Cantilan. Have you heard about that town already? I bet not yet unless you are from Surigao del Sur. Cantilan is not really part of my itinerary, I just planned a quick lunch there and continue going southwards until I arrive at Agusan del Sur to see the giant crocodile “Lolong.” But Cantilan is just too beautiful to leave, too charming not to explore.
I was in love with the place. The locals are so warm and friendly. I became friends with Cathe and she welcomed me into their house. I was able to enjoy Cantilan and the surrounding islands which to me are secret jewels of this little town.
This town faces the Pacific Ocean and offers so much to an explorer. Although this was once the cradle town of Surigao it doesn’t have big businesses, high-rise buildings or malls like that of Dubai or Kuwait. Truth be told, some of its locals are already working in the Middle East, Europe and America; they find some cheap flights to Dubai or Riyadh for work. Good thing that most are still happy with the simple life- of farming rice and casting the nets for every day for sustenance. They are contented with rural living and just speak well of their families and friends who are working in Manila or Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Anyway, here’s some photos and snippets of my journey in Cantilan.
What do you like? Gray sand? Brown sand? White sand? Cantilan has those. What I love here is that they have clean beaches. The closest is just 10minutes away from the town proper which can be visited by renting a tricycle or a motorbike. I was fortunate enough to be lent a motorbike by my host Cathe.
Twice I just went beside Cantilan beach and hung my hammock to enjoy the sea breeze. I also visited the Cabito-Onan rock formations which is situated about 10 kilometers north of the town.
The Consuelo Wooden Bridge
There is this one-way wooden bridge where you can just sit and breath. It is so peaceful- the mangroves the river, the sea and some birds flying. It was just amazing I went there twice. Plus I found out that near it is a surf spot where only a few plays. Hmmmm…. Now I’m stoked again!
Fresh seafoods are my weakness. The first food that was served was kinilaw (or ceviche), followed by adobong ranga-ranga for dinner. Ohhh and the buko juice? That’s the sweetest I ever tasted in my entire life, they actually have a local adjective for it- “tam-isest” (from the Filipino word tamis or sweet adding -est to make it superlative.)
The Amazing Ayoke Island
I wrote this months ago about Ayoke Island, “amazing is an understatement to describe this island I thought can only be seen on paintings or dream. If I would compared Ayoke Island to a lady, she would be the most beautiful of all, stunning, sexy and offers a different kind of charm, the kind that you would like to spend your whole life with. But then, it is only an island.”
As I said, this is a cradle town in Surigao del Sur, an important center of trading and religious activity during the 18th and 19th century. This is the mother town of the area known today as Carcanmadcarlan or Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. As a mother town, it boasts of big heritage houses which I believe needs to be restored by the local government with the help of National Historic Institute.
Here are some of the heritage houses I saw:
Charming right? I actually can’t wait to visit back. When I was there last March, I actually extended what supposed to be a quick lunch to become a 3 nights. I was really happy to explore and stay in this town, I and my sissy Cathe even made a new saying, “LIFE IS CANTILAN BEACH.”
Lastly, what I love about this place is that the Mayor is against mining operations in their mountains. The complete opposite of what the rest of the surrounding towns are doing.
Yes, I was charmed by this beautiful town called Cantilan.
Where is Cantilan, Surigao del Sur in the Philippines?
___ ___ ___
I visited Cantilan, Surigao del Sur during Days 51 to 54 of ISANGDAAN Journey. Thanks to my CS friend Harry Kwanda for referring me to Cathe Duero who is a superb host and became a close friend and now my sissy. I’ll see you soon sis! Please prepare the surfboard! hahaha
#ISANGDAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days.
If you want to follow my steps, I have an interactive map- ISANGDAAN Journey map.