Part of the big Caraga region, Surigao del Sur is the 56th independent Philippine Province. Its capital town, Tandag, is also the seat of the provincial government. A rustic province with most of the national road still unpaved, a trip through Surigao del Sur offers you a spectacular view of the coastline with waves crashing mildly to wildly against the shore, the green to gold hues of rice paddies and the imposing and majestic mountains of the province. Surigao del Sur has one of the remaining largest forest covers in the country.
The municipalities in the area are clustered in three based on their proximity and accessibility to each other, namely Bibahilita, Macasaltabayani, and Canmadcarlancortan. Our road trip took us to the Canmadcarlancortan cluster.
There are two things to enjoy in these areas -- seafood and surfing. Fish are always fresh when you buy from the market. Everyday fisherman would bring in their haul in the morning and in the afternoon. All you need is a grill and some salt for fine feast of roasted fish. Some soy sauce and tomatoes to go with it wouldn’t be bad either. Crustaceans are often costly in most urban areas of the Philippines, but it is relatively cheap here. It is best to get the female crabs for a meaty feast. Steam or curried… it’s definitely heaven to a seafood lover like me.
Then there is the surfing. With the vast coastlines and the waves coming from the Pacific Ocean, there are annual international surfing competitions. Top surfers from Australia and the US would come to the waters of Surigao del Sur, particularly that of Lanuza. The best time of the year for surfing would be from October to November when waves reportedly reach up to two stories high. How cool is that!
For those who are still unsure of surfing, letting yourself ride the waves is a fun enough activity. Smaller waves could carry you along a few feet. You may emerge with a lot of sand on the bottom of your suit, but hey, as long as you fun with your friends!