Sunday, August 31, 2008

Surigao City Island Tour

A compilation of the previously posted getaways.. 5 spots for island hopping offered by my friend's travel and tour agency, Viaje Isla Incorporated.

The destinations, island to island, as follows...
1. Buenavista Cave and Beach, Hikdop Island

Unspoiled white beach facades the way to the cave.

2. Zaragoza Tourist Park, Sibale Island

A miniature park covered with bermuda grasses and overlooking the surrounded shore of rock formations. The ambiance of the park is so relaxing; while gazing at the turquoise waters reminiscing for something, the refreshing cool sea breeze does the chilling.

3. Rock Formation, Brgy. Lisondra, Sibale Island

While passing at this site, one cant help but get his camera to capture this rock formations blackened by weather and time.

4. Cantiasay (Nonoc Island) - San Pedro (Hanigad Island) Wooden Foot Bridge

The Surigao version of the famous San Juanico bridge connecting the two neighboring islands.

5. Basul Island

The crown jewel of Surigao City island getaway that possess four faces in its every corner. As Basul means "regret" in english, one will regret for not stepping in this wonderful island.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Will be away for 2 days for a work-related activity in Dipolog City.
As we will pass by the Municipality of Kolambugan in Lanao del Norte, i would like to solicit your prayers for a safe trip. Though our source said the route is cleared and safe now, we never know what will gonna happen.

In a very short span of our trip, i hope i have something to post here for your pleasure.

Please pray for us. Thank you.

Cantiasay-San Pedro Wooden Foot Bridge

The Cantiasay-San Pedro bridge is the country's longest wooden foot bridge at 391 meters strip. It connects the islands of Nonoc and its neighbor Hanigad Island, still within the Surigao City geopolitical domain.

Nonoc Island can be traveled via motor boat in less than an hour and took a good walk of about a kilometer from Brgy. Nonoc to reach Brgy. Cantiasay where the bridge interconnects.

Then the thrilling journey begins.

Walking at this some-part-shaky and some-part-deep bridge was fun. From the usual boat transit to another island, this one's a beyond the usual option. It's as if you're God walking above the water with the views of the corals and aquarium fishes below.

The modest abode in Brgy. San Pedro, Hanigad Island are erected on the shore above the sea. Most of the residents acquire their living obviously by fishing and hunting aquarium fishes. I have no idea what they will be doing with the dried starfish and carageenans but i saw some laid at the dike.

So here goes, experience the thrill of crossing two islands on foot!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zaragoza Tourist Park

Derived its name from its host barangay, Zaragoza is a good 30 minutes boat ride from the city of Surigao where the sights of the blue ocean and the greeneries of mountains entertain the voyagers.

One of the best spot that offers a nice sight is the Lisondra Rock Formations being passed by along the way. It appears like a lined up dead rocks blackened by the heat of the sun and carved by the waves of the ocean. It appearing black attracts attention from the passersby.

Lisondra Rock Formation is situated in Barangay Lisondra, also part of Surigao City's geopolitical domain.

Docking at the barangay's wharf, one can see a preview of the park from there as greenery footed with limestone rock formations.

Being away from the mainland, most of the households in the barangay utilized the solar power with the panels granted by the Spanish government through the efforts of partnership with the city government of Surigao.

The tourist park is strategically situated beside the barangay hall making it easily traceable and accessible.

A rocky pathway once hurdling the 20 steps of stairway up will lead you to the park blanketed with bermuda grasses as its landscape.

And then the cool breeze from the sea will greet you to a chilly treat, enough to make you fall into sleep. The serene ambiance communed with the cool blue waters on the horizon is simlply relaxing.

Look at how we enjoyed the bonding while laying into the ground of grasses. The place is very appropriate for soothing treat after a tiring island escapades.

As the signage in the photo says...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Buenavista Cave & Beach

Spelunking and swimming does not always come in one package. But in Buenavista, located at Hikdop Island, the cave and the beach come together for the pleasure of everyone who enjoyed these types of getaways.

Buenavista Cave can be reached by about 20-minutes boat ride from Surigao City. It is facing the city boulevard which is the usual docking place for those who may wish to contract a motorized boat.
Approaching on the island, the beach will greet the visitors a brilliant welcome with its powdery white sand.
The emerald waters are very enticing, urging everyone to plunge into the water.
While the beach seems a catch, caving is usually the primary purpose of going there. So no matter how enticing it is, swimming can be delayed a little later after the sweaty adventure of exploring the cave. A very good idea to wash off the dirts and the sticky sweats after caving.
Buenavista Cave has a huge opening with ceilings adorned with dried and blackened stalactites. And as expected striking a pose is the next best thing to do even before going inside the cave. That is specifically for Pinoys who are very much fond of collecting memories through photographs.
While taking too much time for photo ops is tolerable, vandalism is totally not cool. Vandalism, also known as graffiti, is an art. But only if done in the right places designated for that purpose. And the walls of the caves are definitely not part of them. For everyone's information, as also expressed by environmentalists, etchings and markings on the cave walls take time to heal and remove. And some lasts forever. Now you dont want your future sons and daughters saw the smut you left, right?

The best way to leave a mark is to experience the place and then store that memory in your heart. Look at how beautiful these works of nature..

the King's throne.
Looks like a nostril.
And after all the sweating in climbing the stiff path of the cave and gaining dirt, time to cool off and do the enthralling thing that everybody have in mind while seeing the emerald waters. Swimming!
Meanwhile, in no camera tricks, i don't know what happened with this photo. I just thought I'm turning into a lobo (wolf). Kewl! :D

Friday, August 15, 2008

Basul Island

The crown jewel of Surigao City's island getaway... Basul Island.
Basul Island

According to local historians and telltales, Basul is derived from a visayan word "basol" which means "regret" in English. The name does not spring from out of nowhere. It comes from old tales that develops into an urban legend which until now arouses the curiosity of some locals who have not yet been there. That urban legend says that one will regret coming over to the island because an accident is a possibility that one should anticipate. 

That legend, however, has a genesis. Some fishermen residing near the island says that accidents usually happen because of the strong current in the channel known as Surigao Strait.
In my case, however, my only regret was why it took me so long to get there. I must admit I was affected by the rumor. Especially because I dont know how to swim. Yes, an Islander who doesn't know how to swim. :D

Being visible from the shores of the mainland Surigao, I used to take a drooling stare at the island. But only this year that my plan to go there was finally realized. Together with some officemates, we decided to spend a stress-free holiday there which is, by the way, just a 30-minute boat ride from the boulevard and 20 minutes from its neighborhood Lipata.

From the mainland, Basul Island's glowing white sands reflected by the sun will be the first to catch your attention. Its strip lightens during the broad daylight like an enticing jewel calling you to come.

For your preview of the island:
This mix of fine and coarse sands is what will greet you after docking in the island. Like me, you cant help but get excited and would actually become impatient with the lazy docking. And who is not, when this one awaits you there:

The beach extends up to the interior of the island glittering in the green landscape.
At the back of the island is no longer the coarse or fine white sands but rather a flat bedrock littered with huge rocks coming from the eroded hillside which i believed caused by the crushing of waves.
And on the far left end is the enjoined bedrock that extends from the cliff and laden like a bride's veil onto the sea. From here, you have all the privilege to shout and say "i conquered Basul! Now you regret you were not here". This is the best spot for solitude.. with a wide range of sight of the city and the rural landscapes.
From the rocky side on the left, an exit walk from there by taking the flat bedrock partially immersed in the sea will take you back to the front side. By the way, if you wonder why there is no mention of the far right end, its because I wasnt able to take a photo of it. Some fishfolks were hanging in and were having their picnic so i give them their needed privacy. But nevertheless, there was nothing more interesting in their except the fishermen laying their nets.
Going back to the frontal act of the island, 'moment' is the best thing to do there. Like reminiscing, wishing, etc while staring in kawalan.
Or have a slowmo in the sand... imagining you were the leading star in a movie shoot.

Now, the Basul Island once more saying like "Come again!". Very enticing.
If only i have millions, i would buy it from the owner who charged us P20 of admission. And they did not allow us to buy bukos (young coconut) even if i told them i was thirsty. But still, i want to go back there soon. Who wants to come?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Provincial Tour: Road Trip 3

My most marvelous road trip adventure ever!

Looping around the countryside of Mainit and Malimono, Surigao del Norte...

Narratives of the trip to follow...