Bukidnon definitely knows what “farm to table” means, and more. Here are some tips on how to truly experience the southern Philippine province.
Del Monte Plantation. Be treated to scenic views of pineapple plantations as far as the eye can see, nestled at the foot of Mount Kitanglad. Visit the first pineapple plantation in Asia at Camp Phillips. Head over to the Del Monte Clubhouse to try out their famous steaks. Pick your own pineapple to eat on the spot.
Hineleban Farms. This little-known farm is a hidden gem. It produces the best-rated coffee in the Philippines (rated “Excellent” by the Specialty Coffee Association at 86.25), as well as the Filipino heirloom grain called
Bukidnon Country Lodge. The country retirement home of the Perrine Family turned bed and breakfast is one of the best ways to enjoy Bukidnon’s rural charm. This is definitely for city dwellers who want a laid-back stay with five-star service. It has one deluxe suite and three deluxe rooms, with relaxing garden and plantation views. It’s a perfect jump-off point for those who want to enjoy a day of trail riding, a round of golf at the Del Monte Golf Club, or everything else Bukidnon. Visit their website here.
Lake Apo and
Monastery of the Transfiguration. The chapel of this Benedictine monastery (now an abbey) in Malaybalay was the last signed work of National Artist Leandro Locsin before he passed away. But people also visit because of the great food prepared by Dom Martin Gomez, who is naturally Kapampangan. A former couturier, he designed a vestment collection made of hand-woven piña and abaca fiber housed in the monastery’s museum. The abbey also accommodates guests looking for the solace of a retreat or who want to listen to the monks chanting their early morning prayers. To book a stay, contact 0915.553.7410. For a guided tour of the Filipino Vestments Exhibit, contact Dom Martin at 0917.510.5585.
Dahilayan Adventure Park and Dahilayan Forest Park Resort. Dahilayan is definitely Bukidnon’s capital of fun! It is famous for its
Manna and Quail. This unassuming building in Valencia City is not your ordinary roadside restaurant. Family recipes are the stars here as you are introduced to “Bukid” food, a fusion of dishes from different communities that migrated to the Land of Promise. House specialties include
Talaandig Ancestral Domain. This village in Barangay Songco, Lantapan is home to the Talaandig community, one of the seven indigenous groups of Bukidnon. For those who want a deeper understanding of Bukidnon’s indigenous culture, and their fight for indigenous rights, this place deserves a spot in any culturati’s itinerary. But scheduling a visit is not easy since they screen visitors before anyone is allowed to go. Fair warning though, if you are there just for selfies, you won’t be welcome. To visit, contact Waway Saway 0917.9177689.
Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park. This ASEAN Heritage Park offers many hiking opportunities. For those looking for a short trek, the Cinchona Forest Reserve has a series of cascading waterfalls that you can easily walk to. You will also need permission from the Talaandig community to visit. Contact Waway Saway 0917.917.7689.