Travel Kwento: SURIGAO

April 28, 2012 § 6 Comments

Travel Dates: April 11-13, 2013

Travel Companion: Didda, Me, Kite, Laya & Yaya Jhona, Bong and his kids Nik & Max

Backgrounder: I saw Club Tara’s deal on groupon sites na, found it interesting kasi new place, kasi Rhila posted about Jellyfish Lake, kasi si Yaya Jhona taga Surigao. BUT my I stopped myself kasi baka bili bili tapos ma stress lang para gamitin before mag expire. So deadma na.  Tapos nag offer ulit sila nung November so tinignan ko ulit, but ignored it again. But nag text si Bong may Surigao Club Tara daw sa groupon site if we wanna go for summer for the kids. Hmmm sige for summer pa naman. Ayun bili na kami both that night. We ignored the coupon since we dont have our summer sched pa naman. Come January I started checking na sa Trip Advisor waaaahhh the feedback on the resort was so bad😦 But sayang na the coupon P13,000 din ito. So mind conditioning na lang. I started checking na for flight waaah ang mahal ng flights nila P8000/pax😦 Pag Cebu Pacific naman no direct flight will go to Cebu muna then Cebu to Surigao at P1000-2000 less per head, hay malaki laki din but baka lalo kaming ma bwisit if sobrang pagod sa biyahe tapos kadiri yung lugar etc etc. Oh well we decided to go na lang via PAL. So far this trip is not going so well. Hmm I was disheartened so dilly dally lang ako. Half thinking if sayangin na lang yung P13k but dyahe naman kina Bong. And am guessing Kite should also experience bad resort para di naman siya puro nice places lang, tsaka maski pa how bad the place is for sure enjoy yan kasami naman fam ni Bong eh. Hay ayun matagal tagal bago ko seryosong inayos ulit yung trip. Mga early March na when we booked our flights. Then upon finalizing with Club Tara doon ko lang nalaman na to reach the resort we have to take a bus/rent a van and the trip is 1 and a half hour long! Tapos need to ride banca pa for another 45 mins. Ha? Eh 2 night lang kami doon tapos tanghali yung flight naku ano pa kaya magagawa namin sa place nila. But at the back of my mind, ok na din para short lang stay namin since pangit ng review sa lugar. Eto pa ang nakaka inis. Alam na na super bulok yung resort, pero acting 5 star sila :( if we avail daw of their transfer service we have to pay P1500/pax for 2 pax or P1000/pax if 4 pax or more… imagine transfer lang aabutin kami ng P14,000 for our group or P8,000 for my family! Que horror. I asked how much if we do it ourselves and how is it, easy lang daw and around P6,000-P8,000 round trip if we do it ourselves. yikes I hate pa naman being in a place na wala kang alam and have to rely on asking and haggling but no choice ayaw ko magsayang ng extra P5000 one way. I remember transfer sa Boracay grabe sa mahal eh easy easy lang to do it ourselves. We booked the Sohoton Cave Tour with Jellyfish Lake tour via Club Tara at P1000/pax

PS. P13,000 Club Tara CashCashPinoy Deal is for 2 and full board meals na ito. P16,000 for 4 pax. Free for max of 2 kids below 6 yrs old.

Trip Kwento:

Day 1
Ayun with proper conditioning we are set na. Alam na ng buong grupo to expect the worse and just enjoy being in a new place. Ayun our flight suppose to arrive Surigao at 130pm arrived at 2pm. We went to the bus station and found out the bus left na, although I dont plan to take a bus naman talaga it was medyo kaka tense kasi napaisip ako what if wala ding banca sa pier when we arrive, anyway we hired a van to take us there sa pier. Ok naman but nakaka frustrate/hiya ang system natin. May lumapit sa amin and said P1500 for the van so ok kasi if bus at P200 each that’s P1400 na din naman eh. But when the van came P1700 daw well ok na but nakaka inis kasi naiisip ko kakahiya sa mga foreigner ang mga ganito. We arrived the pier after 1.5 hours and was able to get a banca to bring is to the resort at P1500. Yung banca is small, I sat beside Abet and exacto lang kami, so there’s mga 4 rows. The banca is small as in di ka makalipat ng upuan but stable siya, maski may konting alon di scary, wet lang kasi splash ng tubig. I guess di siya maalon kasi di siya open sea talaga yung dulo is set of islands eh.

Anyway the place looks really nice from afar and upon seeing the room with our expectation so low we were satisfied naman. Thank God for TripAdvisor and their reviews.

We stayed lang sa resort that day, kids went to the pool and we chilled lang then after dinner kids used the jacuzzi in the room. We were told our Sohoton Cave & JellyFish Lake Tour is after lunch. Perfect for us who all hates waking up early. This way we can stay up late if we wish and wake up late too.
Day 2
We woke up had breakfast then the waters were begging for kayak, it was too enticing, so the kids went kayaking while Abet & Bong used the paddle surf. Then when kids got tired and went to the pool, the two boys went kayaking to the snorkling area.

We had lunch and then off we went for to the Sohotan Cave & JellyFish Lake Tour.  We arrived at the tourism area (around 5 mins by boat fromt he resort) when everyone is obliged to stop and pay fees.  I like it that they are very organized, am ok with paying more but the locals get jobs fairly, it does not go to the most agressive instead they all take turns.  We found out upon arriving that for the jellyfish lake we are going to each ride one small banca, and they discouraged bringing Laya so Yaya & Laya stayed sa Tourism Hut.

It was breeding or egg season at the Jellyfish Lake (around 5 mins away from the tourism hut) so we are not allowed to swim, bummer but it gave me a bit of satisfaction to know these boatmen are adhering to the rules, I was half expecting them to allow us in exchange for a hefty tip.  We saw a lot of eggs swimming. By June daw they will allow swimming na and the jellyfish will number to a million.  We did spot a lot of jellyfish but not enough to warrant the name jellyfish lake. Sayang would have love to swim and see it sana but ok na din at least we saw lots naman.

Back to the tourism hut to ride our banca again, our banca is small so we are allowed to use it to go inside Sohotan and need not hire another one, a guide just accompanied us. If I remember correctly fees were P100 each banca to Jellyfish lake then another P500 for the guide who will join our banca to the Sohoton Cave. Sohoton Cave is also a few minutes away form the Tourism Hut.  The entrance is low but we need not lower our head to get inside so tide was perfect upon our entrance, I think the tide gets high at late afternoon so entrance and exit is impassable and those inside wont have a way out (except walk for hours?) But the cave is not really a cave, it is like a whole new world inside, the area is vast and open.

We had 2 stops in there, first is the luminous cave, there’s a small opening and there’s a lake inside and when you take pictures the water is luminous. I didnt get to go in coz am a scaredy cat, but when they told me easy lang I wanted to but Laya was crying na so no na lang.

Next was the jump site, to get to the jump site they have to pass thru a cave and etc. The jump was quite high but Abet & Bong did it.

After that back to the Tourism Hut to drop the guide off then back to the resort. The whole tour took 3 hours. It was the highlight of the trip🙂  The kids had so much fun they want to go back on June when they can swim with the jellyfish. Back at the resort, we were all hungry and tired… but no food available for order. Diba kaloka? The goods are arriving pa lang that afternoon sabay with new guest coming in. Good thing I brought 2 cans of Vienna Sausage (1 left kasi the kids ate 1 na the night before) & a can of luncheon meat. So I fried them sa kitchen nila and ask them to turn the leftover rice from lunch to garlic rice. Well exacto naman for everyone. Rest rest, nap and the kids playing around. Had dinner then chat a bit but was tired na din and we are to wake up early the next day.

Day 3
Breakfast and leave resort by 9am to get to airport before 12nn for our flight. We stayed in Bastie’s a resto outside the airport that
offers meals and cakes and pastries, coffee and free wifi! Perfect place to stay and wait for flight as the PA system of the airport is
connected to their speakers too. We barely had wifi the whole time in the resort so when a 30 min. flight delay was announced it we were not even bothered nor annoyed🙂

Overall I would say the trip is fun. Our short stay in the resort was perfect as a even a half a day extension would be too much. A shorter stay also wouldnt suffice as our time is exactly right for our stay. Even the sched of the tour was perfect giving us enough time to eat and do some activities without forcing us to wake up early or rushing to beat time.

Would I go back to the resort. Yes because that is the best place in the area for now but I definitely wont go pay their real rate, will
only go with major discount or coupon deals.

Would I go back there? I dont plan to but I just might for the jellyfish lake.

Was it time well spent? Yes.
Was it money well spent? Maybe not but it’s ok.

Photos at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150997183633662.535291.594228661&type=3

§ 6 Responses to Travel Kwento: SURIGAO

  • rachelle says:

    hi ma’am ask ko lang po if the place is really dreadful? like the place is poorly maintained? like dirty cia ganun… okay lng ba ung 13k coupon for the experience?

    hope to hear from u.

  • BenzRana says:

    hmm not worth P13,000😦 try to see if there are other resorts in the area.

    i wont pay P13k for the room we got.

    • rachelle joy relacion says:

      hi. thanks for your reply. i just wanna know if okay ung restaurant nila.
      nakabili din kase ko online eh. aun. parang ayaw nila i-refund. then we’re two lng. d ba boring for us?

      ty. will be waiting for your reply.

      • BenzRana says:

        Hindi ok ang resto. Hindi din naman bulok but nothign special. Lutong bahay. Ewan if malas lang kami kasi isang time super gutom kami kasi nag day trip kami to Sohoton etc tapos as soon as we got there oorder kami ni anong pagkain wala sila😦 sabi ko maski potato gawing french fries man lang for the kids, or bread and butter. WALA daw! Kaloka, parating palang stocks nila that afternoon. Imagine if hindi dumating anong kakainin namin for dinner? Thats was a super close call and super irresponsible of the resort. Buti I brought a can of luncheon meat, ayan pinag aagwan ng mga bata tuloy and they ate our leftover rice from lunch. HAY!

        I think mag eenjoy naman kayo basta right expectation lang. Super happy kami sa Sohoton so make sure you go there. Enjoy the nature and super hindi exploited kaya ok na ok. Try ninyong mangontrata na ng bangkero na susundo sa inyo sa Resort to bring you to Sohoton area. If ako willing ako to go back there if walang ibang matitirhan kasi nung pumunta kami ng eggs pa mga jelly fish so bawal mag swim para di sila ma disturb. If you go June daw daming jelly fish na stingless and sa Pinas yan lang alam kong meron, other than that sa Palau na. Go na kayo nabili na din eh. Have you check airfare? Mahal din.

        Kwento if you did go!

  • The Deal Duo says:

    Hello. Pretty helpful review. Will definitely do some psyching up. Friends and I booked a trip for November. Was hoping to get your van and boat contacts if you still have them. Thanks.

    • BenzRana says:

      Oh I dont have the numbers, we just winged it. We asked whoever were in the port to take us and haggled the price then as we arrived at the resort he asked if we wanted to go to Sohoton the next day and we haggled for the price again. Good thing we did. The resort doesnt allow it but we told the resort we didnt know and we paid na. Ayun the same boat brought us to Sohoton then also fetched us for our return trip to the airport.

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