There is one place in Mindanao that I loved to go, sit and reflect in front of a vista of natural beauty and that is the boulevard of Oroquieta City. Known for its peace and order stability, Oroquieta is one place to be when you journey on self-healing and discovery. I was recently in this lovely city for a brief training run for our JCI affairs and after I have rendered my lecture, went out of the hall, took my Travey for a spin and took a 15-minute photowalk along the boulevard.
What captured me in the boulevard of Oroquieta City is its clean and serene seascape. I have seen ordinary people going about in their usual shilly-shallying of moments and time. I have seen an old fisherman out to his afternoon catch and was asked by a group of teens for a photograph, without even asking where they can find their photos or get a copy, at least. This is where I love people the most, completely raw. No pretentions though one of them ask me if I charge them for the photo and when I said it is free, they gamely posed for posterity. I have not known these people and they have not known me too but that is what the cycle of life should be, meeting strangers in new places, sustaining them in prayer and perhaps, wished them good will.
Also, in my brief stay in Oroquieta City’s boulevard, I have seen one of the dying industry in the Philippines, the peddled ice-cream or street ice cream as it is commonly called. I saw him pushing his cart across where I took the first photoshoot of the boulevard and respectfully asked him if I can take a photo of him with his ice cream. This one-time experience I had in Oroquieta City reconnects me to how culturally-rich Filipinos are, that no matter how tasty and expensive a Selecta Magnum ice cream bar is, no ice cream beats the street ice cream, that one I used to loved when growing up as a child.
Oroquieta City is a city where history, present and future merge into one milieu of opportunities. Beauty abounding, it is one of the few cities in the country that is very safe even at night. I was, in my previous visit, bringing my DSLR at 11pm roaming around the city, and I still came back to my hostel in-tact. It is a city full of old Spanish wooden houses and where people, reconnects to her charm wherever they may be in the world.
How to get to Oroquieta City:
- It can be reach by bus from either Dipolog City or Ozamis City (Rural Transit Bus)
- Interestingly, no seaport or airport in the City.