Islands and Beaches
Take a Fearless Cruise with Crocodiles in Siargao
Ida Damo | Nov 10, 2015
Siargao, a tear-drop shaped island in the province of Surigao del Norte, is known as the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines" because of world-class barreling waves found in General Luna. The island recently hosted the 21st International Surfing Cup where local surfer John Mark “Marama” Tokong bested athletes from Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Australia.
Another municipality, however, is also a great place to visit especially for nature lovers.
The municipality of Del Carmen (formerly Numancia) has 4,200 hectares of mangrove forest. It is home to rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, such as the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
Though they rarely come out, we were warned of the reptiles while cruising along the river leading to Sugba Lagoon. It was hard to believe that they lurk in the mangroves as the greenish blue water enthralls visitors with its calmness despite the rain.
The often-feared animal made us believe that such is the richness of the mangrove forest: even endangered species come to live in it without fear.
Sugba Lagoon used to be shrouded in mist or low-lying clouds which led locals to believe that grilling or "sugba" constantly take place in the area, thus the name.
Crystal clear water, corals and white sand, and lush vegetation await visitors who dare cruise down the lagoon. You can swim with the fishes, go kayaking, or indulge in seafood while relaxing at a cottage on stilts.
Our group feasted on pamontaha (PhP 440/kilo), lapu-lapu (PhP 100/kilo), lipti or sea urchin (PhP 60/kilo), and sa-ang or shell (PhP 2 each). These dishes were either cooked like adobo, fried, grilled (sugba), or kilaw.
With tummies full, we rested for a while and just took in Sugba Lagoon’s beauty and tranquility. We wished it would stay this way, unmarred by man’s greed.
Take a trip to Del Carmen yourself and be one with nature.
- The crocodiles are there but are not seen. Just don’t dangle your legs off the banca (motorboat).
- Dry-fit clothes are recommended.
- If you can’t eat seafood due to allergy, just request for chicken or pork to be cooked.
- Sunscreen or Sunblock with SPF 100 is a must.
- Bottled water is also a must.
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