Mindanao has plenty to offer when it comes to natural wonders. Each province has something to boast for. One of the provinces is Surigao del Sur.
Just recently, the long holiday vacation made me able to visit some of the places Surigao del Sur. It was at the end of August that two holidays came in, 29th (Heroes Day) and 30th (Mandaue City Charter Day). Luckily there was an air fare sale for the flight on the 28th. We booked a ticket and everything went on.
From Cebu, we flew straight to Butuan City. The plan was to go straight south to Bislig then start the journey going up north back to Butuan. Straight from Butuan we got on a van bound for Mangagoy, Bislig where we started my journey in exploring the natural wonders of Surigao del Sur. It takes at least 4 hours of land trip to reach Bislig. Another challenge is trips from Butuan bound for Bislig are rare to find on the later part of the day so you have to take multiple trips. Common alternative is to catch a trip bound for either San Francisco (locally called as “San Frans”) or Hinatuan. Then from their respective terminal, catch another trip bound for Mangagoy, Bislig. Bus and Van fares usually run around 100-150php. It was already late in the afternoon when we arrived in Butuan, so we did the multiple trips. We arrived in Bislig late at night. There are several cheap stays in Bislig which you can contact and reserve in advance. One of them is Sleep Inn which really have a cheap rate of 600php per day for a 3-bed room with no private bathroom. The accomodation was okay just for a short stay. We have to use the shared bathroom, which was okay since it was not peak season and there were only few guests.
The next day, we were able to charter a motorcycle that would take us to Tinuy-an Falls then straight to the Enchanted River in Hinatuan for a fixed price of 1,700php. We checked out from the inn early and brought our backpacks with us as we started our trip.
After the Tinuy-an Falls, we side tripped to one of the lesser known falls also located in Bislig. It is called Sian Falls. It was almost dried up when we witnessed it. It rarely rained in Bislig during the previous weeks.
Then we went on for more than an hour ride to Enchanted River in Hinatuan. It was so happened that it was holiday and it was the day after the fiesta of Hinatuan. The Enchanted River was packed with crowd that literally we could not find a spot to place our bags. Though the river was astonishing to look at, but the huge crowd made us hesitant and disappointed. Just to savor our effort in reaching the destination, we just took a quick dip on the waters.
From the river, the driver then dropped us in Hinatuan bus terminal where another motorcycle offered to take us to Libuacan Cold Spring and drop us in Wakat Cave.
Libuacan Cold Spring is Located in Tagbina. The Spring offers bluish cold clear water that somehow mimics the Enchanted River. While Wakat Cave is just right beside the main highway of Barobo to Lianga.
From Wakat Cave, we rode a jeepney bound for Diatagon, Lianga. Jeepney fares runs around 10-20php. We stayed in Micro Lodge just a walk away from Lianga Market. They offer cheap stay of 600php per day for an airconditioned 2-bed room with no private bath. We got the cheap rate since common bath is okay and there were only us as their guests.
Early morning the following day, we headed straight to Lianga’s Bao-Bao Falls. We went on for a 30-minute jeepney ride bound for Diatagon then took a 10-minute motorcycle ride to Bao-Bao Falls for 20php. There is an entrance fee of less than 20php. The falls has it’s own charm. However, irresponsible visitors had already scarred the place with scattered trash and traces of vandalism. How I wish people could be more caring towards these rare gems.
Before noon, we left Lianga and went back to Butuan to catch our flight back. The 1 and a half day trip was so packed that we were able to visit multiple spots in just a short period of time. Another bonus item is over-all the cost of our trip, including all expenses except for the plane tickets did not exceed 2Kphp.
If given the chance, I would like to revisit the places again on a day where there are lesser visitors, especially in Enchanted River.
- Late afternoon, get to Bislig.
- It was a 4-hour multiple ride. Butuan to San Francisco then San Francisco to Mangagoy, Bislig
- Stay in Sleep Inn
- Tinuy-an Falls
- Sian Falls
- Enchanted River
- Libuacan Cold Spring
- Wakat Cave
- Ride jeepney bound for Diatagon, Lianga
- Stay in Micro Lodge
- Bao-Bao Falls
- Leave Lianga for Butuan before noon
- Back in Butuan to catch flight back to Cebu