Lianga, Surigao Del Sur Roadtrip




The best roadtrip, in my experience, is one that isn’t planned.  My most memorable ones are those hatched while getting drunk, and then actually going through with it the next day, hangovers be damned.

Last weekend was actually one of those things.  Me and a couple of friends were trying to get drunk to make the most of the time he’s on land (he’s a seaman).  He will be going back to Manila in a couple of days and I thought, while chugging a warm tagay of San Miguel Beer, that the perfect way to send him off was a really good unplanned roadtrip.  We were in our 4th grande at that point and we were feeling the love with the world.

The following morning, January 9, I got multiple missed calls starting from 8 in the morning.  As I don’t get up before the noontime Angelus, I just ignored everything.  When I finally got the consciousness to get off the bed at around 130pm, my mobile phone was practically bursting with messages and gone bonkers with the number of missed calls.  I tried recalling what happened the night before and sat in front of my computer.  The moment I touched facebook, I got messages from two buddies.

“Are we on?”

“Are we on for what?”

“Surigao, you effing drunk!”

Right, I did promise everyone that we’re going to Lianga, Surigao del Sur after lunch.  Ugh.  I checked the time.  It was almost 2pm.

“Heck yeah!  Let’s go!”

15 minutes later everyone was in my apartment.  All four of them.  I didn’t bother to pack a bag.  I just picked up all my necessities and placed everything in the trunk of my car.

10 minutes after that we were on our way to Lianga.

My coffeemaker wasn’t working so I was still bleary eyed while zipping through the Agusan provincial highways.  If you’re a driving freak like I am, driving in this part of the Philippines is truly liberating.  The roads are wide open.  None of those monster traffic jams you experience in those big cities lie, ugh, Manila.  There are still swatches of inferior roads here in Agusan like any other province courtesy of institutionalized corruption in the government.  But when you get to that stretch of highway from Sibagat to Bayugan City, pure driving pleasure.

We made really good time even after a quick meal in Bayugan City.  We were in Lianga by 630pm.  That diversion road from Prosperidad town to Lianga called Los Arcos cut our travel time significantly.

As it was already night time and we had our meal a couple of hours back, there was only one thing in our collective minds.  Booze!  And since we’re in Surigao, we just had to have the freshest pulutan courtesy of the local fish market.  Yellow fin tuna panga which is one of that delicious fish’ more delectable parts.  We bought a kilo and a half worth of panga for only P360.  I shudder at the thought of its price in Manila.  Yeech!

We also got in touch with a local surfer friend who was only too willing to lend us his Takayama longboard for a little surfing the following day.

surf

We proceeded to drink the night away stopping only when the Ocean Point beach resort store no longer had any beer to sell.  With that we called it a night.

The following day I was up early (early by my night owl standards) around 930.  The boys had already done some surfing, catching the early morning swell while I snored.

After a filling mid-day breakfast of eggs, fried fish, and meat loaf (straight from the can), we rested for a couple of hours and made preparation to go to Bao Bao Falls, our real target for the weekend.

Before proceeding to Bao Bao falls, we decided to visit those eerie trees that would fit right in in one of those horror flicks.

Looking at the trees, one’s imagination can really go wild.  What if…  You know.

trees

treesb

This stretch of road was also a haven for longboard skates riders or longboarders.  A few of my friends participated in a downhill race in this stretch of roads prior to the new year.

Bao Bao Falls is beautiful.  Nothing spectacular mind you, but it has its definite charms.  One of which is accessibility.  It’s just a mere 5 minute trek from the main road.  It’s not a walk in the park but not something that any 4 year old kid can’t handle either.  The local government has done a really good job of controlled development.  Just the right stairs in the steep portions and the rest are left to nature’s design.

baobao

I love Bao Bao falls’ clean-ness and how it allows visitors to swim.

baobaob

We arrived in Bao Bao Falls at around 315pm so visitors were starting to vacate the area.  30 minutes later there were less than 20 people (including our group) enjoying the water.  The water was cold and refreshing.

baobaoc

Our group agreed to not stay very late as we still had to go back to Butuan.  Also, I had something in mind to cap our short and enjoyable weekend roadtrip.

Driving back to our town was much faster than our drive the day before.  Perhaps it’s because we were able to navigate Los Arcos first and then just zoom-zoom on the straight highways after.

What I had in mind really was food.  Not just any food though, barbecued native chicken!  And Bayugan’s barbecued native chicken is famous in this part of Mindanao.  Native chicken is so much flavorful than the usual commercially grown chicken.  These guys are free range chickens with very little fat but their meat is packed with flavor.

We ate barbecued chicken like it’s going out of style and went home afterwards; stomachs full, and souls satisfied.

Here’s a little slideshow of our roadtrip.

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