getting to Dila Falls would take about 30 to 45 minutes trek passing both Natigbasan and Gantungan Falls. Trekking down and up there is not that hard. Although some trails are slippery, to see these three falls is very much accessible, best suited for trekking neophytes. There is also a bamboo bridge over a gushing cold spring on our way to the falls.

Dila Falls

The stunning view of both Natigbasan and Gantungan Falls can be seen from our trails. Sadly, getting to its very base is unfeasible. According to Christopher, it is difficult to go nearer. It requires a lot of cliff trekking and river trekking to actually get there. Thus, we contented ourselves by seeing its beauty from afar. Dila Falls on the other hand is easily reached. There is an established trail that guided us right to the base. Upon reaching, the full sight of Dila Falls immediately greeted us. Abundant waters, gushing sounds, thick foliage – everything complemented each other. It is not as majestic and exotic as other waterfalls I have been in the country but it has its own beauty that captured me. As I always say, truly, nature has its own way of captivating the hearts of the many. Without any doubt, these three waterfalls are the highlights of CEDAR adventure.

This Blogger at Dila Falls with Doc Ophelia Casel and Christopher Diaz

Experiencing CEDAR and its attributes is one of the best things I had during my short stay at Bukidnon. Whether you are up for trekking, waterfalls chasing, or simply enjoying a beautiful countryside scene, CEDAR is just an ideal place. Most all, for me, a great place to commune with Mother Earth!

The Man-made Cold Spring Swimming Pool

VISITING THE GREEN PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON: The Travel Series

1. Experiencing Bukidnon’s Kaamulan Festival
2. Impasug-ong’s Center for Ecological Development And Recreation
3. 
Malaybalay’s Monastery of the Transfiguration
4. Climbing Musuan Volcano


VISITING THE GREEN PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON: The Travel Series

Whenever I think of a perfect Province, what come in mind are quaint towns and charming cities dotting with breathtaking sceneries from highlands to islands. Maybe because most of the provinces I’ve been too are made up of towns and cities blessed with both stunning mountains and beautiful islands. Thus, I always thought that the perfect kind of a Province are those with mountains plus beautiful islands and fine beaches. Not until I spent one electrifying weekend at the landlocked Province of Bukidnon. No islands. No beach. More of mountains and hills. But one helluva province of an ultimate adventure!

I’ve passed by the Province of Bukidnon for several times especially when visiting Cagayan De Oro City but never been allured to explore its hidden splendors and secret gems. Persuaded by my travel buddy Christopher Diaz and fellow Pinoy travel blogger Bonzenti Panganiban who are both Bukidnon-based, I traveled to Bukidnon for the main purpose of witnessing the province’s renowned Kaamulan Festival but what I witnessed was not only the authentic ethnic festival. I was brought to see the many breathtaking sceneries of the Province that have totally changed my whole perception about Bukidnon as a great tourist destination.Situated right in the very heart of Mindanao, the highlands of Bukidnon is literally made up of breathtaking sceneries from its cool climate to rugged mountains, magnificent plateaus, grand canyons, majestic waterfalls and cool springs, to its extremely diverse flora and fauna and to the colorful hill tribes of Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. All these make the Province of Bukidnon an emerging Eco-tourism and Cultural Heritage Capital of Northern Mindanao.

For two days that I was at the Province, I witnessed not only the rich cultural heritage of the 7 Hill Tribes of the Province but I experienced, firsthand, a fun-filled eco-tourism adventure where thrill was great and communing with nature was at its finest. From Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, I was brought to nearby towns to explore the waterfalls and cold springs of CEDAR, wander around the Kaamulan Tree Park, visit the Monastery of the Transfiguration and climb the Musuan Peak. I was blown away seeing all those places. I was totally captivated. After experiencing all those, I concluded, not all pretty Provinces are made of beautiful beaches! Bukidnon is one great example. What I visited and experienced at Bukidnon are just among the MANY MANY things to see and discover in the whole province. My friends told me those were just teasers! There are more to explore in this green province of Mindanao.

As an emerging Eco-tourism and Cultural Heritage Capital of Northern Mindanao, Bukidnon is a must visit destination in this part of the country. Its proximity to the Cities of Davao and Cagayan De Oro makes it accessible to both domestic and international tourist. Malaybalay City, the province’s capital is about 2 to 5 hours away from these major cities by land travel. Accommodation is not a problem. There are plenty of hotels to choose from once you get there.

JOIN ME as I chronicle this exciting adventure from my home in Davao City to these spectacular places in Bukidnon.

VISITING THE GREEN PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON: The Travel Series

1. Experiencing Bukidnon’s Kaamulan Festival
2. Impasug-ong’s Center for Ecological Development And Recreation
3. 
Malaybalay’s Monastery of the Transfiguration
4. Climbing Musuan Volcano