Discovering Surigao del Sur's Natural Wonders
01.03.2013 - 03.03.2013 32 °C
I always got free side-trips every time I travel for work purposes. And I never thought that discovering Surigao del Sur would be enchanting, captivating, and worth more than a side-trip. The roadtrip we made included dropoffs at "tourist" destinations. It was aptly called, joyride.
Hinatuan Enchanted River
I am a Surigaonon and hailed from the adjacent province, Surigao del Norte. Both lie along the coastline of the Philippine Deep. Knowing the cuts and curves of my known province, I expect that Surigao del Sur would offer me similar features. I was glad I was wrong. The municipalities covered in my itinerary offered me an entirely different experience, a marvelous natural destination that would keep tourists, local or foreign, in awe.
My first stop was in the municipality of Hinatuan. My company and I planned to drop by the Enchanted River after the day's work. But the municipal government's Mayor has reserved for us a lunch at the now famous tourist destination in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. Seeing the neatly piled, erected side by side, nipahut-cottages in the resort, I can already feel the very welcoming vibes and ambiance upon dropping off the service vehicle. Enchanting, as they called it.
We made the courtesy call with the local chief over the sumptuous lunch. Enjoyed with the clanking of spoons and forks with the china; engrossed with the cracking of crabs' shells by anything strong to paddle; absorbed in devouring the local cuisine that comprised mostly of steamed root-crops, such as sweet potato, cassava, banana, and the kilawin, adobong pusit, and freshly grilled fishes; the noontime passed unnoticed. Fortunately, the bell clang to announce the feeding time at one o'clock. Resort guests, that includes us (we were eight all in all: reps from central and regional offices), crowded the river bank all ready with cameras in all forms and sizes. It was a festive mood for both fishes and people-watchers. Fishes busied themselves catching the feeds while people clicked their cameras. Capturing the rippling of deep blue waters, the splashing made by fish fins and tails, was so enchanting!
Beware though, because no one is allowed to feed the fishes other than the resort staffs.
By the way, swimming is allowed before and after the feeding time.
Cagwait White Beach
Our next destination was in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. It seemed really a destiny to be accommodated in the known White Beach Resort, even for just one night. The resort and the white beach alongside is the usual site or venue for the annual Paliguan Festival to celebrate the feast day of St. John the Baptist, that is June of each year.
The huge park is conducive for family picnics any time of any day. Despite the late night of our arrival, we still spared a picnic time in one of the nipa-roofed cottage with sounds of waves slapping the white shore as the background music.
The rooms and beds are not that glam but the complementing white beach experience, the early morning swim, the natural unspoiled environment surrounding it are priceless. It made me feel coming back again, later if not sooner.
Marihatag Tree Park
Our last day of stay happened in all-in-one very accommodating place in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. A resort inside a tree park, beside a prestine and refined shoreline. It was aptly called the Tree Park. Fronting the park is an islet which is a 30-minute swim away, that if you are in fact a swimmer. I have tried crossing but the waves were pushing me back to the park's side. It was known to be privately owned though.
The resorts amenities include a restaurant where you can order food. Early morning breakfast is so awesome there to witness the sunrise, especially when the weather is good. There are several small nipa-roofed cottages for picnickers; an abandoned pool with murky water in it, which I feared a breeding den of mosquitoes, dengue included; and, the closed and airconditioned rooms.
On our way out, we viewed the so-called Britania Group of Islands. These are islets arranged naturally in an awesome fashion. We're in a hurry that we were not able to capture a photograph. Then there is this infamous Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City down south of the province. This however was not part of our itinerary. There was even this holed rock formation in Cortes, where the slapping of waves resembles an explosion from within the center-hole.
I am glad I still have reasons to go back and rediscover Surigao del Sur's marvelous natural wonders.
To get there, I used to fly through Butuan City and drove through the Surigao del Sur province.