Surigao City says I am yet to learn alot!

After our quick stay in Butuan City, we headed south of Surigao with so much of expectations and a little preparation because I thought that speaking the same dialect the local does may ease the entire travel (as it actually did when I was in Cebu) but Surigao City says I am yet to learn alot more than that.

Early morning from The Prince Hotel in Butuan City at 4am, we had our quick breakfast at McDonalds near the hotel and then took a tricycle to Langihan bus terminal. We went inside the terminal and catch the Mangagoy bus which left at five in the morning.

The road to Surigao was already a treat and the weather was cool even inside the non air-conditioned bus. The ride was long yet enjoyable and I never had boring times. Closely before reaching Mangagoy drop of point we were tempted by a long bay-walk. The shore wasn't calm but it looks inviting and the view is so relaxing. We decided to drop by and spent a little time there resting and having a chance to call a hotel in Britania where we plan to spend our night.

The weather is farely cloudy and the wind still blowing hard. After few minutes, we decided to take a tricycle to Mangagoy so we can start touring Bislig. We asked the driver to drop us to the terminal where we can ride a habal-habal to Tinuy-an Falls.

The driver asked us if we are going there and other details, he is also talking to his friend at his back seat meaning us to hear that the fare to Tinuy-an Falls is 500.00 one way. I ignored them knowing it wasn't the price. We reached a crossing where numbers of habal-habals were parked, before he dropped us he signaled one to come over, yet four of the drivers came rushing towards us.

He talked to the one he called and whispered something. I felt something wasn't right so I talked to one of the four other drivers. Then the deal started to get very chaotic. I asked how much would it cost us to go to Tinuy-an and back then to Hinatuan and if possible going to Britania? The driver (who is assuming to have owned the deal) refused to quote, instead he said that we will discuss it once in Britania. Being cautious I insisted for the quotation and it goes like 100/way/pax to Tinuy-an and 800/pax to Hinatuan and Britania which will cost us 1800.00. I quite felt that was overpriced that time since buses to Tandag can take you to both destination for 45.00 according to one local (seller at the canteen beside the gasoline station) I spoked to. The bus though is not an option since we don't have much time to commute, still the 1,800.00 is very expensive for our budget so I asked them if they could lower it a bit because we can't afford it.

Fast-forth: I choose the person who I think is more calm and kind base on my instinct because they are already unbecoming (nanghahaarang na sa daan namin at nagmumurahan na sila). Also, the time is running and the sky is getting darker. Deal ended at 1200 for a quick drop at Tinuy-an and Hinatuan then to Britania.

After visiting Tinuy-an we headed to Hinatuan and the weather started to get cold with a little rain. My butt started to feel achy. Hinatuan Road was less charitable than the ones in Tinuy-an. It never frustrate us though, we loved the road experience, the bumps, the ride the heavy backpack (which I am not used to), we treasure it since it is our first time. On the way, I realized that 1200.00 is less worthy.

Reaching Hinatuan, the rain started to fall hard and wind gets cooler, it was past 1PM then. The place is so crowded that the river looked too small, I was tempted to take a swim but it was too crowded to convince me, so instead we ordered some food and took a late lunch.

The rain pour hard for an hour and slowed down past 3PM, while on the road I recalled few things:
  • 11/09/2013 - the night in Butuan where the moon light took our attention, beautiful moon lit in more than three quarter, the light created a spectrum. (Me to Jac: "You know what? that spectrum according to my grandfather in Bicol is a sign of an incoming typhoon.")
  • 11/10/2013 - post from a FB friend in Palau saying that they are having a very bad weather and their news saying that another typhoon is coming.
Half way from Hinatuan to Barobo, the rain poured again really hard that we can't get going anymore, we decided to stop and weigh things out (the time and the possible weather the next day and if both will favor our intention of visiting the beach) finally we decided not to push our Britania stay and instead go straight to Davao (Good choice since Zoraida came in the next day making its entrance in East of Hinatuan).

Considering the drivers effort I still am willing to pay him the full amount. The driver seemed to appreciate our company and offered to drive us to Barobo so we can catch a Multicab to San Francisco where we can take a bus to Davao City.

In Barobo, we departed with the driver. I handed him over the full cash and he rushes our baggage to a multicab to San Francisco (the scene is so fast that I never realized Jac is talking to me about the fee I handed).

Now, what was Jac was saying? she is trying to tell me that the driver already took 500.00 before we left for Gasoline. Meaning that we paid 1,700.00 in total. I tried to call him before we get too far away yet he ignored. I felt betrayed and it really makes me sad, after all the consideration, the lunch, the food that I packed for him and talking to him like a new found friend (spell TRUST).

I am not sure if that was a trick getting the money ahead in chaos - but sure it is something that I need to charge as experience. Again language isn't enough I must be more cautious and mindful next time.

After all, I still considered it as a total experience a blend of adventure and broken expectation (not much on the place) but mostly on the people that we have dealt with. This, though quick and haggard never discourage us about Surigao City, both Tinuy-an and Hinatuan is a must visit place. I wish hard I could get back soon to swim and dive the enchanted river (in a less peak days) then spend a night in Britania and welcome the morning with the view of the 25 islets, do island hopping and enjoy the beach.

Surigao City says I am yet to learn a lot, perhaps one of the greatest is that I can't always get what I want or how I wanted things to be but I can always love or treasure what ever it is that comes my way.

Parts of my Surigao Sur Post:
Surigao Sur say's I am yet to learn a lot.


  1. Love your new header!! And the pics - here it is grey all the time...

    Greets from the DIE EDELFABRIK

  2. These pictures look great Christeen! Even I wish to go for a vacation soon.. :)

  3. Hi. I almost had the same experience (Driver quoted me P1,500+ Bislig to Enchanted River then to Tinuy-an Falls). Fortunately I took public transport to Hinatuan, habal-habal from Hinatuan Terminal to Enchanted River, then bus again back to Bislig, took habal-habal to Tinuy-an Falls, all for less than Php 500, two destinations for the entire day. I myself is Cebuano and spoke to them like a local but still they tried to take advantage.

    1. Wow! Good for you! If we can go back soon, I would surely choose to go for Public transport – thanks for sharing your experience. It is sad to be in such situation especially when you are fully aware that they are clearly misleading you; nevertheless, I still long for the place I am pretty sure that it is going to be more fun next time.


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