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Mindanao has a bad reputation for security, although statistically visitors are far more likely to be attacked by terrorists in New York or London. However, the Muslim central / western areas see very, very few western tourists, although the Christian northern coastline strip and the southern cities of Davao and General Santos are secure, peaceful and increasingly prosperous.
Big cities in the Philippines are much of a muchness, always hot, crowded and noisy. Try and get out into the countryside and explore. Travel is very cheap by bus (look for air-con services wherever possible) or negotiate with taxi drivers for faster traveling times. Jeepneys are even cheaper but very slow and uncomfortable for all but the shortest journeys. Cagayan de Oro is a good starting place to explore Mindanao - it has excellent air and ferry connections with most other places in the Philippines.
The main coast hi-way can take you east to Camiguin island, a popular resort for foreign tourists, and on towards Surigao (famous for its surfing beaches). Another main hi-way goes south from Cagayan through the mountains through Bukidnon province (Malaybalay is famous for its annual Easter-time Fiesta, one of the biggest and best traditional celebrations in the whole country)
From Cagayan you can also travel west along the coastal hi-way through Iligan City to Dipolog. Iligan is noted for a number of spectacular waterfalls nearby, some of which are highly inaccessible. A good challenge for keen travelers to find and visit! The biggest waterfall of all (Maria Cristina) is part of NPC ( National Power Co. ) Natures Park and is certainly now open to the public. You can view the falls, enjoy a picnic lunch under the pavilion on the side of the Agus River while also viewing the falls. 5 kms east of Iligan City is Timoga, a dozen swimming pools all fed by a huge natural spring. Half way in between Iligan and Cagayan is mid-way beach .
One of the latest most popular attractions is the Zipline.