“A simple life is good with me. I don’t need a whole lot. For me, a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I’m happy.”
Initao is a third class municipality in the province of Misamis Oriental, Philippines. The partly urban town thrives mostly on fishing and agricultural farming; however, different small and business establishments have flourished, making the town self-sustaining in many ways.
How to get to Initao, Misamis Oriental
From Manila, you will need to ride a plane going to Laguindingan International Airport for about an hour. When you are arrive in Laguindingan International Airport, there are already vans waiting outside going to Initao or buses from Super 5 and Rural Transit.
From Cagayan de Oro, you will need to go to Bulua Terminal to ride a bus going to Initao. The fare usually php50for air-conditioned buses. You can either take Rural Transit or Super 5 bus.
From Iligan City, you can either take a bus or jeep going to Initao for php50. However, I strongly suggest to take a bus instead to save time. Normally, if you take the air-conditioned bus, they will still charge you of the bus fare to Cagayan de Oro. If you are in a budget, just take the regular bus to have the right fare.
Where to Stay in Initao, Misamis Oriental
There are a lot of beach resorts and motels in Initao depending on your budget. The rates vary from php250 to php1, 500 per night depending on the hours of stay, location and room amenities. I suggest you stay in beach resort in which most of them are situated along the highway. You can easily locate them since they have large signs.
Where to Eat in Initao, Misamis Oriental
The Echavez Kitchenette at the Lasang Secret Adventure is one of the must try restaurant when you are in Initao. They offer budget friendly food and you can also have choice of boodle fight type food which is compose of buttered shrimp, grilled tuna, fish ceviche’, seaweed salad and rice. Prices depends on the food variety and number of persons. There also food houses along the highway on the Initao and if you are in a budget, there are also “carenderias” available.
Initao-Libertad protected Landscape and Seascape
This is a protected area in western Misamis Oriental, Philippines. At 1,300.78 hectares (3,214.3 acres), the park includes the limestone forests of the old Initao National Park, locally known as Lasang (Cebuano for “forest”), as well as their adjacent marine waters in the municipalities of Initao and Libertad. An entrance fee of php15 for the forest tour but if you want to do spelunking, it will be php100 per 1-15 person per cave. A tour guide will accompany you to the three caves for a total price of php300.
The Initao–Libertad Park extends from the northern foothills of Kitanglad Mountain Range to the northeastern entrance of Iligan Bay which includes a buffer zone of 800.45 hectares and is located on the main highway of the Iligan–Cagayan–Butuan Road which divides this mossy virgin forest into two parts: the Initao portion in the barangay of Tubigan and the Libertad portion in the barangay of Gimanlayan. source: wikipedia
Inside the protected area are the different classes of plants and trees. A 2-3 kilometers trail was constructed to provide a pathway for the tourists. This will at least give convenience as they walked from the start to the end of the trail.
You are allowed to swim in the seascape area but if you waves become bigger and stronger, the management prohibits the tourist to swim because the waves might push you towards the rocky shore. It is vary dangerous because the sea shore is composed of sharp coral stones. However, if the sea is clear and calm, it is ideal for snorkeling and free diving. since it is a fish sanctuary, expect 100% fish visibility.
Make sure to clean as you go. Even if there is an entrance fee, the visitors are also responsible in maintaining the cleanliness of the park.
White Beaches of Initao, Misamis Oriental
There are a lot of beach resorts in Initao, Misamis Oriental and the cheapest is Hapitanan Resort which means “Drop-in” in local dialect. The entrance fee is only Php10. You can also check their room accommodations and cottages ranges from Php300 to Php800.
Before going to back to Cagayan de Oro or Laguindingan airport, you check out their white beaches or might as well have an overnight stay. Normally, the beach area is crowded during summer and weekends. I went there Thursday, so there were only a few people swimming at the beach.
I had my own time by doing what I love the most. The clear waters and white sand is suitable for free diving. You can also ask the locals and rent a boat for php1000 good for 20 to have a tour. Their floor of their boats are made of fiber glass in order for the tourist to see underwater. You can also negotiate with the locals for the price if you are a solo traveler.
Though there are a lot of beach resorts in the area, if you are in a budget and will not stay overnight, I suggest to go to Hapitanan Beach Resort.
- Iligan City to Initao – Php50 (100 back & forth)
- Initao–Libertad Park Entrance Fee- Php15
- Initao- Libertad Park Cave- php 100 per 1-15 pax per cave.
- Hapitanan Beach Resort Entrance Fee- Php10
- Boat Rental – php1000 for 20 pax