Squad traveling is all over the web nowadays, so is solo traveling. I have few friends who choose to travel alone while some prefer to travel in a group. Solo traveling can be a great way to explore the world at the same time, discover more about oneself. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea. But I hugely respect people who can do it and choose to do it in spite of the daunting cons. I really admire their courage and determination.
Some travelers, especially women pride themselves on doing things on their own. But I don’t like the impression of putting solo travel on a pedestal above all other travels. Common, there is nothing wrong with traveling with someone or in a group. Solo travel may work for some but not for other people like me. After all, we have different choices.
While traveling solo is great and challenging, I don’t like jaunting on my own.
I’m not totally against solo trips. I am fully aware of the many pros of traveling alone. I’ve had few solo trips before I got married. They were mostly just for proving something to myself that somehow I can survive on my own. They were fun and self-fulfilling but at the end of the day, I wished someone was there to talk about how fun the day was, I wished someone was there to enjoy that beautiful sunset with me. So, when Ace came into my life, I was very glad to find a lifetime travel buddy.
Here are some reasons why I don’t like traveling alone.
I get lonely.
I get lonely when traveling for long hours on a bus, how much more traveling for a day on a ferry. I hate eating in a restaurant alone, especially while waiting for my food. Imagine people looking at me with pity because I am alone while I pretend to be busy with my phone. That is awkward, you know. Watching the sunset and sunrise alone brings so many realizations and thoughts, at the same time, it makes me feel empty and well, “alone”, especially when surrounded with couples romantically enjoying the moment.
It’s hard to make friends.
Don’t get me started on “you can always make friends”. I know, but it’s easier said than done. Sometimes, it can be pretty exhausting. Although some circumstances could lead me to make friends – which is great, however, it does not go like that most of the time. Plus it’s hard to make friends especially if you have trust issues. 😀
I am reckless.
I tend to easily forget things. Like one time, I was about to have lunch from a tour and realized I left my wallet in the hotel, so I had to ask my guide to pay for me, please. That’s embarrassing.
I’m poor with directions.
This may sound funny and stupid. I can’t read a map. It’ll probably take me 30 minutes to an hour before I figure it out. Taking a wrong turn alone is so not fun. But getting lost with someone or with your gang is an adventure.
One thing I’m concerned about when traveling solo is safety, both myself and my things. When you travel alone, most especially if you are a woman, you are a potential victim of dangerous misfortunes. (I’m not belittling the girl-power, I’m just being true to myself.) It’s not impossible for me to be murdered without anyone else knowing. Solo travel also means dragging all of my bags into the toilet with me when I’m in a public place like airport or terminals.
A memory card of “selfie”.
Who does not love a decent picture of yourself with the beautiful background? I mean, yeah, I can take photos of the place as a remembrance, but I also would love to see myself on it. So either I take awkward selfies or keep asking complete strangers to take a photo of me.
I don’t deny the good things my solo travels have done to me. I’m actually enjoying its benefits until now. I’m glad I was able to do it before. It made me grow, made me become independent and made me discover myself more. If I would have to do it again, I will do it the same way.
It’s just that, things have changed now. After traveling with my friends or with Ace, I realized that I have more fun in their company than with myself alone.
Would I travel solo again?
Yes, probably. I can’t tell. Perhaps, time will ask me to find myself again. Maybe, I will miss my own company in the future. I don’t know. For now, I don’t long for that yet. Not yet.
How about you? Do you prefer to travel alone or to travel with someone? Let me hear from you. 🙂
Standing at a modest 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is known to be Cebu’s highest point. Everybody is familiar with it because of the wonderful view of Mantalongon mountain range from the top and its easy accessibility to the public.
But last year, another peak that offers a stunning vista of the other side of Mantalongon highland range made a fuss on the web igniting the curiosity of every adventure junky. The mountains around this peak resemble that of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol with their perfect muffin-like hills. But the fuss was not only because of that beautiful view but the name of the peak itself. I’m talking about Casino Peak now called Lugsangan Peak.
When the said peak started making a break, it went by the name Casino. Everybody became curious about it. What’s with the name? Is gambling going on there? Outdoor enthusiasts flak the place not only for the view but to discover the story behind that infamous name.
Ace and I were not exempted with that curiosity. We were also excited and we even made several plans to check it out. Unfortunately, we were not able to realize any of those together. His schedule didn’t meet with mine so he was unable to come with me when I visited the place with the Team Bang.
The Team Bang’s plan to trek Osmeña Peak and traverse to Kawasan Falls made my plan to visit Casino Peak possible. Few hours before the trip, I experienced a personal problem and I had to pull off my plan. I felt frustrated as I counted the remaining hours of our supposed departure. I was arguing with my subconscious whether to pursue the plan or stay home instead.
And yes! My will to taste an adventure won over. An hour before the agreed meet-up time, I found myself riding a cab heading to the terminal with my friend Abby. My friends Louise, Daisy, and Charlotte also tagged along. Oh, I forgot to mention, on that same day the other year (2016) we visited O’peak, so it was sort of an anniversary climb for us.
We arrived at the terminal earlier than expected. It was my friends’ first time to meet the Team Bang. Louise was especially excited to meet the man behind The Bisaya Traveler blog as she’s an avid reader. When everybody was all gathered, we hopped on a bus to Dalaguete. (See a guide to Osmeña Peak here.)
While we were riding a motorcycle going to Osmeña Peak, the rain started to pour. The road was covered with thick fog and the ride was freezing cold. When we arrived at the registration area, we did not waste any more time and started our hike after paying the necessary fees.
We already expected a foggy sight at the peak because of the weather. We didn’t stay long there because it was starting to get crowded. We had a short prayer at the top led by the Idol Wanderer and started our trek to Casino Peak.
We took a shortcut from the foot of O’Peak and passed by a cabbage field. Later on, we followed a concrete road that led us to the registration area of Casino Peak.
To my surprise, the sign said it’s Lugsangan Peak and not Casino. The man who was assigned at the registration enlightened us about the change of name. The owner of the land going to the peak is named Ka Seno thus the name Casino, however, the name sounded indecent and gave a bad impression. So they changed the name to Lugsangan Peak. Lugsangan is the barangay where the peak is located.
That sounds pretty interesting though.
The climb to the peak was not that hard. But the muddy trail made it dangerous and slippery. We also had to be cautious with the sharp rocks on the way.
The view from the top was breathtaking. It was windy and cold and we were standing only on slippery rocks with high cliffs on each side. I was amazed at the same time my legs trembled as I tried walking on a narrow rock. (I’m sure, Ace wouldn’t let me do that if he was there.)
The fog was thick because of the unfriendly weather. We were all seemed teased with the beautiful scenery as the wind blew and clearing the fog. But the murkiness just wouldn’t go away.
The mounds surrounding the peak was like a shy little girl having second thought whether to show up or not, a little girl wanting to play peekaboo.
As I sat in one of the sharp rocks, the situation made me ponder some things.
My life is full of failed expectations of myself, my family, and people around me. And sometimes, with me trying so hard not to fail, I forget to live in the moment. I sometimes forget to admire the journey. I have high hopes and all I see are those. I get too excited to see the silver lining that I failed to appreciate the things that made it glitter.
And I was there. Sitting, hoping and waiting for the sky to clear up. And I realized, I wasn’t there because of the view. I was there because of the journey. I was there because I want some adventure. I was there because I want to make new friends.
In the end, I realized, I was actually there to learn.
Over to you, what life experiences made you ponder things? What experiences taught you BIG lessons?
Pagkapas-pas gayud sa paglabay sa panahon. Naghina-ngat na usab ang bag-ong tu-ig. Murag kagahapon lang nato gisugdan kining tuig dos mil dise syete, apan usa ka adlaw na lang ug matapos na usab kini.
Apan bisan pa man sa kapas-pas sa panahon, nagmabungahon gayud kining tuiga. Atong nasaka ang pipila ka bukid dinhi sa atong probinsya, pilila usab ka isla atong nabisita, ug ubay-ubay usab nga maanindot nga talan-awon atong nakita.
(Indeed time goes by swiftly. Another year is coming. It was like yesterday we started the year 2017, but one day from now it’s about to end.
But despite the swiftness of time, this year has been a productive one. We have climbed few mountains, we also have visited some islands, and we have seen many beautiful places, too.)
Busa sa dili pa maabot ang bag-ong tuig, atong lantawon pagbalik ang atong mga biyahe.
(Hence, before the new year comes, let’s take a lookback at our adventures.)
Atong mahinumdoman nga gisugdan nato kining tuiga sa pag atang sa unang subang sa adlaw. Uban sa atong pagtagamtam sa unang kainit niini, mao ang panghinaot sa malamboong tuig.
Sayron ta kung kining panghinaot natuman ba.
(As we remembered, we started this year by catching the first sunrise. Along with soaking from the first rays were our hopes of a fruitful year.
Let’s see if our hopes came true.)
Kauban ang ubang higala, gibisita nato ang Temple of Leah. Sama sa Taj Mahal sa India, kini giilang simbolo sa tiunay nga gugma sa usa ka bana ngadto sa iyang kapikas sa kinabuhi.
(Together with some friends, we visited Temple of Leah. Just like Taj Mahal of India, this temple is a sign of a husband’s true love to his wife.)
Gihapit usab nato pagbisita ang Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden. Kini mao ang pinaka unang tanaman dinhi sa Cebu nga giporma ug hagdan. Atong nakita ang nagkada-iyang klase sa tanom nga makuting gitanom sa kada ang-ang sa hagdan para nindot lantawon.
(We also visited Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden. This is the first garden in Cebu that was formed like terraces. We saw different kinds of plants that were meticulously planted in the staircase.)
Sa wala pa moabot ang adlaw sa gugma, gisaka nato ang bungtod sa Lanigid. Kuyog ang mga higala nga wala pay mga kapikas, didto nila nahibaloan nga ang mahigugma dili lang diay ngadto sa laing binuhat, kun dili pwede sab ngadto sa usa ka lingaw nga buhat sama sa pagkat-kat.
(Before Valentine’s Day, we climbed Lanigid Hill. Together with our friends who don’t have boyfriends yet, there, they realized that falling inlove happens not only towards another person but also to fun activities such as climbing a mountain.)
Human sa drama didto sa bungtod, nanga-naog kita sa sapa sa Mulao. Ang tingog sa agas sa tubig nga nibanda ngadto sa mga dagkong bato maoy nisugat kanato. Mura kita ug gidala ngadto sa laing kalibutan tungod sa talagsaong hitsura sa mga bato nga daw gipuy-an ug dili sama kanato.
(After that drama in the hill, we went down to Mulao River. The sound of the flowing water hitting the big rocks was what welcomed us. It seemed like we were transported to a different world because of the surreal form of rocks that looked like a home of mystical creatures.)
Giadto ta ang Coal Mountain Resort sa Argao para saulogon ang Buwan sa Gugma. Duha ka adlaw ta nga layo sa sibilisasyon, walay telepono ni telebisyon. Apan ang atong kadiyot nga pag estar didto, nahimong maanindot nga higayon sa panag estorya ilalom sa mga bitoon ug dinuyugan lamang sa hungihong sa mga gangis ug mga mananap sa kagabhion.
(We visited Coal Mountain Resort in Argao to celebrate the Month of Love. For two days, we were away from the civilization, no telephone nor television. But our short stay there was a great time for a conversation under the stars with the sound of crickets and other night insects.)
Sa pagsugod sa panahon sa ting-init, giadto ta ang TIEZA Botanical Garden. Pagka-anindot unta lantawon sa linaw nga gipalibutan sa mga buwak nga may nagka lain-laing kolor. Apan subo palandungon nga ang plano nila nga himuon unta kining suroyanan sa mga turista, wala nadayon tungod sa dili matino nga rason. Karon, ang linaw nagpabilin, apan wala na ang mga tanom nga nagdugang unta sa iyang katahom.
(During the start of the summer season, we visited TIEZA Botanical Garden. The lake looked beautiful because it was surrounded by flowers with different colors. Unfortunately, their plan to make the place as tourist attraction did not happen due to unknown reason. Now, the lake is still there but the flowers that gave beauty to it were already gone.)
Bisan pa man sa nagka-init nga panahon, gilabang nato ang dagat sa Mactan ug gibisita ta ang isla sa Olango. Didto atong gilibot ang gamayng isla pinaagi lamang sa bisikleta. Taliwala sa init sa adlaw, nalingaw kita sa pag-suroy-suroy kauban ang atong suod nga barkada.
(Despite the hot weather, we crossed the sea of Mactan to visit Olango Island. We toured the small island with a bicycle. We enjoyed cycling with some close friends under the scorching heat of the sun.)
Tungod lage kay ting-init, nikuyog ta sa bag-ong mga kaila didto sa Catmon para makita ang Tinubdan Falls ug mohumol sa bugnaw nga tubig gikan sa busay. Nahimamat ta ang mga tawo nga sauna diri sa internet ta lang nakaila, mga tawo nga sama kanato mahilig usab ug bag-ong kasinatian.
(Because the days were getting hotter, we went to Catmon with some new friends to see Tinubdan Falls and to dip into the cold waterfall. We also met some people whom we only met online, people who are also up for adventures like us.)
Gidala nato ang among mga pag umangkon sa Green Lagoon Park. Didto, dili lang ang mga gagmayng bata ang nalingaw ug maayo sa langoyanan kun dili lakip napud ang mga dagko.
(We brought our niece and nephews to Green Lagoon Park. It was not only the kids who had so much fun in the swimming pool but also the adults.)
Sa katapusang adlaw sa Abril, nilarga ta sa Surigao. Didto atong gibisita ang tinagoang bahandi niining mapaubsanong syudad.
(On the last day of April, we went to Surigao to visit the hidden treasure of the humble city.)
Unang adlaw sa Surigao, atong giadto ang Sohoton Cove. Gisuroy ta ang gagmay nga mga isla sulod sa Bucas Grande. Nakita ta ang mga isla nga daw sama sa usa ka puto nga naglutaw sa tubig tungod sa ilang porma.
(On our first day in Surigao, we visited Sohoton Cove. We toured the small islets inside Bucas Grande. We saw islets shaped like muffins floating in the water.)
Pagka sunod adlaw, nibyahe kita ngadto sa laing parte sa Surigao para bisitahon ang Tinuy-an Falls. Duka pa kita pag-abot nato ngadto apan, nahimata kita sa ka anindot sa agas sa tubig sa maong busay.
(The next day, we traveled to a different part of Surigao to see Tinuy-an Falls. We were still drowsy when we got there but we were awakened by the beautiful sight of the waterfall.)
Human sa atong pagtampisaw sa bugnawng tubig sa busay, niadto usab kita sa Enchanted River. Gisugat kita sa usa ka dili katuohang kolor sa tubig sa sapa nga daw sa imahinasyon lang mamugna.
(After soaking in the cold water of the falls, we also went to Enchanted River. We were welcomed by the unbelievable color of the water that we thought could only exist in our imagination.)
Sunod adlaw niana, ang mga isla sa Dinagat na usab ang atong gisuroy. Dili matukib ang atong gibating kahingangha tungod sa kaanindot sa mga isla didtong dapita.
(On the following day, we toured the islands of Dinagat. We couldn’t explain our bewilderment because of the beauty of the islets there.)
Mura ug wala ta napul-i ug isla, nilabang na usab kita ngadto sa Negros para bisitahon ang pamilya ni Ace sa Sipaway Island. Gamit ang hinuwaman nga motor, gilibot ta ang gamayng isla ug atong nakita ang simple nga pag panginabuhi sa mga tawo didto.
(As if we did not get enough of islands, we crossed to Negros to visit Ace’s family in Sipaway Island. Using a rented motorbike, we toured the small island and saw the idyllic life of the people there.)
Sa tunga-tunga sa tuig, giadto ta ang Mangitngit Falls nga karon gihimo nang komersyal nga suroyanan ug ginganlang na’g Middle Earth Spring Resort. Subo man huna-hunaon nga dili na nato maduol ang maong busay apan atong nasabtan ang tumong sa maong patakaran.
(In the middle of this year, we went to Mangitngit Falls which is now a commercialized resort called Middle Earth Spring Resort. It was sad to know that we were no longer allowed to come closer to the falls but we understood the reason for the prohibition.)
Malampuson usab nato nga naadto ang Mt Mago kauban ang dos-anyos nako nga pag umangkon. Makalingaw ang atong kasinatian samtang atong gipangita ang utlanan sa tulo ka lungsod nga mao gayod ang tuyo sa maong pagkat-kat.
(We also have successfully trekked Mt. Mago with my two-year-old niece. Our adventure in finding the boundary of three municipalities was fun because it was really the goal of that climb.)
Karong tuiga usab atong naadto ang dugay na natong gustong makita nga Budlaan Falls. Didto, daw gianud sa makusog nga bul-og sa tubig gikan sa ibabaw ang atong gibating mga kakapoy.
(It’s also this year, we saw Budlaan Falls that we’ve been wanting to see. It was as if the strong flow of the falls carried away the feeling of tiredness.)
Gikan didto sa busay, nidiretso kita sa kinabungturan nga bahin sa syudad sa Sugbo. Ang maong bukid gipanganlan ug Sirao Peak. Didto atong nalantaw ang ang syudad nga daw hulmigas na sa kagamay.
(From there, we went straight to the highlands of the city. The mountain was called Sirao Peak. From there, we saw the city below us.)
Pagkasunod adlaw niana, kuyog ang atong bag-ong amigo nga iro nga gipanganlan ug Elliot, nibakasyon kita sa Camotes Island. Gamit gihapon ang hinuwaman nga sakyanan, atong gilibot ang mga lugar-suroyanan didto.
(The next day, together with our new furry friend named Elliot, we went on a vacation in Camotes Island. We rented a ride again and we toured the whole island.)
Niini usab nga tuiga atong na-diskubre ang dakong krus sa Compostela. Daw higante ang kadako ug kataas sa maong krus. Ug sumala pa, mao kini ang kinadak-ang krus sa probinsya.
(It’s also this year when we discovered the big cross in Compostela. The size and the height were gigantic. Many said it was the biggest cross in the province.)
Paglabay lang sa usa ka semana, gibaklay ta ang giingon nga pinakalisud nga Spartan Trail. Bisan pa man sa kalisud sa dalan ug sa mga kabalaka kung malampuson ba natong mahumang ang maong hagit, maisugon natong giagwanta ang kakapoy. Ug tuod man, kalipay atong nabati tungod sa atong kalampusan.
(After a week, we trailed the treacherous Spartan Trail. Despite the hard trail and the doubts whether we finish the challenge, we bravely stand the weariness. Indeed, happiness was our reward because of the successful climb.)
Ug ang atong katapusan nga hunat, mao ang pag adto sa Formosa Camp Resort. Wala nato baliha ang bagyo nga Urduja. Bisan pa man sa dili maayo nga kahimtang sa panahon, kita nalingaw gihapon sa atong hamubo nga bakasyon.
(And our last leg for this year was our visit to Formosa Camp Resort. We did not mind the typhoon Urduja. Notwithstanding the bad weather, we still enjoyed our short staycation.)
Makaingon ta nga ang atong tuig dos mil dise syete nag mabulukon gayud. Kini tungod sa bag-ong mga kasinatian, mga bag-ong higala og kaila, mga bag-ong lugar nga atong nabisita,ug labaw sa tanan, ang mga pagsuway nga atong naagian nga maoy mamahimo natong sumbanan sa umaabot nga katuigan.
Ug sa dili pa hingpit nga matapos kining maong tuig, tuguti kami nga pasalamaton kamo, kamong magbasahan ug nagasunod gayud niining among mga salmot. Hinaot nga sa pagbasa sa among mga artikulo, nadala usab kamo namo sa mga lugar nga among giadto.
Hangtud sa sunod tuig!
Mabungahong bag-ong tuig kanatong tanan!
Love, Ace and Demi
(We can say that our 2017 has been a remarkable year. This is because of the new experiences, new friends, new places that we visited, and most of all, the hardships and trials that we’ve been through. They are what made us strong and will become our guide for the coming years.
So before this year come to its end, allow us to THANK YOU, our dear readers and followers. We hope that by reading our posts, we were able to take you to the places that we visited.)
Outdoor enthusiasts like us always love the idea of camping and disconnecting from the comforts of home. Sometimes, we also love a glamorous stay in a hotel or resort. But what happens when glamour and camping meet? It would be awesomely called “glamping”.
Glamping is a fusion of glamour and camping. It is more like a luxurious camping experience. Glamping comes in different forms — tents, treehouses, cabins, etc.
Glamping is starting to make its name in Cebu especially in the southern part of the province. Just recently, a new resort in the Northern part opened its door for this upgraded camping experience. It’s no other than Formosa Camp Resort.
Situated on the coast of Bagsawe, Tuburan, Cebu, Formosa Camp Resort is owned by the very kind and accommodating couple, Mr. and Mrs. Huang.
Mrs. Huang told us that the resort used to be their family’s rest house. Since Tuburan’s tourism is booming because of the attractions nearby, they came up with the idea of turning their once vacation house into a resort that offers glamping.
In the height of tropical depression Urduja, Ace and I, together with our good friend, Niña, went to Formosa Camp Resort to try camping glamorously. The night before that, we were filled with doubt whether to pursue or cancel our plan because of the typhoon’s threat. In spite of that, we still carried out our plan.
The bad weather caused a heavy traffic in the city which delayed us. It was already 4 pm when we arrived at the resort. It was raining and the wind was relatively strong. The lady owner welcomed us with a warm smile that instantly warmed us as well. After few introductions, she showed us our tent. It was pitched in front of the villa next to another tent that was good for 4 people.
Our tent was their newest tent that is good for 5 people. It is divided into two compartments, each with a cozy bed. It also has 4 collapsible picnic chairs and there was a picnic table in front. Supposedly, the tent should be placed on their camping ground but because of the strong wind, it was temporarily pitched in the front yard.
We settled our things inside our tent and went to the town proper to eat our dinner. The resort doesn’t have a cafe or restaurant but guests can use the kitchen and grill should they wish to cook or make their own food.
When we returned, the resort’s swimming pool was all lit up. It looked very inviting but the air was too cold for a swim. So we decided to stay at the picnic table while shooting the breeze. But we couldn’t resist the idea of going for a night swim thinking we were only staying for a night.
After few minutes, Niña and I found ourselves dipping into the pool. 😀 Ace didn’t dare to do so because he was feeling cold.
However, we did not stay in the pool for too long because it started to drizzle again. After washing up, the three of us ate snacks and talked about our future plans of coming back there. Ace played a music on his phone and entertained us with his weird dance steps. As soon as my hair dried up we then called it a night.
The next morning, we woke up to a fine weather. We were very happy, Niña couldn’t keep thanking the heavens. After finishing our coffee, Nina and I changed into our swimming clothes. We then strolled the rest of the resort’s vicinity.
Aside from the swimming pool, guests can also go down to the beach area. Although the beach is not really ideal for swimming, its smell was refreshing. There are also swings for those who just wanted to relax and listen to the waves.
Ace really had a great time practicing his phone-photography hobby with me and Niña as his willing victims.
After we had enough modeling, we decided to go back to the pool and swam. To our surprise, the water was colder than last night. 😀 There were not too many people in the resort. Ace was able to show off his flying skills.
After an hour in the pool, we decided to wash up and pack our things since we were checking out at 12:00. As soon as we’re ready, we went to the villa to settle our fees.
Mrs. Huang was very kind to let us see the rooms of the villa. It has 5 rooms that could accommodate at least 20 people. The villa and the resort can also be rented exclusively. (As of writing, Formosa Camp Resort is on its soft opening so we prefer not to post the rates. Rest assured it is very affordable. For rates and other questions, you may contact the resort directly.)
What can we say?
We just had a GREAT glamping experience. Typhoon Urduja did not hinder us from having a wonderful stay in Formosa Camp Resort. Should we come back for more? DEFINITELY!!!
HOW TO GET THERE:
(Via Transcentral Hi-way) Take a V-hire from Ayala terminal to Tuburan. (Fare is Php140). Then ride a tricycle from the Tuburan town proper to Formosa Resort. (Fare: Php10) **Travel time: 2 hours
(Via Toledo) Ride a bus from the South Bus Terminal to Toledo/Tuburan. (Fare is around Php100) ** Travel time: 3-4 hours.
(Via Tabuelan) Ride a bus from the North Bus Terminal to Tuburan via Lugo/Sogod. (Fare is around P100/head). **Travel time 3-4 hours
For bookings and other inquiries, you may contact the resort directly through their Facebook page or call 0998-995-5166.
They accept walk-ins but subject to availability of the date. You may contact them ahead for your preferred dates to avoid inconvenience.
The resort is open for day-use from 8 AM to 4 PM
The pool is open until 9 PM for overnight guests.
2 PM check-in; 12NN the next day check-out
Great things never came from comfort zones.
Thank you for the great experience, Formosa. ’til next time.
Over to you, have you been glamping? Which do you prefer, camping in the mountains or woods OR a staycation in a hotel or resort?
The river taught us to listen with a silent heart, with a waiting open soul…
In once a sleepy town of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur, there is a mysterious river that continuously enthralls people because of its unfathomable mystery. They said this river is “enchanted”, thus the name Enchanted River.
The name and the fuss about it made Ace and I curious. We were very fortunate to have visited the place during our fleeting stay in Surigao.
Hidden behind the rocky mountains, covered with lush foliage near the Pacific Ocean, we found the said river in it’s placid state.
Enchanted River is a brackish lagoon with indeed, a beguiling appeal. With the pristine and deep blue color, I think there is no better way to describe this mesmerizing body of water other than “enchanting“.
Aside from its physical beauty, its depth also remains a mystery to everybody. Many professional divers are said to have attempted to reach the bottom but no one has successfully did.
I was personally amazed when I first caught sight of the river. Unlike usual rivers that slither through valleys, this one springs from nowhere. No one knows where the water came from — is it a spring? Or does it come from the sea? Many said, there is an underground fissure where the sea water comes in. Well, that’s the most possible explanation but it’s not proven yet.
During our visit, we had to register our names first followed by a short briefing about the do’s and don’t’s in the place. From the registration area, we had to walk for five minutes to go to the river.
Swimming in the main pool of the river is already prohibited to protect and preserve its beauty. But there is a designated area ten meters away, where tourists are allowed to take a dip.
That area is not deep, unlike the main lagoon. But you are still required to wear a life vest, regardless of your swimming skills because the pressure of the flowing water is too strong.
At 3pm, people are asked to get out of the water. A bell rings and a beautiful hymn of an ancient ritual plays in the background. People call it the “hymn of Hinatuan“. It was beautiful! This signals the fish feeding time.
After few minutes, two men in a canoe came towards the main pool maneuvering it in a circular manner. Not too long after, a school fish popped out from nowhere, following the direction of the canoe. One of the men threw small shrimps and other food scraps to them.
These fishes came swirling around, dancing and some even jumping as if showing off as they beat each other for the food. People are in awe and speechless, well, I was. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Those fish are dancing to the hymn!!! That was a magical and enchanting moment, indeed!
That supernatural and mesmerizing sight left us speechless and astounded. Ace and I are very grateful to have witness such magical charm. We felt proud that such mystical river exists in our very own country. We hope the government, with the help of the people as well, would be able to preserve its beauty for the next generation to see.
What more can we say? With this river’s unfathomable depth and mystery… We are enchanted!!!
’til our next enchanting adventures!
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.
Let me start this post with an aerial photo of Bucas Grande Islands which would surely ignite every itchy feet’s curiosity.
We know it’s a cliche, everyone says to lower our expectations. But, could you blame us for expecting too much? Photos posted on Facebook , Instagram, and other social media sites spell HIGH EXPECTATION.
We already had posted a photo diary about of Surigao experience here. An invite from a good friend brought us to the beautiful City of Island Adventures and gave us the chance to experience a non-stop island hopping. 😀
So, how was our Bucas Grande Islands and Sohoton Bay experience?
It was already 7:00am when we arrived in Surigao. A van picked us up to bring us to the Port of Hayanggabon where our Bucas Grande Island adventure awaited. We dropped by our host’s house to leave some of our belongings and immediately resumed our journey for the day.
At the port, a medium-sized motorized boat waited for us. We quickly get on the boat and had our breakfast on board. We were very busy filling our hungry tummies, without knowing, we were already in the middle of Sohoton Bay.
Our major tour for the day was Sohoton Cove National Park. Since it was still a high tide, our boatmen toured us to other islands around Sohoton Bay. Our first stop is the Crystal and Bolitas Cave.
Unfortunately, I did not have a decent photo inside the cave. But just a heads up, Crystal Cave is a huge cavern with stalagmites and stalactites shining like crystals while Bolitas Cave got its name from the strange rock formations inside that resembles to that of a pellet. (Here’s a perfect post that best describes what I’m trying to say.)
After we explored the two caves and done our photo-ops, we hopped back to our boat to explore another island. As our boatmen expertly maneuvered our boat avoiding the shallow water, we noticed this boat-like rock which is perfectly shaped by time. Look how amazing nature is!
After a few minutes, we were in front of another island. It was fronting a cliff and it looked like a developed resort. We agreed not to drop there and just find another place where we can grill our fish for lunch so we won’t run out of time.
Our boatmen brought us to this nearly isolated islet. We saw a small hut when we were about to dock our boat. We learned that the hut was for the caretaker of the island but no one was around except the two kind big dogs. But not too long, a small banca arrived and we reckoned he was the said caretaker because the dogs greeted him sweetly.
He was very kind and told us that he lives alone in this part of the island but there are frequent visitors who drop by, too.
For a while, we had the whole island for ourselves. While some of us prepared our food, others were having a great time exploring the island, taking Instagram worthy photos. I couldn’t help sharing this photo below that best describes how ‘struggle was real’ just to show that beautiful photos on Facebook and IG. 😀
😀 Anyway, after our lunch and that crazy photo-ops, another group of visitors were headed to our spot. We decided to pack up and gave them the chance to enjoy the place like we did.
Next stop, Sohoton Cove National Park. But I will save that on the later post. 😀 So, kindly stay tuned for that.
We hope you enjoyed our Bucas Grande Island and Sohoton Bay photo diary.
‘Til our next story.
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.
A weekend when the hubby and I were off for an adventure, like ANY adventure but the universe had conspired not to make it happen.
One Saturday morning, we went to Sogod, Cebu for some appointment. Fortunately, the appointment was done early. By 1:15 pm, we’re already free for the rest of the day. So, we decided to visit Maravilla Resort in Tabuelan, Cebu which is only few kilometers from Sogod. However, the only way to go there when you are commuting is by bus. So we started waiting for a bus ride to the place.
After an hour of waiting, we were still unable to catch a ride. The buses that ply to Tabuelan are scarce and if there were any, they were jampacked with passengers to the extent that even the rooftops of the buses are occupied. We were not in a hurry so we resolved to wait for another two hours. But it was all in vain.
It was 4:00 pm and we were still waiting. Surprisingly, none of us got impatient which was very unusual. Until a concerned local noticed that we had been waiting for hours, he approached and told us that it was Tabuelan’s annual fiesta and it was also a San Juan (water fest). By that being said, it meant, it’s impossible to catch a bus ride to that place because people from the city were going home since it also happened to be a long weekend.
But we were still in for an adventure!!! We agreed to just hop on any bus and go where it would take us. Thirty minutes passed and not a single bus passed. (What?) It was already 4:30 and I already felt like I was about to give up the waiting game. Ooopps, wait! Three buses were coming — one for Borbon, one for Hagnaya Port, and the other one for Maya. Let’s see. The bus for Borbon was also jampacked, the same thing for Hagnaya Port because people were trying to catch the last trip boat ride to Bantayan Island. And Maya…oh, Maya. Wait, where is Maya? We don’t have any idea where is Maya!!!!
Yeah, we did not take that bus because we don’t have any idea where is Maya. 😀 So, after few minutes of laughing at our situation, we decided to just go back to the city and watch movies or maybe eat in a seafood restaurant. While on the bus, we thought about what happened and we were very amused. We didn’t know but we were not annoyed nor upset with the situation. 😀
The bus stopped-over Carmen for pee-break and some snacks. We still have not recovered from our epic misadventure, we agreed to spend the night in my sister’s house because we were already hungry. We forgot to have lunch because of that waiting game. (No, actually we were aware of that but we didn’t want to miss a bus so we kept waiting and waiting and oh…hunger was what we got.)
Dinner, finally!!! So, while eating dinner, we talked about going for a swim the next day. We heard about Middle Earth Spring Resort which is also now the home of the infamous Mangitngit Falls.
I’ll give you something to look forward to. 😀 I know this has been a long narrative of our misadventure, I don’t want to ruin my Mangitngit Falls’ story along with these. So stay tuned for my Mangitngit Falls and Middle Earth Spring Resort story on the later post. 😀
Some plans are not meant to be realized. We have to accept that there are things and circumstances that won’t go as planned. Some inauspicious situations will lead us to a more worthwhile experiences.
Life starts when we learn to see our misdaventures as adventures.
So, what do you think about our misadventure? Have you had any experiences similar to this? What did you do? We’d love to hear from you.