Tour at Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur

I never thought that the province of Surigao del Sur has a bunch to offer in terms of tourist destinations. Ranging from beautiful falls, rivers, caves, beaches, islands and islets, Surigao del Sur is a perfect place for people who adore nature tripping. And to add up another spot in Surigao del Sur that people should not miss when visiting the said province, let me tour you to a famous destination in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur - the Britania Group of Islands.

Honestly speaking, my visit in Britania Group of Islands was unexpected. It just happened that we already accomplished all the spots written in our itinerary and we still have another day to stay in Surigao before we fly back to Manila. For the past 2 days, we've been asking the locals for a must-see place in their town. The popular answers were Enchanted River, Siargao, Tinuy-an Falls and Britania Group of Islands. 2 out of 4 answers were already visited by us. But we decided to go to Britania Islands because that time it is nearest place from where we are (yet it is still 4 hours away lol).

Islands and islets are already visible from the beach shore of Brgy. Salvacion (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Port where our Britania island hopping starts! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
How to get there?
From Butuan City, commercial buses and vans are can be hired going to San Agustin. Travel time is 4-5 hours. Then from San Agustin proper, one can take a tricycle. Just inform the driver to drop you at Salvacion Tourism Office. As you hit at Salvacion, hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) to reach the Britania port in which adventure to Britania Group of Islands will start. But for us who started the trip in Bislig, we took a bus in a terminal in Bislig (near a gasoline station) going to Barobo Bus Terminal which cost 103 pesos. From Barobo, we rode again a bus with a signage of Tandag. We informed the bus conductor that we are going to Britania and to drop us  at Brgy. Salvacion. Bus ride from Barobo to Brgy. Salvacion is 40 pesos. Then from Salvacion, we rode a habal-habal going to the port of Britania Group of Islands. Fare is 20 pesos per head. From there, we paid an environmental fee which is 25 pesos.

Perfect weather! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
From the entrance of Brgy. Salvacion, we have been commissioned by a local "bangkero" (boatman) to take his service and let him tour us in Britania Group of Islands. His initial offer were 1,500 pesos. This is actually the regular price of the island hopping in Britania. However, since we were only 2 two in this trip, we negotiate if we can get it in a much lower price. Thank God that he agreed on 1,000 pesos for the whole Britania Island hopping. He's very courteous to tourists like us. He let us change our clothes in their house and lend us dinnerware since we are going to take our lunch in one of the islands. Their family also sell fresh seafood so we bought from them our food for lunch. They even give us discount and free rice! Thanks a lot Kuya Andy (the name of our bangkero).

3 out of the 24 islands and islets of Britania Group of Islands (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Lets GO! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Going back, Britania Group of Islands is composed of 24 stunning islands and islets. 6 of which are can be explore by visitors. So, let's start island hopping!

Hagonoy Island

Hagonoy Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
First off is Hagonoy Island. A pear-shaped island found in Bislig Bay that is characterized by white sand and clear blue water. I fell in love with Hagonoy because of its tropical atmosphere and simplicity. Simple that mostly seen on this island is its sand (yet not that white but fine and kind to the feet) and a portion of coconut trees that serves as a shade to visitors when the sun settles high.

Paradise here I come! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
(Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
This island also serves as our picnic area as we ate our lunch here. We also use that time to get to know more our bangkeros, their stories and way of living. We learned a lot from them most specially with Kuya Andy's stories. With all those stories I heard from him, I know that he really care for nature and also to his ka-baryo. He knew the rules and abide to it. Clearly, a good citizen of Brgy. Salvacion. It was a good talk with the locals but we have to continue with our trip. So after lunch, we got back to our boat and head to our next destination.

Off to our next destination (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)

Naked Island

Naked Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Don't be mislead by the name of this island. Naked Island got its name from its looks. No trees nor huge boulders. Its just a plain sand floating at Bislig Bay. If I find Hagonoy Island simple, then this island is bold. Though it doesn't have much in here, it still has a charm for those who sees Naked Island. Even though I am not fond of staying under the sun, I still enjoyed my visit in this island. Just simply look at the photos below on how crazy we are during our stay in Naked Island.

Our version of Look-up | Ryza Mae Shoooowwww! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Foreground, Naked Island. Background, Hagonoy Island. (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
(Photo From Byron Cantonjos)

Buslon Island

Buslon Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Next in line is Buslon Island. Which is for me, the most beautiful island among the 24 islands in Britania. It has a striking look that I find it very heavenly. It is also characterized by powdery white sand that is comparable to Boracay. A perfect island to chill and stay for a while. 

Look at that fine Background! (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
It has a huge boulder which gives preferable shade to visitors but it still leaves enough portion of the island for the sun can share its heat (This is my kind of island!). Aside from the big boulder, no structures can be found in Buslon island except for the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Images of Mary (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
One can walk around the island to see a 360 degree view of Britania islands. During low tide, one can do island hopping with bare feet. Yup that's right! Walking from Buslon Island to another island - Panlangagan Island. Indeed a new experience!

Baron - Author of Baron the Explorer (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)

Panlangagan Islands (twin islands)

Panlangagan Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
During high tide, no coastline nor sand bar are visible to connect Buslon Island and Panlangagan Islands. So I recommend visitors to talk to your boatmen to bring you here during low tide so you can experience walking from one island to another island. 

This sand bar only appears when low tide (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Island hopping using your "feet" From Buslon to Panlangagan Island
I don't have much to say in this island since we only stay here in a few minutes because we don't want to get stuck in here when the water sets high again. Haha. But one should visit this to complete your Britania Group of Islands experience!

Hiyor Hiyoran Island

Hiyor Hiyoran Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
I thought that our island hopping at Britania Group of Islands end in Panlangagan but Kuya Andy still brought us to another island - Hiyor Hiyoran Island. Hiyor Hiyoran Island is what I can say, a perfect spot for photoshoot. Yeah! It has sand, trees, big rocks and chops of tree trunks. All elements that can be use as props and background for a shoot. Too bad that we didn't stay long here because we're running out of time already. But good thing that we got to see and capture some shots of this island. It's time to bid farewell to Britania Group of Islands. 

(Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Yup, my site header was shot at Hiyor Hiyoran Island (Photo From Byron Cantonjos)
Before the sun sets down, we already reach Brgy. Salvacion. Kuya Andy directed us to a house where we can bath and change our clothes. The owner of the house also sells "iron wood chopping boards" which is very popular in their town. It is a chopping board made of Magkono tree.  A tree that is only found in Surigao and considered as the Philippines hardest tree. We got our iron wood for only 100 pesos. I bought 2 pieces of it. One for my family and the other is for my girlfriend's family. It weighs at almost 3 kilos which cost me excess baggage (by airplane) but it's fine, this thing is not common in Manila so this will now serve as my memorabilia of my Surigao trip. Lol!

And so our adventure in Britania ends as we travel back to Butuan City. My island hopping experience in Britania Group of Islands has been a great one. This place is really a must-see spot not only in Surigao del Sur but in the Philippines.

Kuyan Andy's contact number: 09305353703
Update: September 29,2013 - I received a personal message on my FB Page from one of my reader whose been to Britannia and rented Kuya Andy's service also. The message was:
Your blog about your Sirigao trip was very helpful to us. With your blog kuya andy has customes texting him for the boat ride however kuya andy has a concern. All of those who saw your blog wanted to get 1k for the ride even if they are 10 in a group. Kuya andy texted me last night to ask help to contact you guys. Please contact kuya andy as soon as you read this. Thank you.
This alarms me so much because even if my blog helps Kuya Andy gain more clients however he is being paid at "lowball" price. The regular price for this island hopping tour costs 1,500 pesos. And the only reason why he gave us a tour at 1,000 pesos was simply because we were only 2 on this trip who will shoulder the said expense. And having read the message above makes me feel bad because I don't think I am helping him back with the kindness he showed to us. So please please please... I hope you pay these guys on a regular price (Iam not just pertaining to Kuya Andy but to every boatmen there), most specially those who are going there in large group. He's a great/cool boatman and I guarantee you an amazing experience when you get him as your guide. They have families they needed to support. So please let's not kill their business instead we should help them.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Bus (Non AC, Bislig to Barobo) - 103.00 PhP
Bus (Non AC, Barobo to Brgy. Salvacion) - 40.00 PhP
Habal Habal (two way) - 40.00 PhP 
Environmental Fee - 25.00 PhP
Raw Squid - 280.00 Php / 2 pax = 140.00 PhP
(1) liter Soft drinks- 50.00 PhP / 2 pax = 25.00 PhP
Bathroom - 5.00 PhP
Ironwood - 100.00 PhP
Boat rental - 1000.00 PhP + 100.00 PhP (tip) / 2 pax = 550.00 PhP (This was just a special offer for us, the regular price for this tour actually costs 1,500 pesos - PLEASE READ MY UPDATE ON TOP OF THIS BREAKDOWN)


Post a Comment