May 25-28, 2013
3 Days in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
GPS waypoint: Cantilan N9 20.089 E125 58.801
Location: Municipality of Cantilan, Province of Surigao del Sur
Upon arriving in Cantilan, I asked the pedicab driver (pedal-powered tricycle) to take me to the cheapest lodging in town. I found one at P150 near the town center. But it was so cramped, so hot and absolutely repulsive, I wouldn't even sleep there if it were free. I walked around town with my heavy stuff looking for a more reasonable place to stay. Another tricycle driver took me to Rudobalda's Beach Resort. At P300 for a fan room with its own comfort room, it might seem reasonable but I didn't want to pay over P200 for any accommodation. After some haggling, I got it for P200 - thank you! With a roof over my head now secured, I can finally calm down and think about what to do in Cantilan.
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
Bus Terminal N9 20.089 E125 58.801
Chanlac Resto N9 20.200 E125 58.834
Wooden Bridge N9 22.194 E125 58.206
Hudabalda Beach Resort N9 21.054 E125 58.433
Torpedo Resort Hotel N9 21.300 E125 58.317
Ayoke Island N9 23.409 E126 02.755
Blue Lagoon N9 24.672 E126 00.119
Casarica Island N9 22.785 E125 59.651
General Island N9 24.267 E126 00.404
Rudobalda's Beach Resort
The beach resort is frequented by locals who enjoy the owner's personal style of cooking. It's not on the menu - you have to request for his specialties. The resort is an ideal size retirement or vacation place - about the size of a basketball court fronting a wide beach, with its fine brown sand. A cozy nipa hut here, a hammock and a jug of tuba is what I'd call paradise. Oh yes, add a partner to that for good conversation and company.
I got to meet the owner of Rudobalda's, Danilo Lobo, or Danny. He's an amiable jolly guy who's respected in the community (benchmark? his place is the only one where petty karaoke machines were not broken into). We talked quite a bit and became friends in the process. He even took me to town and toured me explaining a little bit of the local culture and local current events. He was a wealth of local information. I stayed at his resort for days.
There isn't much to do in town. I would walk around the plaza - they have a big open area for the public to spend quite evenings with. It's the kind of provincial charm I find endearing - much better than malls as a gathering place for a community. Of course, I would frequent the wet market and see the catch of the day - even though my fish-smoking days are over without my dearly beloved Weber Grill. When I finally settle somewhere sometime, perhaps I can come back for it in Dumaguete (don't really know what happened to it).
Torpedo Resort Hotel
While walking on the beach, I strayed into one of the more exclusive resorts in town, Torpedo Resort Hotel, where I met the couple owners - Dr. Analiza Huerta and the affable Roger Huerta. I explained to them what I do on the internet. Roger offered to take me to the islands so I could write about Cantilan and its many wonderful offerings - great! That's the stuff I live for. That is the subject of my next blog. I also got to stay a night at their lovely resort and meet another of their interesting business guests, Mr. Lao. Let's just say I find him to be a savy business man who's been around the block a lot of times. The four of us shared a sumptuous dinner at Chanlac Restaurant. The engaging conversation ranged from local on-goings to evolution.
Quaint Wooden Bridge
I was told of a charming wooden bridge connecting to Barangay Consuelo. I just walked it from Torpedo, about 2 kms. Yes, the bridge is indeed charming - no side railing, all wooden, supporting by stilts and looked creaky. It was a throw-back to a more innocent and less turbulent time. It makes for a great picture, but I would not want to cross that bridge on a car.
On the internet, I saw Cathe Pacific as a possible lodging alternative. Turns out, Cathe is friends with many travel bloggers. I didn't stay at her place but we managed to hook up one evening with her friend and got better acquainted. Cathe is fun and bubbly. We could have talked longer, but I was invited for dinner elsewhere. She also provided me a lot of travel information and a contact in Surigao City.
I planned on staying longer in Cantilan, then take the boat to Socoro Island for Suhoton Cave and perhaps move on to Siargao. But my laptop broke down putting all those plans on the back burner. I had to head straight to the nearest city to get my laptop fixed.
Cantilan will always remind me of many things - its balancing act between becoming either a mining or a tourism town (with the mayor-elect, tourism wins this round), its fine powdery brown sand beaches, the many island hopping opportunities, and most of all the warm and helpful people I've crossed paths with. I guess Danny summarized it for me when he said, "...next time you come back, bring a partner with you and you will then be our house guest...not a lodging customer".
ps - If you want me to objectively cover your resort for this website (beach resort, mountain resort, island resort, etc.), email me.
- Cantilan Bank has an ATM accepting BancNet cards
- lodging in Cantilan is more expensive than the national average, a fan room can cost you around P300
- take a jeep or tricycle in Surigao City for the bus termial. The sign board should say "Terminal" or "Gaisano". 10 mins, P8
- Take a bus or van going to Tandag, but tell the conductor to drop you off Cantilan
(along the Surigao coastline from Surigao City to Surigao del Sur)
- Rite of Passage on Cantrasa Shoal Jul 12, 2013
- Karma Yoga in Surigao City July 5, 2013
- The Wooden Footbridge and Waterfall of Cantiasay, Surigao City July 1, 2013
- Outdoor Adventure Tour in Nonoc Island, Surigao City Jul 1-2, 2013
- The Deadly Bitaugan Whirlpool of Surigao City Jun 26, 2013
- Beaching it at Pebble Beach and Looc Beach, Surigao City Jun 22-24, 2013
- Exploring Silop Cave of Surigao City Jun 22, 2013
- Free-Diving the Coral Reef of Birok Islet, Surigao City June 12, 2013
- Boat Ride through the Floating Village of Day-asan June 12, 2013
- Island Hopping Adventures in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte July 23-25, 2013
- Exploring Siargao's Cloud 9 July 18-20, 2013
- Judging Del Carmen's Beauty Pagent and Street Dancing July 15-16, 2013
- Diving the Reef of Cagtinae, Surigao del Norte Jul 7, 2013
- Ayoke Island May 27, 2013
- Casarica Island May 27, 2013
- General Island May 27, 2013
- Sua Cold Spring - in Brgy Esperanza. From main highway, get off at Madrid terminal and take motorcycle ride for the spring. If coming from Lanuza, get off at crossing of Cangcaban then take habal-habal for the spring
- Hubason River May 18, 2013
- Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary May 17, 2013 - coral reef, snorkeling, cafe. Also a short walk to Magkawas Falls.
- Magkawas Falls in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 16, 2013
- Silop Spring May 16, 2013
- Campamento Cave May 16, 2013
- Herrera Ancestral Home
- Lubcon Falls - from Tandag, take jeep for Cantilan or Cortes and ask the driver to drop you off at Lubcon Falls, P25, 30 mins, 15 kms
- Burgos Togonan Falls
- Laswitan - strong waves crashing against the rocks and spilling over to fill up a rock pool (while you're dipping in it)
- Campiri Rocks - going over huge boulders, dipping in a rock pool, standing on a rock summit as waves hits and splash against it, and to cap all, you rest on the base of the light house perched on top of the rocks in full view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean
- Bakwitan Cave - a refuge by the towns folk during the Japanese occupation and during the typhoon of 2004
- Buybuyan Beach - small beach, almost like a personal beach, fine white sand (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
- Sihagan Beach - fine white sand for long walks on a beach (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
- Uba Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
- Capandan Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
- Balibadon Marine Sanctuary
- Mabahin Marine Sanctuary
- Tigao Marine Sanctuary
- Poblacion Marine Sanctuary
- Exploring Dayao Cave of Tandag, Surigao del Sur May 12, 2013
- Brgy. Bongtud - Twin Linungao Island, Mancagangi Island & MPA (Marine Protected Area - fish sanctuary)
- white sand beaches
- Britania Islets May 6-8, 2013 - small islets dotting the bay. Island tour, beach, mangrove forest.
- Enchanted River May 6, 2013
- Sibadan Fish Cage May 5, 2013
- Tinuy-an Falls
(June 11, 2013) Hi Gigit! I saw your blog about Cantilan. Thank you so much for the mention :)
Joni Gualvez Villamil
(May 26, 2013) Hah! Gigit! If I was there, you'd have coffee mate instantly!!! I went to part elem/part hs there! Message me if you want to know people there. I'll hook you up. Glad you met Cathe. Hope you liked Cantilan. Haven't been back there for eons now. Stay safe!
May 25-28, 2013
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