Here’s Part 2 of our Bucas Grande and Sohoton Cove tour.
Our next stop was the Sohoton Cove National Park Tourism Office where we had to register our names and transfer to a smaller boat in order to explore Sohoton Cove.
From afar, we already saw many boats surrounding the registration building. It took us almost ten minutes to find a space to dock ours. We saw many people waiting for their turn to register.
When it was our turn, we were told that they’re not accepting further visitors for the day. Wait, what? It so happen that there were too many people on that day and that they couldn’t accommodate everyone. 😥
I went back to the registration table and plead. With my persuasive attitude, I was told that they might reopen the registration after two or three hours when there is already an available boat. But we had to be on stand-by because it’s a first-come-first-serve basis and they’re not accepting advance booking payment.
We thought, we would be wasting our time waiting for them to reopen. 😦 Again, I gathered guts and with my convincing power, we were able to secure the first slot once it would be reopened.
While waiting, we went back to our boat and our boatmen steered it to another part of the island. There, we took a dip in the water. At first I was hesitant to join the gang because the water was deep blue which means it was very deep. I had my life vest but I was worried about what could be lurking underneath. (Eh, sharks, crocodiles. :p nyahaha)
After about 30 minutes, we were called and told that we could already register. (That’s faster than we thought.) We hurriedly got off from the water and went back to the registration area. After paying for the necessary fees for the tour, we were given life vests and we waited for our tour guide.
We were divided into two groups because one boat could only have seven passengers the most. Our tour guide introduced himself and our boatman. They seemed to be very experienced and have known the place like the back of their hands.
Then he told us that we were already about to enter the Sohoton National Park. He pointed to a cove and said that we were to pass through it. From a far, I doubted our boat to go through it because it was very small.
During high tides, the cave is impassable not unless you dive underwater. This is where Sohoton Cove got its namesake — from the Visayan word “so-oton“ which means to pass through a small opening.
And tada! We’re now in Sohoton Cove National Park!
Not far from the entrance, is this oddly shaped rock which they consider a very important landmark. They fondly call it “Tiil sa Kabayo” or a horse’s feet.
The fjord, and these muffin-like islets inside the cove looked very similar to each other. Those who are unfamiliar of the place would certainly get lost, even our guides admitted that they could be lost, too if not because of that Tiil sa Kabayo landmark near the entryway.
As we went deeper the Sohoton Cove National Park, our guide continued feeding us information about the place. He also showed us this very unique limestone cliff. I said it’s unique because all islets inside the cove are forested but this cliff’s face. We just forgot its name. Sorry.
Our first stop for the tour was Hagukan Cave. It got its name from the term “haguk” which means snore. They said, if you’re lucky, you could hear snores from the cave which is created by the waves that goes in and out of it. Guess, we’re not the lucky ones because we did not hear it. Pffft!
For one to enter the cave, we had to dive for 3-5 seconds through the entrance of the cave. If we had a little luck that time, that was because the tide did not reach the ceiling of the entrance yet, thus we only had to float upon entering. Inside was a huge cavern hiding healthy stalactites.
After swimming inside Hagukan Cave, we boarded back our boat and head to our next stop, the Magkukuob Cave. Only few of us went inside because we were told that the only exit was to jump from a 15-feet platform. I did not do that but Ace did.
We skipped the Jellyfish island because we ran out of time and the tide was rising. We had to be out the cove before it submerged in the water and trap us inside the National Park. It was getting dark when we arrived at the Tourism Center. We hurriedly transferred to our bigger boat so we could go home.
It was getting dark on our way back to the port of Hayanggabon. We were rewarded with the glimpse of a wonderful sunset while cruising through Sohoton Bay.
We really had a great time exploring Bucas Grande’s pride. With positive attitude, we were able to make those misadventures an adventure itself. Because we believe that the twists and turns that we had experienced was what made our experience worthwhile and worth telling. 😀
Thank you, Bucas Grande for such a wonderful experience!
Over to you, have you had misadventures that are worth telling? We’d love to hear it from you. Leave us some words.
‘Til our next adventure!
Love, Ace and Demi.
P.S A huge thanks to our friend Annel Hope Mayuga and to her wonderful family for adopting us during our four days stay in Surigao. Thank you for your warm welcome and for making this venture possible. ’til next time.