When we were asked by Sally U. Leuenberger if we were interested to join a small group for a trip to Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, we got excited and thought about our hectic schedule. But there was no other event scheduled for February 20, 2019 in our calendar, and Malaybalay holds a special niche in our schoolgirl summertime memories. We decided to accept the invitation and woke up in the dawn hours to make the trip with Dory Arcega, Elma Bacatos-Resurrection, Lilia G. Mejia and Sally Uy-Leuenberger, who provided the van and driver for the trip.
Leaving Davao City before five, we braved the morning chill in Buda, the bright “Snow Moon” showing itself majestically, following us as we rode to Marilog and disappeared at sunrise.
The four ladies are members of the BCBP and had experienced staying at the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration during a Lenten retreat at the peaceful grounds of the monastery. This time, we were making the trip to greet Fr. Colombano Adag, a native of Bohol, but spent most of his life in Malaybalay, where he was assigned to establish the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration.
Well-wishers came from as far as Calinan in Davao City, friends from Malaybalay City Pacifico Ramos and wife Emma, Bobby and Ellen Cabrera of BCBP Cagayan de Oro, Tony and Lilli Evangelista from Malaybalay now residing in Cagayan de Oro City, attended the Eucharistic service before the buffet lunch in honor of Fr. Colombano.
Lunch was made more interesting with the native delicacies served such as the “Binaki”, or ground yellow corn suman wrapped in corn husks, which we only enjoy in Bukidnon. Guests also patiently lined-up for burgers which were cooked under a canvas tent, exuding an aroma of expensive beef from the Bukidnon cattle ranches.
As we started our trip home, we dropped by the Carabao Center in Musuan to buy carabao milk, white cheese and Pastillas de Leche.
The Seagull Mountain Resort stopover for the delicious Pinoy “merienda” of suman and cup of hot chocolate is a must during the long ride home to breathe in the cool, nippy breeze at the Bukidnon-Davao Boundary or Buda.
The vegetable stalls along the highway in Marilog are always tempting, so we made another stopover to buy freshly harvested lettuce, eggplants, cauliflower, yakun and other vegetables.
It was another occasion we will always remember as we look forward to make another road trip to Malaybalay, Bukidnon, enjoying the scenery, endless mountain ranges and bonding with friends.