CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The town of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon is famous for the sprawling Del Monte Plantation, but there’s more to this highland town than just its pineapples.
Named for Don Manolo Fortich, who served as the first governor of Bukidnon from 1902 to 1914, the town was originally known as Maluko.
Manolo Fortich, the first town of Bukidnon east of Cagayan de Oro, is famous in World War II history for the Del Monte airfield where General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the United States Armed Forces in Far East (USAFFE), and Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon escaped. in March 1942 in Australia aboard B-17 bombers.
Besides Del Monte Airfield, the city has other places and artifacts that witnessed World War II, said tour guide Gina Cuerdo-Amador, who runs La Montana Tours and Vans.
Historic locations include a vintage 1930s artesian well where American soldiers drew water during the war, the Mangima Heroes Shrine overlooking an old bridge where Filipino guerrillas led by Captain Ramon Onahon ambushed a column of the Japanese army, and a Japanese tombstone of May 8, 1942 dedicated to the Kaji battalion.
In the village of Tankulan stands the 1926 municipal building which served as the center of activities for Manolo Fortich until 2006.
In this same area is the town square of Manolo Fortich where the period artesian well and the Japanese tombstone are located.
There, the local government constructed its new municipal building and gymnasium.
People who stop to refuel in the area often end up trying the delicious homemade durian ice cream at Riley’s.
Manolo Fortich is best known to young tourists, especially adrenaline junkies.
One of the popular destinations in Bukidnon town is the village of Dahilayan where the Para siblings successfully established their tourism-oriented businesses.
Dahilayan Adventure Park, on the other hand, boasts of having the longest double zip line in all of Asia, and the certified adrenaline-inducing Dropzone (not for the faint-hearted, people!), Python Zip, Sky Jump, Flying Lizard, Ropes Course, and Mountain Racer, among many others.
The Swiss Chalet-themed Pinegrove Mountain Lodge; Dahilayan Forest Park Resort, which offers Instagrammable corners and unique rides like tobogganing, river bump, suspension bridge, rainbow slide, treetop adventure, mountain biking and mountain walks horse ; the western-themed Saddle Ridge Camp; and Dahilayan Gardens and Resort all add to the ultimate ecotourism adventure.
Apart from its historical, cultural and adventure attractions, Manolo Fortich is also blessed with an abundance of natural attractions like Kahulugan Falls and the nearby Pines Tavern at Barangay Lindaban.
He also has The Stone House and Tuminugan Farm in the village of Kalugmanan which was a pasture 50 years ago but is now a thriving farm where one can learn about nature and climate change, and how to overcome his harmful effects – one tree at a time.
Nearby is the Saint Joseph View Deck, also in Tankulan, Sumalsag Cave (which is great for caving!) and the Tagoloan Canyon in Barangay Santo Niño where travelers can get stunning views of the meandering Tagoloan River. at the ends of the river. Plateaus from Bukidnon to the sea. Getting there is definitely worth the long and difficult drive.
Another scenic spot in Manolo Fortich is Lawis Canyon in Barangay Lunocan where a solid viewing platform offers an equally impressive view of the same river delta and two waterfalls.
But perhaps the most popular is the Mangima Canyon, where the Sayre Highway from Bukidnon cuts through the middle. Now dubbed Mangima Resort and Bike Park, it hosts a series of annual sporting events.
Mindanao-based Canadian Kyle Jennerman, who is behind the popular vlog Become Filipinobaptized Mangima as the “Grand Canyon of the Philippines” given its gorges and cliffs as deep and high as 420 meters.
Brands and Homestays
Those who prefer to take a windshield tour can try the Manolo Fortich Main Loop Day Tour, championed by La Montaña Tours and Vans.
The tour begins at SLERS Country Café in Barangay Alae, which features one of Manolo Fortich and Cagayan de Oro’s signature brands – the pasalubong item SLERS Christmas Ham.
Another establishment, the Lamplighter Café, serves as a showcase for coffee machines while offering a full restaurant menu.
Barangay Damilag’s 14-15 Café, named after the birthdates of the owners’ children, is the go-to café-teahouse, or waiting area for those waiting for parents or guardians of incoming students. a neighboring school.
Damilag’s first full-service convenience store and hotel, BCC Mart and Hotel, offers rooms suitable for couples and small families.
For those who prefer a more personal touch, Cherry Blossoms Café and Homestay is a few meters from the main road. It is run by a lady who has decided to take the plunge and transform her house and that of her sister into rooms for rent.
Like an American suburb
The next stop is Camp Phillips in the Barangay Agusan Canyon. Known as “Packing” or “Campo Dose” to longtime residents, it is the main employee quarters of Del Monte Philippines Incorporated (DMPI). The community doesn’t look like the Philippines – it’s characterized by quaint bungalows reminiscent of a typical American suburb.
All around Camp Phillips is the Del Monte pineapple plantation, one of the largest in the world and the largest in the Far East. This is where the giant food processing company sources its canned pineapple fruit and juice, as well as other products distributed around the world.
Further afield in Santo Niño is the Kampo Juan Eco-Adventure Park and Heritage House, relocated from Luzon and full of collectibles and memorabilia from the Acostas, one of Bukidnon’s political families. It’s not exactly a museum, but it certainly looks like one.
old golf course
In Barangay San Miguel, one of the city’s most famous attractions is, of course, the Del Monte Golf Club.
The third oldest golf course in the Philippines, it was built as a recreation club for the early American executives of the Philippine Packing Corporation, now Del Monte.
The first nine holes, now referred to as the back nine, were designed and built by Peter Crawford, a famous basketball player, in 1928.
The other nine holes, now designated the front nine, were designed post-war by Celestino Tugot, the first Filipino professional golfer, who perfected his swings and handicapped Manolo Fortich.
Nearby is the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours shrine which was also built by Tugot near his home to celebrate his rise to fame.
For revelers, the best time to visit Manolo Fortich is on May 1, due to the Banog-Banog festival to highlight that it is the “Philippine Eagle Sanctuary of Northern Mindanao”. – Rappler.com