Dubbed as the “Gateway to Mindanao” owing to it’s strategic geographical location on the Philippines’ second biggest island, Surigao City is also recognized as the transit point to Siargao, a place where many surfing aficionados, some even coming from different parts of the globe, frequent due to its world-class waves.
It was the 16th of May when we finally arrived at Surigao after a wonderful family expedition to Plantation Bay in Cebu. It took an overnight boat trip for the family on a Superferry vessel (again) to reach the Surigao City Port at about 6:30am. After a two-year absence, it felt good to come back to the place I now call home.
We had a lot of fun during the 3-week stay there from May 16 to June 7. Here are some of the episodes worth mentioning:
My Wife’s Birthday Beach Party One of the highlights of our stay in Surigao was my wife’s birthday, the 25th of May. We celebrated this occasion a day later by going to this beach resort in a far-flung sitio called Oslao, some 15-20 kilometers outside the city limits. I really enjoyed the drive as we rode through a traffic-less, twisting, two-lane road with wide-open ricefields on one side, and a high, mountainous area on the other. It was a sight to behold! The Mabua Pebble Beach, one of the most recognized beaches in Surigao which was the staple resort for the family in the past, can be seen along the route as we made our way to Oslao.
When the convoy finally arrived at the place, we all got our things settled in a rented cottage and put all the food on the table. What a mouth-watering spectacle it was! Full lechon de leche, kinilaw na fresh tanigue, pansit canton, fried chicken, assorted fruits, etc. After the feast got underway and the kids had their fill, they couldn’t be held back anymore from going to the crystal-clear waters. They swam to their hearts’ delight, with the adults keeping a watchful eye. We stayed there until before dusk.
Boys’ Night Out I’ve been asking my cousins (in-laws) if they know bars or clubs in the city with bands performing live rock music and we agreed that we’ll go out sometime. It was a Thursday night when we first went to Camp G, a night club on the Boulevard area near the Pier. The band was playing Joe Satriani stuff and I was hooked immediately. The band also played a mixture of pop and rock songs until their set was through. Another band played a reggae set to the enjoyment of the crowd who began filling up the dance floor. Not long after, somebody who apparently had too much to drink began making trouble in the bar, prompting the bouncers kick the dude out.
Our group decided that it was enough. We went to a open-air place beside the seawall where they served beer. We got to a table and consumed some more liquor while chatting away amidst the cool sea breeze. After a while, we agreed that it would be a good idea to belt out a few tunes so off we went to Frank Lloyd Jazz Bar. We stayed there until closing time. First time I ever closed a bar down. Ha ha. All the adventure made us very hungry, which compelled us to look for the nearest Goodah for some good ol’ tapsilog. We got home early… early morning at 5am, that is!
Restaurant Binges We love to eat out, even though I know it’s a pain in the pocket. Restaurants in Surigao that earned my trust in the tastiness department get the pleasure of receiving hard-earned money from me for their food and most importantly, my loyalty. My all-time favorites include:
1. Carmen’s BBQ near Surigao Port – Try their delicious chicken barbeque and liver!
2. Rotonda Fastfood near City Hall – We always get our bola-bola siopaos and cassava cakes from here!
3. Bulalohan at the back of City Hall – I forgot the name but we whenever we want tasty bulalo, this is the place we always go to!
4. Dale’s Restaurant – A new discovery for us, we ordered different cuisine from Dale’s and turned into believers. Pansit, crispy pata, lechon kawali, fish fillet., etc. Delicious indeed!
We left for Manila two days before our scheduled June 9 flight back to Saudi Arabia. It was time for our goodbyes as our month-long vacation was nearing its end. While on our Emirates flight back to Riyadh, I had a flashback of all the things that our family experience and felt really good about it.
We’re all looking forward to embark in another eventful vacation next year!