It's been a while since I went on traveling after my 13 Days of Summer Escapade last April. Due to my chicken pox episode, I was bed driven for almost two weeks and did some visits to the community hospital too.
With summer is still around, the weather was just so perfect to waste it inside the house doing the art of nothing while waiting to heal from my scars. This scenario is so unbearable for outdoor people like me. So when my blisters started to dry , I went on searching for my next travel destination.
|Care to jump in 10-foot diving board?|
Hearing about the Blue Lagoon of Libtong in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur , I bear the three hour drive towards to the jump off point in Brgy. Consuelo. Accompanied by local friends, Cathe Duero and Brendo, we rented a pump boat for Php 800.00 and sailed for less than thirty minutes to reach Brgy. Libtong's Blue Lagoon in General Island.
It was already 12 noon when we docked in Libtong Resort, set in a paradise like marine lagoon that is similar to the secret lagoons of El Nido Palawan, only this lagoon is so pristine and I can't believe 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 divided by strip of limestone rocks with lush green vegetation. The unspoiled water body is home to thousands of sting-less jellyfish and serves as their breeding ground on a particular season.
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 and unalarmed 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|
The resort is a community operated establishment run by the barangay personnel.After the video shoot, we decided to have our lunch at the cottage. We requested from the barangay personnel on duty to buy us some fresh sea food and some soda at the barangay proper, 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 full relaxation, feasting our eyes on the beauty in front of us.
I even tried jumping from the 10 foot high diving board. It was an exhilarating activity hitting the 10-20 meter deep turquoise blue water. The water was so refreshing that made me addicted to jump countless of times with different types of diving executions even in my most awkward position.
How Much to Experience this Paradise?
There is NO entrance fee in Libtong Resort, instead you have to pay for the cottage ranging from Php150-500. If I wasn't in a hurry to get home that day, we could actually stay 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.
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 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.
For surfing and island hopping activity you may call Brendo Torejos for assistance at +63921.729.5255 or Cathe Duero at +63919.991.4250
There is an ATM available at Cantilan Bank located at the heart of the town.