Summer isn’t over! If you are a mom of school kids in the Philippines or a backpacker from anywhere else in the world, you might want to consider coming over to beautiful Bukidnon in the Philippines this season.

Bukidnon is home to the renowned ultimate family playground – Dahilayan Forest Park Resort. The last time I came to visit this amazing place was about four months ago, when my husband’s aunts came home from the US and Australia.


We are a big family, with ages ranging from one to sixty and when we go out you can’t put us all together in one SUV; it has to be a van, so you can only imagine what a lively crowd we can be together. When everyone decided to go on a picnic, first place that came to our mind was Dahilayan Forest Park in Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich in the northern part of Bukidnon.

Colorful, Well-equipped Playgrounds

The moment the kids got out of the vehicle, their eyes started feasting on the scenery outside the entrance door. Immediately they started taking pictures with the life-sized animal statues that were at the gate, helping the theme park crew welcome guests. Inside were more eye-catching sceneries to see.

One of the many playgrounds your kids can choose from at Dahilayan Forest Park

Entrance fee is P100 for adults and P50 for children and this includes free use of the playground. They have playground sets almost everywhere! What I loved most about their playgrounds was the ground itself – your feet will never get muddy even when it rains and the “grass” is always green.

Picnic Grounds

If you don’t intend to stay overnight and just eat lunch at the forest, they have picnic tables available at P200 (good for 10 persons) and again, I love how your feet stay clean because the forest floor is thickly carpeted with pine needles.

picnic grounds at Dahilayan Forest Park


And of course, how can I not mention Bogart, the PR Manager. Bogart spends his entire working hours hopping from one table to another to have his photo taken with the guests. If I were to vote for the friendliest employee, I’d vote for Bogart.

My son and sister-in-law with the park’s charming “PR Manager,” Bogart the dog.

Fish Feeding

When it rains on your family picnic day, wear ponchos. I salute my husband for being such an incurable optimist. We haven’t seen his aunts for years and we couldn’t put off the plans just because it rained. He went to the souvenir shop and bought each one of us a poncho. Besides, there was no stopping the kids from having fun.

By the way, if you haven’t read Life Is A Roadtrip, do so now. It’s a book on the 8 keys toward having the most meaningful adventures in your life even if it rains on your picnic day. Didn’t get your FREE COPY of my book yet? Go get it here.

The younger kids enjoyed every single second at the pond, feeding the fish with pellets they bought from the honesty store, where they dropped P10 coins in a cup and took one pack of fish food for each coin.

Buying fish food at the park’s Honesty Store


The highlight of my visit was perhaps the Zorbit. I saw this huge orange ball the moment we got in but I pretended not to see it as I had no intention of getting on any ride whatsoever; I only wanted to see the kids play and have fun. Unfortunately for me, my husband’s thrill-seeking adolescent cousin didn’t have anyone her size to go with her; the Zorbit is meant to be ridden by pairs.

The walk from the ticket booth to where the ball is was the longest, scariest walk of my life so far. My fingers froze as I imagined myself rolling down the hill in that thing. But my husband was very supportive; he was there all the way, cheering me on. I felt really silly feeling that way. It wasn’t like I was marching into a death chamber!

And so after they got us strapped securely inside the thick rubber ball, they released us and sent us hurtling down that long, steep slope. That guy who strapped us in had a few instructions before he let us go, but only two things stuck in my head – hold on tight and keep your eyes open, no matter what.

How did it feel, you might ask. It was one long bouncy ride with the whole world flipping and tossing and overturning. Until now I couldn’t figure out why people would invent such a thing (along with roller coasters and everything else that spins). I guess it’s one healthy alternative to getting drunk. I did feel like throwing up afterwards.

The Zorbit
Strapped in and ready to go!
The ultimate family playground indeed (don’t you think I have the best in-laws in the world? >wink<)

But hey! It was the craziest, most fun part of the day. Thanks to cousin Cassie who couldn’t ride on her own and my ever supportive husband who enjoyed watching me having fun like a kid. You can ride the Zorbit at P250 per person.

For more information about Dahilayan Forest Park and how to get there, get in touch with them at http://www.dahilayanforestpark.com/.

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