04 June 2014

Barobo Backpack Adventure

The only place I have been this summer was Barobo. Barobo is a municipality in Surigao del Sur. It is civilized, but not as developed as my hometown Butuan City. As a matter of fact, it's still far from being a city. Despite that, Barobo holds a hidden treasure that would surely make anyone love it.

We rode a non-air conditioned bus from Butuan going to Tandag. We passed by municipalities of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Sur. The bus we rode was old, but its machine seemed good. there were many passengers so we were forced to sit at the back. The impact of the bus' movements were greatly felt from the back; I could not sleep because I was jumping on my seat once in a while. Despite that, I still enjoyed the bus ride because of the view of the mountains, the trees and the small towns we passed by. My visual was appropriately accompanied by Up Dharma Down songs form my 3rd generation Ipod. It was a
good experience.

We left Butuan at 12:30 noon and arrived at Barobo by 3:30pm. We did not know anyone from Barobo, we
had no tour guide, and no sufficient information from the internet was available about navigating in Barobo. We rode a tricycle from the Bus Terminal to Licanto Family Beach Resort. We checked in and rested for a while.

We were hungry and weak, and we got really really disappointed when the people from Licanto told us that they would not be serving for dinner. They said that they catered for an event that afternoon and that they were already tired. They could not even suggest a good place for us to eat. What's worse is that they do not have any boat or boat-owners to that they could recommend for us. Although they told us where we could find boats, we had to go there ourselves.

We rode a tricycle from Licanto Family Beach Resort to the old market. We were dropped off of what seemed like a small market. We passed by an alley and we were welcomed by fishermen unloading freshly-caught fishes from their boats on the small river.
We asked a group of old ladies but they could not suggest anyone. They said that they were Seventh Day Adventists and that their boats were not available during Saturdays. We asked a group of adult men  but they told us that they would be "busy tomorrow." We almost felt hopeless. Due to our thirst, we came to a Sari-sari store with a small Karinderya. We bought Coke and asked the lady if she happened to know anyone who lets their boat be rented for island touring. She immediately said that they have a boat and we could use it since it was newly renovated. She was heaven-sent! We made a deal with her and her husband regarding the payment and the time.

After we secured our island trip for the next day, we proceeded in finding food to eat. Unfortunately there was no "good" place to eat. Everything we saw were Karinderya's. We saw two roasted chicken stores, we decided on the Uling Roasters since we have Sr. San Pedro Chicken in Butuan City. We also bought cooked rice and fresh ripe mango nearby and headed back to Licanto Beach Resort. The chicken was uncooked inside! There were still blood and you could not barely look at it. We only ate the outside part and threw away the inside meat. Such a waste!

Our room in Licanto was small. The comfort room had a strong antiseptic smell which I could not bare so I had to breathe through my mouth while inside. I slept well, though. Maybe it was due to the tiresome day I had. Despite all the troubles we went through that day, I did't complain because I had a sense of adventure with all of it.

We woke up 5 in the morning, prepared to be wet, had coffee and sandwich, and rode a tricycle going to the old market. At 6 am, we were already riding a boat for our island tour. When we arrived at the ocean, I saw other boats and fishermen fishing. I remembered it was the National Fisherfolks Day. Seeing them do their job made me appreciate them for the way they live and for doing what they do.

The Cabgan Group of Islands tour was short but worth it! Our first stop was at the Snake Island, then next was the Turtle Island, and followed by the other islands which we didn't care anymore what names they were because we were so busy appreciating the water, and island, and the beauty of nature.

The Snake Island was the only island we could step down on, and no it is not called Snake Island because it has a lot of snakes in it, but because it looks like a snake from far. The Turtle Island really does look like a turtle from far and near. We encircled it and it even shows the face of a turtle. It was truly amazing! After the island tour, we went back to Snake Island and swam. The sun was getting hot so we decided to end our tour at 8am. The whole experience was just so ecstatic!

Returning to the old market, we were amazed by the fresh fishes to we decided to buy 4 big Yellow Fin fishes, put it on an icebox with ice, and brought it home to Butuan City.

We went back to Licanto to enjoy the pool but we didn't enjoy the pool. It was dirty. That's all I could say. We then washed and prepared for check out. We had lunch before we went home. Their food was good, though! The kinilaw was just so fresh!

At 11am, we were already outside Licanto, at the highway, waiting for a bus from Tandag to Butuan. It took 20 minutes before a bus passed by. We arived at Butuan at about 2:30pm.

It was a short vacation, mostly failures, but I did not regret any of it. All the miseries we experienced the day before were all erased by the experience we had during the Cabgan Group of Island tour. It was the firs time I went to a place that I am a stranger, without any knowledge of the place and the how's and what's of the localities, not to mention I went there via public utility bus. It was definitely an adventure get-away, and I love it!

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