The Night Stakler – Pasiyo ta Misor!

Jun 21, 2013


Last May 19, 2013, I undertook a trip with two friends to Misamis Oriental’s eastern towns and Butuan City that I haven’t done for some time. Driving our tiny Toyota Vios was Jerome Soldevilla, communications manager of Steag State Power Inc. (SPI) and with him in the front seat was his former colleague and boss, Hasan Guerpinar of Duisberg, Germany, who is now with Hitachi Power.


Our visitor likes our city so much he has been dropping by regularly every six months since 2008, but we’ve never had the occasion to bring him to this part of the country so after a hearty breakfast at Seda Centrio, off we went. First stop: Balingasag!


Checking out the park in Balingasag


We drove by the impressive People’s Palace of Balingasag which was built during the tenure of incoming mayor Oscar Moreno and re-elected Balingasag Mayor Alexis Quina. Hasan remarked he liked the laid-back ambience of Balingasag, especially in the park and boulevard walk near the sea where I pointed out the bangus fish cages to him. I think he likes it so much it just made his bucket list of one of the possible places to retire to.


From there we proceeded to Salay where we dropped by Jerome’s ancestral home and met his relatives. It was even more quiet here than Balingasag, it being a Sunday. Perhaps Salay is now also in Hasan’s bucket list.


Checking out the Balete tree in Salay Poblacion


Next stop was one of my family’s favorite places: Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort. I introduced Hasan to our host Ms. Nana Malferrari-Uy, and then brought them around the huts at the beach and then again through the spartan but comfy accommodations. The birds were chirping and the guests hadn’t gotten around yet so we pretty much had the run of the place to ourselves. After taking some refreshing fruit drinks at their resto beside the swimming pool, off we went to Talisayan for lunch at the iconic Nita’s Place, an eatery which advertises itself as the “original” since 1972.


Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort


We ordered lapu-lapu sut-to-kil (sugba, tinola and kinilaw) and some shellfish soup which were deliciously fresh. Service was very poor though so expected to wait for your order to be cooked anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, especially on weekends when there are many customers.


Lunch at Nitas Place in Talisayan


Next up was Duka Bay Resort where Jerome introduced Hasan to his former schoolmate at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, newly minted Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Joey Pelaez. Jerome explained they were together in the College Student as President and Secretary, respectively.  Too bad we didn’t have more time to enjoy Duka since we were hurrying to catch up on time since we still wanted to visit Butuan City.


An unpleasant distraction hampered the next leg of our trip, unfortunately. The stretch of the highway from Gingoog City to Carmen town in Agusan del Norte was being repaired/rehabilitated and it took us all of an hour to traverse that relative short trip, complete with dust, traffic and long stretches of the highway which were already broken up for rehab even if the nearest portion being reblocked was still at least 3 kms. away.


However, the trip to Butuan was worth it even if we spent most of our time at Margie’s Kitchen where we thoroughly enjoyed the cakes and brought some pastries to bring home (oatmeal thins, cornflakes meringue and lengua de gato) as well as the company of Jerome and my mutual friend, former Butuan chamber president Jun Galero.


Ach! So this is a jackfruit


Even if it took us another hour to negotiate that hellish piece of highway (Sta. Cruz, Magasaysay is particularly bad) on the way back, we made it back to Cagayan de Oro in two and half hours from Gingoog, still a good time all things considered.


All in all, a very cool Sunday with two good friends, couldn’t get any better than this. Until Hasan’s next trip, perhaps we do the Western towns next time no?




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