Mugna is really all about friendship, fun and adventures. To start the year 2018 with fun and adventure, we decided to travel to SURIGAO and MATI DAVAO ORIENTAL and see for ourselves the tourist destinations, the people, the places and the food it can offer.
And It Started
On January 10, 2017, James who lives in Montevista arrived in Davao at around 8:30 in the morning. As agreed, we met in McDo Davao Airport at 9:00 AM to fetch Dickinson. We went directly to the car rental office (Diamond Car Rent) located in front of SSS Buhangin. We settled the car rental process by 11:30 morning.
Car Rental Requirements
- 4 valid government IDs
- Driver’s License
- Rent payment in advance
- Cash bond of 15,000.00
- We rented TOYOTA INNOVA, which is suitable for long drive and comfort.
- For rent-a-car transaction, always transact ahead of time.
- Daily rate for Innova is 2,400, plus a cash bond of 15,000.00. Other rates apply for other car types.
We were already out of Davao City proper by 12:00 noon and headed to Pindasan (Justine’s place) for late lunch. We arrived in his place at around 2:30 PM and enjoyed a promised KAMBING putahi/recipe. At 5:00 PM, we moved to Tagum City and bought necessary grocery items for long travel. Based on our previous travel experience, it is economical to buy grocery items from point of origin than buying items at local tourist destination. You can also avoid unnecessary stops from one place to another that would result to a longer travel time.
List of Grocery items
- Water (bring enough water supply to cover 4 days trip)
- Paper Cups and Plates (you can always re-use)
- Plastic Fork and Spoon
- Instant Noodles
- Instant Coffee
- Junk Foods
- Mosquito repellant
We arrived in Montevista (James residence) at around 7:30 PM. We rested until 11:30 PM and moved out of Montevista at around 12:30 in the Morning, January 11, 2018. As an economical traveler, we brought with us baon (food provision) good for one day.
List of Food
- Suman (rice cake)
- Calderetang Kambing
- Kilawin Kambing
The route that we took was MONTEVISTA, San Francisco, Butuan, Placer, and finally Claver. We arrived in Claver an hour earlier than we expected. This may be due to better roadways, few vehicles are travelling at night and less road passers, distractions and stops. The bad side of travelling at night is that you will not be able to appreciate the views and the environment. In fact, we didn’t know that we passed by Mainit Lake which some would consider to be a must stop as it is the fourth largest lake in the Philippines. Travelling at night is dangerous to those who are not familiar with the road surface, route, and the road curves. It is suggested to hire experienced driver if not familiar with the Philippine road way conditions.
We arrived at Hayanggabon Port at around 5:30 in the morning, January 11, 2018. We had our breakfast at the port while waiting for the sunrise. At the port, local port personnel greeted us and some boat operators tried to negotiate for our boat transportation to Sohoton Floating Cottage. Boat operators usually charge 3,500 per boat regardless of the number of passengers. Because we find 3500 too costly for us who are only 5 members, we decided to post an ad online via Davao Sale for any interested joiners. No joiners have responded. However, one boat operator replied and we negotiated a thousand less which is already a good discount for us. It is always good to negotiate. You may contact Syril if you need a good price for boat going to Bucas Grande Island.
|SOHOTON COVE EXPENSES (5 PAX-1 CHILD 4 ADULTS)|
|MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT FEES||Fee||Total|
|Local/Domestic: (Permit Fee-50, Entrance Fee-25, Environmental Fee-25)||100||500|
|Foreign: (Permit Fee-100, Entrance Fee-100, Environmental Fee-50)||250|
|Meal Package at Floating Cottage||250-300|
|Safety Gear: ** We only rented 2 units||40||100|
|PARTNER PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATION/TOURISM SERVICE PROVIDERS|
|Sohoton Cove Eco Tour: (Pump Boat-500, Community Guides-330||830||830|
|Boating at Sabay-Tojoman Lagoon||100||500|
|Boat: Hayanggabon-Sohoton Cove Floating Cottage||3500||2500|
From Hayanggabon Port to Sohoton Cove floating cottage, you will have to travel by boat for approximately 40 minutes. Sohoton Floating Cottage would be your first stop where you will have to pay for the MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT FEES AND PARTNER PEOPLE/S ORG FEES. Once settled, you will be carried by smaller boat going to Sohoton Cove. You will also be accompanied by two tour guides while one paddler will be provided for each tourist going to Jelly Fish Sanctuary.
- Sohoton Cove
- Crystal Cave
- Bolitas Cave
- Magkukuob Cave (Diving Cave)
- Hagukan Cave
- Tiktikan Lake
- Jellyfish Sanctuary
We left Sohoton Cove at around 2:30 PM going to Cortes where we planned to stay overnight to experience LASWITAN the following morning. Sadly, the authorities have restricted LASWITAN for tourists until April 2018. So we drove all the way to TANDAG where we stayed overnight. In tandag, we stayed in an INN near GOLDBAR restaurant where we had our dinner. Try the GRILLED TUNA as it was tasty to my palate.
ENCHANTED RIVER, HINATUAN
On January 12, 2018, the following morning, we went out of Tandag at around 5:30 AM going to Enchanted River located in Hinatuan. We left early as we expected to reach Enchanted River by 8:00 so we would have ample time for swimming and be able to witness the feeding ritual by 12:00 noon. Gladly, we arrived early and able to have our breakfast before we took a dip into their crystal clear water. Enchanted River is highly recommended.
|ENCHANTED RIVER EXPENSES (5 PAX-1 CHILD 4 ADULTS)|
|Entrance Fee||30 X 5||150|
We left Enchanted River at 12:30 and moved to Tinuy-an Falls. We reached Tinuy-an Falls around 2:00PM. The last time we went to Tinuy-an falls was a struggle since the road condition was not really that good. One year has passed and it has been cemented with an exception of short distance as you moved closer to falls. We hope that local officials are able maintain the installed facilities there since we find its condition no longer at its best.
|TINUY-AN FALLS EXPENSES (5 PAX-1 CHILD 4 ADULTS)|
|Entrance Fee||50 X 5||250|
|Life Jacket||30 X 4||120|
|Bamboo Raft-Gakit (15 Minutes)||150||150|
At 5:00 PM, we left Tinuy-an Falls and headed to Montevista and stayed in Jame’s residence. Since we were not able to cover LASWITAN AND TURTLE ISLANDS, so we decided to go to DAHICAN BEACH in Mati Davao Oriental which is approximate 2 hours drive from Montevista.
DAHICAN BEACH, MATI DAVAO ORIENTAL
We left early morning to Dahican so we would have enough time to look for a good resort to stay. This was not part of our initial plan but I decided for Mugna to cover this as we missed Laswitan and Turtle Island. Because January 13, 2018 falls on Saturday, we expected tourists to share the Beach. We reached the beach at 7:00 and chose Dahican Surfing Resort. We have not explored nearby resorts but found this resort more attracted to local and foreign tourist. By 9:00 AM, tourist were already coming in.
|DAHICAN SURF RESORT EXPENSES (5 PAX-1 CHILD 4 ADULTS)|
|Entrance Fee||100 X 11 PAX||1100|
MUGNA 2018 WRAP UP
Map of the places we went, roads we traveled and tourist attractions we visited for 2018.
List of tourist destinations we visited
- Sohoton Cove
- Enchanted River
- Tinuy-an Falls
- Dahican Beach
Places we stayed in
- Davao City
Provinces we traveled
- Davao Del Sur,
- Davao Del Norte
- Compostela Valley
- Agusan Del Sur
- Agusan Del Norte
- Surigao Del Sur
- Surigao Del Norte
- Davao Oriental
Life is too short, so live it to the fullest. Be inspired by nature and its beauty. Travel the world if you can and experience how it feels to be lost and to be in strangest places. Be awed and wondered and question who the hell created this PARADISE for human to love, to live and to care.