Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mabua Beach Surigao del Norte (Vis-Min Tour)

The next series of travelogues that  I will be sharing with you consist of three weeks worth of vacation,  touring parts of Visayas and 
Mindanao two summers ago.  This was the time when both of us were able to scrimp the P40,000 we saved up for this adventure and learned the art of backpacking by experience. I’ve already posted the first, second, and third legs of our trip (Cebu ,Dumaguete, and Bohol). Now, let’s check out Surigao Part I. Come, join us on our journey and explore the beauty of our country. Maybe next time, we can do a backpack tour of Asia and Europe as well. *crossing our fingers now*
We met up with my Dad while waiting for our boat ride.
So from Alona, we took the same tricycle that brought us to Danao on our first day in Bohol and was then taking us back to the pier where we boarded the Supercat going to Cebu to first meet with my parents before boarding Superferry that will bring us to Surigao. Upon arrival, we were met by my uncle who brought us to the rest house my Lola Acion (who came all the way from London) built for her family. Obviously, she’s (and my aunts from UK) the one with the money in the family. We stayed with them for five days and boy… what a little (mis)adventure we had!
 I was feeling a bit excited when we first arrived on the land of my forefathers…
Could I pass for a haciendera or just a simple farm girl? What do you think???
Before I move on, let me tell you a thing or two about this land we have. It’s 26 hectares and it’s covered by a mother title — a title we couldn’t just divide unless we go through several court proceedings which will entail tons of money (which we don’t have, naturally). So, our grandparents had this deal that whoever has money to put up a rest house can choose to do so anywhere in this 26 hectares of plains, mountains and beaches. My Lola Acion,  being the one living in London and my aunts and uncles earning the pounds, they were the first ones to build a rest house there. The rest of our other relatiItives already live in the area in their small simple bungalows. It’s just those from Manila and outside the country who need to mark their territory lest we all want to suffer legal battles when our grandparents die. So there. I know, I know. It’s quite complicated and I sometimes get a headache thinking about it. If I were to decide, I really don’t want to have anything to do with it. I’m a simple girl who just wants to be happy and stress-free. Life is short and I don’t want to waste it on conflict resolutions, legal or otherwise. Sigh.
So,  all these are mine?  
Feeling pretty lucky now, huh? 
 Anyway, moving on, we intended to stay there for only a night or two, after which we’d head to Siargao for some major surfing sights. That was the plan. So it was okay that Peter & I slept on a thin mattress placed on the floor since there were many relatives present at that time and rooms weren’t enough to accommodate us all. If you’d think about it, the nicely built rest house made of kawayan would seem very comfortable. On the contrary, when dusk approached, windows would be closed to prevent the insects of all sorts from coming in (mosquitoes, salagubang, salaguinto, fireflies, spiders, even snakes, etc.). However, since the whole house was made of kawayan, other little insects would creep out of nowhere like aphids & the likes! So during our stay there, Peter and I got a lot of bumpy, red, little rashes all over our body (or maybe I was just too stressed). It was gruesome! And there weren’t enough electric fans to shield us from the heat. To think we were in the middle of a bukid and on top of a hill, it was supposed to be presko but hell no! Since the windows were made of screens and glass, once closed, it’s like sauna bath inside. Gosh! I couldn’t wait to go to Siargao!

Left: My Mom and Lola Pacit; Right: Peter and Lola Acion cooling off at the balcony 

Think positive Jen! I can try to enjoy this…
Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be with relatives I haven’t seen in such a long time. It’s just that… it made me feel physically uncomfortable  that we really didn’t enjoy our stay inside the rest house. Good thing they planned some beach getaways for us.

Quite a magnificent sight if you ask me… I’ve never seen anything like it in the rest of our travels.
 See how clear the water is? Even my mom and dad, who both have poor eyesights, can snorkel with no problem at all.

In the afternoon, after we got our stuff settled, we went to Mabua Beach. It’s a public property and it was the first time a saw a beach with BIG WHITE OBLONG-SHAPED PEBBLES & NO SAND! It sort of reminded me of Anilao Beach in Batangas only the pebbles there were small. Anyway, the huge rocks looked beautiful… but it gave us such a hard time walking on it. There were huts nearby where people can put their stuff and rest. Peter and I immediately headed to the waters. What’s weird about it was that when these white rocks get wet, they turn grey. But the water was crystal clear so it was easy to see what’s underneath.. and guess what? Just a few meters from the beach were tons of sea urchins! Eeeewwww! Peter got playful that he carried one big pebble and swam on top of one sea urchin then dropped it onto the poor unsespecting creature. Of course it crushed the poor big thing. And what do you know? Of course, as soon as it was crushed, its long thorns started floating upwards, much to Peter’s surprise. Hahaha! So he swam fast towards the shore for fear of getting hit by one or its deadly thorns. Hahaha!

 Sunset was perfect at Mabua Beach.
Then it was time to go. We were supposed to go buy some ferry tickets for Siargao before going back to the rest house but Peter wasn’t feeling well by then. He got a  tummy ache and I thought that was just it. But we got so worried when it continued until the next day. He was losing bowel several times and vomiting as well. My Lola called for a magtatawas  ( a local term for someone who knows how to cure unexplained illness using herbs and smoke) thinking that he must have been played with by trolls, fairies, dwarves, elves, and other supernatural creatures. Peter got better for afew minutes then it just got worst afterwards! I was so worried! We all were! The magtatawas said that he should offer something for friendship because apparently a certain dwarf,  living in one of the mango trees, liked him a lot. So just to be sure, Peter went to the mango tree and offered a prayer of some sort. Then we had no choice but to bring him to a nearby provincial hospital. He was confined and tested much to my dismay. I felt a mixture of negative feelings. First was, how could he get sick if we were eating the same kind of food the whole time?! (I remember ordering some local suman-like delicacy near Mabua Beach and his food was probably contaminated or something. Or maybe one of the sea urchin’s thorns pricked him or this was probably karma for even playing with such sea creatures in the first place. ) Second was the fact that we will be missing our ferry to Siargao and third was the fact that we would be stuck at the rest house the whole time (meaning 5 whole days! Ugh!). Ok Jen, calm down… this too shall pass.
Anyway, my wifey duties were really challenged around this time. For one, Peter was tied to his dextrose and I had to accompany him to the bathroom every time he needed to take a poop (which was frequent). Then I had to clean him up afterwards. I thought I won’t be able to handle it but I guess I did good. It bonded us even more and it really proved that in sickness and in health, we are together. He stayed there for one whole day. It worried me that our vacation funds were dwindling and the hospital expenses weren’t part of the plan. Since he was feeling much better the next day, I was able to convince the doctor that we needed to catch an early flight to Cagayan de Oro (a little white lie) so he would let us go home. Otherwise, our funds would be depleted with every drop of medicine they stick to Peter’s veins. Not to worry coz he was already well then. I think the hospital was just trying to bleed us dry since there were only few patients in that hospital at that time (Hello? Did I mention that Surigao was so uncivilized you’d think you were living back in 19th century?! Sorry again for this exaggeration.).  And so, we went home, glad that Peter was finally okay. According to the doctor’s findings, he contracted traveler’s diarrhea and what he needed to do was to rest and watch out the food he eats. And that’s what we did.
See all my posts about this trip here:  Vis-Min Tour  

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