Known as the Jesus Lizard because of its ability to “walk on water”, this species of scaled lizard has been officially declared as vulnerable because of its decreasing population, it does not seem to be the case in a small village in the Municipality of Jasaan as hundreds of Philippine sailfin lizards flock every day to the humble home of Mr. Rodulfo and Mrs. Alma Dael. Like clockwork, every morning and afternoon the lizards come to the Dael’s humble backyard in large numbers to feed on the kangkong and bananas that the couple and the locals prepare for them.
This strange co-existence that developed between the locals and the wild sailfin lizards have been the topic of curiosity for researchers and tourists for many years. This is the only place in the world that scientists can study the sailfin lizard in different stages in its life up close and personal. Even National Geographic Host Nigel Marven travelled all the way from Europe to this small town to film the lizards. This great opportunity to have a close encounter with these creatures is a once in a lifetime experience!
The Immaculate Conception Church of the Municipality of Jasaan was declared as a National Cultural Heritage Treasure by the National Museum in July, 31 2001 because of its artistic design and cultural value which have been well preserved since its construction in the early 20th century. The church was an attempt to mimic the famous San Ignacio Church of Intramuros in Manila and the Jesuit brothers Francisco Rivera and Juan Cuesta are credited with the construction of the original church façade. Significant architectural features of this beautiful church are the original brick paving, neo-Gothic retablo, and ceiling woodwork which is reminiscent of basket weave style, and the four church bells in its two towers.
The Mantianak Botanical and Zoological Park in the Municipality of Sugbongcogon is home to about 80 kinds of animals which was built to not only be an enjoyable zoological park for tourists but also as a haven where visitors can appreciate the natural importance of animals in the ecosystem as it is a wildlife rescue center.
A wide assortment of animals are housed in the park such as Bengal and Siberian tigers, wild boars, crocodiles, deer, and monkeys. The zoo also has rare species of birds, parrots, peacocks, and ostriches. Kids can also have an enjoyable time by feeding the pigeons or talking to the resident Mynahs who perfectly mimic human speech. If you are lucky, you might be able to pet or bottlefeed a tiger cub! Mantianak Botanical and Zoological Park is easily accessible along the main roads of the town and day trips are welcome as cottages for picnics are also located within the area.
Misamis Oriental lays claim to the first and the only Oolong Tea plantation in the whole country which is located in Barangay Kalagonoy in Gingoog City. The Camella sinensis tea trees in this plantation are planted, maintained, and processed by the Higaonon tribal communities of the area as part of the sustainable livelihood program of the government.
Oolong is a process of developing tea tree leaves into a variation of tea between black and green. It is most famously marketed to be served as the popular milktea and is also known to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. To achieve the unique and delicate taste of Oolong tea, the tea trees must be planted in high mountain areas such as those in Misamis Oriental that can sustain the cold temperature needed to process the tea leaves.
Seven Seas Waterpark is the first world-class pirate-themed waterpark in the Philippines. Established in 2017, the waterpark boasts of state-of-the-art facilities with over 12 thrilling slides, a 5,000-square meter dual wave pool, 400-meter-long lazy river, and many more family friendly attractions and amenities.
It is located in the municipality of Opol, just minutes from the bustling city of Cagayan de Oro. Even in its early years, Seven Seas Waterpark was already hailed as the best waterpark in Mindanao. This Pirate-themed attraction is a thrill-seekers’ wonderland that is prepared to serve you with a fun-filled action-packed day!
The long coastline of Misamis Oriental offers the most sought-after diving spots in Northern Mindanao. It boasts of waters rich with marine life and houses endangered giant clams, nudibranch, anemones, angel fish, lion fish, pufferfish, jacks, devil rays, thresher sharks, and even whalesharks.
The towns of Medina and Jasaan’s Agutayan Island are considered the hotspots for diving and snorkeling in the region because of the rich variety of fish and corals that thrive in the area. Divers are welcomed by a fantastic display of colorful coral systems and underwater life that can only be described as out-of-this-world. Another special destination is the Magsaysay Hawksbill Turtle Sanctuary, dedicated to the protection and preservation on the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. Because of the rich treasures of its coastline, much effort has been dedicated by the towns to preserve the natural underwater wonders of Misamis Oriental for the next generation.