If you take out Siargao (known as the best surfing spot in the country) of the picture, Surigao is not a really a touristy place. This is probably because Siargao is still part of Mindanao and Mindanao has a reputation of being home to some Muslim separatist groups. What a lot of people don't know is that Surigao, located in Caraga Region up north, is in a very safe area, virtually unaffected by the turmoil in the south.
A week ago, my friends and I went south of Surigao. We were truly impressed by what it has to offer. The beauty of Hinatuan river is simply surreal. Tinuy-an falls was magestic. We did island hopping, too. It was simply ecstatic to be in the strikingly gorgeous islets of Britannia. I simply feel bad for those who have the means to go here but are afraid to embark on a trip because of the bad publicity that affects the entire Mindanao. They are certainly missing a lot.
SOME OF THE ISLETS IN BRITANNIA
|Photo by Phoebe Arevalo|
|Photo By Phoebe Arevalo|
Fly in to Butuan City. From there you,take the Bachelor Express Bus from Butuan City. Ticket for air-conditioned Buses is Php 307.70 and Regular buses isPhp 246.16. It takes 5 hours to get to Bislig City.
There’s not much accommodation option in Bislig City so you can’t afford to be fussy. The place where we stayed at is a bargain! Towels are for free. They gave away shampoo and soap. There's free wi-fi and cable TV in our room. We had free Filipino breakfast (rice, egg, beef) and we paid only Php 300.00 each. I supposed it's clean, I didn't any see cockroaches and wake up with bed bugs.
But what I really love about the pension house, they have this Php 99 eat all you can buffet! When we arrived from a 5 hours journey from Butuan, we were starving to death and it was perfect! The three selections of viands (there’s chicken curry, beef steak and sweet and sour fish) unlimited rice, spicy goat soup, salad bar and watermelon and papaya for dessert. It was too good to be true to for us.
Beside it is a bar with a karaoke where young town folks hang around.
Casa de Babano
Purok 4, Caramcam District, Mangagoy, Bislig City Phone: (086) 853-1297
Single Fan Room-common bathroom: Php 200
Air conditioned double Room, common comfort room: Php 400
Air conditioned double Room with cable TV, cold shower: Php 700
Air conditioned queen Bed with Air conditioned w/ cable: TV Php 800
Air conditioned matrimonial w/ cable TV, hot and cold shower: Php 700
Air conditioned twin bed with w/ cable TV, hot and cold shower: Php 900
Air conditioned triple sharing bed w/ cable TV, hot and cold shower: Php 900
Air conditioned suite room w/ cable TV, hot and cold shower and bathtub: Php 1,500
Bislig City is sleepy town considering it's a thrid class municipality. There’s nothing to see at night. Good thing about this accommodation, there’s a bar beside it where young town folks usually go there to hang around. Take note: there’s karaoke.
DAY 2 TINUY-AN FALLS AND HINATUAN-ENCHANTED RIVER
I have heard from somewhere that it is said to be "Niagra Falls of the Philipppines", a mini version. It's so funny because my friend overheard from a local when we were there that it looks like "Nagaraya Falls.
|Photo By Ella de Laza|
To cover up two places in one day, we hired a van to maximize our time without rushing to the next tourist destination. Since I was travelling with a group (7 persons), hiring a van was defnetely practical for us not to mention cheaper. Plus, It's way comfortable and safer because it's bumpy road on the way to those two attractions.This is our van contact/guide –Joy. I vouch for this guy, a very hospitable and honest guide. He offers assistance whenever he can. . His number is +63 9109857464
If you prefer are adventurer and risk taker as well, hire a habal habal from Bislig City. That's Php 150.00 per trip (Php 300.00 round trip)
Entrance Fee: Php 20.00
HINATUAN RIVER also known as the Enchanted RiverDAY 3 BRITANNIA GROUP OF ISLANDS
To be honest, I don't know how to commute going there from Bislig City. Since I just hopped in the van we hired. Just ask the locals. However, the boat that we hired is P 1,500.00 to go island hopping. I suggest that you visit Hagonoy, Naked beach, Boslon and Danadayon.
|Thanks for everything Phoebe, and nice meeting you Arevalo Family and Me-anne|
|My friend, the hardcore traveler who is responsible from my unforgettable trip there.|