Saturday, June 8, 2013

Magical Weekend: Visiting the Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls, Surigao del Sur

Travelling is the one thing that keeps me sane. It's what I look forward to and what keeps me going through the day, even when work and school can be tiring (so tiring that I want to give up at times) the thought of saving up in order to visit places and experience other cultures is enough to get me through the day.

I'm not a seasoned traveller just yet, I've never been to Europe nor the US but I am starting by going regional and local. And maybe in a few years I can afford to go to Paris! Flying gives me a certain kind of high, it's an adventure that makes me happy.

Oh btw, thank you to everyone who purchased my clothes and shoes from the last Bloggers United bazaar, the money I earned was used towards my Singapore trip which happening tonight, so thank you so much! I wasn't there to meet everyone, but I shall see you at the next bazaar for sure :)

Anyway, the reason I was absent at last week's Bloggers United is because I attended our yearly family reunion in Agusan del Norte. We're trying to make it a yearly tradition, having had several fall-outs with relatives, but it's nice that everyone is now on the same page and finally and spending time together.

Anyway, we had a blast at last year's reunion and my sister and I couldn't wait to attend this year's event. We were missing 2 families who were abroad at that time, but we had fun nonetheless.

I grew up in this lovely house
My Grandma cried when she saw all of us together :'(
First, we all converged at my Lola's place in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, spent the first day just lounging around, catching up with the cousins AND eating a whole lot of lechon. Lechon in our province in the best! And my Dad breeds and roasts only the best pigs so it's really good :)

The next morning at 6:00 AM, we started our long and arduous roadtrip to Surigao del Sur. Our first stop was the Enchanted River in Hinatuan which was approximately 3-4 hours away. I was asleep most of time but I would wake up every so often to ask, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" I like irritating people, haha.

Andre, my seatmate :D
When we arrived, we realized that the place was teeming with people and I was told that is already a famous tourist place. I posted an Instagram and my friends remarked that Enchanted River was even on their bucketlist, so yay!

Mom, my Tita and my sister

The water is as blue and clear as can be! It's very cool, too! We didn't go swimming here because we were pressed for time, but for sure I want to go back next year.

Fish feeding times are at 12:00 nn and at 4:00 pm, they play music and the fishes automatically surface in anticipation of the feeding. Then after about 30 minutes, the music stops and the fish "disappear" and swimming can now resume. 

another view from the far end

As it was already past lunch, we were famished so we hurriedly rented a small pump boat to get to Sibadan Fish Cage. It was was a breathtaking 20-minute ride (Php 150/hour for 5 people), we passed by several beaches and cottages before reaching the restaurant. The weather was perfect!

I would like a beach house here, too!

The ocean was so clean, and I (in true Kira form) asked the boater if there were any sharks around as I was already dipping my hand in the water. Okay, I always ask boaters this question because I grew up watching "JAWS" and I am well aware of all the gruesome things that can happen to you while on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Well (un)fortunately the boater said there aren't any sharks in this area. Hmmm...

Feeling competitive, we asked the boater to race our parents to Sibadan and we arrived -- dundunduuuuun -- second! Our Titos got there first! Arrgh!

Tourists are encouraged to catch their own fish, my Dad tried to do it but it was awfully hard. We eventually decided to ask someone else to do it for us, haha.

fishies all waiting to be caught :(
there were sharks, too!
I found a little crab resting

After a full meal, it was time to head back and drive to the "Niagara Falls of the Philippines", Tinuy-An Falls in Bislig City. This was about 40 minutes away by car. 

There are two parts to Tinuy-An Falls, the one below is the smaller part of the falls which is what you'll see first.  

And this is the larger part where people go swimming. My Dad said that the falls is more majestic during the rainy months. There is a 3rd level to the falls, my nephew said they went swimming in the top most area. It was off limits that day as they were doing repairs on the stairs so I wasn't able to check out that part.

We swam here with life vests for a good hour or so, the life vests were cheap at only Php 30/person. Life vests are necessary here as the current is strong and the only thing we had to do while wearing it was to drift or do defensive swimming. The stones are very, very slippery (due to the moss) and you will end up tripping, slipping and falling into the water. We have bruises on our knees as of writing, but it's all in the name of fun! Once you get past the slippery stones you can swim to the deep part (even go on a raft that will actually take you under the falls) and just chill.

We don't have close up photos of us swimming because, really, who has time to take photos when you're having fun?

So that's how my weekend went. I am writing this quickly as I have to pack for my Singapore trip later. I am paying full fare for my ticket (saving my last trip pass for Korea this December) and am pretty excited -- and scared! -- to be travelling on my own this time.

So I'll catch you all next time, have a great weekend! :)


  1. So wonderful place! I've heard of their enchanted river from the news and from my classmates who lives their... I want to visit and witness it myself soon! :))