June 25, 2011
Surigao City. When I think of the place, the only thing that comes to mind is Siargao. Then I remember that they’re not the same though they are both in Surigao del Norte. It doesn’t ring a bell for me though I know it’s in Mindanao. That was why when a friend invited me to join him, I was excited to go because it meant another trip! However, I don’t know what to get psyched for. hehe I did some “research” and came upon Tinuy-an falls, our country’s version of Niagara Falls! Then I found out that it’s 5-6 hours away by land travel from our destination. Bummer! Sam, another companion for this trip, told me she’d love to join if we’d swim with stingless jellyfish. What? Stingless? How cool is that?! A few more readings and tips from friends and I’m good to go. I hope.
Met up with the others at the airport. It was the height of Typhoon Falcon and most couldn’t believe that I’m flying off at that kind of weather. I thought to myself, this is EXACTLY why I’m going on this trip, to escape this non stop downpour! ;)
We got there on time. We even had breakfast and Sam was shopping for some stuff. After the final check though, we were held up by the Gomez Family (popular actor & actress with their daughter in tow). I wanted to take a picture of them but I wanted my friends in it. It was kinda hard to convince those two. haha That was why we didn’t notice that we were being paged for, thrice already according to Chockie. It was when they announced the destination that we realized what was happening it. I was half running to get to our gate!
An hour and forty minutes later, we touched down in Surigao City’s airport. We had no fixed itinerary. I just know that 1) we’d be swimming with non sting jellyfish, 2) we’d be visiting a pebble beach, 3) eat by the pier’s many BBQ eateries and 4) visit a floating village. There were definitely lots of stuff to do there but we didn’t have the luxury of time (well, and money too) so we had to choose what to do.
Since it was lunchtime, we headed to the pier on Borromeo St. where their BBQ eateries are located, in a tricycle (15php). We didn’t realize though that many of the eateries were closed at such an hour and that most open by sunset. There was one, 4As, that was open so that was where we ate our lunch and as it turned out, our every meal was eaten at 4As! We ordered a whole roasted chicken, some pork barbecue, rice, soda and buko (coconut) salad good for 4 people. It was so good! We were stuffed yet we spent less than 400php. :D
Next in the agenda was to look for a place to stay at. A local friend of mine suggested that we stay at Leomondee Hotel. Rates start at 500php. Ours was a big airconditioned room with 3 beds and private toilet that we got for 1200php. There’s free wifi by the lounge area. The lady at the reception was very helpful despite the fact that she wouldn’t give us any discounts. She gave me directions on how to get to Day-asan floating village and Mabua’s pebble beach. After a quick change of clothes, we went out with the 2 destinations in mind.
Day-Asan Floating Village and Mangrove Forest
Getting to Day-asan, we’d have to ride a motorbike (20php). It can seat 4 (according to the drivers) but we insisted on just 2 of us per motorbike as suggested to us earlier coz it’s safer that way. 30minutes later, we arrived at our destination. A small port was there. We talked to a man there and asked him if it was possible to hire a boat to tour us around the place. Turns out, he owns one and he tours people around too. We paid 300php for the boat. The tour took almost 2 hours.
It is the so-called “Little Venice” of Surigao. The floating village was built in a huge mangrove area. Houses were erected on wooden stilts and bedded rocks. Paddle boats ply the waterways. There were fishpens in the area near every house. We asked our guide what those were for and he informed us that it was for lobsters. Nice! :) He said he’d bring us to a white beach. It wasn’t much of a beach but near it were many corals visible from our seats on the boat. The waters were that clear! I was wistfully hoping I had brought my snorkel gear for this trip!
Mabua Pebble Beach
On the way back, we were in a bit of a hurry to get to Mabua because Chockie wanted to capture the sunset in his shots. We would have rented motorbikes to get us there but they were asking for 100php per person. Expensive! Instead, we asked to be brought back to the city (20php). From there, we hailed a tricycle. We paid 150php for it and it took 40minutes to get us to the pebble beach.
It was quite strange to be on a beach that has multi-sized pebbles instead of sand. Good thing the pebbles were smooth though we still had to be careful walking coz it felt like it’d be very easy to lose your balance there. The sound the pebbles make when the waves crash over them reminded us of heavy raindrops over the roof. I liked it! ;)
However, our friend was disappointed that he didn’t have the sunset he wanted. It was an overcast sky, he said. My other companions were more than happy to have their pictures taken instead. hehe
Too dark to do much, we headed back to the city for our dinner. It was around 9pm when we headed back to our pension house. I slept early as we’d have a long day ahead of us.