I am sure most of us do not want to think about it, at times when we travel things can and do go wrong that we do not anticipate. Prior to my first visit to Iligan I had checked out via internet about health care and facilities in Iligan City just in case any situation arose where I would require medical attention.
Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital, prominently located on the National Highway ( aka Andres Bonifacio Ave. ) is an ISO 9001 certified full service hospital that offers in-patient, out-patient and 24 hour emergency service. Don't let the name fool you as to some, the word Sanitarium may imply a psychiatric hospital.
On my visit in late 2012, after several days of feeling as if I had a bad cold or the flu and the over the counter cold relief medication I had brought with me offered no relief I went to the emergency department at MSH in the evening. I did not have to fill out endless amounts of forms etc. before being seen by the doctor on duty. I was taken right in and after giving me oxygen asked me a few questions. Along with the usual blood pressure, stethoscope and visual observation by the emergency room doctor I was given an x-ray and blood test. I had been diagnosed as having Pneumonia. I was offered a private room ( as opposed to being placed in a ward ) at the cost of 2100 Peso ( about $52 USD ) per day which I gladly agreed to. I had always wanted to see the inside of this hospital as I have been rather impressed by its exterior every time I had ridden by it on my visits to Iligan City so I was all eyes and ears as I was being taken to my room. I found everything visually very clean and well kept with what appeared to me as a very interesitng decor. My private room was equipped with a motorized bed, telephone, tv with known cable channels, 3 tables, closet, a second bed and a settee for my watchers, a window with blinds that could be opened for fresh air and a commercial type thru the wall air conditioner that did a good job in quietly keeping the room at about 70 Deg. F. ( about 22 Deg C. ) just the way I like it. The private attached CR ( bathroom ) had shower, sink, toilet with a window that could be opened for fresh air as well as a very effective exhaust fan. As in many Philipine hospitals, patients are required to supply their own personal care needs.
I was assigned one doctor who I felt treated me very well. The nursing staff and any other hospital staff I encountered were very polite and comforting at all times.
Although when I was asked if I had any food alergies I commented none that I know of, not wanting to take any chances I was put on a hypoalergenic diet for the first few days of my stay. I also had local friends bringing food to me that they knew I had eaten there regularly so I was far from not having enough of my favorite foods that I enjoy while visiting Iligan City.
Many hospital and health care facilities in The Philippines work a bit differently from the way they do in the USA and possibly other parts of the world. The patient is responsible for supplying " watchers ", friends , relatives etc. to stay with you during your hospital stay to observe your progress and to call for medical asistance if needed between the times that nurses or staff are scheduled to visit your room. The Patient is responsible for obtaining prescribed medications from a pharmacy of your choice. MSH has its own in-house pharmacy and there is also one across the street with two more about 1 mile away. You must pay for medications when they are purchased. You are required to pay your bill prior to discharge from the hospital. I am not sure if other arrangements can be made. Compared to the cost of medical care or hospitalization in the USA, hospitalization in The Philippines is only a small fraction of the cost. MSH does accept credit cards.
I would not hesitate to recomend Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital ( known locally as MSH ) to any visitor, traveler or tourist should they find they need professional medical attention or care during their visit. The name has recently been changed as is reflected in their website which at this time is still being updated and improved.
Fondest memory: The friends, acquaintences and others that I have met there. There is a lot of truth to the statement I have often heard " The Warmth and Hospitality of Iliganons ".
There are many ATMs in Iligan City but many of them may not dispense cash if you have a credit / debit card issued in a foreign country. On my first visit to Iligan City I spent a good part of one day trying to get cash from ATMs and none of them worked for me. I also went in many of the banks to see if I could get a cash advance. I later found that the only bank in Iligan that could give me a cash advance on my USA issued ( internationally known ) card was the main Iligan branch of Banco De Oro, better known as " BDO ". This bank is across the street from one end of City Plaza. You will need a photocopy of the front of the card you are using and the identification page of your passport. There are many photocopy shops where you can do this.
On my visits of 2010 and 2011 there has been an improvement in ATM availability where my USA issued card would work in 2 ATMs. One is at the Gaisano Mall located just inside of the side entrance comming in from the parking area. There are two ATMs there and the one on the left operated by China Bank worked for me. Security Guards for the parking lot entrance are only a few feet away from this ATM making it a more secure location than a stand alone ATM on the street. Another China Bank ATM that also worked for me was found at the main entrance of Mindanao Sanitarium Hospital on Tibanga Highway. This ATM is accessable by the general public and is also within a few feet of Security Guards.
As an additional backup for ATM or Cash Advance use, I also brought with me a Western Union Pre-Paid debit card which I acquired in the USA. This card worked for me in some ATMs where my regular card was not accepted.
Many of the banks and their ATMs in Iligan may be local, regional or national banks and their ATMs may not be connected to the international verification networks which may explain why my USA issued card would not work in them although the same card would work in many of the ATMs I tried in neighboring Cagayan De Oro. I have heard of other USA visitors having similar experiences.
Fortunately, as of my visit in late 2011 I have been able to locate and verify 3 locations where USA issued credit / debit cards will get you cash. Many of the small independent shops and restaurants may not take card transactions and be cash only. Some larger stores or restaurants may take only credit but not debit cards. Some may take both. Hotel and other acomodations that are accredited with the Region 10 Board of Tourism are required to accept credit cards and I have not had any difficulty using my card in Iligan or Cagayan De Oro when using them in a hotel.
On my visit of 2012 I found that my card would work in ATMs that I had unsuccessfully tried in previous years. This may be due to changes by my card company, better connectivity to international verification by the ATM operators, or a combination of both.
You can check this place in the City Hall area since this place is elevated and the theater is located at Buhangin hills in the southeastern side of the city hall, 2.3 kilometers from the city proper.
Fondest memory: To just sit there and watch those hunks plays basketball,lol!
It would be in Tinago Falls. I would really like you to be there..amazing and refreshing! Words cannot do justice and so with my pictures, I guess!
Fondest memory: Bein with my family again for along time..I think it's one of the best thing!
If you like mountain climbing, we have also this kind of things here as Iligan are being sorrounded by big mountains! Take the Mt.Agad-agad trail though its only 1500 kms. above sea level. But worth a visit and a lovely view up there.
Fondest memory: It was my first time taking the trail to Mt. Agad-agad, I think it was during my collage days. My dad loves to have long hikes and this is one of his passions...We went there with friends and my dad with us because his one of the experts! We climbed early morning and up there around 1pm! It was a breathtaking hikes and after that I was having a high fever and lasted for a week, not bad at all,hehehe;-)
If you're a quite a spelunker, I ligan has lots of caves too. You can check in Batu Caves..somewhere in the Northern Part of the city.
Fondest memory: Visit the caves here, we went to Batu caves and it was my first time..it was a dream come true for me.Such an experience being in the dark but with friends! I had a hard time walking, I was very scared of the little creature there, thinking it will bite me off!
We usually take our weekend along the beautiful beaches here, we have nice beaches but its not as what you think as white sands but watching over the sunsets with my family are just lovely.
Fondest memory: Playing around with my brothers and sisters in the beach are wonderful!