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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Libtong's Blue Lagoon | Cantilan, Surigao del Sur







It's been a while since I went on traveling after my 13 Days of Summer Escapade ended on April 2013. Due to my chicken pox episode, I was bed driven for almost two weeks where I was required for some visits to the community hospital in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

With summer was still around, the weather was just so perfect to waste  inside the house and doing the art of nothing and waiting 'til  the day when all of my scars are dried and healed off.  This scenario was so unbearable for an  outdoor guy like me, so when my blisters have shown signs of drying, I went on searching for my next travel destination.


Care to jump in a 10-foot diving board?
Learning about the Blue Lagoon of Libtong in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur from a local friend, I hurried to catch  the last trip of the three hour jumbo jeepney drive towards to the jump-off point in Brgy. Consuelo in Cantilan. 

Accompanied by local friends, Cathe Duero and Brendo, we rented a small pump boat for Php 800.00 and sailed for less than  thirty minutes before reaching  Brgy. Libtong and it's  Blue Lagoon in General Island, Cantilan.

It was already high noon when we docked in Libtong Resort where we witnessed  a paradise like marine lagoon that was similar to the secret lagoons of El Nido Palawan, only this lagoon was so untainted and so pristine. It was just sad to notice that it was already the peak of summer season and yet we were the only visitors of the unheard  tourist spot in Cantilan.

Timely, I was requested by  a friend from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas to record a video message for the 16th DLSU-D Alumni Home Coming. The venue was just too ideal to have the message recorded with pristine blue paradise as my background . Overwhelmed with its intimidating beauty, it took us a while to perfectly shoot the video. 

The lagoon has two parts and it was divided by strip of limestone rocks with lush green vegetation in the middle. The unspoiled water body is home  to thousands of sting-less jellyfish that have served as their breeding ground on a particular season of the year.

According to our guide, you can swim with the jelly fish unharmed. The lagoon is also littered with different colorful species of nektons or fishes swimming around, uncaring with our presence. It was also our lucky day to spot a White-bellied Sea-eagle which is now rarely seen in the wild.

Sting-less jellyfish in the Blue Lagoon of Libtong, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
After the video shoot, we decided to have our lunch at the cottage of the resort. Since the resort is a community operated establishment run by the barangay officials, we requested from their accommodating personnel on duty to buy us some fresh sea food and some soda at the barangay proper which was just twenty minutes away from the resort . We were served with rice and  "kinilaw na pugita" or fresh chopped octopus soaked in vinegar. 

During the video shoot
We took the whole afternoon taking advantage of the priceless relaxation and feasting our eyes on the rare beauty in front of us. 

I even tried jumping from the 10-foot high diving board installed in front of our cottage.  Hitting the 15-20 meter deep turquoise blue water was just an exhilarating activity. With this kind of water that was so cool and refreshing, it made me addicted to jump countless of times with different types of diving executions, doing it even  my  most awkward position.  




How Much to Experience this Paradise?

NO entrance fee in Libtong Resort, instead you just have to pay for the cottages ranging from Php150-500. If I wasn't in a hurry to get home that day, we could have actually stayed for a night in Libtong. 


How to get to Cantilan?

There are multiple entries going to this hidden paradise. There are flights available daily to Butuan City and Surigao City

1. 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 only. 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 Php 50.00

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Accommodation

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

Local contacts:

For surfing and island hopping activity  you may call Brendo Torejos for assistance at  +63921.729.5255 or Cathe Duero at +63919.991.4250

Cash Problem

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



41 comments:

  1. come and visit us here Melo :D

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  2. Wow!! Another hidden gem in surigao. This one's bookmarked!

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  3. Interesting! I will be in Butuan City in 2 weeks, maganda sanang isingit to sa itinerary kaso ang layo kulang sa time :(

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  4. Hope to meet you here Gab....baka pwdeng gawan ng paraan...

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  5. whoooa 10ft diving board pa try dn nga..hehe

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  6. I'm really proud that my lolo got this property and my Uncle Yonyon takes care of it and making it really beautiful.

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  7. best platform para mag practice mag dive , refreshing pa :D

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  8. How i wish to have chicken fox in the future and i'll do the same.... lols...

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  9. awts .. be careful what you wish for. Having chicken pox at this age is a little complicated at least on my end . Nevertheless, I hope one day you could visit this beautiful place :D thank you.

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  10. thanks Vilma .. i hope you can visit this place too ... :D

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  11. Hanep ang shot ng jellyfish ah! hirap na hirap kunan nyan- sa sohoton 1 lang ata nagamit ko

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  12. Hmmmm.. Swimming with the jellyfish in the blue lagoon is safe pala? Hope I can visit this beautiful paradise in the near future. - Algene

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  13. Rochkirstin SantosMay 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    This lagoon looks like a complete paradise! It's a perfect destination for families and lovers to chill and hang out for a long weekend. The green vegetation is really super green. And that jellyfish? Wow. :)

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  14. Oh my! The place is so perfect for relaxation especially in my part since I'm already bored here in my house and it's summer! I'm supposed to be out in the house and hit the beach! :D


    Visiting Blue Lagoon at this time is so fit for those who want to relax and swim with the harmless jellyfish! Kakainggit! :D

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  15. dito tayo pupunta? yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay bongga nadin!!!!! <3 <3 <3 Kaya go ako!!!!!!

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  16. Great place. First time to see sting-less jellyfish in a closer. Maganda pala kulay nya.

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  17. That's a majestic-looking jellyfish right there. I was going to ask if these kinds are dangerous but I saw the caption saying these are the sting-less variety. Anyway, great shots and a great post as usual. Good job!

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  18. I can't imagine swimming with jellyfish even if it's harmless. LOL. I have never seen a lagoon for real. It looks heaven. I will be in Surigao on July or Aug, hopefully to get a chance to visit the place.

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  19. How cool is that swimming with jellyfish and some fish species in an unspoiled lagoon.

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  20. hindi ba rito nag-shot ang Blue Lagoon. Love the calmed water but not the jelly fish.

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  21. Wow that place looks amazing! It is actually very similar to the lagoons in El Nido and Coron but less people visit it. I would definitely include this in my itinerary when I get the chance to visit Surigao.
    - Wanderer Juan (www.thewanderingjuan.net)

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  22. Another paradise introduced to me through this blog. The beauty of the Philippines seems never-ending.

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  23. What a peaceful lagoon :) I'd love to take a dive into that clear blue waters. Linis! pero jelly fish? no thanks :D

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  24. what a beautiful place, i don't know it exist until now. thanks for sharing, hopefully i can visit this place in the near future

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  25. Sarah Andres EstorMay 13, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    What a very beautiful place. The place looks so serene. Perfect getaway for those who want to de-stress. :)

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  26. wow the photos looks amazing! breathtaking place there! my daughter's school sent out some letters as well about chicken pox. hehe Nice to know this place and the sting-less jelly fish i am really scared of them.

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  27. wow!! that jellyfish looks really cool!! and the place is just so serene.. :)

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  28. We saw this Libtong Lagoon in the news a while ago. This place looks enchanting! We'll put this in our travel itinerary for this year or next year. Thanks too for the tips.

    Your blog is awesome, by the way.

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  29. oh . you were able to catch it on TV Patrol ..hahah thanks hope to meet you here when you visit Cantilan :D

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  30. Wow! The place looks sooooo beautiful and picturesque! I'll definitely put Cantilan in my "must-visit places" list :) PS: I hope you're all better now from the chicken pox. Oh, and I applaud you for still traveling despite just having it XD

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  31. i oove this place amazing and beautiful..go cantialn and invite all the tourism in the phillippines...support cantilan Resort

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  32. Soooo pristine... This is a heaven.. Hope I can go there in the near future...

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  33. How much is the entrance fee?

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  34. I am originated from Cantilan, I assure you that once you visit our place you will be mesmerize of what Cantilan has to offer in-terms of tourism..from Dubai with Love.

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  35. Come and visit us here ... enjoy the whole Surigao Peninsula :D

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  36. when's the jellyfish season in blue lagoon?

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  37. keri po b to if solo traveler? ow im also a dlsu-d alumni

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  38. hi Travelmore2014, yes possible naman mag solo travel sa cantilan .. that would be exciting for you to do ...wish i could hear your story soon :D

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About The Author

Love Mindanao finished his graduate degree in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management in Manila. He left his lucrative job from the city and worked humbly in the forested area of Mindanao as an Environmental Specialist in Surigao del Sur His love for Mindanao flourished when he saw the untold truth about the once feared island. His blog provides budget friendly travel guide in visiting marvelous and enchanting destinations in Mindanao and also other remarkable places in the Philippines.He also disseminates environmental awareness and features some of the unique flora and fauna encountered along his journey and share some interesting facts about its ecological importance. He is married to his work and to his passion to travel.. ...Read More