Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back to Back Wonders: Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River

What better way to jump start the year than being on the road, and yes, I am traveling back to Mindanao! Seven or six months ago when we originally planned for this trip, the overwhelming feeling of meeting mind-like people excited me, unfortunately only five of us made it to this trip.
As a full time employee, this should be a deduction to my leave credits, thanks to the Papal visit, our travel dates have been declared as a special holiday, woot!
Off we go to another awesome destination via Butuan. At the airport, while waiting for our flight, we saw one intriguing image of a passenger. Guess who? Just take a look at the photo of the guy wearing white clothes at the back ^_*
It was past lunch time when we arrived at Bancasi Airport, our gateway for this adventure. We took a van going to Mangagoy, that will be our jump off going to different destination. It was passed dinner time when we arrived, it’s good that one of our travel mate arrived early, so he was in charged of looking for a place to for the rest of us. – Casa de Babano. When we arrived, tired and exhausted for the butt numbing 6 hour ride, we were so hungry. We just placed our bags and off we go and searched for a place to dine.
I remembered Bj told me never to miss the famous fried chicken in Mangagoy, so we went and look out for a fried chicken meal that night. Luckily, we came across one. One big happy tummy. Early day tomorrow, so we dozed off past 9 in the evening after finalizing the plans tomorrow with our motorcycle (locally known as habal-habal) contacts.

The Majestic Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig

We left Casa de Babano past 7 in the morning and dropped by the nearest eatery to grab something for breakfast. Our first destination is the three-tiered massive waterfall located in Tinuy-an. The road leading to this majestic and jaw dropping creation lacks concrete paving, yet the ride was smooth.  From afar, just hearing the gushing water would already enthrall any person, how much more when you finally get a glimpse of its praiseworthy scenery.
Without even getting near the main waterfall, the multitude of falls seen from below is already a scene to behold. A concrete pathway leads to a wooden bridge where you can have a closer view of the main falls.
Entrance of Tinuy-an Falls
The Main Waterfalls
Considered as the largest waterfall in the country, it is said to measure 95 meters wide and 55 meters tall. Tinuy-an cascades down into four levels, seemingly a curtain of magnificence sent down from the sky. A rainbow resulting from the reflection of sunlight through the mist arches every morning if the weather is fine. We weren’t that fortunate though during that day.
The second tier, on top you will find the third smaller tier
 IMG_0405We stayed in the waterfalls and appreciate the cool misty breeze for almost an hour then we decided to continue to our next destination. Along the way, we passed by this lake that connects to the river you can see in the next photo.  The stillness of the water made me smile.
We went back to the town proper, grabbed our backpacks and headed to Hinatuan River. We were still considering going to Britannia Islands but due to time and budget constraint, we just settled for the Enchanted River instead. Our guides/driver told us that the river might be close for visitors that day because of the recent landslide. We are determined to try our luck though so we proceed.

The Enhanting River of Hinatuan

We drove through the national highway and turned into a junction that leads to the famous river. The ride was no joke, it was more an hour and 30 minutes butt numbing ride as the motorcycle crosses the hilly terrain going up and down towards our destination. Finally, welcome to ENCHANTED RIVER!!!
When we arrived, it’s truly closed for public. The place is under restoration, we were just lucky enough though that the staff permitted us to get inside just to take pictures. A travel mate warned us not to truly set high expectation as the stream is not as delightful as seen in the photos. What we found here is truly the opposite of that statement.  With the lack of tourist scattered and swimming in the river, this showcased the actual glamour of the Hinatuan River.
My first look of the perfectly clear water had me charmed. The stream crosses the distance to the ocean, bearing a shade of gem blue, to turquoise to light green all through its entire stretch.
Enchanted River, as many prefer to call it, is surely one of the cleanest river I have seen by far.  Unlike the sea where waves consistently disturb the view from above, don’t get me wrong has its own beauty, the water here is smoothly flowing providing visibility to the school of fishes swimming below the surface. Without a doubt, marine life forms here have adjusted to the consistent move in saltiness as a consequence of blending in the middle of fresh and saltwater.
Happy Me, it’s bluer than blue :)
We weren’t able to swim here but I guess just being given the opportunity to see it here in such a serene atmosphere is more than enough for me.  We drove back to the main highway and waited for the bus bound to Surigao City. The sky began to weep. It was such a relief completing another long journey across the archipelago, and my body can now finally loosen up as I take the 5-hour bus trip to our next destination.
Visited Province Rank: # 50

Date: January 17, 2015

Map of Surigao del Sur with Bislig City highlighted