Cagayan de Oro City is a meeting of two worlds. It’s considered a hub for business and tourism in Northern Mindanao; at the same time, it is also—unofficially—the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines. One would expect a city of business and adventure to be a confused one; built with a hodgepodge of ideas catering to industry and then to adventure tourism. However, the city government of Cagayan de Oro (CDO) has seamlessly done it, creating a city that fulfills the needs of entrepreneurs, multinational companies, young families, athletes, tourists, and SMEs.
Pursuit of Passion lays out 6 reasons why this dynamic city in Northern Mindanao is pretty much the place to beat in terms of business and pleasure opportunities.
It’s the place to visit for travel adventure addicts. A lot of adventure activities in Cagayan de Oro center around the Cagayan de Oro river, which has been dubbed by the Department of Tourism as the city’s main tourist attraction. There’s whitewater rafting and kayaking, river tubing, rappelling, spelunking, ziplining, paragliding, even glamping.
Elevated at 7,500 feet, the river has been—and attract tourists, it does. The river has class III rapids—a medium-level difficulty for rafting and kayaking neophytes. To enjoy what the river has to offer, you can either sign up with an adventure tours group before your trip or go by yourself and find river guides when you get there.
Work and business opportunities in CDO are aplenty. While the city is not as populous as Metro Manila (it’s the 17th most populous city in the country, according to the 2019 census), CDO still boasts job opportunities for the eligible.
Multinational companies (such as Del Monte and Nestle), banks (such as BPI, BDO, EastWest, Security Bank, PNB, and Metrobank), and car dealerships (such as Toyota, BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan) are just a few of the companies who hold office in CDO, making it convenient for Kagay-anons to work and still be conveniently close to home.
CDO has an impressive lineup of schools. Young families relocating to CDO should not have a problem finding a school that would suit their needs. Education options—from grade school to college level—abound in the city. There’s The Abba’s Orchard Montessori School, Sacred Heart Academy, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines, Capitol University, and Liceo de Cagayan University, among others.
There’s no shortage of commercial establishments to meet your dining, shopping, and entertainment needs. Centrio Mall, for example, is less than a kilometer away from Avida Towers Aspira. That takes care of your food trip cravings, shopping sessions, and movie marathons. Just next to Centrio Mall is Seda Hotel where you can pop in for a staycation, throw an anniversary party, enjoy a breakfast buffet with your family, or happy hour with your significant other at the hotel’s Misto restaurant.
Sports activities are a part of everyday life in CDO. It’s something Kagay-anons have known for decades: if you want to get fit, head over to the Pelaez Sports Complex.
The sports complex has courts for basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, tennis, and badminton. There’s a track-and-field oval and an Olympic-size swimming pool as well. For a minimal entrance fee, Kagay-anons can spend at least 30 minutes of each day getting fit at the sports complex.
CDO is rich with cultural heritage sites. Top of mind would be the City Museum of Cagayan de Oro, which is housed in a World War II-era water tank tower. Its three levels display photos, paintings, and artifacts featuring notable Kagay-anons and events throughout CDO’s history.
Another museum that excellently preserves CDO’s—and Mindanao’s—history is Museo de Oro within Xavier University. As the “country’s first folkloric museum,” according to the university’s website, Museo de Oro exhibits Mindanao’s traditions and folklore but also includes contemporary exhibitions.
Across the provincial capitol building of the local government of Misamis Oriental is Vicente de Lara Park, named after one of the province’s late governors. The park’s main attractions are two monuments built by the late Filipino sculptor Eduardo Castrillo: the Heritage Monument, which signifies CDO’s culture and traditions; and the equally patriotic Press Freedom Monument.