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Consuelo, Cantilan: A Humble Life

Beach of Kabito-onan, Consuelo,Cantilan

Surigao del Sur simply amazes me with lots of hidden jewels worth finding. Who would have thought that the province is a sanctuary of town that is  genuinely oozing with beautiful destinations with dozens of activities to refresh you from the busy thoughts of the city?

One in particular is the place known as Consuelo, one of the humble barangays of Cantilan . Community seats silently  facing the vast Pacific Ocean with dozens of pristine islands and islets that are accentuated with white coral sand beaches and lush vegetations.

Going to the silent haven of paradise, we passed by a long wooden bridge connecting San Pedro and Consuelo. The bridge is already quite an attraction as it stands on top of an estuary leading to the sea. The ecotone habitat is a favorite spot for the least known forest, the mangrove ecosystem serving as home to some colorful birds particularly King Fisher and some unidentified birds of prey dwelling freely in the area.

Consuelo Bridge

By just looking at the bridge, you can already sense a lot of stories of lives that have passed by the old wooden planks connecting the two communities.

In Consuelo, the people resonates a humble life with its primary livelihood which is  fishing and coconut farming or locally known as “paglulukat” or copra making.

We were accommodated by one of the locals of Consuelo, Loloy, hosting our lunch for that day. Their house stands firmly on the rocky shore of the coast just beside the port built by Mac Ventures.

We had one of the most authentic sea food delight I have tasted by far, Alimasag (crab) and paksiw na Talakitok ( Jack fish) with lots and lots of rice. 

Finishing that full island meal put us all in a siesta moment. After some little rest, we continued to scout the coral sand beach and the rocky coastal community. 

Local  favorite shell fish Sa-ang                                Cone shaped shells                                  Sea cucumber, Holoturia

Sweeping Biodiversity 

The  shore breathes with  diverse form of life as abundant marine species dwell in numbers ranging from a simple sea shells to creepy sea cucumbers and numerous fish that swims in the pristine blue water rushing into the coastal areas of the islands. I was also surprised to locate one species of pitcherplant, Nepenthes alata that clings on the bushes of the cliff along the coast. Seeing those plants is a wonder to my eyes as  it  has indicated resilient ecosystem in the area.

Nepenthes alata in Consuelo, Cantilan. Surigao del Sur

Off coast fronting us are islands and islets with magnificent view with white coral sands beach. We wished to have a trip to the islands but time did not permit us, which leave me thinking of returning to the hidden jewels the soonest possible time. (end of part 3 of Cantilan Series)

 Casarica   (islet on the left) and Huyamao Island

Getting there
There are multiple entries to Cantilan:
  • There are flights available daily to Butuan City and Surigao City
  • Coming from Butuan City Terminal, take a bus bound for Tandag City. Bus leaves every hour, fare is Php 300.00 for airconditioned bus (Bachelor) with travel time of 5 hours. In Tandag City, there are two options you can take to visit cantilan: (1) to take a bus bound for Surigao City or (2) take a van. Buses have a limited schedule until 2 pm. Fare is Php100.00 with travel time of 2 hours.
  • In Cantilan Terminal (near the market) you can take a tricycle and tell the driver you are bound for Consuelo, fare is Php25.00. 
  • If you wish to visit some of the islands, you can negotiate with the local fishermen to take you on a round on the nearby destinations.
  • Coming from Surigao City, there are buses and vans in the city terminal bound for Tandag City. Alight in Cantilan, fare is Php 170, then follow the rest of the instructions above.
  • Coming from Davao City, there are two direct trips to Tandag City, 6 am and 12 mn. Fare is Php363.00  and travel time is 8 hours. From Tandag City, follow the instruction above.

There are few pension houses in Cantilan. It is a small place so you won’t miss seeing one. There are also quite a number of resorts along the Baybay along the coast. From the twon , you can take a tricycle for Php 15.00 to the coastal community of Baybay.

With our experience we were accommodated in a 2 room resort in Cathe Pacific Cottage by the Beach you may contact the owner Cathe Duero at +63919.991.4250 for reservation.

Cash Problem
There is an ATM available at Cantilan Bank located at the heart of the town.


  1. I want to thank you for the time you spent on your blog projects. Very well done, and a pleasure to follow. I am looking forward to visiting Cantilan in late May, and will certaintly follow your direction.

  2. My pleasure John. Just pitch in your question if ever there are things you wish to know more about Cantilan ... :)

  3. love the shots. love the place too. hope I can go there someday.

  4. you've captured the place really well .... love those macro shots! I hope I can also visit Surigao del Sur.

  5. Cantilan is really rich in unique species of plants and animals and also the place (like the bridge) has a lot of history.

  6. I hope I could visit Cantilan someday while its still raw.

  7. ganessa archivalMay 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    That was a great experience I suppose. Talagang inexplore mo ang Cantilan... I hope na makapunta din ako dyan someday :-)

  8. Love photos specially that of the kids bathing in the waters. Ang sarap siguro tumira dyan. seems so peaceful.

  9. Consuelo in Cantilan is definitely a hidden gem. I was also amazed at the sight of the pitcher plants, and of you mentioning that "it indicates resilient ecosystem in the area". That is indeed noteworthy, other than the beautiful sceneries that the place offers its locals and guests. :)

  10. Going to Cantilan is a great escape from the busy streets of Manila. I love the first photo with the umbrella and the wooden Consuelo Bridge connecting two communities.

  11. I've seen a similar post to Traveling Morion's. Cantilan looks like a laid back place where someone could just disappear and relax. It's also a remote place which is why I like it even more.
    - Wanderer Juan

  12. That's a rich ecosystem right there! Anyways, it's my first time here but I loved how you chronicle your experiences. Very descriptive, visual, and right on the mark. It has made me love visiting lesser-known destinations and of course, appreciate a simpler lifestyle.

  13. Beautiful beach and islands! Love your umbrella and bridge photos!

  14. I super love the quality of your shots! You are one of the best travel photographers I've ever known.

  15. cone shape shells yun b yung ginagataan? hehe missing those kind of foods!! I totally love all your photo love mindanao! photos p lng swak nah!

  16. sea food! aww!
    I'm gonna enjoy sitting while watching sunrise and sunsets in the wooden planks of the bridge.
    Seeing that it leads to a mangrove forest..
    The salty tang in the air must be strong on these parts.
    reminds me of home. :)

  17. sir dili kong sa marc ventures ang port, sa Philippine Port Authority mismo ang port,, tnx sa mga picz sir, nice karajaw, like much!