Cagayan de Oro Feast

Today is the feast of the city where I came from, “The City of Golden Friendship” , Cagayan de Oro City. The feast was in honor of the patron saint, Saint Augustine. I’m not there to witness the feast but in my heart and mind, I’m proud to say that I’m one of the Kagay-anon. Happy fiesta mga Kagay-anon.

History of Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City, situated on its excellent harbor in Macajalar Bay on the north Mindanao coast, is the capital of Misamis Oriental Province.

The area of present Cagayan de Oro has been occupied by indigenous people for approximately 40,000 years. The first inhabitants were the Higaunons, and later on, the Visayan groups. Two thousand years ago, there were already ancient Kagayanons living around the vicinty of the Huluga Caves. There were also ancient tools used by the ancient Kagayanons. When the Arab missionaries came, Kalambaguhan (or present Cagayan de Oro) was part of the sultanate of Tagoloan. Kalambaguhan was a small settlement of Bukidnons who lived along the riverbanks of Kalambaguhan River.

During this time, Sultan Kudarat would raid these places. Datu Salangsang, their leader, led the Bukidnons to transfer to the hills of Huluga. In 1622, Fray Agustin de San Pedro went to see Datu Salangsang and to tranfer to present day Gaston Park. The raids of the Maguindanao warriors were repulsed by Fray Agustin de San Pedro.

Mindanao was divided into two districts. Cagayan de Misamis (or present Cagayan de Oro) became the capital of the district. Pope Pius XII created the first Catholic Archdiocese in Mindanao, which elevated the Diocese of Cagayan. During the American Occupation, revolutionaries fought with the Americans. However, the Americans gained victory. During the Japanese Occupation, many houses were burned. The Japanese Invasion was stopped in 1945.
It was from this settlement that the present Cagayan de Oro originated. A church was built on the site, which later became the present San Agustin Metropolitan Cathedral. The Church was destroyed during the Japanese Occupation. Later on, the church was reconstructed.

Cagayan de Oro became a city on June 15, 1950. Since then, Cagayan de Oro became one of the peaceful and progressive cities in the whole archipelago.

Velvet Cave (Fluweelengrot)


Visiting a cave is something unique and different from the previous spots that I visit before, which was mostly about palaces and castles. When we hear the word cave, automatically goes into our mind is something under the ground and all dark. A cave or cavern is a natural underground void large enough for a human to enter. I entered a cave already in the Philippines, but those cave were not as big as the Velvet Cave. I considered this Velvet Cave as an enormous cave that I ever visit. It such a wonderful experience that I can walked in that huge cave, it was a bit chili and it’s totally dark. But we have a tour guide that guide us there, with his lamp on it and his explaining about the history of the cave and some big wall paintings that we passed by. Since the cave is very big, the tour was covered only the selected area.

Velvet Cave is the oldest cave (marlstone quarry excavation) in South Limburg, Netherlands. It is closely connected with the rich history of the castle ruin. The Velvet Cave probably dates from the 11th or 12th century. The Velvet Cave has many secrets; discover a treasure trove of impressive wall murals, inscriptions, strange sculptures in the soft marlstone walls and a romantic chapel dating from the French period under Napoleon (18th century).

In the Second World War, during the German occupation, the cave served as a hideout for the people of Valkenburg and for the American troops. All these events have left their mark on this place, which we can still see today.

Follow your guide's lamp and enjoy the legends, stories, deep darkness and serene silence.

Valkenburg Castle : Ruin Castle


Visiting a castle is one of my interest every time I’m here in Netherlands. The difference in the castle that we visit this time is that, it’s ruin. I find it very captivating, educational and amazing on how they build a castle. It’s astonishing to see and to know on how people used to build and to live in a castle. Every time I visit a castle together with my husband and his family, I always learn new historical events that happened from the past. Since I'm a visual type of person, visiting a castle is one way to learn about history, to think that I don't like much history when I was still a student, but now I started to like it because of my husband and his family's influence (LOL).

Valkenburg Castle is a ruined castle that is located in the uphill of Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands. In the year 1115, fortifications were erected at the site by Gosewijn I, Lord of Valkenburg. This original wooden keep survived until 1122 when it was destroyed under siege by Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor. The castle was rebuilt in the following centuries but was again destroyed in a siege, this time by Jan III, Duke of Brabant. The current ruins are those of the castle rebuilt in the 14th century. The castle was blown up during the Eighty Years' War, in 1672, by the army of King-Stadtholder Willem III to prevent it falling into French hands.

Since Valkenburg Castle is on top of the mountain, we tried to reach the highest part of the ruin castle. And guess what, it's very overlooking view of the city. It was very tiring going up, but the tiredness that we felt were all worthy when we reach the top. We enjoyed watching the nice view.

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Additional Background Text

I make a little bit changes in my background header, as you notice in my direction sign, it’s empty. I keep thinking it already few weeks ago if it’s possible that I can edit my background header and add some text on the direction sign. With the help of my husband and bro in law, I finally come up with this background with my additional text. See the difference from my old background and the new one. This direction sign shows some of the countries and places that I visited already.

Coal Mining


As a continuation for our vacation activity, we visit the Coal Mine that is located in Steenkolenmijn Valkenburg. It's the last coal mine in the Netherlands and it closed in 1965. Valkenburg is a town in the province of Limburg (Netherlands), the southern-most Dutch province. Coal mining was the main industry in Limburg until natural gas was found in the north of our country and gas won the battle from coal. Coal mining is the extraction or removal of coal from the earth by mining. When coal is used for fuel in power generation it is referred to as steaming or thermal coal. Coal is also an important source of Methanol which resides in binding resin, plywood, and acetic acid, plastic bottles.

This is how they work in the coal mining

During our visit, we walked under the ground to see how the coal mining looks like. We had a guide who tells the story about the coal mining. Our guide used to work in that coal mining for about 35 years. He demonstrates some various machines to let the visitors experience how it worked and how it feels when you were there for the whole day, hearing all those noisy sounds. I can't imagine to work in that deep place that not much air can get through, it's dark and it became more dark when they experience a power failure, warm and very noisy during working time. When the time they experience a power failure, they used a sign signal to communicate with each other like hitting hard the metal twice with the used of their hammer, which means they need to stop working.

Forest Walked in Posterholt


Since it was Sunday that time, the family decided to do some easy activity and that was walking in the forest at Posterholt. Posterholt is a village in the Dutch province of Limburg. It is located in the municipality of Roerdalen. The forest is not so far from the park where we stay, so we just walked till we reach the forest. I never tried to walk in the forest in the Philippines because I’m afraid with it and at the same time I’m not familiar on where to go. But the forest that we walked during our vacation, there is a map that will guide as on where we walk, so we just follow the map. While were walking, we saw blackberry fruits, they grow in the wild and guess what, you can eat it if you want. Aside from that, I also saw the huge corn plantation, which I never seen it from the previous time that I visited Netherlands. Holland is abundant of cows and this is the time that I can see it very close those cows. Well, I’m a city girl and the place where my husband lives is also located in a big city in Netherlands, so I seldom seen those cows in close view.


I thank Sassy for sharing her wonderful award. It's an honor for me to be part of her 100% Sassy Blogger.

Now it’s my turn to pass this award to my fellow bloggers, namely ; Faye, Bogie and Jenny

Claim Sentence : Sharp wire brushes leave your caviar looking clean

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Hoensbroek Castle


Since we had our 1 week family vacation at Limburg, a south part of Netherlands. We stay in Landal park, it’s a park that you can rent a house to stay with. It has many branches in Netherlands at this time, we took this landal park that is located at Limburg.

As our first activity, we went to a castle called Hoensbroek, located at Klinkertstraat 118 in Hoensbroek. Hoensbroek, a town belonging to the municipality of Heerlen, is situated in the southeast of The Netherlands' most southern province - Limburg.

Hoensbroek Castle is one of the largest and most beautiful castles in the Netherlands. Passing through more than forty rooms, visitors can travel through time. Experience the romance and adventure of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Baroque period. Look for the secret room, shiver in the dungeon and climb the medieval tower.

Hoensbroek Castle is a medieval castle, named after Knight Hoen, a member of the Hoen Family. It dates from around 1250 and is one of the most beautiful ancient castles of the country. The Hoen family was an important family. In the 14th century they were allies of the Dukes of Brabant and also in later centuries they were always associated with high political functions. The family members lived at the castle until 1796. After that time they mostly resided at their castle in Germany; Schloss Haag.

At the end of the 18th century the castle was more or less abandoned and it fell into decay. In 1899 part of the southern corner tower collapsed. In 1927 the owner of the castle; Frans Lothar van Hoensbroek sold the castle to a Roman Catholic foundation; 'Ave Rex Christi'. They restored the castle and still own it. After these restorations the castle has had several purposes until the 1980's when it was again restored.

Visiting the Archeon

Archeon is an Archaeological Theme Park, located in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. There are reconstructions of houses and other buildings from three major time periods: Prehistory, Roman Age, and Middle Ages. In this museum, you can see how people used to live in those previous ages. People who work there dress up with those old ages style and they are there to explain everything that you want to know about the past. There are some activities that you can witness also, depending on the theme. This is the second time that I visit Archeon, the first time that I been there, the theme was all about knights and the last time I went there, the theme was all about the Roman. There you can see some Roman outfits, arts, the Roman army presentation etc.


The Archeon is a pleasant place to visit for students. Since not every one of us enjoy reading books then this is the other way to learn and that is through visiting some museum.

Experience three millennia of the Netherlands Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval.
The Archeon has 43 accurate, full size reconstruction of huts, houses, farms, a monastery and a Roman settlement, all based on excavations carried out in the Netherlands. The fascinating past of the Netherlands has been brought to life with reconstructions of daily life and a lot of related activities like making Prehistoric fire.

Castle de Haar


There are many castles and palaces here in Netherlands, in fact I been to some palace and castle already before. But few weeks ago, we visit the Castle de Haar for the first time. Castle De Haar is considered as one of the most famous and visited castles in Holland and was originally founded in the late 1300’s by the Van de Haar family, whose standing in society allowed them the comfort of building a fortified abode. The castle is located at Haarzuilens (Utrecht), The Netherlands.

By 1449, the castle became the property of the Van Zuylen family thru marriage. In 1482, the castle was destroyed due to differences of opinion (quarrels) between the city of Utrecht and its bishop

By the 17th century, the Van Zuylen family line had become extinct and the castle was inherited by the Van Stembors, who originated from the south of Holland - present day Belgium. French soldiers attacked and damaged the castle during the years 1672 and 73.
In 1801, Castle De Haar passed to JJ.van Zuylen van Nijevelt, a distant cousin of the Zuylen family. JJ had inherited a castle that was in a poor state of repair due to 200 years of neglect. Upon his death, these magnificent ruins passed to his son Baron Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt in 1890.

The rebuilding of the castle was started in 1892 under the guidance of one of Holland’s most famous architects Dr PHJ Cuypers. It is his influence on Castle De Haar that we see today. PHJ Cuypers rebuilt the castle as close as possible to the original outlines and were there was not sufficient material to work with he used his own ideas of what a medieval castle should look like. The interior was rebuilt to a luxurious standard with the inclusion of electricity. A new bailey with an entrance gate was built on its original foundations.

The castle is huge but at this moment it under renovation, we still allow to get in the castle but they were busy renovating some area. When we visit castle, there is someone that will guide and explain about the castle and how long it was built. The Castle De Haar is still in use but due to restoration, the family decided not to be there for few years, and hopefully 2011 the renovation is done then the family can visit again. Castle De Haar is now a museum and opens to the public except during the month of September when the Van Zuylen van Nijevelt family turn it back into a home for their month long stay. When it’s September, they close the Castle then the family have their own privacy.

A visit to De Haar is a journey of discovery to a marvelous world. Yet this enchanting oasis of harmony and peace is not far from the daily bustle of Utrecht city. The unique complex has something for everyone, young or old, for the knowledgeable art lover and the casual visitor. De Haar is an unusual and fascinating mixture of the medieval and the modern comforts of the late 19th century.

Visiting the Walibi World

Not everyone of us likes amusement parks, but luckily hubby and I are just the perfect pair because we have many in common and one of those are going to amusement park. We both like amusement parks, in fact this is the 5th amusement parks that we visit, we been in Star City, Enchanted Kingdom (both in Philippines), Drievliet, Efteling and the latest one is the Walibi World, those 3 are in Netherlands. My countdown still keep going and of course I look forward for the next amusement park that we visit some other time. Walibi World is located in Biddinghuizen, Flevoland Netherlands. Whenever you’re looking for a leisure time, then Walibi is one of the nice place to hang out with. Walibi World is considered as one main destination both tourist and non-tourist people, especially in this summer time season, many group of family or friends go to Walibi to enjoy the bonding moment and enjoying the rides that Walibi World have.

Here’s the short movie clip that I took in some rides and the overlooking view of the Walibi: