travel pinas, philippines, caraga region

Learn to Surf @ Lanuza and my Love for CARAGA Region

So why Lanuza? I was looking for a laid-back surf camp. I understand that I need to get my own wave. My April 2014 surf lesson in La Union left me with a broken nose bridge and bruises. The line up was too overcrowded. I thought to fully understand and learn the waves, I have to get my own space. Weeks of research brought me to Lanuza, Surgao del Sur last November 2014.

How did I get there? I took a single flight from Iloilo – CDO via Cebu Pacific. I am not suggesting to get the same route because the Mindanao trip was not just for the quest to learn the waves. Mindanao is just too diverse to just meddle with the ripcurls.

Cagayan de Oro City – The city has grown so much. I am starting to believe that this is as progressive as Iloilo City. It plays a major trade center for all northern Mindanao Provinces. Also, since it has great universities, students from all over Mindanao goes here.

Missy Bonbon at Limketkai CDO

Must love food at Cagayan de Oro

Must love food at Cagayan de Oro

CDO Food

CDO Food

An overnight in CDO took me a fulfilling dinner at Missy Bonbon. I was there for the Pastel but I went home with a new love – Vegetarian Omelette.

CDO Best Food

Missy bonbon Pastel @ CDO

The Vegetarian Omelette is heaven!

The Vegetarian Omelette is heaven!

I took the night away in a short term 12 hour stay @ D’Morvie Suites. I am sorry, but I have heard a lot of bad stories about this place. Do not turn on the lights inside your room when sleeping. The windows are actually two-way mirrors. I had a feeling about it. A friend confirmed this.

The day after, I took the 7am bus to Butuan City. It took me 5 hours to get there. I have a college friend who moved to Butuan. Sheryl, together with her 3 beautiful children, lives in a Bisaya city without any relative. She gave me a bed to stay for the night. She also brought me to Butuan Museum. Yes, the city might not be able to provide a lot of tourist spot. However, try to read more about the history of this city. It is such a marvel.

FYI: According to the Curator, this Skull shows that the old settlers of Butuan intended to flatten their forhead. The more flat and wide, the better.

FYI: According to the Curator, this Skull shows that the old settlers of Butuan intended to flatten their forhead. The more flat and wide, the better.

DSC_0065Boat Tombs

It was believed that when we die, spirits can posses us by entering our body through our eyes, nose or mouth. Thus, it has to be covered. This is a Golden Mask.

It was believed that when we die, spirits can posses us by entering our body through our eyes, nose or mouth. Thus, it has to be covered. This is a Golden Mask.

9am the next day, I am all set for 6-hour bus ride to Hinatuan. The road was rough. Not much to see along the way. Damn, the long road is worth it.

From Hinatuan town proper, I hired a motorcycle to bring me to the Enchanted River. The road was very dusty so bring something to cover your face.

Yes, the water is this Blue!

Yes, the water is this Blue!

Fun facts:

The fishes are too big and they swim with you in the river.

The fishes are fed @ 12 noon. They are lured to surface by the Surigaonon anthem.

3.   The water is salty.

4.   The water has weird thermocline. One spot hot. Another cold.

5.   The river’s bottom is still unfathomed.

6.   No. you can not have a shower right after. The water in the shower room is still the same salty water from the river.

Sad. I did not get to visit Tinuy-an Falls.

The skies turn dark fast as soon as I got my lunch from Hinatuan town proper. Bus was limited. Infact. There was none for about  30 minutes of waiting. A concerned individual suggested that I get a ride to Mangagoy and from there, I can get a bus to Tandag. The nearest city and drop off point to Lanuza. It was a cold dark trip from Mangagoy to Tandag. Took me 5 hours as well. (I am not sure what is with 5 hours window but most places took that long, hahahah).


Tandag City. The first thought in my head when I got off the bus was , “Where the hell am I?”. I have never heard about Tandag City. I read papers and I used to love History and Geography back in HS and College. As I was moving around the City late at night, I found myself strolling in their Boulevard. It is “fun” lit place to spend few hours. It is over looking the Pacific Ocean, which actually makes great waves. Google told me that this place are Pimentel Clan country.

Lanuza Public Market

Early 7am, I packed my bag and off to Lanuza. It took me 2 hours to get to the Lanuza. Short and sweet. I was dropped at the Public Market. Do not be deceived. The small edifice is the town’s Public Market. I ask a motorcycle driver to bring me to the Surf Camp.

Lanuza Surf Camp

Lanuza Surf Camp

The Surf Camp is run by the Local Government Unit. It is small and cozy and incredibly cheap. They have a small snack bar. No meals are available in there. However, one can buy fresh catch from the market or from the fishermen and have the staff take care of your food. FYI: The town sleeps early. Take your dinner a early as 6pm. 

 bunk beds at Lanuza Surf CampPichay Boulevard LanuzaLanuza Waves Lanuza Municipal Hall


The night is 150Php and you have to share to 3 other people in a room.

Board rental is 250Php per day.

Jarrah at Lanuza

Jarrah at Lanuza

Learning to surf, finally! It took me days to get there but it was all worth it. It always pay to learn how to surf from a local. No technical stuff just “feel”. My surf instructor Dongkoy taught me how to feel the waves. It goes beyond the eye can see  in the surface. The silence will give you a 9 feet high wave. All you have to do is connect with the ocean where you float together with the log your body is resting on. Hold tight. Paddle. Stand. Bend. Get Stoked.

Surfing with the Lozanos

Surfing with the Lozanos

Kids of Lanuza Bay

Kids of Lanuza Bay

Why I love surfing?

I am not bikini-material girl. I am also not a dare-devil. However, that feeling I got when I first stood up on the first try ever reassured me that surfing is me. Yeah, this “endevour” is for you Jarrah. I love the feeling that I am connected to the universe with its four elements – the wave which I am riding, the earth that gave me great breaks below, the sun that kisses my skin and the wind that touches my face – as I play with the wind.

I would travel for surfing. I’d stay playing under the sun to learn. It is my commune with nature. This is love!

This entry was published on January 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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