May 15-23, 2013
8 Days in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur
GPS waypoint: N9 13.924 E126 03.585
Location: Municipality of Lanuza, Province of Surigao del Sur
From Tandag, I was already set to go north to Surigao City, but I noticed on the map that the route passes through towns with attractive natural offerings - caves, waterfalls, marine sanctuaries, surfing, etc. One such was Lanuza. Further research informed me it's also the surfing mecca of Mindanao, next to Siargao. Since it was along the way, I stopped by for a few days to check it out.
Lanuza, like most coastal towns lined up along the north-eastern seafront of Mindanao, is rich in natural wonders. It has the Campamento Cave, Silop Spring, Magkawas Falls, Lanuza Marine Sanctuary, mangrove forest and beaches.
Lanuza is a sleepy town that comes alive mid November for the surfing competition. Surfers from near and far flock to Lanuza, and this is the only time of year Lanuza benefits from tourism revenues. To accommodate high traffic during peak times, homes are accredited by the local tourism office to serve as homestays. I stayed in a fulltime homestay (open 365/year) and perhaps the most popular among the Cebu surfers - Mami's Surf Haus.
Mami's Surf Haus
At P200/day for a dorm-type room, it's reasonable. Ms. fAvelina Rosil, the proprietress, is an amiable hostess hwo look after her guests with motherly demaeanor. No wonder she's popularly known to the surfers as Mami. You can watch tv, cook in the kitchen,and she can even have a laundry lady do your laundry at a fair rate. The downside? Dogs from the neighbors bark incessantly and the dog owners are oblivious to how annoying their dosgs are to the community - they do nothing about it. The 2nd floor rooms tend to be hot too during the day time.
Lanuza has its own laid-back charm. Like Dumaguete and Tandag, it has its concrete boardwalk by the sea, or The Boulevard, for short. The Boulevard is a reminder that like Tandag, Lanuza has seen better days. There are signs of wear that require maintenance and upkeep. It's the best place to walk along at night, but some areas are not lit.
I applaud the municipality for being an active participant in the conservation of Lanuza Bay. They have a protected marine sanctuary where fish can spawn. It's also open to the public for a nominal fee of P5/pax. It has a presentable cafe that offers a stunning view of the sea. The reef system is promising. I hope there will be a dive shop at the sanctuary to make it easy for divers to see what lies underneath its waters. A dive shop is also a way to make the sanctuary a viable undertaking because of the revenues that will help its upkeep. If it remains entirely on government budget, once the budget dries up, the sanctuary project falls into limbo. Perhaps the LGU can offer a tax holiday to any interested dive operator?
Environment vs. Mining
Surrounding Lanuza Bay are the municipalities of Tandag, Cortes, Lanuza, Carmen, Madrid, Cantilan and Carascal. These minicipalities are polarized around the issue of mining vs environment. Those who are pro-environment are active in their conservation efforts while those who are pro-mining either care less or conflicted. The politicians who campaigned in the recent election had to bare their leanings.
From what I've seen, and from what I've heard, Lanuza seems to have seen better days. For years in a row, it consistently won the Clean and Green awards for the Caraga region. Until the highway widening program, Lanuza was a welcoming sight for motorists with its canopy of big trees lining up the highway.
For tourism, Lanuza is dependent on the surfing season which only happens a few months of the year. The rest of the year, it goes back into hibernation. But that should not really be the case. Apart from tourism, Lanuza has so much more to offer - the Campamento Cave, the Silop Spring, Magkawas Falls, and its marine sanctuary. Unfortuantely, these wonders are known only to those within their limited geographic sphere. As a bundled package of sights and activities from Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig from the south to the beaches of Surigao City to the north, Lanuza is automatically bundled-in for good measure. I believe that with proper marketing and a good system in place, Lanuza can also benefit from tourists plying the eastern seaboard route of Mindanao.
ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.
- bring lotsa cash. There is no bank here. Others had to go to the next big city (no joking matter) just to replenish on cash
- fyi, internet is slow and only 3 commercial establishments have wifi - Priz Cafe, Surf Camp and 'Tagalog'
- from Tandag - at the Balilahan Terminal in Tandag, board any jeep or bus bound for Surigao or Cantilan. Get off at Lanuza (market), P50 jeep, 1 hour 20 mins.
- from Surigao City - take any Bachelor Bus going to Tandag, vans can go straight to Lanuza
- from Butuan City - go to the bus terminal and board any bus bound for Tandag. From Butuan airport, there is a van going to Lanuza
- from Davao City - take a bus going to Tandag and from Tandag, take bus or jeep going to Cantilan (or Surigao) but get off at Lanuza
- surfing - beach break, reef breaks, great for hard core surfers, great for beginners too, surf competition mid-November
- Campamento Cave and Silop Spring (N9 13.033 E126 02.756) - N9 12.978 E126 02.743, stalactites and interesting rock formation, P500/3pax tour package
- Magkawas Falls and Green Paradise - N9 14.995 E126 06.936, great for taking a dip, photo op and just communing with nature, P450/pax, max of 5 pax for guided tour
- River Cruise and Firefly Watching - P650/4 pax, includes boat, guide and dinner
- Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary - N 09 15.279 E 126 06.753, fish spawning area, view deck overlooking Lanuza Bay, coffee at the Sanctuary Cafe
- Mangrove Forest - protected habitat for fish breeding
- Lanuza Ancestral Home - built in 1898, the structure is well preserved and still functional
- Lanuza Boulevard - take a stroll at sundown and catch the breathtaking sunset
- Punta Beach - taller waves for more experienced surfers
- Hubason River - located in Carmen, but only 15 mins away from Lanuza
contact Ms. Glenda Joy DC. Felix, the Tourism Operations Officer at 0939.916.9512 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(in May 23, 2013, a request has been made to Ms. Glenda Joy DC. Felix, the Tourism Operations Officer, for the individual telephone numbers of these homestays)
- Babac Bungalows - accommodation, surfing and yoga
- Mami's Surf Haus - N9 13.932 E126 03.475, aka Avelina Rosil, P200/pax dormitory, 0919.923.9007
- Ma. Karissa Julve - N9 14.004 E126 03.492
- Offshore - fronting beach
- Valspeak - fronting beach
- Bamboo Homestay -
- Twain Homestay - N9 14.009 E126 03.468
- Elizalde Homestay -
- Raymond Cubero -
- Susa Orozco -
- Fedila Ariate -
- Poktoy Palm Haven -
- Lanuza Pastoral Center -
- Inday Dina - N9 13.954 E126 03.541, cell 0949.673.2121
- 3E Lodge -
- Priz Babak Beach Resort -
- Surf Lanuza Training -
- Surf Camp - N9 14.126 E126 03.674, fronting beach, P150/pax non a/c, P1200/room/2pax a/c
(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
May 15-23, 2013
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