Our day started super early, we were fetched at our accommodation at 6:30am and then (TheTour) brought us to General Luna (Siargao) where our meeting point will be with our boatmen ^The Bangkeros^ who brought us to Sohoton and together with some other group of friends who will be joining us for the tour that day. There were only me and my best friend Yaz who went for this trip so we opted to join a tour so we can be with some people and as they said the more the merrier. What I liked about this tour or the organizer of the tour is that they made sure if we had eaten our breakfast already and given us a good time to eat or buy some snacks in case we needed it. But for us, we had a super simple early breakfast at our accommodation so we managed to do some photo sessions before embarking for our journey that day.
Estimation of the boat travel from General Luna to Sohoton should only be around 2-2.5hrs (weather permitting). But it took us around 2.5-3hrs travel time because of the big waves but it was indeed worth it. The sceneries of the journey didn’t disappoint us.
WARNING: In case you will really choose this tour, this might not be good for people who easily get seasick or nervous because it’s really big waves as we speak and the journey is really long back and forth. But for those who has a lot of patience and really wants adventure this tour is for you.
Upon entering the vicinity or the Visitor Centre, we had a quick briefing with the people in charge of the area (LGU – Local Government Unit), things of what to do and not to do etc. and lastly, we need to signed some waivers as well.
FRIENDLY REMINDER: They are strictly implementing (ZERO) plastic waste on this area so please do follow the rules on waste disposal.
1st part: Tojoman Lagoon (Jellyfish Sanctuary)
I am truly amazed seeing in real life how emerald crystal clear water it is at the Jellyfish Sanctuary. And I get to experienced myself holding, touching and swimming along with these harmless jellyfish in the 20-feet deep Tojoman Lagoon. This small ^Bangka^ / boat is the only means of transport to visit this area so that the jellyfish thriving here will not be disturbed by the noise of the engine of the big boat and at the same time they will not be harmed with the motor boat’s propeller. I felt like a child again swimming with them.
BACKSTORY: I was lucky that ^Kuya Bangkero^ / Boatman was super chatty and taught me so much about the place during our ^Bangka^ / small boat ride trip to Jellyfish Sanctuary. How most of their livelihood really depended on tourism due to farming in those islands / mountains areas has certain crops / plants that only can be planted and survive due to the quality or kind of soil they have on those areas. So, bad weather on those areas means no income for them. But as our conversations go deeper, I felt that even how life is tough sometimes for him and his family, they are still happily trying to meet ends with what they have and always looking for other ways to find an extra income for the family, and that’s what you call the ^Filipino Spirit^.
Friendly reminder: If you happened to get a nice ^Kuya Bangkero^ do give them some tips willingly from your heart (it’s not a mandatory to do so…) and BTW, they are really good in taking photos.
2nd part: Sohoton National Park (Little Underground River), Hagukan Cave ^Luminescent Cave^ and Magkukuob Cave
We needed to change to a bigger motor boat as we will be going around the Sohoton National Park. We got some helmets as we needed to pass by some little underground river to go to the other side of the area. The guide narrated some history about the place and answered some of our curiosities. The journey wasn’t that long maybe around 10-15mins only and then we came to Hagukan Cave.
Hagukan Cave ^Luminescent Cave^
I wasn’t expecting grand going to this cave because I know for sure it will be just the basic thing you can see inside a cave (The Darkness, all these stalactites and stalagmites, rock formation and etc.). I just said OK to just go with the flow and hoping my adrenaline junkie side (who by the way was ^sleeping forever^) is still somewhere inside me, I guess?! I was just curious when our guide really pushes and recommends everyone to go to this cave because it will be worth our time. Indeed, he didn’t disappoint us. We needed to swim under to go inside the cave, the guide will even help you submerged properly so even if you aren’t a good swimmer, all you need to do is wear your life jacket on and hold your breath for about 8seconds+ and viola you are inside the cave already (don’t worry another guide will receive you on the other side so you’ll for sure never go wrong). The interior of the cave was very unique because the light coming from the underwater opening of the cave illuminated the chamber in a unique reflection that feels so magical, like you are in the movie ^Avatar^. I was really amazed how the water glow electric blue as we continued splashing it like a bunch of fascinated kids because of the glow. The guide said that the waters colour glow sometimes electric green. Too bad I had no waterproof camera or video with me, but the picture in my mind still amazes me until now.
This is indeed, the real cave adventure (The Darkness, all these Stalactites and Stalagmites, Rock Formation and etc.). In order for us to go inside this cave: we needed to swim into the cave, then climbed up into the cave to enjoy what everything needed to be seen inside a cave plus The Bats over the ceiling and the HIGHLIGHT: 5-meter cliff jumping back into the lagoon where we all started as it is the only way out. It is indeed, the best way to end this adventure.
BACKSTORY: One of our group mates had a fear of height and that took him more than 5mins to jump off the cliff. But what made me realize is that even if we just met and made friends with them on that trip, a simple gesture of encouragement made him Believe that he can do it and in fact he putted some Trust on our guide who had jumped along with him. And YES, I was really truly proud of him because he managed to face his fear and conquer the world.
PS: Sorry for my happy face (I was just super happy at this moment because of what I had seen inside this beautiful Magkukuob Cave. And, I came to know before I jumped that my boat mate had a fear of heights tsk tsk tsk… but after a reassuring talk with him that everything will be alright because The Guide and Us will be there for him, so I eventually got to see his smiling face…
And the last part and I guess the best part when you are hungry THE LUNCH. We exerted all our energy to this adventure so we needed to refuel our strength before going back to General Luna, Siargao.
As we travelled back going to the next 3 Islands which is part of the tour package (that will be discuss on my next Blog/Vlog), I realized it was worth the long travel journey coming to this place. I indeed had a lovely wonderful experience that will be cherished for the rest of my life that was well spend with one of my best friend in life. I would highly recommend this place to adventure seekers or those outdoor enthusiasts. A double thumbs up indeed.
Friendly Extra Info:
- We got a TOUR via GOSIARGAO (booked via their Instagram and we’re really happy about it) for this Island hopping that included Sohoton Bucas Grande Island + 3 Islands (Guyam, Daku & Naked) which unfortunately we only managed to go 2 out of the 3 Islands because we came back almost sunset already, which is too bad. So from my own experienced, I highly recommend doing a separate tour only for Sohoton & only for the 3 Islands combine in a day instead to enjoy better the places.
Note: There are OTHER OPTIONS for this kind of tour that we saw when we came back that you can do only for Sohoton for the entire day included some other more islands in the same area. Indeed, I need to go back here next time and try the other options.
- Before BOOKING some of any tours in some pages or websites, you can actually go to the port in General Luna to check and compare prices, because it is cheaper to book directly through them but just make sure to check what’s included in their tour package.
- OTHER WAY: I read somewhere that the best way to go to this place is via Surigao City (which is very more accessible and more nearer) than taking it from General Luna, Siargao that took us 2.5-3hrs or a total of more or less 6-7hrs of travel time, what?
- Always try to COMMUNICATE with the locals because it’s a good and best way to know which place/s to go to and the locals recommendations are always the best.
- READ and ASK a lot about the place for some infos and tips from other traveller who already came to the place, because their experiences are always the best.