My boyfriend and I have been itching for a trip to Surigao for years since he has always told me stories of how beautiful and amazing the place is. Fortunately, we were able to book cheap flights late last year. We traveled to Surigao del Sur last weekend. The province’s biggest town, Cantilan, was having their fiesta. What better way to be meet the boyfriend’s relatives but with a celebration!
Experiences really makes you learn. I kind of expected our flight to be delayed, so I brought company, J.D. Salinger (for re-reading) and this ipod. I was right, our carrier was forty minutes late this time.
It was my first time to ride a propeller aircraft so we had to take (stupid) photos inside the plane. It’s a lot smaller than the ones I have flown. It’s a 40 to 42 seater aircraft. And since it’s small, you can really feel the take off, the landing, and the turbulences along the way.
Finally arrived! I just had to include this photo since we had a similar one from our first travel together.
After an hour’s travel in the air, we rode a van bound to Cantilan.
Surigao, I believe, is a beautiful place. It is surrounded with cerulean waters and lush green mountains. However, some of these mountains have been reduced to dark red dust due to mining. Even the bodies of water nearby have been contaminated and have already bled red.
After almost five hours of travel, we’ve finally reached Cantilan!
Here’s the boyfriend’s extended family from his grandfather’s side.
And another shot from his grandmother’s side.
Each household served lechon (roasted pig), seafoods, and carabao meat. It was my first time to try the carabao meat, I would have mistaken it for beef.
This is the Monteclaro house, as my boyfriend would call it. This is Tiya Petra and Tiyo Nic’s home.
I was amazed by Tiya Petra’s greens! She had chilis, lagundi, orchids, ferns, macopa fruits, sponge gourd (patola), cactuses, and other plants around.
The beach was just stone’s throw away. It isn’t as beautiful as the beaches of Boracay or Palawan but is promising in its own way. It is more serene, though the waves could get fierce at certain times of the day. It has clear waters, you can actually see your soaked feet midst the dark sand. And a few feet away is the distance between you and fishes.
We also passed by the cemetery to pay visit to the boyfriend’s ancestors.
This is Tito Tom’s place. His sari-sari store had everything! From grocery items to hardware finds to gas tanks and unlimited wifi connection/subscription.
A few blocks away from Tito Tom’s house is the Coraler’s home. The bottom part of the house used to be open and supported by pillars, but since they needed to have a storage for the goods they supply, they needed to have it covered and cemented. Now it also functions as Tito Josue’s pad and office.
Their house was filled with bougainvilleas of different kinds and colors. They were so beautiful!
I loved this small and old poso (water pump) installed in their kitchen. Apparently, it still works!
What gas ranges? This is one medium of cooking their meals.
Pigs (I want the smaller one as pet)
Most people in Surigao del Sur use their motorcycles as mode of transportation. Unlike in Manila which enforces strict traffic rules, they are kind of lax there. People can ride the motorcycle is threes, fours, and so on without helmets. The boyfriend and I even cruised without license.
4×4’s are also favored in the area, considering the trail you have to go through when traveling, you really need a car that can survive the dirt road. I haven’t seen a single sedan in my entire stay.
Public transportation is also available in the area. There are multicabs, which look like baranggay patrol cars in Manila. Tricycles can also be hired. Their tricycles look like Cagayan de Oro’s motorellas. Their only difference is the number of wheels.
A photo of the Coraler’s.
This is the kind of food that always greeted us in the morning. Way to go to a long lovely day.
The boyfriend kind of arranged a simple family reunion for both sides.
This is me with the boyfriend’s nephew and nieces.
We had lunch by the beach.
Lechon, the star of every meal.
We witnessed men (and women) fishing. We even tried to help them by pulling the net towards the shore. They caught only a few fishes that day, two buckets of dilis (a variety of small fish, anchovies?). The kids asked five fishes from the fishermen for them to keep. They temporarily put them in a plastic cup.
Boyfriend enjoyed playing with the kids as they buried him in the sand. He had sunburn after.
And here I am overly happy.
P.S. Wait, there’s more! Part 2 (How to Eat in a Town Fiesta) and Part 3 (Lanuza Walking Tour) coming up.