Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines have daily direct flights from Metro Manila and Cebu to Ozamiz City's Labo Airport in Misamis Occidental. Air travel takes about an hour and thirty minutes from Metro Manila and one hour from Cebu.
2GO Travel ferries depart Manila for Ozamiz City every Thursday at 9:00 AM and arrive at 8:00 PM the next day.
How to Get Around
Passengers who want to get from one town to the next can ride a jeepney. Minimum fare is only PHP 7.00.
For shorter distances, there are motorelas, Mindanao's roomier version of a tricycle which can fit more people than the average.
What to See
Two of Misamis Occidental's churches are considered as National Cultural Treasures. These are the St. John the Baptist Church in Jimenez and the Immaculate Conception Church in Jasaan.
St. John the Baptist Church was built in the late 1800s and is one of the oldest churches in the country. Its architecture is of Baroque style, with an attached bell tower. Its interiors are grand and have been well-preserved.
The Immaculate Conception Church is equally impressive and was also built in the 1800s by the Jesuits. Its original facade has been reconstructed so part of the church's exteriors is now covered with red bricks.
The Cotta de Santiago fort in Ozamiz is another Spanish-era landmark. Built in 1756 from coral stones, this fort kept the town safe from raiders. Not far from the fort is an outdoor chapel, which serves as a shrine for the image of the Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion y del Triunfo. While in Ozamiz, make it a point to visit the Immaculate Conception Cathedral where the Philippines' second largest pipe organ is located.
Sapang Dalaga provides the ultimate nature escape. One of the popular natural attractions in this town is the Sapang Dalaga Falls, formerly known as Baga Falls. Tourists can marvel at the amazing sight of cascading waters and even take a refreshing dip in the natural dipping pools.
Another thing tourists must experience in Caluya is swimming in the waters of Caluya Bay. There are floating cottages there where guests can stay and have a picnic.
Aside from Sapang Dalaga Falls, other waterfalls you can visit in Misamis Occidental are Don Victoriano town's Piduan Falls (also known as Curtain Falls) and Siatong Falls along the Mt. Malindang Range.
Lake Duminagat is also part of the Mt. Malindang Range. This crater lake is visited by many as its waters are believed to possess healing powers. Adventurers are also free to test their endurance with a hike up Mt. Malindang.
Lastly, beach bums are in for a treat on their Misamis Occidental visit. The white sand shores and turquoise waters of Sunrise Beach in Baliangao all combine to make your tropical paradise fantasy a reality.
The Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park is one of the province's major tourist draws. This aqua park in Sinacaban has various amenities including a zoo within a mangrove forest, but Dolphin Island, its man-made dolphin sanctuary remains as its most famous attraction. Visitors get to watch dolphin shows and are even allowed to swim with them.
Meanwhile, the cool mountain climate of Hoyohoy Highland Park in Tangub City is reminiscent of Baguio or Tagaytay. The Stone Chapel is definitely a must-see and thrill-seekers should not miss trying out the zip-line.
Events and Festivals
The province of Misamis Occidental celebrates its foundation anniversary every first of November through the Pas'ungko Festival. This celebration features colorful cultural performances, parades, trade fairs, and exciting contests both locals and tourists can participate in.
Meanwhile, Ozamiz City showcases the traditions of the Subanons every July with the Subayen Keg Subanen Festival. Spectators are in for the treat as the natives don their customary garb and perform traditional rituals like dances and songs.
Where to Eat
Fast Food Chains
There are branches of popular fast food chains like Jollibee, McDonald's, Greenwich, and Mang Inasal in some parts of Misamis Occidental.
Misamis Occidental's gastronomic scene is known for its variety. Tourists can enjoy different types of cuisine during their visit.
In Ozamiz City, guests can have a taste of Mexican food at Moon Cafe. Meanwhile, they can head to Hukad sa Golden Cowrie for some delicious Filipino dishes. Shanghai Boy serves Chinese food for tourists craving for Asian cuisine. And if you're fond of burgers, Dejabrew is the perfect restaurant for you.
Oroquieta City also has plenty of dining options. For those craving for local dishes, head to Chicken Ati-Atihan and order their famous grilled chicken meal. More dishes are available at Payling's Restaurant.
Where to Shop
Shopaholics can have their fix at Gaisano Mall in Ozamiz City. You'll find plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the establishment.
The House of Suman in Clarin is one of the popular pasalubong shops in Misamis Occidental. They sell a wide variety of suman and native cakes. The suman also comes in different flavors, like ube, mango, and durian, and are best paired with a hot cup of sikwate or hot chocolate.
For tourists looking for souvenirs such as T-shirts and keychains, you'll find several souvenir shops within the province.
ATMs and Money Changers
There are branches of several banks and ATMs in some parts of Misamis Occidental.
Fare: PHP 2,000.00 PHP (By ferry); PHP 3,500.00++ (By plane)
Make sure to weigh your options when it comes to deciding on how to get to Misamis Occidental. Traveling by sea is cheaper, with the ferry ticket costing as cheap as PHP 2,000.00. However, the trip takes more than 30 hours. And while air travel is more costly (a one-way ticket starts at PHP 3,500.00) it is also quicker. You'll get to Misamis Occidental in just over an hour.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 300.00
There are many affordable dining options in Misamis Occidental. For backpackers who want to eat at fast food chains or eateries, a minimum budget of PHP 100.00 would be enough. Meanwhile, for those who want to dine at restaurants, make sure to set aside at least PHP 200.00 for a meal.
Shopping: PHP 50.00
Suman at House of Suman is only PHP 9.00 apiece. Meanwhile, the price for a souvenir shirt ranges from PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00, depending on the design.
Accommodation: PHP 700.00 to PHP 3,000.00
Accommodations in Misamis Occidental are cheaper than in other destinations. Two guests can share a stay in an air conditioned room of a budget hotel for as low as PHP 700.00.
Activities: PHP 20.00 to PHP 500.00
Sapang Dalaga Falls has a PHP 20.00 entrance fee. Hoyohoy Highland Park offers a PHP 500.00 packaged tour including entrance fees, lunch, welcome drinks, and a zip-line ride. Meanwhile, floating cottage rentals at Caluya start at PHP 250.00.
Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park has a minimum entrance fee of PHP 10.00, but you'll have to pay extra fees to enjoy some of the attractions. For instance, to get to Dolphin Island, you have to hop on a boat, which costs about PHP 300.00. And if you want to swim with the dolphins, you need to pay PHP 400.00.
||Arrive at the airport.
||Eat breakfast at McDonald's or any fast food chain.
||Check in at your chosen accommodation.
||Visit the Cotta de Santiago Fort and offer a prayer at the Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion y del Triunfo Shrine.
||Visit the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and see the country's second largest pipe organ.
||Travel to Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park.
||Arrive at the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park. Have a quick lunch and afterwards, explore the park. See the animals at the zoo and of course, don't miss out on the show at Dolphin Island.
||Arrive back at your accommodation.
||Have dinner at Moon Cafe.
||Have breakfast at Jollibee. Buy some food for your picnic lunch.
||Travel to Sapang Dalaga Falls.
||Arrive at Sapang Dalaga Falls. Pay the necessary fees and enjoy soaking in the dipping pools. Don't forget to take photos of the majestic waterfalls and the "Sapang Dalaga" statue.
||Enjoy your picnic lunch.
||Drop by the House of Suman in Clarin to buy some delicious suman for pasalubong.
||Arrive back in Ozamiz City.
||Grab some dinner at Dejabrew.
It's highly recommended that tourists visit Misamis Occidental during the dry season, or the months of December until May.
Make sure to pack some medicines, first aid supplies, and insect repellent for your trip, especially if you will be camping or hiking. Should you be in need of any medical assistance, Misamis Occidental has some hospitals and clinics you can visit.
Safety and Security
Misamis Occidental may be a generally safe place, but it's still best to be extra cautious when traveling to a new place. Always be mindful of your surroundings and keep your valuables in a safe place.