My cousin knocked on the door at 5:30 am and said, “Kira! Are you ready? It’s time to go!” I groaned, pried myself out of bed, brushed my teeth, and got dressed. I gave my Dad (who was still asleep) a peck on the cheek and I was out. My cousin Cathy and her husband Dodong said we should head out to Mt. Pongkay, the so-called Prayer Mountain, as the view up there was fantastic. Funny, I’ve spent my childhood in this city but have missed this supposed attraction that is loved by both locals and tourists.
But first, why am I in Mindanao?
Unbeknownst to many, my Dad’s side of the family is from Agusan del Norte, a second class province and deemed as the smallest in the Caraga Region. I grew up here, spending most of my summer vacations with my friends and cousins (we had a huge family back then), and I can fluently speak the dialect of Bisaya. I’ve had so many precious memories growing up here biking around the city, swimming in the local black sand beaches of Caasinan, going on road trips to Cagayan de Oro in my Dad’s pick up long before it became famous for whitewater rafting.
You could say, I’m back because I want to explore my hometown and share my discoveries with everyone. There are so many “hidden” and scenic spots in Mindanao that I hope to feature on the blog.
So, back to the Prayer Mountain.
I was obviously not prepared for this, my outfit is screaming: “city girl alert!”
Located in Bgy. Kauswagan in Cabadbaran City, it is approximately 15-20 minutes away from our ancestral house. You can drive a car or a scooter, though the latter is ideal so you can enjoy the crisp morning air. The best view is driving through the highway with nothing but trees and talahib on the sides of the road.