Why do I want to experience and join the Lanzones Festival in Cagayan de Oro?
|Photo from WikiPilipinas|
I’ve been in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) for countless times already due to work-related travel. Surprisingly, during my travels in CDO, I only got to explore nearby areas like Divisoria (night market), Lim Ket Kai Mall, and was able to try the gastronomic delights of Dear Manok and the soothing massage at Ban Sabai. Not only because I have little time for pleasure during my trips, but I am also being vigilant, considering that CDO is still part of Mindanao and knowing safety concerns abound.
After my business in CDO, I always travel to Iligan and Ozamis to continue my “work caravan”. And each time I travel in those places, it is inevitable for me not to be scared of what might happen. Perhaps, it is the trauma brought about by the time I was in Iligan and the siege between MILF and the military ignited that resulted to bombings and side-by-side threats. I was there during those times.
I even remembered the taxi driver telling me that there’s no bus trip back to CDO that day (my flight from CDO to Manila was at 3pm) because all the streets were blocked by the rebels. I insisted that he bring me to the bus terminal and luckily, there’s a bus, an ordinary bus, to CDO. Lo and behold, I took the risk and rode the bus, praying that I’ll reach CDO safe and sound. I was praying all throughout. I wanted to cry but I cannot. I am alone and I have to be tough.
Thank God, I arrived at CDO airport at around 11am, too early for my 3:00 pm flight to Manila. As I entered the departure area, I saw that there are no passenger planes on the runway. Instead, there are several fighter/military planes. Then I heard a commotion from a crowd at the other side of the room, only to realize they are reacting towards former PGMA, on her statement over the rebels. I even remembered my husband’s text saying, “Don’t ever go back to that place again.”
Luckily after lunch, passenger planes started to arrive and our flight left on time.
With this, why do I want to experience and join the Lanzones Festival in CDO? It is as simple as this, I still believe that the Philippines is naturally beautiful, and that scenarios like what I experienced are just isolated cases. I also believe that Filipinos are generally kind and warm, whatever race or tribe we belong.
Despite the safety concerns in Mindanao, I still believe that festivals like Lanzones Festival are events where each one of us can be reunited, whatever belief we have, at least for the time being.
I am confident that the Lanzones Festival will erase the negative experience I once had and replace it with a good one. One that I can really share with the whole world, one that can make me proud and say, I joined the Lanzones Festival in Cagayan de Oro and and will definitely go back!
Experience MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival and Lanzones Festival this October. Airphil Express flies daily to BACOLOD, ZAMBOANGA and CAGAYAN DE ORO from Cebu and Manila. Visit www.airphilexpress.com to book!