Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Enchanted River - Tinuy-An falls, International Doll House - Island Hopping in Britania, Surigao! Things TO DO in MindaNOW! Choose Mindanao, choose MindaNOW!

While people across the globe or even the country hear stories about Mindanao, most of them not-so-good and not-so-safe! I chose to travel! Chosen to travel, and will choose to travel! Mindanao has been underrated for so long, and it's time to wake up to its beauty! This post may not comprehensively show what Mindanao is and have, but at least it gives you an idea, how fantastic it is here in the land of promise!
Why do I travel? "I travel because I want to make memories all over the world."
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. To travel is indeed to live!
For all the weekends of April and May last summer, I've been traveling from one place to another. Some of my travels have already been posted:
  1. I went home to Camiguin Island and I wrote something about it here.
  2. I went to my other home Tandag, Surigao del Sur! Visited my Sister who came home from Canada!
  3. I went to visit my sister in Dipolog City and wrote something about it here.
  4. I also went to Davao's Samal Island  and shared my visit here.
  5. I also traveled to Cebu and shared about our Canyoneering here and other activities here.
  6. I was also able to visit Sagada and posted something about it here.
  7. Then finally I capped 'em off with my Surigao del Sur Summer Escapade of which I will be writing about now.
So June has come. April and May (the summer months) have officially ended. And I am glad to have spent it in Surigao. This has been a long overdue post, super late post, but might as well post it. Better late than never as they say. :-)

It wasn't my first time to visit Surigao. My Dad is from Surigao so I've been there for couple of times, however, it's my first time to visit Enchanted River. It was the main reason why I joined the travel. Enchanted has been on my list for quite some time, and I felt the need to strike it off the "to visit" list. So thank God for my friend and colleague Chef FC who invited me to join his "just started" summer! haha Ironically, he's just started his escapades because he has been caught up with a lot of things back in April and May. When he told me Enchanted is on the itinerary, I didn't blink an eye or have second thoughts, I said "yes" immediately!

The travel started on the night of May 29th. The assembly time was 10:30 P.M. and time of departure to Surigao is 11:00 P.M. I arrived at the assembly area at around 10:30 P.M. people are already there. That's when I realized, we are not going to travel in 3s or 5s. We are going to have several vans full of people. Full of travelers. Full of humans wanting to have their getaway! 

Our first stop was the famous #EnchantedRiver of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur!

Here's a video of Enchanted River's fish feeding!

We had our breakfast and proceeded to go caving! On the way to Sarsoza Punta Cave we stopped by Sibadan.

After couple of minutes, we headed to the destination!  Sarsoza Ponta Cave!

The caving photos may look like we had fun, we did but there are things I want to highlight.
  1. There is scarcity of tour guide? We lost couple of minutes waiting for the cave's tour guide. 
  2. Very poor tour guiding service. No stories, no pick up lines, no nothing. Just plain and simple guide where you should go, where to put your feet first, and where next. It appears that the tour guide are not really trained for basic tour guiding.
  3. They said, they wanted safety for all those who would enter and do the "caving" but when my friend asked if the guide had any "first-aid kit" he boldly answered "nah, wala raba", meaning he doesn't have one.
  4. Head gears are not required, so you expose yourself to risk when you go inside without a gear. Although there are head gears/helmet available for hire at the entrance.
  5. Since the cave is occupied by bats as you can see in the photos above, you'd have to expect that it's gonna smell, or you're gonna smell when you go out.
  6. If you are not that adventurous, this is not a recommended activity. 

Thank God we were able to finish the caving and got out of the cave! Yehey! But look at the this? Haha

Then we headed back to Enchanted River where we wanted and we soaked for a swim. We experienced its being enchanted. Indeed the fish are just there as you swim. They are not afraid of people swimming around them, maybe because they are already used to it.

Schools of fish comes out at around 11:30 A.M. and you would have the privilege to watch them swim with you in the cold fresh water of Enchanted River, but if you go there during summer, expect to have a competition with other tourists.  :-)

After swimming for couple of minutes or in an hour, we decided to have our lunch.

Lunch are pre ordered. Before you go to Enchanted River the tour guide would ask the van to stop at the store/tiangge/palutuan where you would order your food, as there will be no stores or restaurants within Enchanted River vicinity. The establishments' staffs then would deliver the food to the cottages where you would be assigned. The picture above was our candid picture while eating our much-awaited and hungered-for lunch.

Then we traveled to Tinuy-an Falls. We saw the wondrous multi-falls. One of the pride of Surigao del Sur. But when it's summer, the water wouldn't create big splash as it falls, the water wouldn't be as splendid as it is if it's rainy season. But yeah, traveling on a summer is also way sooo fun!

I am sharing some of the photos we were able to take as we witnessed the beauty of Surigao's #Tinuy-an Falls!


To see the falls' water source you have to climb. See it for yourself up close! So we climbed up and as we head back down, took some stolen shots!

 Below was the view at the top of the falls! Isn't it amazing?

After our brief visit at Tinuy-an Falls, we went directly to our respective vans and prepared for the travel to the International Doll House. Yes, you've read it right! House built by DOLLS! Some fun photos we took as we entered and checked it out.

After the Doll House visit, we went to have our stomachs filled. Java Travel and Tours were able to reserve us a place where all those who joined the tour will dine. It's an Eat-all-you-can restaurant, at a very cheap price of P99. Not bad. 

Then, we traveled to our dormitories, or places of temporary abode.

The following day, we were asked to prep early for the Island Hopping in Britania, I had a separate post about my previous trip here, but this time is different, I'm with Chef and Engr.!

I am with different company, and yeah, perks of traveling is to meet new good friends! They called us brother (brader) so we called them sister! 

Sharing again, some of the candid and well-prepared (is it?) shots in Britania the next day!

As we went to the entrance of the beach, we saw this funny pictures? Answer to the all-time question "Where do broken hearts go?"

People get busy, and yes, they might not notice the boat will be leaving soon? Are you going to swim as fast as you can to catch up? LOL!

This was a picture we took in one of the Islands in Britania! Such an amazing view!

The Victory POSE!

Selfies and photo-ops everywhere!

While on board!

When you travel, you try different food! This right here, is a must-try! Haha

Of course, if I go on Island Hopping, wouldn't it be amazing if you jump off the boat and swim all your might? haha A fun photo below capturing the experience!

And we saw some people doing, groupfie, why would we not try it?

And we also enjoyed taking photos in cave-like rock formations!

On the bridge going to the boat! Cameras are at work!

You can also go shopping some great items! Things Chef K wants!

And the beach is perfect with the heat of the sun, white sand and friends!

Fun things happen when you take pictures and you didn't know what pose to make! Wacky or formal? Or what?

As we head back home and got nearer to our residences, we stopped and clicked some more for the group to have a souvenir picture with the van and the tour guides!

Thank you new friends! Sisters! Java Travel and Tours and Chef and Engr. for the fun and crazy travel! Had a great time!

Travel Tip for Surigao:

1. Bring some food. It's gonna be a loooong travel!
2. One of the things, I've (We've) observed in Surigao is the need to improve hospitality and service industry! Do not expect everything to be prepared and well organized in establishments, from dorms to restaurants. So I am warning you, bring a lot of patience.
3. It's not as developed as the other places, so you might have to go to certain areas to withdraw some cash. So bring, a considerable amount enough to cover your expenses.
4. Reserve batteries for Cameras, Phones and Gadgets! Power banks! 
5. Slippers are good, don't bring hava! My friend's hava gave up as we climbed up the TinuyAn Falls.
6. Enjoy while it last! Stop complaining! Just enjoy the ride, the trip, the company, the environment!

Despite my observations, (honest ones), I still choose Mindanao, because the benefit of knowing and witnessing its splendor outweighs greatly than the things I find noticeably needing improvement. All in all, I still enjoyed the trip and had a blast!

As we head back home, we've already planned the next trip... What is it? Check it out...on my next post...

#doroexplorero #dorolakwatsero #laagPinas #laagAsia #suroyWorld #SurigaoPH #BritaniaPH #EnchantedRiverPH #TinuyAnFallsPH

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