July 23-25, 2013
Island Hopping Adventures in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte
GPS waypoint: N9.697593 E125.583508
Location: Municipality of Tagana-an, Province of Surigao del Norte
Being well-traveled around the country and well-acclimatized to outdoor adventures, resort owners and outdoor outfitters sometimes invite me to dry-run or assess or even develop a tour package for them. Indeed, I realized that what seems second nature to me now, may be totally new ground for someone not too familiar with tourism, adventure, travel and the web. I've already seen what works and what doesn't. We're not reinventing the wheel. I simply tailor-fit a program that I've seen work in some places. For example, Coron's business model for its island hopping tour can be emulated in Britania Islets and the surrounding islands in Surigao City. Anawangin Cove's model for beach camping can be applied to a lot of undeveloped beaches across the country. In some cases, I blaze new trails and GPS tracks and waypoints to establish viable mountain bike trails.
Municipality of Tagana-an, Province of Surigao del Norte
One enterprising tour guide, Jun Ramirez, commissioned me to do such a thing for him in Tagana-an (Surigao del Norte) - the place he takes his clients for tours and adventure. By going thru all his tour offerings, I have the first-hand experience on how it all comes in as an 'experience package'. I like such projects - that's what I live for! Waterfalls, springs, caves, coral reefs, free-diving, hiking, mountain biking, etc. - I'm like Dracula employed by a blood bank.
Best of both Worlds
The 35-min jeep ride to Tagana-an from Surigao City gives Tagana-an the best of both worlds - a universe unto itself but still within stone's throw from a bustling and vibrant city. Tagana-an has its own laid-back charm and warmth. It doesn't have the infrastructure yet for tourism traffic (no internet, no lodging, no restaurants except for roadside carinderias, etc.), but the place seems to be positioning itself to accommodate these changes. Its main ingredients are the mangrove forest, islands, the reefs and beaches. The question is, how do we come up with a mouth-watering dish for the traveler using those ingredients?
With a boatman assigned to me, we went through the series of tour packages already setup for me. I would make changes as I saw fit. What caught my attention was the clear water and the reef system lying underneath. Some islands have a coral reef perimeter with an overhang. It was tempting to dive down and see what lurks beneath those waters. We went around several islands assessing the place for current, depth, marine life and overall health of the coral reef.
Further out, we stopped by Sagisi Beach, already part of Surigao City. What makes this beach special are its white sand, the nipa hut shelter and best of all, just a few feet from the shore, the sand turns into a reef drop-off that goes down deep with corals and marine life lining up its slope! It was a fun free-dive and snorkeling with shore entry...no boat, no long walks on coral surface and no long swim to reach the reef! This area is truly special.
Another island is San Jose where Punta Baluarte can be seen - it has a mock castle on top of a hill overlooking the sea. It's a historical landmark used by Spanish friars as observation posts. Later on during WWII, the occupying Japanese forces used it for the same purpose. Within the town of Baluarte is an old wooly tree, said to be over a hundred years old. Its vines are used by kids to play Tarzan. This place is also charming.
Overall, Tagana-an can offer many things to the traveler - island hopping, snorkeling, caves, beaches, sun and fun. Better yet, the traveler doesn't have to worry about weaving all these together and talking to a lot of people. Jun Ramirez puts all of these together into one neat package. I thoroughly discussed with him what worked and what needed to be modified or even scrapped. Hopefully, the infrastructure keeps pace with all these emerging changes for Tagana-an.
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.
To make arrangements for Tagana-an's Island Adventure Tour, contact:
Tagana-an Tour Guide
0919.724.2055 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- lodging is under construction at Tagana-an's terminal, but as of this writing, there is no completion date yet - for multi-day stay, the nearest lodging is still in Surigao City (35 mins away)
- there is no internet or bank yet in Tagana-an
- take a jeep in Surigao City bound for "Terminal", P9/pax, 10 mins
- take the Tagana-an jeep, P40/pax, 40 mins, get off at the Municipal Building
(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
July 23-25, 2013
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