It rained and it poured. I just summarized the Barobo, Surigao del Sur tour in one sentence. Should you wish to stop reading, you could possibly do so; thank you very much.
I was with Marefe and Merk on this tour. We, the trio, joined the tour of five vans in total convoying to Barobo, Surigao del Sur. We departed Davao City at around 0100 AM and promptly arrived before 0600 AM with the thickening clouds above us threatening heavy rains.
Any tour could be ruined by merely a drizzle – imagine a downpour. We had never been on a trip under the rain the whole day and it sure became one of the firsts.
Barobo was an interesting place. The place had never come up whenever Surigao del Sur was brought up. While the destinations in the place were legit, it was the rain which diminishes their experiential value. Some people might have reacted negatively to the incessant pouring of the rain, but not us. We knew from the get-go that we would be wet throughout the day nevertheless, so the rain never bothered us as much as it had made taking pictures rather challenging and limited.
We agreed that Cabgan Island was a shout out to Mantigue Island of Camiguin. We had that first impression as soon as we arrived.
The skies taunted us as soon as we settled choosing among the available cottages. The organizer then advised everyone to take breakfast before squandering on the island. The trio decided not to eat after declaring that nobody was hungry.
Walking by the beaches on the island, we agreed that there was nothing sort of special there. The coarse sand was nothing spectacular. Also, the calm sea was not inviting, partly because of the time of the day.
As the organizer gathered the group for a short trek, it drizzled, but the group continued towards the viewpoint. Upon arriving on the adjacent beach through the small undergrowth, the rain poured heavily making some scamper towards the cave-like holes of the limestones on both ends of the beach.
The waves became bigger as the wind was starting to assert its presence. A few meters up through the undergrowth by the towering palm trees, the viewpoint loomed through its marvelous presence.
Sharp limestones protruded mercilessly making us unmindfully thankful for the footwear protecting our feet. The rain continued pouring making some parts of the limestones slippery. The gushing wind brought thunderous waves down below sending splashes of sea water feet-high reaching where we were. We wowed and oohed under the rain which had drenched us. There then, I thought about the Alofaaga Blowholes in Samoa on how great it would be to be very near them. I could only dream that time.
There were moments where the rain completely stopped. We seized it to take some photographs of the very interesting place.
Agreeing that we had had enough, we proceeded to go down from the viewpoint. The unforgiving rain continued pouring down now on our hungry bodies. We rested for a moment to the cave-like hole we passed before.
Starvation, punishing rain, and the sea – Marefe reckoned it was the closest we could get to experiencing Survivor. I couldn’t agree more.
We left the island shortly after we minced our breakfast. Despite the wind and the rain, the sea had proven to be calmer.
Naked Island was this small sandbar which seemed to have been just there in the sea. There was nothing to mark it being actually there. There were no trees, no flags, no indication of its presence. It was the island which I thought had no significance at all and since sandbars were the new black, it just popped out with the low tide.
I believed that people’s fascination to sandbar was justified as these small pieces of sought-after areas were not only beautiful but they elicit the most summery feelings.
Naked Island with the rain was not a good combination. The rain wetted the sand and it did not do it any good. If not for the starfishes, the island would have been bland even saltwater could not have saved it.
What made the island a little fascinating though was that, as the tide rose the area of the sand above the water decreased in all directions. The island would vanish with the tide rising. That limited the time we spent on that island.
We waited until it was not wise anymore to stay on the island. As we sailed back to the port, I looked back and saw the waves lapping on what remained of the sandbar.
We had the Turtle Island in our itinerary. After pointing it out to our tour guide, I knew that Turtle Island was only accessible via Naked Island and we could have walked towards it had the tide not been a bitch!
Veto and Bogac Cold Spring
Here was the thing about Mother Nature – she was not being friendly at all. A waterfall was included in our itinerary but we had to skip it because of the flooding in the area prompting its closing for that day.
After taking our lunch, we went to a cold spring. Yes, it was raining. Yes, it was cold. And yes, we went to a cold spring! What was your problem with that? Hahaha.
When we arrived at this cold spring, the rain had stopped, momentarily.
There was a blue lagoon nearby which had a deep blue water. It was so inviting, but such a shame I was not good at swimming. The cold water perfectly reflected the shadows of the trees and shrubs surrounding it. We could see fishes going to and fro as if putting on a show.
I reached into my bag for my cell phone, which was also my camera on all my trips, and found out that the camera was fogged up. It annoyed the hell out of me. But I only had my self to blame as I just put it in my pocket during the heavy rain at Naked Island. Yes – a non-waterproof device – in my pocket – during a heavy rain. I was not the sharpest tool in the shed, sometimes.
A few meters from the lagoon was the Bogac Cold Spring. It poured again as we were soaking our feet in the cold spring. It wasn’t as cold as we expected and we did not need it to be. My issue in this spring, however, was the depth. Couldn’t they just have a waist-level or even a shoulder-level portion? They managed to create this pool area at the corner but it was at least 5’5”, I guess – for real!
But I loved the water there. I just had some questions, though; as it was surrounded by residential areas with some houses touching the boundary of the wide spring.
Libuacan Cold Spring
The tour guide informed us that we would be skipping the Libuacan Cold Spring as its water became muddy brown due to the rain. Gladly, the decision reverted as it would be the third destination to be canceled and I, personally, would have thrown a fit – calmly.
Libuacan Cold Spring, yes a cold spring again, welcomed us with its brownish water. Somebody vouched to the cleanliness of the spring by pointing out that some locals were getting their drinking water from some portion of the spring. I could not imagine the detailed process of how they were doing that but the point there was that the spring was clean despite its current color.
We basically used the spring as final shower area before we dried ourselves up and be on our merry way back home. The rain had totally stopped at that time, but we never really toured the area.
I believed that the rain became the metaphor of cleansing and moving forward. In Barobo, Surigao del Sur, we thought we could never imagine raining during the tour but we survived through it. The rain made us navigate through our own options and come on top of it.
Raining might have dropped our expectations but it opened new portals of experiences and ways of seeing things in new perspectives. I knew we could have enjoyed the tour more had there been sunshine. But life my friend was never a constant sunshine!