Amiciness Goes on a VL: Surigao

Yoga Pose #2 HAHA

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This is a very late post but I have to say that this has been one of the most amazing travels ever! EVER! Amiciness Goes on a VL featured Oriental Mindoro last January, which was short and sweet, but my trip to Surigao set the bar high for my travels throughout this year. I’ve been hearing about Surigao since I was in grade school but I never really knew what it looked like. Too bad, none of my teachers told me it was paradise. I should have gone there sooner. I want to go back! Take me back!

 🎶Is it too late now to say Surigao?🎶

My friends and I booked a promo flight bound to Butuan City because the flight to Surigao City is way more expensive. Can you believe that this was my first flight for 2016 (and only flight as of August)? I was excited (since I filed a three-day vacation leave for this) but I didn’t know what to expect. I was just really looking forward to dive in the Hinatuan Enchanted River but this part of the south offered more than that. Surigao completely blew me away. I wanted the trip to go on forever, and ever, and ever.

Tinuy-an Falls
Blew me away, literally!
Watch the new episode of amiciness goes on a vl after the jump. 📹

From Butuan Airport (Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte), we rented a van to Bislig City, Surigao Del Sur (3 to 3.5 hours,157.2 km) arriving early in the morning at our lodging for the day, Casa Babano. We rested for a few hours until we had to travel to Tinuy-an Falls (46 min, 18.9 km) and Hinatuan Enchanted River (1 hour 32 min, 54.4 km from Tinuy-an Falls). I think hiring a private van is sulit for this kind of trip. Some of the roads were rough and unpaved but it helped immensely that we were sitting (and napping) comfortably in an air-conditioned van. If we had more time, and we were not too lola, we would have traveled by habal-habal to our destinations.

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you.”

Don’t Go Chasing Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River 🎶

We only spent about an hour and a half at Tinuy-an Falls and that included a 93-step hike up the magnificent waterfalls. We were lucky to witness the falls in its mightiest form. The water pressure differs depending on the season. From there, we headed to Hinatuan Enchanted River and stayed until lunch. To our surprise, the place was a bit “commercialized,” but didn’t stop it from being really, for lack of a better word, enchanting.

Floating body not included.

We ordered food from a nearby dampa and it was delivered to our rented cottage in time for lunch. The river was shorter than expected (and very, very deep) but it would literally and figuratively take your breath away. Note that the current of the river is very strong and it is hard to swim across the opposite sides of the river.

After that, we decided to just rest and spend the whole afternoon exploring the neighborhood of our hostel. We had halo-halo, lomi and other home-cooked meals. HAHA. #LolaVibes.

Proceeds from the International Doll House goes to charity.

That evening, we visited the International Doll House in Barangay Cumawas. I learned a lot and the story of the owner of the dolls was so inspiring. We left Bislig at 12 midnight to catch the earliest boat ride in Surigao City port (almost 6 hours) to Dapa port, Siargao Island. Prepare for a long ride! Depending on the current, the boat ride takes about four hours. We slept, woke up, ate, talked, slept again, et voila, Siargao!

Tidal Pool
View from the top. o_0

🎶Tara na, Biyahe Tayo! 🎶

Arriving at Dapa port, we took a van to Reef Beach Resort. We booked a two-storey “townhouse.” Best resort ever! From there, we immediately took another van (we met its owner on the boat #networking) to Magpupungko Beach, which was an hour and a half away. We were worried that we won’t get to see the tidal pools due to the high tide. Luckily, we did. Tip: Leave your valuables in the car or bring a very durable dry bag. ‘Yung parang tarp. The rocks are very sharp. My Instax learned this the hard way. HAHA.


The next day, our next adventure involved exploring Bucas Grande Island and Sohoton Caves. The boat ride was so tagal but it was worth it. First stop was the Stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary. We were told that swimming was not allowed because most sunblocks were harmful to the jellyfish but a friend who visited at another time was able to swim during his trip. I’m confused… 😳 The next stop’s Hagukan Cave where water glows… like magic.

View before diving. Watch the video to see the inside of the Magkukuob Cave

Another highlight of the Sohoton adventure was the sorta-kinda spelunking inside Magkukuob Cave. Once you climb up the cave, there’s no going back. The only way out of the cave is to go up and jump. Woohoo! Sounds scary but little kids before us did it. Needless to say, our pride was at stake and we had no choice. Afterwards, we headed to a couple of islands: the bare and very beautiful Naked Island and my favorite, Guyam Island. There were more islands but we opted not to pass by them for some reason.

I think I'll try...
I think I’ll try…defying gravity in Naked Island.

Mag-surfing sa Siargao!! 🎶

We saved the best for last. Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines and, even if I’m not good at surfing, it would have been a shame if I go home without even trying. Cloud 9 is the surfing spot in Siargao and it is just a few minutes away from our resort via habal-habal. You can also rent motorcycles and bicycles and have some delicious street food along the way. Yummeh!

Cloud 9 is cloud nine!
Cloud 9 is cloud nine!

What is money? It’s just paper. 😀

Here’s a summary of all of our expenses for 4 days in Surigao:

Surigao Del Sur

Private Van (Butuan City Airport to Surigao City Port)Php11,000.00
Tinuy-an Falls Entrance Fee50.00per head
Enchanted River Entrance Fee30.00per head
Casa Babano (1 Room, 3 Beds) with Breakfast550.00per night
International Doll House Entrance Fee20.00per head
Ferry Boat (Surigao City to Siargao Island)200.00per head

Siargao, Surigao Del Norte

Reef Beach Resort (Apartment with Balcony)5,000.00per night
Bucas Grande and Sohoton Caves5,000.00
Island Hopping1,600.00
Gayum Island Entrance Fee50.00per head
Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools Entrance Fee50.00per head
Private Van (General Luna to Magpupungko)250.00per head
Ferry Boat (Siargao Island to Surigao City)200.00per head
Van (Surigao City to Butuan City)350.00per head

Till the next Amiciness Goes on a VL! Thanks for reading!

Hey you! Have you also been to Surigao or do you also have an AMAZING travel experience such as this? Where did you go? What did you do? I would love to hear about your adventure. 

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