By Glen Santillan – It was Thursday afternoon when I left the house to start my long overland trip to Cantilan in Surigao del Sur. I already called the office of Bachelor Express (BEI) in the morning to avoid missing an air-conditioned bus for a convenient journey. The person who answered the phone confirmed that the last trip of air conditioned bus passing through San Francisso in Agusan del Sur was at 6PM (bound for Ormoc). So, I went to NCC Mall to buy some stuff and immediately go to the bus stop before 6PM to avoid missing it. The dispatcher from BEI also confirmed that the bus to Ormoc wass arriving and I should just wait for it. One hour has passed and no A/C bus has arrived and so I asked him again and then he asked a driver of a Mati-bound bus about the Ormoc bus and he was informed that it was long gone. I don’t know how it happened and it was the start of the misadventure.
I had no choice but to take the non-aircon bus. It was holiday so the bus was full that I could not even almost move. I was standing waiting for the bus for one hour and still standing in the bus for another two hours. It was only when we reached in Tagum City that I was able to take a seat. The bus journey was very uncomfortable. It was an almost 6 hours trip and I was not able to take a nap.
I reached San Franz 30 minutes past 12 midnight. The bus to Tandag just left and I had to wait for over an hour since the next trip was at 2AM. It was a three-hour trip and luckily I was able to sleep as the journey was comfortable.
I arrived in Tandag City at around 5AM. The personnel at BEI said that there’s a bus going to Surigao scheduled at 5AM but they are still waiting for the driver (MIA). I waited for 30 minutes but no bus was departing so I took a van to Cantilan instead. It departed around 5:40AM and it was another 1.5 hour trip.
I finally arrived in Cantilan at around 7:30AM. A new friend which I only knew by name that time fetched me at Cantilan Bank. Cathe hosted our trip and she brought me to Cathe Pacific in Baybay to meet my fellow travel bloggers. I was stunned by the serenity of the place and the big waves. It was indeed a surfing paradise.
From Davao City: Take a Bachelor Express bus to Tandag and van or another bus to Cantilan. If you miss the bus to Tandag from Davao, you can take the Butuan/Ormoc/Tagbilaran bound buses and alight in San Francisco/San Franz bus terminal. Take another bus or van to Tandag. From Butuan City: Take a bus from Butuan City to Tandag and van/bus to Cantilan. If you miss the bus to Tandag from Butuan, you can take the Davao bound buses and alight in San Francisco/San Franz bus terminal. Take another bus or van to Tandag. You can also opt to travel to Surigao City then to Cantilan.
From Surigao City: Take a bus going to Tandag and alight in Cantilan bus terminal.
Where to Stay? Cathe Pacific Lodging by the beach is an ideal place to stay in Baybay, Cantilan.
Health and Emergency Issues?
Cantilan has hospitals and clinics should you have health concerns such as Polymedic Hospital, Alvizo Medical Clinic and RH Medical Clinic. There are also a lot of pharmacies in the town proper.
If you are running out of cash, go to Cantilan Bank Inc. located at Orozco St. Magosilom, Cantilan Surigao del Sur.
Where to Eat?
If you have a hungry stomach try eating at Larsian BBQ Haus, Miranda-Miranda’s Grill or at Chanlac Seafood Restaurant (by the river). For some bread for breakfast, you can buy at Cantilan’s Bread Lane, Janice Iriberri’s Bakeshop or at Daboy’s Bakeshop.
If you need some stuff to buy go to ETC, Guazon and Espinola stores.
For souvenir items go to Balwarteeshirt souvenir shop or at Anod signs & surf shop.
Travel Cost from Davao City
Davao – San Francisco (Bachelor non-air) – P265
San Franciso – Tandag (Bachelor non-air) P150
Tandag to Cantilan – (Van) P100
Cantilan own proper to Baybay (tricycle) P15
More photos at www.facebook.com/escapemanila Follow me on twitter : @escapemanila
Special thanks to Cathe Duero for hosting this trip and providing some information regarding the fast facts of Cantilan.
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