Monday, February 3, 2014

In the Beginning: Cagwait White Beach, Surigao del Sur

It all began with scoring a cheap ticket (like how most of my trips begin) to Butuan ten months before the travel date. One way. Morning flight to Butuan from Cebu and I can be in Enchanted River, a place whose blueness I have been drooling over hopping from one to blog to another, in Hinatuan by lunch.

Or not.

Sometime between purchasing the ticket and the actual date of travel, the airline changed their flight schedule (like they annoyingly often do). From five in the morning, it was now at two in the afternoon. A nine–hour difference from the original schedule. This means I can either get a refund or have it rerouted. (Did you know that if Cebu Pacific changes the schedule with more than an hour difference, you can do this—refund or reroute without any fees—even if it's a promo ticket?)

Round hard head that I have, I had the ticket rerouted to Surigao (Surigao del Norte) even if everyone I had asked recommended going via Butuan when going to the southern part of Surigao del Sur. Even my friend from Surigao del Sur. Why? Because the road from Surigao del Norte to Surigao del Sur is in pretty bad shape.

True. For all their good intentions, my friend, the tourism officer, and everybody else who gave advice, I still took that discouraged route. Brave? Practical? Or plain stupid?

On good days, practical. It's not so bad. Just red and dusty unpaved mining–town roads, especially around Carrascal, about 100 km from Surigao City. On rainy days, practically stupid. This route has to be avoided. Landslides are sure to happen. On any day, whether dry or rainy, stupid reckless drivers need not navigate this road. Many have gone over cliffs, so the locals say.

Long story short, Hinatuan out of the picture for day one. Cagwait, in. This way we would not have to go back and forth (Hinatuan is still about 100 km farther). Cagwait keeps a little C–shaped secret and this is stop number one. Cagwait White Beach.

It was a long way to Cagwait White Beach from Surigao City:
Surigao Airport to Surigao Bus and Jeepney Terminal, on foot, 5 mins
Surigao City to Cantilan, van,  2.5 hrs, Php170
Cantilan to Tandag City, van, 2 hrs, Php150
Tandag City to Cagwait, jeepney, 1 hr 20 mins, Php35
Cagwait to Cagwait White Beach, habalhabal (motorcycle), 5 mins, Php10

♦ There are vans going straight to Tandag City from Surigao City, take that if you chance upon one.
♦ From Tandag City to Cagwait, take the bus, not the jeepney. It will be faster.

Cagwait White Beach was deserted when we got there. The water was calm and clean. The sand not white but fine.

There are a few resorts along the shore. We checked only about four places and decided to dump our bags at Spacebar Beach Resort [0920 343 9000]. It's the only place with a pool (how ever weirdly constructed their pool looked). And a slide. Not that any of those matter to me. After six hours and five modes of transportation, nothing mattered but a place to dump my things in. And to jump in the sea.

Spacebar Beach Resort
Clockwise from top left: Double room (Php850); Dining area; Slide; Pool

The rooms in Spacebar Beach Resort range from Php690 (single) to Php3500 (for a room of up to five persons). Use of their weirdly put together pool would entail Php100 per head for adults and Php80 for kids. To use the slide would also mean to pay some amount.

There are no carenderias around Cagwait, so that left us with two choices: the resort restaurant (expensive fresh seafood) and the sari-sari store next door (noodles, canned goods, junk food). We decided to splurge a bit for lunch the next day and had crabs at the resort's restaurant. Expensive (we had to shell out Php365 each) but the food was fresh and delicious. Finger lickin' good crabs.

Would I go back to Cagwait White Beach? Yes. I like peaceful deserted beaches. (But it's probably not as deserted during weekends.) Next time I would probably stay at least two nights. To make up for the loooonnggg travel.

Would I stay at Spacebar Beach Resort again? Yes, because the owner, Joedic Pacheco, was friendly and kind to us. But if I were with a bunch of friends and budget for accommodation was limited, I'd stay at the municipality–owned Cagwait White Beach Resort [0949 848 6178]. They have rooms for as low as Php 700 (aircon) for 3 persons, Php750 (non aircon) for 10 persons, and Php 1700 (aircon) for 10 persons.

Would I eat at Spacebar's restaurant again? Yes, for the crabs cooked by Mr. Pacheco! That's if I remember to increase my budget for food. If not, it's drool and suffer for me.

Butt-Rosying Route:
A Beauty T(r)ip
In the Beginning: Cagwait White Beach, Surigao del Sur (you're here!)
The Quickest Island Hopping Ever
Hinatuan's Enchanted River
Bislig's Marvelous Waterfall
Cateel Just for Aliwagwag Falls
Pit Stop: Aveflor Inn and Museo Dabawenyo
Suggested by a Davaoeña: Marina Tuna
Sunset Beach Park and Monfort Bat Colony in Samal Island
Butt–rosying Route Equals...


  1. This post makes me wanna pack my bag and go to the beach this weekend! Good thing I have a climb schedule. Next weekend maybe. Great post mustachio!

    1. Thanks wanderfullgirl! Have fun with the climb!

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thank you for visiting the blog, Ellame!

  3. Napagod ako while reading the modes of transportation :( I wish there was an easier way to visit this place :(

    1. At the time I went, the closest airport for me was either Butuan or Surigao City...But now you can now fly in to Tandag, and it will just be a short bus and motorcycle ride to Cagwait White Beach :)

  4. Hi, any advice how to go to Butuan from Cagwait beach? Thank you

    1. any advice on how*

    2. There are buses from Tandag to Butuan, which, I am quite sure, pass by Cagwait.

  5. wow! Gotta go there this christmas Vacation! Thanks :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Mary. Enjoy your holidays :) Merry Christmas!

  6. Such a lovely beach and that resort it nice, too. Thanks for sharing your trip sir.

    1. Hi Lester. Thanks for dropping by. Happy travels!

    2. Well me too I expected to follow you by spending there my vacations.But as i asked their rates untill now i didn't had any reply. How much did you pay for your room.? Im interested for a room good for two with air con. Thanks please reply me here :


    1. I don't know. Please contact the resort through the number posted above (hopefully they haven't changed their contact number).