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Let's look back at memory lane and travel back to this unforgettable trip my husband and I together with my friends and siblings to Surigao! Unforgettable in a way because from the start, it seemed like nature was already hindering us but we opted to proceed with the trip anyway. You will soon learn about it in these two blog series.
On our flight to Butuan Airport, the pilot wasn't able to make a landing on his first attempt due to low clouds, it was zero visibility from up there and the captain announced that if he can't make a successful landing in his second attempt, we will have to go back to Cebu. The second attempt made was in the next 30 minutes, we were just flying around Butuan Airport, then it rained, no sign of the sun but for some reason, the captain announced for the cabin crews to prepare for landing.
Our main destination was actually Hinatuan Enchanted River and based on my research, I took a lot of time to do so, we can't do a DIY trip for this due to the locations of the attractions we want to visit.
We hired a tour guide with a van who fetched us from Butuan airport then to the different destinations. But these tourist spots, we selected them beforehand, we had close contact with the travel agent and we specifically made the itinerary and they just approved that everything can be visited with this specific package rate per person.
Our first target destination and the most important of all our travel bucket list was Hinatuan Enchanted River of course! Back in 2017, swimming at the river was still allowed. We stayed at the river for a few hours, ate our lunch there too!
We rented a cottage and some vendors sell fish and other kinds of seafood that they can cook themselves and we just had to pay for the fish and the service. We had grilled fish, soup, and ceviche all good for Php 150 per person including the drinks! I find the pricing reasonable!
Swimming in this river was magical in a way. The water is a combination of salt and fresh water.
The blue-green-colored river has been tagged as enchanted because of the presence of many fishes in the area. This river is too deep too that the residents have not measured its height yet, at least during our visit. I am not sure if today, there have been any changes to that. The river has been featured in several television shows before too.
Of course, our most anticipated activity was the fish feeding! It rained before that so we were glad that the skies cleared up when the staff called for all to get out of the water and watch the feeding activity after lunch. All visitors gathered at the sides of the river, taking their best viewing spot!
Then staff started throwing rice into the water. Then one by one beautifully colored fishes, big and small started showing up into the water. They were nowhere to be found earlier while we were swimming and then here they were, they flocked at the center of the river where the food was available. Then the staff started throwing in different directions, there the tourists, at the sides and all over the area, the fishes were like having a feeding spree and it was a great view both from above and below for those who had their waterproof action cameras.
Watch the show from my YouTube channel above.
After the show, we decided to go to our next stop.
Due to the rain and bad weather from last night, we found the falls with muddy colored water but its humongous size, strong current, and magnificent slopes still look really pretty.
Tinuy-an Falls is dubbed as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines. There were bamboo rafts nearby the waterfalls for those who want to be adventurous and experience the pressure of the water but we opted not to because it looked very dangerous considering the strong current.
We were satisfied looking at the other guests and trying to take photographs, long exposures of the waterfalls. If it didn't rain the other night, we could have enjoyed a few dips and perhaps go under the falls but then, we just had to be positive and enjoy the moment while it lasts.
It was at this spot that I bought keychains and some souvenirs to be brought back to Cebu for my colleagues and friends.
Before we headed to the resort where we will be staying that night, our tour guide slash driver brought us to the International Doll House and Ocean View Park Restaurant.
The restaurant offers an overlooking view of the great Pacific Ocean but there's nothing much to do here than just watch the skies and the seas. Also, they stopped serving food too which was a bummer because we were actually hungry when we arrived there. However, what's interesting here was the International Doll House.
There's a specific building within the vicinity that houses hundreds if not thousands of dolls from all over the world, from authentic Barbie dolls to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and from other countries, they even have Matryosh Ka Doll which was the most expensive ones from the display.
To keep these dolls safe, the owner had made the showroom fully airconditioned and monthly maintenance has to be done to ensure there is no dust or any other material that could harm their beloved collection.
Perhaps my favorite of them all was those nicely dressed dolls with full curly hairs. They remind me of my childhood favorite movie, Sarah Ang Munting Prinsesa.
After hearing the stories of the guide on how the owner had acquired these dolls, there was nothing else to do but go on our way. But we stopped by some signage of which it states I Heart Bislig and took pictures!
Off we went to Britania's La Entrada Resort which was a long two-hour ride from Bislig. Our driver even lost track of the road and we were lost while on the way. Thankfully, after a few minutes, we finally arrived!