Traveling, for me, is the best way to find one’s self; and the best part is, I am able to discover this marvelous archipelago so-called the Philippines. My creator is fully aware that, at the right time, I am going to be a travel junkie thus decided to give me life in this wonderful paradise on earth.
Let me tell you on how I started to write about my journey. Way back 2012, me and my girlfriend were very stressed out with our job here in Cebu, so we were thinking of having a quick escape from the reality of our daily routine. I was thinking of visiting my grandma in the province so I checked the best Cebu To Butuan flight deals on the net. We decided to book with Cebu Pacific a trip bound for Butuan City; good thing there were still seats on sale at that time. We actually haven’t though of anything special for that trip. At first, we were just planning on visiting my family and relatives in Butuan and just take some time off from work. But as the date of our itinerary came closer, I tried to make a research on some places that I had been longing to visit; Enchanted River in Hinatuan and Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, both in Surigao del Sur province. When I saw the images on the net, it just hit hard on me and at that very moment I told myself “I should go there. I deserve to visit that place.” I suddenly became excited and told my girlfriend about my plan of visiting the place. She was also stunned with the image of enchanted river. She even told me “Is that photoshopped? Why is it so blue?” Even I myself would want to see the real thing for I believe in the old saying, “to see is to believe.”
After few more days, the next thing I know is that we are about to have the big break that we have been waiting for – Butuan, here we come! wooohoooo! Out of our excitement, we went straight to Mactan Airport around 5 a.m. and our flight was still around 7 a.m. Well, we better be sure than sorry. Around 8:00 in the morning, we set foot in Butuan City. Ahhhhh, that freshness. I was able to smell the cool breeze and the warm welcome of mother nature – I saw the leaves of the trees waving and saying “hello” to me.
Upon arriving in Butuan, we took some time visiting few places like the Diosdado Macapagal Suspension Bridge and Provincial Capitol. I also knew that Butuan City is also known as an ancient settlement and locals told me that they already had trading partners long before the Spaniards came to our country. Their historical claims were supported by the existence of “Balangay” (Old Tribal Boat); the remains of these Balangays are still actually found in Butuan City Museum.
The day after we arrived in Butuan, we went off early for our 3-hour road travel going east, Surigao del Sur. Good thing we had my brother and cousins with us as companions. The road condition was fine, except for the ones going inland; it was about 70% bumpy. Our first stop was Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. The travel might be a bit inconvenient, but it was all worth it when you get to see the majestic Tinuy-an Falls. They dubbed it as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines; maybe because they are likely similar. Even you are about 100 meters from the falls, you can still feel its energy and the cool breeze brought by impact of the water.
Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig, Surigao del Sur
After Tinuy-an Falls, we went to our next destination which is the Blue Waters of Enchanted River. I was already excited to see the real thing. We traveled about 1 hour from Tinuy-an Falls to Enchanted River. When I already saw a glimpse of the so-called river, I was ready to jump off and rush to the water, but of course, I did not do that. When we arrived, me and my girlfriend just walked slowly and voila, we were very happy and amazed with what we saw. The water was indeed very blue. I did not bother to ask the local on why the water was blue. All I was thinking at that very moment is “I got to test the water already, it is so tempting.” Just about a few seconds after that, I am already in the water. I then thanked God that he gave me the opportunity to experience such adventure.
Enchanted River of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
I then realized that that was the reality of life – not my daily routine of work-home cycle but finding myself through traveling. Me and my girlfriend then decided to travel once or twice a month just to shake off some stress in our system. We check on Airline Seat Sale every now and then. Traveling is also a good motivation to perform harder at work. The best part is, it changes your perspective in life thus making your life’s journey worthwhile. And as a couple, it would really help a lot in strengthening your relationship since you will be able to discover new places, new things, and even something new about your partner – there will be unlimited growth in your relationship.
So what are you waiting for? Get your sneakers and hit the road!