CANTILAN | How To Get There

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Cantilan is considered the “Cradle of Towns” in Surigao del Sur. The town has unspoiled beaches of gray and white sand, picturesque islands and islets, hills and rock formations, farmlands and green pasturelands, and forest areas with rare plants and animals. Here is a helpful  guide on how to get to Cantilan, Surigao del Sur via Butuan, Surigao, Hayangabon, and Davao City jump off.

Bus to Davao City & alight in Cantilan (4-5H)
Van (4.5 – 5.5H)

If you’re coming from Northern Mindanao: Read Here
Bus to Tandag City & alight in Cantilan (2H): 350PhP
Van (~2.5H)

If you’re coming via Hayangabon Port: Read Here
Bus to Tandag City or Davao City & alight in Cantilan

Bus to Tandag City, then transfer & take the van for Cantilan
Bus to Surigao (via Noventa Highway)

You might like to read more about Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur or  #TravelMindanao posts:
How to Get There  << you’re here.


CANTILAN | Beachside Stay at Cathe Pacific

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Cathe Pacific is a beach-side cottage, and backpacker’s haven at Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur.This fenced property is located fronting the beach that gives you a homey feel than a visitor staying in. We were suppose to stay there only a couple of night but had to extend it after canceling Bucas Grande. We were fortunate that Cathe Duero of Cathe Pacific was kind to enough to accommodate us early than expected.

It’s a perfect place to stay when you’re doing island hopping, checking out the Jellyfish Cove, and Blue Lagoon if not to go surfing. It has enough open space fronting the cottage for camping out if you like,  or just enjoying a picnic.

It has a wide living, and dining area with a kitchen one can cook, and prepare meals at.  It has two bedrooms than can accommodate 4-5 people inside each, and shared bath, and comfort room. Electricity does not go off unless there is power interruption, and water supply for drinking, and bathing is available.

The beach has black but (surprisingly) fine sand, and the beach line is free from cottages, or any structures. I like how the lined up coconut trees frames the beach that way. The waves can be a bit harsh, and is ideal for surfing which is what draws people to this town. If kids are traveling with you, best that you always keep an eye on them.

Bay – Bay Uno, 8317 Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
0916 787 2904

You might like to read more about Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur or  #TravelMindanao posts:


CANTILAN | Unexpected Stay at a Surf Town

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The wind howled as it woke me up from sleep. I looked at the window hoping to see light shining in, only to find darkness, and the signs of heavy rain in the water that then dripped indoors through the window pane. Super Typhon Haiyan’s first landfall had hit Surigao City that morning. My thoughts were of a possible travel destination cancelled, an extended stay at the city, or possibly if the roads allowed it head for home. We stayed at a friend’s home for an extra night at Surigao, and eventually headed for Bucas Grande when the weather cleared up.

We found ourselves traveling to Hayanggabon Port, Claver with the sun high up. We only saw glimpse of how massive the destruction Typhoon Hiayan had on televisions. At this point you may ask why we have not cancelled this travel project. We also asked the same, and came to a conclusion that we might as we trudge on for a reason that advocacies is only successful if the cause is kept alive, and if someone still believes on it.


We arrived at Hayangabon only to cancel the trip because the resort we were supposed to stay was also damaged by the typhoon. At this point we had series of calls from our parents asking us what the plans were. It was a good thing Glen knows of a friend who can accommodate us in for a few nights. All we needed a dry, and safe place to shake off tiredness, and assure our families back home that we were okay.


Cathe Pacific was the place that took us in, and sheltered us. When we got there, it was already late, and dark. It was pictch dark riding the pedicab sandwiched between sweaty bodies, and dusty backpacks. Good thing we bought enough provisions for the night before heading out to the place.


We woke up to grey clouds but it did not stop us from taking some coffee at the beach after a long walk along the beach line. Since none of us knew how to surf, and wasn’t so keen on trying it on those crazy waves — the sand, and sea became our playground. (Images from The Traveling Feet & IronWulf)

We bought additional provisions, and food supply at the local market. Glen was our head cook while the rest of us busied helping him in the kitchen. We were well fed thanks to him. And when you’ve lugged dirty clothes for a few days – you understand the importance of the concept of space. Especially when it’s been raining out, and you can’t find any dry place to hang your laundered clothes, and there’s seven of you doing it at the same time.

By the afternoon Jam, Doi, Ferdz, and I were looking for a decent place where we can check our emails, and work on pending workloads. We were walking along the road, and were looking out for a pedicab when a jeep pulled over, and gave us a ride to town. I have to say that the guy was a bit disappointed when he realized there was a guy with us.

Grateful, we asked to be dropped off at the town’s church, and from there we took a walk to the town plaza. Cantilan is a small town that you can find just about anything near the town plaza. But internet connection is a bit difficult to find. We entertained ourselves with stories, movie marathon, and some jokes told over preparing food for everyone.

There are other things that you can do at Cantilan, Surigao del Sur when good weather permits it. You can do Island Hopping; check out the Ayoke Island Marine Sanctuary; swim at the Jelly Fish Cove; and marvel at the Blue Lagoon. The best time to visit is during the Summer, and on October-September if you’re looking for good surf spots.

You might like to read more about Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur or  #TravelMindanao posts:

BUCAS GRANDE | How To Get To Socorro, Surigao Del Norte

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When you find yourself along the beach line of red sand, and the red to brown mountain tops that dots the landscape before it kisses the sky – you’re finally at the part of Surigao province where mining is second nature to breathing for the locals. But it is also where the jump off to the only place in Surigao province that mining is not allowed. Here is a detailed guide on how to get to Socorro, Surigao Del Norte, and to experience Bucas Grande, and more of what this island has to offer. You can find the details fitting if you’re entry point is either from these cities: Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Surigao, and even if you’re already at mainland Siargao Island.

Siargao Islands is a protected land, and seascape areas. It covers an area of 278,914 hectares , spread over 216,913 hectares of marine areas and 62,796 hectares of island territories. This includes the islands of Siargao , Bucas Grande , Middle Bucas , Bucas East , Hinatuan , La Janosa , Anahawan and Dako. This will come in handy if you’re coming from mainland Mindanao, and you’r eplanning to visit any of the islands.


Iligan City – Cagayan de Oro – Butuan City – Surigao City
Davao City – Surigao City
Read here: How to Get To Surigao City
Note: If you’re coming from Iligan, CDO, or Butuan City, and have no intention to touring Surigao City, you can drop off at

Surigao City – Hayangabon (Claver) Port
Van 120PhP
Travel Time: 45mins – 1H
Surigao City – – Hayangabon (Claver) Port
Bus 45 – 1H
Travel Time
Van 45mins – 1H
Travel Time

Hayangabon Port – Socorro
Regular Passenger Boat 100PhP
First trip – 11 AM, Second Trip – 4 PM
Socorro – Hayangabon Port
First Trip – 6 AM, Second Trip – 1 PM

Siargao Island – Socorro
Dapa Port – Socorro
Travel Time: 1H
First trip – around 7-8 AM, Second Trip – around 2 – 4 PM
Better visit the port early, or the day before to check of schedule, and availability of boat

If you’re planning to tour around Sohoton Area, here is a guide for rates, and fares for tours, and pump boat ride for your excursion.

Bucas Grande was supposedly a part of the #TravelMindanao travel project, unfortunately parts of the group of islands were affected by Bagyong Yolanda earlier on our trip. We decided to head to a little surf town Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, and stayed there for a few days. I was a bit down at not having to visit Socorro, Surigao Del Norte for Bucas Grande. A few months after it was a blessing to have been invited to experience their Tinalak Festival. So I am a believer in putting some dream in your heart, and mean it when you pray. He can move people to be the instrument of His blessing.

You might like to read the rest of the Socorro, Surigao Del Norte posts:

How To Get To Bucas Grande << you’re here
Where To Stay
Bucas Grande, & Tiktikan Lake
Tinalak Festival


CDO | Tune Hotels

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The sleek, and clean Tune Hotels, had made it to Cagayan de Oro City! Perfect for travelers who wants the reasonable priced range with clean rooms, and excellent staff hotels. The white and red lines dominating the skyline of CDO is as good as making an impression to the already month-long-on-the-road travellers in us.

Continue reading CDO | Tune Hotels

SURIGAO CITY | Checking Out Day-Asan Floating Village

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The stilts shows watermarks, and signs that dryness is but only a meter to a few inches for these locals. Day-Asan Floating Village a.k.a the Little Venice of Surigao City is not only a residential area but also a community that thrives on livelihood on the sea. Seven kilometers from the city proper of Surigao, it is also the jump off point for boat tours for a swim, and island hopping around the neighboring islands, and islets.

Continue reading SURIGAO CITY | Checking Out Day-Asan Floating Village

SURIGAO CITY | Spelunking at Silop Caves

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The guide looked at us dumbfounded. One was wearing harem pants, and bright green tank top, another in blue of see through material for a blouse, one in bright candy pink city shorts, and of six of us, only one was dressed for the occasion activity. The look on his face was one that I would pay for to look at again.


What we thought it was going to be a whole day of turned out to be quiet the opposite. We were under-dressed for the city tour we expected it was, but overdressed on the city tour Surigao Tourism prepared for us. About 20 minutes away from Surigao City is the multi-cave system of Silop Cave. Composing of 6 cave systems, the Silop Caves is open for explorers, adventurers, and tourists alike. Only two of the six cave system, however, is open for spelunking.




Our first stop from the city is the Silop Barangay Center where we registered. It is also where entrance, and guide fees are paid, and a short guide introduction, and orientation to the activity. There’s short trek of 10-15 minutes from the Barangay Center to the base of the stairwell. The trek is flat, grassy terrain with not much trees overhead so the sun would beat up on you if you do not have sun protection on. Gears are included, and were handed out at the base of the 110-steps stairs, and the mandatory BEFORE shot (first photo of this post) should, by all means, taken. From there, you will probably, still, be all smiles, and excited for the adventure. Once the stairs breaks off, and eventually ends, the trail becomes of jagged rock, and slippery; muddy loam with flora-debris surfaces; and through rock gaps, and crevices. The trek from the base of the stairs to the first cave is around 20-30 minutes depending one’s pace.





The first cave, however, we just passed by. It is not allowed to enter the cave where thousand of bats reside as evidence by the very distinct pungent smell of their droppings. Oh, the smell of ammonia! We quickly made our way to the second cave where my excitement for adventure, fear of the dark, and close spaces, and worry for my strappy sandals doubled. Aside from the safety equipment (hard hat, head lamp, and gloves), rope lines are already secured to help you descend the cave system. The descend is not really steep, but it could be slippery. We went into the cave system further, and at one time were asked to turn off our head lamps — of which one of us flicked it on, again, after only a few seconds. Because, yes, it was freakingly dark inside, and down there.




We emerged from there, and went into the third cave, and the second of the only two caves that is allowed into. The second one is a larger, and open cavern with high ceiling of already dead stalactites. There is an opening to one side that allowed light to shine into the cavern. When descended into it but did not stay, explored too much of that cave, and got out to a few minutes after.



Heading back to the baragay hall, we asked the some locals who were washing their clothes at the community’s water source if it was okay for us to was off dirt, mud, and some debris off our lower extremities. We could not believe how muddy, and mud-stained we, and our clothes were after that short spelunking at Silop Caves. The Silop Cave  is ideal for adventurers, but is, even children ( school-age, probably) can try this since there is one guide looking after two tourist/visitors. I hope you will visit, and help out this community-managed tourism.


  • Wear appropriate footwear. Active, and close footwear is advised.
  • Best not to wear shorts, you might get scratches, or insect bites along the trail.
  • You can bring your water canisters with you, I would advise you bring a small body bag, or backpack for you to keep you belongings in.
  • Please do not leave your trash along the trail, or in the caves, take them out with you.

Surigao City Proper – Silop Cave Junction
– Take the Arellano-bound Jeepney ( 20mins) 30 PhP/Pax
Silop Cave Junction – Silop Barangay Center
– Take Habal – Habal ( 5 – 10 mins)
* Or you can hire a habal – habal from the public market to Silop Barangay Center for an agreed rate.

Entrance Fee: 50PhP/Pax; inclusive of safety gears
Guide Fee: 200PhP/ 2 Pax

This is part of the #TravelMindanao Project, and  you might like more of Surigao City posts here:
Spelunking at Silop Caves  <<< you’re here.

TRAVEL GUIDE | Interesting Things to Do In Surigao City

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Heading out for #TravelMindanao destinations, Jam, Alex, and I met at  the bus terminal and started of #TravelMindanao travel advocacy from Iligan City. We met late afternoon for a ~10H travel to Surigao City. It would be long bus rides for us, and that we would be having dinner in transit, as well as try to get some shut eye along the trip before tackling our short but interesting list of things to do in Surigao City.

Continue reading TRAVEL GUIDE | Interesting Things to Do In Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY | Where To Stay In Surigao & Accomodation Guide

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The plan was just a short stay at Surigao City, before heading off to Bucas Grande. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our Bucas Grande trip with the threat of Super Typhoon Haiyan, and extended our stay at Surigao City. Most of the accommodations by the second night was fully-booked making it hard for us to find where to stay in Surigao and accommodation guide to help us. Good thing we were lucky enough to that the Surigao City Tourism Office was helpful in finding us some places to stay.

Continue reading SURIGAO CITY | Where To Stay In Surigao & Accomodation Guide

SURIGAO CITY | How To Get There & Transportation Guide

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Surigao City is accessible by Air, and can be traveled by land from Luzon, and Visayas via Samar-Leyte route with two points where there’s water crossing via RoRo. But here is a detailed Surigao City how to get there and transportation guide for land transfer via bus from the Northern, and Southern Mindanao to Surigao City. Surigao City is accessible from two jump-off starts: Cagayan de Oro, and Davao City.

Continue reading SURIGAO CITY | How To Get There & Transportation Guide

Of #TravelMindanao

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We were joking about setting up a trip around Mindanao when we found that we enjoyed each others company during the Iligan Bloggers Society | Waterfalling Adventure Tour 2.0 | #ExperienceIligan. It was nothing serious, but being the travel-thirsty people that we were are — the joke was made a reality when we started planning for a roadtrip around Mindanao.
I wish it there was an interesting story behind the #TravelMindanao travel advocacy. But no, there isn’t. Just a bunch of crazies who wanted to travel around the always misunderstood island Mindanao, and influencing people to do the same.


We figured that the project in itself was massive in it’s undertaking, and potentially big in influencing social media, and online users. We launched the project in the same pattern as #ExperienceIligan but on a wider, and bigger scale. #TravelMindano has  foresight of getting the attention of travel enthusiasts, weekenders, and vacationers to try visiting, and traveling to travel destinations in Mindanao.
It is social media call for action — to TRAVEL to MINDANAO.
It became more than the people behind it, or the project in itself — it became JUST Mindanao. We hope that people would use the hashtag, and to share the call for action, and get people to travel to Mindanao, or around Mindanao. Because this giant of an island has a lot of travel destinations, but it does not get too much attention because of the negative stigma it has with the peace, and order in some areas. We get it, but you can not forsake the sum of the whole for the little part of it. What we are saying — there is more of Mindanao worth traveling to.


How do you sell out a misunderstood island that has the natural resources, is culturally diversed, and a tourism, and travel destination potential? Well, travel to it. *winks*  Below are some of the travel destinations that I got to travel with team, and there are more posts, and updates from the rest. Check the travellers behind this, they are some of the coolest travel blogging personalities I met!
Visit the, and follow #TravelMindanao in social media sites to check out what we did on a +30 days on the road! Better yet, join us with this travel campaign by sharing your photos from your travels anywhere in Mindanao using the #TravelMindanao hashtag — we promise to give you love back in return!

{ Sole Diaries } Finding Common Grounds

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#TravelMindanao Project | Pre – White Water River Rafting
Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

November 2013

Maybe friends are like stars that may come from different constellations but they shine the brightest during nightfall, and twinkles frivolously like the rest. That one does not have to second guess what they are thinking, and/or feeling because they know — because they, too, are like that anyways. Well, most of the time that is. Oh, how similar interest shortens distance, and builds friendships! Our shoe sizes, foot types, and gaits may differ, but I’m really glad my soles found interesting, and good travel company in yours.