It was during the Masterchef elimination round that would determine who would make it to the top 15 (later became top 16) roster when I met a very bubbly tandem. As the pressure of the inevitable engulfed the entire room, the Bukidnon-born sisters stood out as the two remaining souls who were really excited on what’s forthcoming. I admired their genuine smile amidst a nerve wracking task, how they cheered everybody to be positive and wishing everybody goodluck. They were uniquely pleasant.
Ma’am Malou, or what I fondly call her – Mamalu (Important note: she is no way close to being “Ma’am or Mama for she still looks like someone from my bracket) was the one who made the cut. We were housed during the taping days so I got to know her better (and Ate Eppie as well from her stories) and somehow, the foundation of a friendship was built. It was in the earlier part of the show that she had to give up her spot for she will not have a career to go back to if she continues her Masterchef journey– a career she built for more than 15 years. As any decent mother would do, she chose security over uncertainty. We all felt her pain, but she stood in front of the cameras and the Judges, apologized, and managed a weak smile as she turned for the exit. In most cases, you need not to share sob stories to be “close” with someone, sometimes, you only need to share a couple of good laughs and a very good conversation to know if someone is for keeps. So going to their hometown and breathe the same air they grew up with was an easy choice and thanks to “Piso Fares”, it became a reality.
We almost did not make it to our flight as I was stricken by an awkward disease and it was a miracle that I made it to the airport.
We stayed at Tune Hotel in Cagayan de Oro (Check our Tune Hotel Makati Post here!) while I was recuperating. On our second day, we headed to Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
We rented a cottage at Pitcher Plant Farm and watched as the rain invaded the horizon.
If you’d like to book a room here, you can get book for less than PHP 2,000 per night via Agoda (prices may change depending on the room, season, time of booking, and promos). The following day…. Luckily, the skies tamed and we were able to meet Mamalu at a bus stop right around Manolo Fortich. She was with their youngest brother, whom they affectionately call Juanbol. Before we started our roadtrip, we went to Ate Eppie’s office to pick her up then the cast was complete.
Our bellies were full of the sweetest fruits which the land is known for and more importantly, our hearts were satisfied with wonderful memories.
By the time that we book our next trip to Bukidnon, I’m sure our hankering is at its peak and we’ll make sure to stay a little bit longer. In fact, we have already prepared a list of the things we will cross out next time we visit. Matin-aw Spring Nasuli Spring Kaamulan Nature Park Benedictine Monastery Church of Transfiguration Provincial Tree Park How to reach Bukidnon? Via Cagayan de Oro City: Take bus bound for Valencia or Davao City at Agora Bus Terminal. The bus passes by Malaybalay City. Travel time is around 2-3 hours.
*some pictures were from Mamalu – Thank you!