Mountains and Volcanoes

Discover Mindanao's Gem: Cantilan's Emerald River

Surigao del Sur

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Mar 02, 2015
 Discover Mindanao's Gem: Cantilan's Emerald River

It's been a long time since I went kayaking and the prospect of paddling on a river after a day in the sun over big waves crisscrossing islands was a bit taxing on my tired old body. Hahahahaha!

But not one to back down on a new adventure, so yes!

Locals and tourists used to go bamboo rafting over the river.  After the bamboo raft gave way from so many years of service, boats and kayaks were used in its stead.

Bakahan River is surrounded by 50 hectares of mangroves.  It is 6 to 8 feet deep and has a relatively calm nature.

There are fishpens along its banks and we had a sampling of the Burunay Shell from its waters the first night of our stay at Cathe Pacific.

From time to time, I stopped paddling to take photos of the river’s beauty—the green leaves of the mangroves, the gentle rush of the river and let Christel do the navigating.

Going around the river on kayak is soothing.  It makes you want to just glide and paddle, in tune with inhaling and exhaling, and let the world go on as it should.

The rhythm of the river and the strokes you use to cruise down the winding river merges, and become one to bring you peace.  It winds out the stress from your weary soul.

Thank you, Cathe Duero and Cathe Pacific, Christel, Joey, Myla, Ms. Emma and Tanya Hotchkiss for sharing Cantilan with us.  Thank you, Raz, Trisha, Mamu, Kisay, Susan, Deng and RB for being my travel buddies on this fun trip. 

How To Get There:

Pedicabs are roam the streets of Cantilan.

By Land: Buses ("Bachelor Express"), Vans and Jeepneys ply from Cantilan to Tandag and Surigao City vv on the coast-road Surigao-Tandag.

By Sea: Inter-island vessels like 2Go and Sulpicio Lines ply the Manila-Surigao City routes on regular schedule. Cokaliong also has schedules from Cebu-Surigao City routes on a daily basis. The harbour in the Cantilan river can be used by Pump boats only. On the east side of the Capungan peninsula, that separates the Lanuza bay from Carrascal bay, exists with "Consuelo Port" also a harbour for bigger ships.

By Air: The next Airports are Surigao Airport (IATA: SUG, ICAO: RPMS) and Butuan Airport (IATA: BXU, ICAO: RPME). The Tandag Airfield (IATA: TDG, ICAO: RPMW) has limited flights from Manila and Cebu City.

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