The City of is­land ad­ven­tures

DAJON kamo sa Suri­gao City! Gana dinhi kara­jaw. Come in to Suri­gao City. It’s beau­ti­ful here. This is a com­mon warm wel­come from the Suri­gaonons.

Cebu Daily News - - LIFE -

Suri­gao City is one des­ti­na­tion that keeps tourists com­ing back ei­ther when busy days take a toll or when days need to speed up a bit. It’s the cap­i­tal of Suri­gao del Norte. The nearby group of is­lands with few iso­lated at­trac­tions here and there make up for a se­ries of adrenalin-in­duc­ing es­capade or a pause-and-bask-inthe-ocean-scenery type of va­ca­tion. It comes as no sur­prise that it earned its ti­tle as the City of Is­land Ad­ven­tures— the very same rea­son that gets more and more peo­ple book for tick­ets.

Thank­fully, the 6.7 earth­quake that hit Suri­gao City in Fe­bru­ary made no dam­age to its nat­u­ral won­ders.

How­ever, the strong in­ten­sity left a hole in the num­ber of tourist in­flux. Many book­ings and reser­va­tions were can­celed and trips were put on hold. So the City Gov­ern­ment of Suri­gao, in its ef­forts to re­gain the con­fi­dence of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers, or­ga­nized a fa­mil­iar­iza­tion trip around Suri­gao City and its nearby is­lands. The “Suroy Suri­gao” shed light that their beaches, islets, man­grove for­est, cul­tural vil­lage, and the rest of the tourist sites re­mained un­scathed.

Day-asan Wa­ter Vil­lage

Man­grove or Bakhawan is very much abun­dant in the coastal ar­eas of Suri­gao, and as such, the prov­ince is blessed with di­verse ecosys­tems of co­pi­ous sea­grass beds and healthy co­ral reefs that sus­tain the rich marine life. Some 20 min­utes away from the city proper is Day-asan. On the road, look­ing through the win­dow, one sees that scenery al­ready has a feel of the coun­try­side. You learn later that their fes­ti­val dance Bonok-Bonok Marad­jao-Karad­jao trans­lates to a deep grat­i­tude for a heavy down­pour of har­vests and good health and, more of­ten than not, vis­i­tors com­ing to the city. Step into a coaster and into the boat that sails through the nar­row chan­nels of wa­ter of “Lit­tle Venice” that was Day-asan. Pass by houses with wooden stilts erected on the un­der­wa­ter bedrock. Straight ahead, the vast stretch of man­grove trees cre­ate what seemed like an in­ter­minable maze­like forests ris­ing above sea­wa­ters.

Tourists can en­joy pad­dling, kayak­ing, leisure fish­ing or boat tour. There’s a restau­rant that serves fresh seafood dishes in­clud­ing mas­sive lob­sters. In fact, the place holds a lob­ster farm. This float­ing vil­lage wasn’t as pop­u­lar in the early years as it is to­day. Now it’s an eco-tourism des­ti­na­tion and the fourth largest man­grove plan­ta­tion in the re­gion. It has be­come a com­mu­nity-based tourism ac­tiv­ity which means the guides are all from the barangay of Day-asan who un­der­went proper train­ing con­ducted by the Tourism Of­fice for the last five years.

Looc Peb­ble Beach and Mabua Stone Beach

Yes, you can pretty much sur­mise an im­age of a body of wa­ter sur­rounded by th­ese small, hard, solid, non-metal­lic min­eral mat­ters of which rock is made of. Peb­bles are stones made smooth and round by the ac­tion of wa­ter and both beaches are just about that. Looc can be ac­cessed through the Li­pata-Punta Bi­lar-Mabua road, or via an easy climb of the 380steps stair­case at the ad­ja­cent hill from the Mabua beach. The hill has its own view deck.

Thirty min­utes by land west­ward from the city is a seem­ingly end­less stretch of round stones that help fil­ter the clear and calm wa­ter. Mabua comes from the Visayan word “mab­ula” which means bub­bles, a de­pic­tion of the froth­ing waves dur­ing the Haba­gat sea­son, which help share the unique stones at the beach. Its north­ern end is a nat­u­rally carved rock for­ma­tion that gives vis­i­tors a sweep­ing view of the beach and we ar­rived there just in time to wit­ness the dra­matic sun­set.

Lapsay La­goon in Ta­gana-an

Ta­gana-an is laid-back mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Suri­gao del Norte. The name is rooted from the word “ta­gana” which de­notes a place in­tended or al­lo­cated for some­thing — which then begs the ques­tion, what is the place best for? Ta­gana-an is a Pa­cific des­ti­na­tion for marine sports and eco-ed­u­ca­tion. The place is blessed with rolling hills, moun­tains, wa­ter­sheds rice and co­conut fields, rivers and man­groves which are per­fect for kayak­ing, stand-up pad­dling, snor­kel­ing, trekking, man­grove tour, boat­ing, and sim­ply swim­ming. Like a joke, it has been said: Suri­gao has two sea­sons: the wet sea­son and the very wet sea­son.

Lapsay La­goon is a cove in Ti­nago Is­land that can only be ac­cessed dur­ing high tide. Here at Hoy­an­jog Re­sort, rent for P2,500 a float­ing cottage that can ac­com­mo­date 15 peo­ple. The float­ing cottage — tied to a boat — will stop at a fish sanc­tu­ary first where co­ral reefs of dif­fer­ent shapes, col­or­ful fish of dif­fer­ent sizes, rich sea flora and fauna would surely leave you in awe.

Upon reach­ing Lapsay La­goon, the wa­ter changes a bit to aqua­ma­rine as op­posed to the blue sea­wa­ters. A lot of jel­ly­fish are in the la­goon. And the best part is that you can swim with th­ese Dar­win jel­ly­fish as they are the non-sting kind. Head­ing the exit of the cove, the float­ing cottage—still dragged by the boat—passes through a nar­row gap be­tween tow­er­ing rock for­ma­tions.

LAPSAY La­goon MABUA Stone Beach

LAPSAY La­goon, where jel­ly­fish don’t sting

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