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Goodbye Cagayan de Oro Jan 31 - May 5, 2013

Goodbye Cagayan de Oro

It has been a little over 3 months when my bus from Malaybalay, Bukidnon arrived at Agora Market in Cagayan de Oro. I stepped out of the bus, took a cab, and went inside the waiting room for me at Pryce Plaza. That more or less spelled-out the abundance that lay ahead for me in this new place. I was already here in 2009 and stayed a few days, but I can't really say there was anything memorable about that trip. But this particular trip takes the cake on many levels, abundance being the dominant influence.

Roof over my Head
Cagayan de Oro is the only place where I didn't have to worry about spending the night on a street corner or having to impose on friends to crash for a night. Neither did I end up staying in hole-in-wall lodging places for cheap stays. I don't mind where my head finds rest after a day's toil - a hammock on a waiting shed is just as good as a 4-star hotel (both I have already experienced). But it's uncanny how I moved from Pryce Plaza to Uptown Condotel, the newest and only residential condotel in CDO, then to Hotel Conchita, and finally to De Luxe Hotel, with a few overSnights at The VIP Hotel and Pine Grove Mountain Resort in Dahilayan Adventure Park. In short, roof-wise, I was on Easy Street - house keeping where I would miraculously come back to my room all fixed-up with fresh towels and sheets, etc. I go down the lobby and breakfast awaits me. Many times I felt I was in a bubble, and occasionally, I would find it excessive (specially when housekeeping would throw away my used soap and replace it with new ones!). I would wonder how saintly life I must have lived in a previous life to merit such good karma!

Back on the Open Road
As my hotel days were drawing to a close in Cagayan de Oro, it also felt that it was time to move on. Thus, I just let the days run without me doing any marketing effort to lengthen my stay. I've already finished the core work I wanted to do in developing an online travel portal for CDO, and all other work on my plate outside CDO has also been completed. Staying longer felt overextending my welcome. Like a polite guest, I bid my host goodbye, forever grateful for the shower of abundance it has betowed on me. Initially, it didn't make sense to leave a place that showered (and continued to shower me with abundance). But I had to ask...what is my point? Is it to find security? No! Is it to spend life on Easy Street? No! What I wanted was to let life take me where it takes me...even if it means leaving abundance for something uncertain and unpredictable. Having regained perspective, I packed up.

Cagayan de Oro Online Travel Guide
I'd be leaving Cagayan de Oro with a mark. I've finished the core bulk of an online travel guide I was developing for the city. With what I've done, it's much easier for the traveler to find comprehensive info about CDO in one umbrella - how to get there, what to do there, where to stay there and how much it's gonna cost. With that info, confidence is increased and perhaps the traveler may actually make the trip. When he does that, all stakeholders benefit - the airline, the transportation company, the hotel, restaurant, pasalubong stores, the tricycle driver, the durian vendor, etc. The CDO guide is perhaps the most comprehensive of any destination I've developed. I'm highly confident it'll send tourists this way.

The Real Estate Tease
There seemed a last hurrah to extend my stay. I was invited to attend a real estate seminar that would enable me to be an accredited real estate agent for a CDO broker. That would have added another significant jigsaw puzzle to the big picture. In fact, that could be pivotal in making me stay much longer in CDO. But the day fell on my CDO departure. I tried a last ditch effort to strike a hotel deal to extend my stay, but it didn't pull through. I guess the CDO real estate avenue was not part of the grand scheme. Life teases me that way quite often.

Doing It Simply Because
My analogy for a place is usually with that of a woman - bewitching, unattainable, psycho, etc. But somehow, CDO defied that. It felt almost like a matter-of-factly gracious host who gave me shelter for the night, fed me, gave me some loose change to see me through...and bid me farewell for my journey ahead. And it did so without wanting anything in exchange for it. I somehow like that un-romanticized and un-sentimentalized notion of hospitality. You don't necessarily do things out of love (which can be abstract), or affection, but simply because you are in a position to make a difference for the other guy. I subscribe to that. I've done it many times in the past. Such kindness ripples through the social fabric. With me as beneficiary, I see my role as prime catalyst.

I've met a few people...not a whole lot, but like the place itself, they were giving. Most of my clients were refered by clients themselves. There's usually a demarcation line between clients and friends, but here in CDO, that line was blurred. They would invite me to their events and introduce me to their friends. As a general rule, I don't say no to an act of kindness. I always make sure though that it's repaid but in my currency and in my time. Sometimes, I just pay it forward. Giving back is essentially my thank you. No need to name names...they know who they are. It's uncanny, but most of them, I will continue to keep within my orbit and nurture whatever relationship was started. Again, for all their assistance, I am grateful.

Love Life
What can I say? You can't win 'em all. The ones I'm attracted to are either married or seeing someone else. The ones attracted to me belong in the 'friend' category. It's hard to find that fit. Traveling alone is still challenging and exciting, but if you do it too long and too often alone, you start wanting to have company.

Lingering Thought
If there is anything I've learned about Cagayan de Oro, it's about being generous when there is abundance. That is something I'll be paying forward...and I have. It will be a lifelong habit...I hope. Thank you Cagayan de Oro and thank you to the wonderful people who call it home.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.

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Reader Comments:

Jang SamsonJang Samson
"The ones I'm attracted to are either married or seeing someone else. The ones attracted to me belong in the 'friend' category. It's hard to find that fit." -- TheLoneRider
(May 8, 2013) Hahaha...I feel for you. Pero anyway, I have faith, that perfect fit will come at the right time. =)

Jan 31 - May 5, 2013

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