Mantianak Botanical Garden & Zoological Park is the newest eco-tourism site in Misamis Oriental. Located in the small town of Sugbongcogon, the place is just 55 minutes drive from Cagayan de Oro City. If you’re going to Camiguin or Duka Bay from the city on a leisure trip, make a side trip to the park which is conveniently located along the National Highway.
The place got its name from the late Cong. Danny Lagbas after it was rumored to be the place of a “tianak”. In Filipino folklore, a “tianak” is a creature which imitates the form of a child. It usually takes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, it reverts to its true form and attacks the victim. Aside from slashing victims, the tianak also delights in leading travelers astray, or in kidnapping children.
Interestingly, in Mindanao culture, a woman who died during pregnancy would turn into a manti-anak. She would retain her feminine form and grow a pouch on her belly to tuck her unborn baby in like a kangaroo. A creature of the night, she only stalked men to yank out their “organs” as a way of exacting revenge, the point being that had she not been impregnated by one of them, she would have been alive.
Visiting Mantianak Park is a must to all tourists that come to this area. It is good for all educational tours from all levels. Children particularly, will find a visit to Mantianak Park a significant experience they will never forget in their lifetime. It is a place where children can frolic in the fun of seeing species that otherwise they only find in books. Zoos that pride themselves as such in some parts of the country can never stand up to the rare animals and fowls one will find in Mantianak.
One of the park’s famous attractions are the two Bengal Tigers, which is considered an endangered specie.
The park is owned and managed by the municipal government. Most of the exotic animals are donated by local residents.
So have your family pay a visit and get close to the place called Mantianak. There are cottages available for overnight stay. Just be sure to hold on to your children…just in case. Or in the case of men, don’t go roaming at night or you might lose your _____! But of course, these are just stories.