I have always wanted and dreamed of going to Mindanao ever since I realized my fondness of traveling. Last January 12, my dream came into reality when our company sent me there (Butuan City), alone, to supervise a certain project. Yep. ALONE. I’ve always been traveling alone but just within Luzon part since I know it too well. But Mindanao? I didn’t think about that. I never thought about doing that. But I had no choice so I searched about the place and the nearby attractions. My work is just in Butuan but I found out that Surigao is just few hours away so I considered going to the place since I’ve heard a lot about it.
I arrived in Butuan airport at 9 in the morning. Manila to Butuan City is an hour and 20 minutes flight. Upon arrival, I had no idea how would I get to the hotel my officemate was referring especially that I didn’t make any reservation. I just walked outside the airport and ask from the locals there.
Transportation from the Airport
“Dottie’s place” is the name of the hotel. Since Butuan is just a small city, the man I ask about it immediately responded to my question about the hotel. He told me to take the jeepney for a lesser charge because it costs P300.00 if I take the taxi (which is just a private-owned car). I chose to ride the taxi because I have no idea how to commute there yet.
Basic Jeepney Route Guide
As I’ve said earlier, Butuan is just a small place and its not that hard to commute. You just need to ask the locals because they’re that approaching.
Since my hotel is located just within the highway which was a major road, it was not that hard for me to commute to the nearby malls and attractions. (Note: Dotties is just few walks aways from Robinsons Butuan)
For their prices and contact details:
I recommend it!
Here’s a basic guide of the jeepney’s signage that you’ll be riding coming from Robinsons Butuan
Gaisano- “R10” Fare: P8.00 (Robinsons Side)
Brgy Baan (Wilcon Butuan, East wood Subdivision)- “R10” Fare: P8.00 (Robinsons Side)
Butuan National Museum and City Hall- “R7” Fare: P10.00 (Robinsons Side)
Balanghay Museum- “R2” Fare: P8.00 + P20.00 for tricycle to Museum. Stop in front of Santo Nino Church (Across Robinsons)
Butuan Market-“R7” Fare: P10.00 (Robinsons Side)
Butuan Bus/Van Terminal- “R4” Fare: P8.00 (Robinsons Side)
Butuan Airport- “R2” Fare: P15.00(Across Robinsons)
Magellan’s Cross and Bridge- “R2” Fare: P8.00 + P20.00 for tricycle to Museum. Stop in front of Santo Nino Church (Across Robinsons)
Sto. Nino Church- “R2” Fare: P8.00(Across Robinsons)
Butuan Plaza- “R10” Fare: P8.00 (Robinsons Side)
Note: Going to Airport in Tricycle Special is P200. Going to Bus Terminal is P40.00
I finished all the work related stuff in my first day because I scheduled my whole second day in my Surigao trip.
I left the hotel at 5 in the morning because I’ve read in a certain blog that buses and vans going to surigao leaves as early as 4:30am but that my friend is definitely false. For the buses, they would arrive at 5:30 in the morning and just stays there for 30minutes and then leaves at 6am even if they got just a few passengers because they’re following a schedule. and it goes on until 10 in the evening. However, the vans leave whenever the passengers would agree to divide the full payment for the van equally to the certain place they will be going. Here’s the price list.
Butuan to Surigao
Since the people there at the terminal advised me to take the bus instead because van drivers drives recklessly, I followed them. Which was a mistake. All buses from Butuan to Surigao are non airconditioned, if you want to go with aircon, go with the van.
Butuan Terminal to Mangagon, Bislig (Tinuy-an Falls) Van– 4hrs- Fare depends
Butuan Terminal to Mangagon, Bislig (Tinuy-an Falls) Bus– 6hrs- P252.00
6 hours because it has so many stopovers unlike the van.
Arrival at Bislig
My bus conductor was apparently flirting with me and stuff that I think he purposely didn’t tell me that we’re already past Bislig Terminal because he wanted to spend more time talking to me. As soon as I found out, I asked the driver to drop me in a gasoline station.
Though Bislig Terminal was not that far from where they dropped me, I just decided to made friends with the local and inquire about the alternative routes going to Tinuy-an Falls. Regularly, in Mangagoy Bislig Terminal, there are habal habal drivers waiting and you would pay them P200 one way going to Tinuy-an falls. But in my case, a sari-sari store vendor offered me to have his husband as my driver instead because I am alone and its hard to risk my life with some random habal-habal driver. I agreed immediately because they were kind to me. I paid him 1200 to drive me from there to Tinuy-an Falls to Enchanted River and Back to Hinatuan Highway where I can catch a van going back to Butuan.
P1200.00 is really reasonable enough because Tinuy-an Falls is very far from Enchanted River plus his service and my security.
First stop: Tinuy-an Falls
Tinuy-an falls is locally known to be the Niagra of the Philippines. From Manganoy Bislig Teriminal is a 1 hour habal-habal ride.
Advice: If you don’t know how to properly ride a habal-habal, don’t go there with it. Rent a car. The roads are really dangerous and the slopes are epic.
There is a P50.00 registration fee at Tinuy-an falls which really is beyond worthy. The place was just epic.
Second stop: Enchanted River
From Tinuy-an falls, it took us approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours of habal-habal ride. Imagine the butt pain
Buttt…. The place was really enchanting. On normal days, the place is really packed because of its blue and deep waters. Apparently, when I went there, the Department of Tourism was shooting in the place for our new tourism ad so they closed it down for a week. No one was allowed to enter except for those persistent tourists like me. I talked to the director and told him my story about getting to the place. He gave me 10minutes and ask the cameraman to capture my photos. Really epic. Its just that I didn’t get a chance to swim in it 😦
I don’t know about the entrance fee because I wasn’t charged anyway.
Hinatuy-an (enchanted river) back to Butuan
About 15minutes ride from enchanted river is the highway where vans and buses going to butuan pass by. I was dropped off there and rode a van just a few secs. The driver charged me P170 back to Butuan Terminal.
I reached butuan at 7 in the evening.
Butuan City- Tour
12nn is the checkout time in my hotel. I left at 11 and went to Robinsons to check in my baggage at their supermarket.
Base the routes and fares in the following places in the day 1 entry.
1st stop: I Love Butuan at Plaza
2nd stop: Butuan National Musem
3rd stop: Balanghay Museum
4th stop: Magellan’s cross
5th stop: Santo Nino Church
6th stop: Robinsons Butuan
Last stop: Airport
Disclaimer: I don’t proofread cos I write spontaneously hence you might encounter some typographical and grammatical errors. My apologies 🙂