The Grandeur of Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur


Approximately 95 meters wide and 55 meters (180 ft) tall, this fall that is situated in Surigao del Sur moniker as "The Little Niagara Falls" of the Philippines. It's none other than the Tinuy-an Falls (Tinuyan Falls) of the municipality of Bislig. Tinuy-an Falls has been the main attraction in Bislig. Its white astonishing water that drapes and cascade to its three different levels makes this place as the most visited tourist spot in the region of CARAGA. Aside from that, Tinuy-an falls is considered to be the widest waterfall in the Philippines. So with all those words, backpackers like me who planned a Mindanao trip didn't forgot to include this wonder in our itinerary and adventure.

How to get there?
Starting at Bancasi Airport in Butuan City, one can take a jeepney going to Langihan Premium Bus Terminal. Upon arrival at the bus terminal, commercial buses or vans for hire going to Mangagoy are available. Travel time is about 4-5 hours. When in Mangagoy, head to Integrated Terminal and take a jeepney. Just inform the driver to drop you at the jump-off point of Tinuy-an Falls. From the main road, rent a Habal habal (single motorcycle) that will take you to the waterfall. I couldn't give you the prices of each ride because we came from a different route.

Sneak peek of the 1st and 2nd levels of Tinuy-an Falls (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Our Tinuy-an Falls adventure starts right after our visit to Enchanted river, read full details here. A habal-habal driver approach us in Enchanted River and offer us a ride going to Tinuy-an Falls at 1,500 pesos. As we heard his offer, we use math that we acquired during our elementary years and calculated the expense if ever we go to Tinuy-an by commute. Based on our computations, the driver's offer is quite expensive. It was too much for 2 backpackers like us to shed that amount going to Bislig. So we had to decline his first offer. He still insist the ride so we ended up bargaining the trip and settled at 900 pesos. This includes a ride from Enchanted River (Hinatuan) going to Tinuy-an Falls (Bislig). Then the habal habal driver will wait for us there until we're done with our Tinuy-an exploration. Afterwards, he will also help us find a hotel in Bislig City. DEAL! Now that's how tourists should handle this kind of situation.

It was the longest habal-habal ride I had experienced in my whole travelling life. I lost track but I believe it was 1 1/2 - 2 hours backride. Thank God the view is refreshing. It somehow takes away my butt pain and leg cramps of this habal-habal trip. As we approach near the site, I noticed the cold air that flows in my skin. It makes the two of us excited.

Grandest Falls I've ever seen so far... (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Then we finally arrived in the site of Tinuy-an Falls. We shed 20 pesos per head for the entrance fee then we go directly to the area where this waterfall lies.Tinuy-an is really grandeur. Since it rains the night before we got there, the water that afternoon was raging. I can say that we saw Tinuy-an Falls in its full form. It's the widest and tallest falls I've ever been to. It does seems like a curtain that covers the tall rock wall behind it. In addition to it, there are trees beside it that add colors and appeal to this falls. We do not waste any time. We set up our cameras and take photographs in any way possible.

(Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Tinuy-an Falls in its full form
Then a local guy approach us and offers a trip going to the 1st and 2nd level of Tinuy-an falls. One needs to pass 90 ++ steps in order to reach the spot and of course we say yes to his offer. It wasn't that hard. There are concrete stairs so it will be easy for non athletic person like me to reach its top. And the view up there was superb! It is a midget Tinuy-an Falls. Short yet still wide. We're lucky because we can still be able to see a rainbow even we got there late. People say that rainbow only appears at 9:00am to 11:00am only.

It is really beautiful up there. Visitors should not miss trekking this one (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Photo op! #selfie #lol (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Me and our tour guides (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
I envy Baron for having a photo with that rainbow! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
After our trekked at Tinuy-an Falls, the same local guy offers us a bamboo raft ride to go near the splashing water of Tinuy-an Falls. Again, we say yest to it! It was off-season and weekday when we got there so the place isn't crowded. For the bamboo raft, the passengers were only me, Baron and the 2 bankeros. Cool! As we approached to the falls, I started to feel cold. The water is hitting us as well as the cold breeze of the air which makes me freeze on this raft ride. In the middle of this activity, Byron and I jumped from the raft. I don't know if that's the right thing since it only worsen the coldness we feel that time. Overall, it was a fun experience. We really enjoyed our bamboo raft ride. We just gave 150 pesos to the local guy for the whole activity (trekking + bamboo raft + tip).

Start of our Bamboo rafting adventure! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
We barely couldn't hear each other out there (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
By the way, that's my travel buddy Byron of Baron the Explorer (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
My words are not enough to describe the grandeur of Tinuy-an Falls. After seeing it with my own eyes, now I know why it is reputed as the "Little Niagara Falls" of the Philippines. I hope people of this town take care of this place so that future generations will be able to see and visit it as well.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Habal-Habal (Enchanted River - Tinuyan Falls - Hotel in Bislig City) - 900.00 PhP / 2 = 450 PhP per pax
Entrance Fee - 50.00 PhP
Bamboo Raft + Tinuy-an trekking + Tip - 150.00 PhP / 2 = 75.00 PhP per pax
Table - Since it was off peak, we got it for free!

The Enchanted River of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur


Before my trip to Surigao del Sur, I searched and researched several times in the internet on different tourist spots this land can offer to its visitors. And most of my readings from different articles and blog posts are pointing and suggesting to a common and a must-see destination in Surigao. None other than, the Enchanted River of the municipality of Hinatuan.

As I Google for images of Enchanted River, my first reaction was like "Photoshopped! Photoshopped! Photoshopped!". Seeing the color of the water of this river in images were for me is unreal. It's like precious stones of jades and sapphires were melted in this river and colored the riverbed. But my initial judgement fades away as I continued reading more write-ups about this river and stands on how true and real the tint of this water is. By that, Enchanted River was immediately included in our itinerary.

How to get there?
From Bancasi Airport, ride a jeepney going to Langihan Premium Terminal. As you arrive at the terminal, look for the bus with a signboard of Mangagoy. Travel time is about 4 to 5 hours which costs 210 pesos. There are also vans available there that offer cheaper transfer. We avail the van instead of taking a bus and bargain its price with the van conductor. At the end, it only costs us 180 pesos going to Hinatuan. Just give your driver a heads up that you are going to Enchanted River. You will be dropped at the crossing going to Enchanted River where you will be renting a habal-habal (a motorcycle). It is the only public transportation going to Enchanted River so don't be picky. Habal-Habal rental costs 200 pesos/motorcycle. It is a 12km bumpy ride so be prepared and just enjoy the view going there.

Welcome sign as you landed at Enchanted River (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Other side of Enchanted River. Experience island hopping starting at this point (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
After our island hopping in Hinatuan Bay, read full details here, then we had witnessed and experienced the majestic beauty of Enchanter River. I must say that the water in the images in Google were all real. It is really (super, duper, mega, ultimately) crystal clear and the tint of this body of water is hard to believe even after seeing it personally. It is a combination of different shades of blues and greens. Nature at its best - is the right statement for this spot. I am stunned because of the mystical charm of Enchanted River. 

Cleanest and blue-st water I've seen so far! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Enchanted river is a salt water river. It is near the ocean so it is then assumed by people there that the reason of its saltiness is because ocean water also flown to this river. Other than its eye popping color, this river is called enchanted because the water seems to flow and have current without any source. I couldn't even lasts for 30 mins in the water because I easily get tired paddling to stay on one area of the river. By the way, Enchanted River is approximately 50ft deep. It is still an approximation because they haven't get yet its exact measure. A 50ft deep river -- another reason why it is called enchanted. Lastly, fishes are visible in this river. By fish, I mean school of big fishes. So expect swimming with them once you jump in to this river. There were actually lots of stories how this river was called in such a way. Some thinks it is because of its almost unreal beauty. Some thinks it is because this place is enchanted by spirits. But despite if it is true or not, it can't scare away local and foreign tourists to visit and experience this wonder.

Just enjoy life! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
At 12 o clock in the afternoon, people were asked to vacate the river. Why? It is because its feeding time. A bell signal denotes this event in Enchanted River that happens everyday. A staff from Enchanted River will go near the pond and will start throwing sliced shrimps, fish, breads, etc. In a matter of few seconds, fishes in different sizes will start to appear.  I wonder where do some of them go after the feeding activity... Hmmm.

The man in the eye glasses facilitate the fish feeding (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Fish Feeding at Enchanted River. Please bear on the quality of the video

Entrance fee to Enchanted River is 30.00 pesos per head which allows you to go anywhere the vicinity. Cottages and picnic tables are also available. It ranges from 100 to 500 pesos.  For non swimmers, life jacket rental costs 15 pesos per hour. Googles can also be rented at the cost of 20 pesos. On the other hand, at the end of enchanted river, boats can be rented for Hinatuan bay island hopping. Rate is 160 per hour which can accommodate 5 person per boat.

The full length of Enchanted River (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
My visit in Enchanted River was Surreal. I recommend others to visit the place and see for yourselves the mystical beauty of this wonder.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Bus (Butuan Terminal - Hinatuan, Enchanted River) - 180.00 PhP
Habal Habal (Crossing - Enchanted River) - 200.00 PhP / 2 = 100.00 PhP per pax
Entrance Fee - 30.00 PhP

Island Hopping in Port Lamon, Hinatuan - Surigao del Sur


Port Lamon, Hinatuan has been a popular tourist destination in Surigao de Sur because of the Enchanted River that is situated in this municipality. I know the reason why people are drawn to see this magnificent creation of nature because I, myself has witness its beauty. But beyond the river is a portal that will lead tourists to other different gifts from nature to those who wants to extend their exploration to this place. I suggest that people should also try to do island hopping at Port Lamon Bay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. Just continue reading to know why.

How to get there?
Please refer on the direction given on this post - click here.

Sibadan Fish Cage

Game Face on! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Our adventure starts at 6:00 am in the morning after our overnight stay in Sibadan Fish Cage (click to read full story). By the way, Sibadan Fish cage is also one of the few attraction of this island hopping blog post. 

Off to other parts of Hinatuan (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
We contracted the same boatman that took us to Sibadan Fish Cage for this Hinatuan island hopping because they treat visitors like us very well and didn't take advantage despite the fact that we were alien to that place. He also knew the impact of taking photos of their place and the power of information superhighway. He also give note to each care taker of the islands we've been through to treat us well because he knew that our feedback when we get back in Manila is a great contribute for their tourism. I hope everybody thinks the way he does because he's right. Kuya Norberto Viola is the name of our boatman. You may reach him by this number just in case you want to do island hopping at Hinatuan - 0949-4646-370. Rate for this island hopping is 160 pesos per hour that can accommodate up to 5 persons. I've said enough of this witty boatman. Let's go island hopping!

Tinago River

A center piece inTinago River
Just a few meters away from Enchanted River lies another enchanting river -- the Tinago River. The name comes from a Visayan word, tinago, which means hidden. Although the water isn't as blue as the Enchanted River, Tinago River has its own beauty. Since it passes through the sea, entering into the wide mouth of this river takes you to a luscious green scenery.

Thinking that time if there were crocs living in this river...
Aside from the lush green forest, another distinct characteristic of Tinago River is its greenish water. This cause by water grass and the reflections of profuse forest that surrounds the river. This is simply nature at its finest! Since this river is hidden, the view to expect here are island and islets, houses on stilts, fishermen on their small boat, trees, trees, trees and more trees. It's really a peaceful place that all we could hear that time was the motor of our pump boat.

Our tour in Tinago River ends as we exit to the mouth of the river.

Common scene in Tinago River

Sarzosa Ponta Cave

Let the Sarzosa cave exploration begin! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Another pit stop for this island tour is the Sarzosa Ponta Cave which is managed by the Sarzosa Family. This cave is situated in an islet in Port Lamon and it is a cave by the sea that is open for all visitors to explore. For the price of 5.00 pesos per head, one can enter the island. While for those who wanted to explore the cave, there will be a 150 pesos fee which covers tour guide fee. Sarzosa Ponta Cave is just a small cave and it can be trek for about 20-30 mins. Well it actually depends on how fast your pacing is and your photo op inside the cave. Caving gears will be provided by the tour guide. It includes boots, a helmet and a flashlight. The statue of the Virgin Mary denotes the beginning of this caving adventure.

Spelunking at Sarzosa Ponta Cave (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
During our visit, this cave is in the process of rejuvenation. It is healing now from an almost destruction caused by treasure hunters who dig holes and detonated the cave through the use of dynamites just to find hidden treasures in this cave. It was believed by the locals there that Japanese soldiers used this cave as a camp so treasure hunters pushed their luck digging up into this cave to see if there are still precious remains from the past.

Look at those bats in the ceiling of this cave (Photos from Byron Cantonjos)
Now, treasure hunting has stop and the Sarzosa Ponta Cave is slowly regaining its life. Stones such as stalagmites and stalactites are starting to form. Bats are visible and already started to reside in the cave. Most specially, people are now aware that they should take care of this place for future generations.

My travel buddy on this Surigao del Sur trip - Baron (author of Baron the Explorer) and our cave tour guide

Pangasinan Pacific Shore

Welcome to Pangasinan Pacific Shore!
Next in line is an island resort in Port Lamon, Hinatuan - the Pangasinan Pacific Shore. A fee of 5 pesos is needed in order for a visitor to explore the whole island. That will serve as an entrance on Pangasinan Pacific Shore. It's pretty cheap, huh?

From afar as we approach on this island, a wooden structure caught my attention because of its striking look. This wooden structure serves as a docking area where they receive their visitors. On a closer look, I admired it more because it was built in a way that it is pleasing to the eyes or maybe I just adore patterns because it is a good background for taking photographs. Simply refer on the photos below.

Docking area of Pangasinan Pacific Shore
Patterns and lines are good to photograph :] (Photos from Byron Cantonjos)
Another thing that I like about Pangasinan is that islets are visible to its beach shore. It can also be swim because some of them is really near the resort. Again, this is also a good back drop for taking selfie. Hahaha.

Emo... lol (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Poser? Aw... tsk (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)

Margarett Island Peak Resort

With our bankeros. Landed at Margarett Island Peak Resort (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
And we finally come to the last spot of this island hopping blog post. And kuya Norberto saved the best for last - the Margarett Island Peak Resort. Well as per my opinion this is the best spot among all our pit stops. Why? It is because of the rock formation on the side of this island, the fine and almost white sand, the view that this resort can offer to its visitors and lastly the very accommodating care takers. These makes up Margarett Island Peak Resort the best spot among this Hinatuan Island  Hopping.

Just a random shot
As I stated above,  this resort can offer the a breathtaking view to its visitor. Simply because it is the best vantage point that shows a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Cool right? Photographers and hobbyist will definitely like this part of the resort. But in order to reach the view deck, one needs to climb up a 100++ staircases. Sounds tiring but it will be paid off as you reach the viewing deck of Margarett. That's an assurance.

100++ Steps will be worth it seeing the view on the right photo 
Pacific Ocean on top of Margarett Island Peak Resort (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
After our photo op at the top, we had a little conversation with the care takers of Margarett Island Peak Resort while drinking fresh coconut juice. Since we didn't stay there for an overnight, I asked their ratings. Entrance fee here is 20 pesos. Cottages at 100 pesos and overnight cottages starts at 500 pesos. Coconut juice is at 20 pesos but we bargain it for 10 pesos. Kudos!

Before we bid farewell on this island, we had another photo op. This time we done it at the beautiful beach shore of Margarett Island Peak Resort.
Camera timer gone wild... Lol! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
This island hopping including photo op, talked with the care takers, and spelunking lasted for almost 5 hours. It ends as we head back to Enchanted River.

Tip: There are lots of starfish along the way. You may ask your boatman to stop in the middle and dive for it to have it photograph. Take note, get it just for the purpose of photographing it... and not keeping it.

We put them back to the water after this shot (Photos from Byron Cantonjos)

Kuya Norberto's contact number: 0949 4646 370

Breakdown of Expenses:
Boat Rental - (160 pesos x 5 hr) 800.00 PhP / 2 = 400.00 PhP per pax
Sibadan Fish Cage entrance fee (for non lodging visitors) - 5.00 PhP
Entrance fee at Sarzosa Ponta Cave - 5.00 PhP
Spelunking at Sarzosa Ponta Cave - 150.00 PhP / 2 = 75.00 PhP per pax
Pangasinan Pacific Shore entrance fee - 5.00 PhP
Margarett Island Peak Resort entrance fee - 20.00 PhP
Coconut juice - 10.00 PhP

Sibadan Fish Cage of Port Lamon, Hinatuan - Surigao del Sur


After a long drive from Butuan City to Hinatuan and by that I mean 4 hours straight drive, my friend, Byron, and I were searching for an accommodation/hotel to settle for an overnight stay. During that time, we have 2 factors that we need to consider in a hotel we're looking for. What are they? First, it should be affordable and cheap. We were only two in this Surigao del Sur trip and having a fancy hotel was too costly for backpackers like us. Second, it should be near the Enchanted River. In our itinerary, we planned to spend the next day at Enchanted River. Therefore, we need an accommodation that is near the place to save time in terms of travelling. So what we did were to ask the locals of Hinatuan for some advice. We told them the 2 factors I stated above and they recommended us to try out Sibadan Fish Cage.

Sibadan Fish Cage is a popular side trip in Hinatuan. Simply because it is near the Enchanted River. It is reputed as a floating restaurant in Port Lamon Bay that serves fresh seafood dishes to their customers but what we didn't know is that they also offer lodging rooms. As we heard that from the locals, we finally decided to go to Sibadan Fish Cage and spent the first night of our Surigao del Sur visit there.

The equation: 3 Persons + 1 motorcycle + baggage + rough road + 12KM = a worth it ride

How to get there?
From Bancasi Airport, ride a jeepney going to Langihan Premium Terminal. As you arrive at the terminal, look for the bus with a signboard of Mangagoy. Travel time is about 4 to 5 hours which costs 210 pesos. There are also vans available there that offer cheaper transfer. We avail the van instead of taking a bus and bargain its price with the van conductor. At the end, it only costs us 180 pesos going to Hinatuan. Just give your driver a heads up that you are going to Enchanted River. You will be dropped at the crossing going to Enchanted River where you will be renting a habal-habal (a motorcycle). It is the only public transportation going to Enchanted River so don't be picky. Habal-Habal rental costs 200 pesos/motorcycle. It is a 12km bumpy ride so be prepared and just enjoy the view going there. It is also a perfect time to ask question from your Habal-habal driver the must visit places in Hinatuan. From our talked with our driver, he told us that we can have island hopping at Port Lamon Bay. So we have an addition to our itinerary the next day. From Enchanted River, ride a pump boat going to Sibadan Fish Cage. The fare is 160 pesos per hour/boat.

Sibadan Fish Cage of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
The location of Sibadan Fish Cage is in the middle of Port Lamon Bay so expect poor signal during your stay. Going back... As we land at Sibadan, we were approached by a smiling attendant. We ask for lodging and she gave us a tour and show us their rooms. Their rooms are really cheap. We got a room that is good for two for only 300 pesos. Though it is a fan room without a personal comfort room, we still find it fair enough on the money we spent and it's spacious for two people. By the way, there is a 5 Php entrance fee for non-lodging visitors.

Docking area of Sibadan Fish Cage
After putting our things in the room, it's time to check the place and have some chill time. We found Sibadan Fish Cage a plain and a simple place. It is a resort made of kawayan and woods in the middle of the bay. Fresh air and away from city noise. Perfect place for relaxation. Just imagine during a night stay here.

More rooms...
At the center of Sibadan lies a large pond/aquarium. The only amenities of this place that I could think of are fishing and snorkeling. Customers may do fishing and snorkeling to get their freshly sea creature cooked by the staff of Sibadan. Price of the catch will be determined by weighing in all the catch of a certain customer. After the weigh in, the attendant will suggest you what kind of dish they can do with your catch. You may also ask them if you have something in mind. Cook charge is 30 Php per dish. Cheap isin't it? Alternative to fishing and snorkeling is buying seafood straight from them. Sibadan sells wide variety of seafood. Just pick and tell them what kind of dish do you want to do with it. Us, we just brought 1 kilo of "Kasag" (small crabs) for ONLY 50 pesos and 1/4 kilo of Dano fish for 120 pesos. We requested to make a sweet and spicy Kasag and "sinabawan" for the fish. There's also a sari-sari store in Sibadan which sells canned goods, mineral water, alcoholic beverages, etc...

Other visitors of Sibadan that day. Fishing time!
Our dinner. Yum!
The only con that I found on Sibadan was there bathing water. I believe it is also a beach water so your soap, shampoo, facial wash will not bubble as you take a bath. Hahahaha. Overall, our stay at Sibadan has been a great experience. Lodging in the middle of the bay is an experience I didn't imagine on this trip.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Bus (Butuan Terminal - Hinatuan, Enchanted River) - 180.00 PhP
Habal Habal (Crossing - Enchanted River) - 200.00 PhP / 2 = 100.00 PhP per pax
Pump Boat (Enchanted River - Sibadan Fish Cage) - 160.00 PhP per hour / 2 = 80.00 PhP per pax
Fan Room (good for 2) - 300.00 PhP / 2 = 150.00 PhP per pax
Kasag (crab) - 50.00 Php (1 kilo) /2 = 25.00 Php per pax
Mang Tomas Sauce = 45 PhP (1 bottle) / 2 = 22.50 PhP per pax
Dano (a fish name) - 120.00 Php (1/4 kilo) / 2 = 60.00 PhP per pax
Cooking charge - 30.00 PhP (for kasag and fish) / 2 = 15.00 PhP per pax
Service Charge - 48.00 PhP / 2 = 24.00 PhP per pax
Mineral water - 30.00 PhP (1 liter) x 2  = 60.00 PhP / 2 = 30.00 PhP per pax
Nescafe Coffee & Nestea Iced tea - 15.00 PhP each
Rice - 10.00 PhP
Hard boiled egg - 15.00 PhP

A Quick City Tour In Butuan City, Agusan del Norte


Butuan City is situated in the north-eastern section of Agusan Valley, Mindanao. It is also the regional center of CARAGA and will be our entry point as we visit Surigao del Sur. Simply because Butuan's Bancasi Airport serves as a portal to the different provinces of CARAGA region.

As we land at Bancasi Airport of Butuan City, the first thing in our itinerary was to have a quick tour in different tourist spots and landmarks of this town. It will be quick because we need to head to Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur before nightfall. We had researched some good spots already before this trip but we chose to go and ask from the information section of the airport to gather some tips and advice. And I must say that it was a right decision we made. The guy in the information section was very knowledgeable of his town and really knew how to direct tourists like us. He even gave us a pamphlets that hold all the tourist spots and landmarks of Butuan City. Kudos!

National Museum - Butuan Branch

Touch down! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
There are lots of historic place in Butuan so we decided to just visit the National Museum located in Doongan, Butuan City. In our thinking, visiting this place will saves us time. Simply because instead of visiting each historic spots of Butuan, this National Museum will showcase all the stories and artifacts of this city. Unfortunately, the museum is under renovation and all of the items were being kept in a protected area. Aw, that was not a good start for us. But just to make our visit worthy, we took photos of the vicinity instead. The place has lots of trees and plants that it forms a park-like area. Locals even visit the place to chill and relax. I can somehow relate it as a mini-Luneta Park of Butuan.

My college friend, travel buddy and a fellow travel blogger - Baron (author of Baron the Explorer
Checking out the place  (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
How to get there?
From Bancasi Airport, take a jeepney ride going to Gaisano Mall. As you arrive at Gaisano Mall, you may say "lugar lang" and the driver will stop the jeepney at the corner. Cool huh?! Then hire a tricycle going to the National Museum which cost 8.00 PhP/pax.

Banza Church Ruins

Remains of the church and its caretakers (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Located at Lilo, Brgy. Banza, Butuan City, Banza church was known as the most admirable stone structure of the region way back in the year 1625 and it was built by Recollect Friars. However it was burned down by Moro Pirates in 1753 and the church was turned into ashes and chunks of stones. The only remains left by that attack is its Bell Tower enveloped by Balete trees (also known as Banyan Tree). Today, the beautiful church before is now recognize as the oldest ruin of a stone church in the entire region of Mindanao.

Presenting the oldest church ruins in the Mindanao region (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)

Photo op at the bell tower of Banza Church Ruins (Photos from Byron Cantonjos)
How to get there?
From Gaisano Mall, take a R4 Jeepney going to the tricycle terminal near Langihan Bus Terminal. Then take a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at the ruins. Take note: Make sure not to direct your driver at Banza church. Make sure that you instruct him that you will be going to Banza Church Ruins. Banza church and Banza Church Ruins are two different structure. I know this because we've been taken to the church instead to the ruins. Lol.

Magsaysay Bridge

This makes land trips to Cabadbaran and Surigao possible (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
On our way to Banza Church Ruins, we passed through to an eye-catchy bridge. So we look at our pamphlets to see if there is a written information about that bridge. It was Magsaysay Bridge we saw and it is a special landmark of Butuan. Magsaysay Bridge was built in the 50s and was inaugurated by the late President Carlos P. Garcia. Magsaysay Bridge is the first wing that links the east and west banks of Agusan.

So after our visit in Banza Church Ruins, we ask our tricycle driver if we could stop in the middle of the Magsaysay Bridge before we went back to the terminal and have our pictures taken on Magsaysay. He agreed to our little favor. Cool Manong driver! I was a bit embarrassed during my turn to take a photo with the bridge. People we're looking at me like I was some sort of celebrity slash just crazy tourist. So I made it quick, immediately got back to our tricycle, and off to Langihan Premium Terminal - terminal going to Hinatuan.

I'm a bit embarrassed here... lol (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Well even though it was just a quick tour in the city of Butuan, I still enjoyed it. Aside from the place, the people there were also nice and very accommodating to tourists like us. Lots of interesting places to visit but we only have limited time. Too bad.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Jeepney (Bancasi - Gaisano Mall) - 15.00 PhP
Tricycle (Gaisano - National Museum, roundtrip) - 8 PhP per trip x 2 = 16.00 PhP
Jeepney (Gaisano - Tricycle Terminal near Langihan Premium Terminal) - 8.00 PhP
Tricycle Rental (Terminal - Ruins, roundtrip) - 100 PhP /2 = 50.00 PhP/pax