El Salvador is known as the home of the Divine Mercy Shrine. But it actually has a lot more to offer, especially for adventurous folks like me.

Outside the LGU office of El Salvador City.

Last Friday, September 15, my media and blogger friends and I went to five different places that gave us a glimpse of the hidden wealth of El Salvador City.

Our first stop was at Highland Fresh, which is owned and managed by the Northern Mindanao Dairy Cooperative. We sampled their pure cow’s milk, milk bar, and cheeses (Gouda and queseo or kesong puti). We also had the chance to see how they made their world-class Gouda cheese. We event went inside the Gouda cheese freezer area and saw how the cheeses were stored to perfection!

Visitors can buy the products from the Highland Fresh shop in the compound. Here in Cagayan de Oro, you can buy your favorite milk and cheeses (and milk bar!) at their shop located at Hayes Street, across Cebu Pacific near Dynasty Court Hotel.

Aside from pure cow’s milk, queseo, and ¬†Gouda cheese, Highland Fresh also produces and sells butter and yogurt drink.

Inside the freezer where the Gouda cheeses are stored.

Our second stop was Burias Shoal, which is around 5 to 10 minutes ride by boat from Molugan. It is a good spot for snorkeling, diving, and swimming. The City Government of El Salvador is currently drawing up plans for a jump off point for Burias Shoal.

If you love places like the White Island in Mambajao and Agutayan Island in Jasaan, you will love this marine protected area. While it is not as big as the islands mentioned (only around 15 has.), it is just as magical as it allows you to explore the colorful marine world. Burias Shoal is alive with marine life like deep sea corals, seaweeds, seagrass, a giant clam, and various fish species.

A patrol boat, which is part of the city’s Bantay Dagat program, guards and protects the shoal from illegal fishers.

Our next stop was the Bolisong Women Wine Makers Inc (BWWMI), a winery that makes delicious export quality duhat (lomboy) juice.

The women started making duhat wine in 2006. They currently sell their wine in different outlets in El Salvador, as well as here in CDO. We were able to sample the wine and it tastes really good!

BWWMI’s naturally fermented, perfectly aged, and medicinal Salvadore duhat wine has 10% alcoholic content. One bottle costs Php230.

Our fourth stop was an adventure I will never forget! After trekking for more or less 30 minutes, we were welcomed by the majestic beauty of Abaga Falls. No words can describe exactly how I felt after seeing the place for the first time. It was a glorious, rewarding site!

Although the area is still underdeveloped, plans are already in place for the construction of a road or path leading to the falls. Additionally, the El Salvador LGU is also working hand in hand with Misamis Oriental Congresswoman Juliette Uy for the construction of cottages that tourists can use.

The area surrounding the falls.
What the area we trekked looked like.
I just had to have this photo taken!

Located in Barangay San Francisco de Asis (formerly known as Calongonan), Abaga Falls is a natural wonder that deserves to be seen and experienced by many. Its majestic, hypnotic beauty will leave you speechless but well-relaxed.

THE Macau Tree of El Salvador City. Couldn’t capture the tree in its entirety as I used my mobile phone in taking this photo.

Our fifth and last stop was at the area where El Salvador’s more than 100-year-old tree stands. The Macau tree is a historic landmark in the city. It stands sturdy amidst the greens, roads, and structures that surround it.

The Macau Tree’s trunk.

Exploring El Salvador is a good way to spend your weekends or free time. In just one day, we were able to discover a lot of natural wonders and creations that we will remember for a long time. In just one day, we learned to love El Salvador City. I’m sure that you will, too, once you discover the many beautiful adventures waiting there for you!

Thank you to the City Tourism Office of El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental headed by City Tourism officer Jeen Clarin Lopez for facilitating the tour. Thank you for making us feel like kings and queens for a day! See you again soon!


(For more information about El Salvador City, check out THIS LINK.)

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