Instead of an overnight visit, we made a daytrip out of our Cagwait adventure. A downpour early in the afternoon got us all drenched and cold and wanting to go home badly. Nothing like the weather to start raining in your parade. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
From San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur, we have to go through Barobo, Surigao Del Sur, traverse slippery, unpaved, potholed, muddy roads before we can even hope of reaching our destination. In short we have one hell of a road trip in front of us and I’m liking it already.
The naysayers did not disappoint, there were roads where we have to move at a snail’s pace just so we don’t get stuck in mud. Our car’s underchassis is sure going to need a thorough washing after the ordeal. And yet these are the same roads that have already been declared completed and operational (is this true? I hope not). But just look at this (trust me, this one is tame, we had to go through roads that are a lot worse than this). The scenery however is superb. You get green forests, vegetations, and people trying to destroy mountains.
We also stopped over beach resorts that folks say have good beaches. So we passed by Pugad Beach Resort. This one’s in Lianga I think. Erm, no failed to impress. It didn’t help that it was high tide as well which somehow hid the beach. Still, it’s just a shade above the ordinary.
Then we went to Cansilag Beach Resort. Again it’s just along the way but we stopped there nonetheless bouyed by another friend’s suggestion that the food there is terrific. But at P500/kilo for crabs? I don’t think so I don’t have to travel south of Manila to get that price. The resort has some potential though. The owners clearly put in some serious money to lure people to go there. It’s alright, but if you’re really into beaches, like me, this might not be your cup of tea. But still this one is seriously way better than Pugad.
It was the mountains after that and roads that would make the lighthearted seriously consider going home. But again we’ve had scenery that would have inspired the great Fernado Amorsolo to paint so it was alright. We’ve also had stretches of paved roads from San Agustin to Marihatag that were pure joy. Enough to somehow blunt the edges of those nasty mudcakes they call roads here.
After almost three hours of interesting driving, we hit paydirt– Cagwait at last! Of course there should be a little lawbreaking to commemorate the occasion. Our little posse of kids and their old folks managed to overlook the keep off the grass sign and gamely posed for posterity.
Cagwait, as mentioned by PAL’s Mabuhay Magazine was referred to as the Waikiki of the South. Where they got the notion I have no idea. I would be no less baffled had they referred to it as YKK the zipper instead of Waikiki. It is no Boracay you can be sure of that. And to call it a ‘white beach’ well you’ll have to excuse our penchant for hyperbole and exaggeration. It’s no white beach or even an ochre beach or mother of pearl beach. Sorry for pointing it out but it’s not. It’s closer to light brown but when the sand is completely sun dried, there are some angles that would make you consider calling it white.
Is it any lesser then because it’s not white? Of course not. Cagwait may not be the “Waikiki of the South” but it has it’s own charm. For example, the sand is superfine. One only has to look at it and notice that it is so. The water is also perfectly fine. It’s clear and warm and doesn’t have those sudden drops that are so hazardous for beach lovers. It’s also very clean. In short Cagwait is perfectly made for swimming and frolicking. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the beach to families. Even to barkadas or corporate folks who want to have out of town seminars. The resort has a convention center (sort of) where corporate types can hold seminars and all that.
While there are concrete structures on the resort, I wouldn’t venture as to say that it is already commercialized. I didn’t see any bar or watering hole in the area. This is ok for local tourism but if the local government wants to attract tourists from other parts of the country, watering holes can be persuasive.
After a half day of frolicking under the sun, the weather suddenly changed and we were driven off the beach by a torrential downpour. After the rain the tide receded and low tide set in, exposing some of Cagwait Beach’s secrets…
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the place. But the journey didn’t stop there. Along the way, we stopped over at Wakat where there’s a cave where people say that if you go through it, you can walk all the way through Baba. The only thing is nobody has done it before. Not sure about this but that’s what I’ve been told anyway. There is a river flowing through this cave and people love taking a dip here. See below. This cave is just along the Barobo – San Francisco road so it’s a can’t miss spot. Just look for the pictured signage.
The End – Dude, Where’s My Car? Lol.