Six more days to go and it’s already Christmas! Oh my! How time really flies when you’re having fun! Have you gotten your Christmas plans down pat? As for us, we’ll be checking in at a nearby affordable hotel resort on Dec. 22-23 with our farm helpers and their kids as our Christmas treat to them since they’ve all been cooped up at the farm since they started working for us a few months back. It will be a pre-Christmas celebration and we’ll incorporate our planning session as well. Then come Dec. 24, we’ll transfer at a more luxurious hotel in the city, just our little family, which we haven’t done yet here in Cagayan de Oro City. It’ll be a very relaxed kind of Christmas compared last year when we celebrated it at the farm with all our previous farm helpers and neighbors. Those previous farm helpers of ours left us early this year at such a bad time and in such bad taste that I think I got traumatized by it (which is why until now our mushroom growing house is still not up to its capacity) so I’m choosing not to celebrate there because it’ll just bring bad memories.
Anyway, if it hadn’t been Tuz’s 3rd birthday last November, December would have been the perfect time to head to Siargao since I’ve never experienced Christmas in that beautiful island yet. But because it’s hard to leave our farm during the holiday season, we decided to visit Siargao last month and for this post, I’ll share with you how to get there all the way from Cagayan de Oro.
Are you currently living in Mindanao? Or somewhere in Misamis Oriental particularly Cagayan de Oro? Do you wish to go to Siargao any time soon and would like to find out how to get to Siargao from Cagayan de Oro via buses and boats? Well, that’s exactly what this post is about so read on…
This will also help anyone coming from Butuan City and Surigao City or anywhere in Mindanao. Since the flights, including during promo periods, are expensive from Cagayan de Oro to Siargao, Mahal and I opted to do the long route by riding buses and boats so we can save more cash which we can then use to enjoy ourselves on the island like doing island hopping trips, surfing, dining at the top food places, staying longer in Siargao, etc. (Each of these will be discussed on separate posts so stay tuned!)
If you’re from Manila or outside the country, better take a direct flight to Manila then from Manila, take a direct flight to Siargao (I always took Cebu Pacific before). It’s faster but not necessarily cheaper unless you book your flight in advance in one of their Piso fares.
Let’s get on with it…
TAKE A CAB TO AGORA MARKET
After I finished all my online work, we left our tiny pad in the city at about 5:30 PM. We hailed a cab that brought us to Agora Bus Terminal.
Hot Tip! Always double or triple check all your belongings before alighting a cab. I left my 2 new lovely summer hats inside the cab because I was already holding about three bags plus Tuz that I have completely forgotten about them. I felt bad about it for a little while it almost put me in a bad mood that entire night we were traveling. After all, those hats cost me P700+. Tsk, tsk!
TAKE A BUS HEADING TO BUTUAN CITY
At the Agora bus terminal, we hopped on one of the buses heading to Butuan City. These buses are ready to go every hour and there are no buses driving straight to Surigao City. So you would really have to go down at Butuan and ride another bus there.
Fare: P400.00 each
Hot Tip! Make sure you eat your dinner before riding one of these buses. The ride takes about 6 hours and if you didn’t bring any food with you, you will go hungry! We didn’t know that our bus will leave as soon as it’s full. So before we could decide to go down to eat first, it was already moving! We haven’t eaten yet and I was beginning to feel hungry! Talk about bad luck huh? First my I left my hats in the cab and now we have no food. Thank God that a buko pie vendor hopped on after an hour that we were able to satisfy our hunger. It was right about the same time I decided I will be happy and positive no matter what! And then the buko pie vendor appeared! Talk about law of attraction, huh? ^_^
The box of buko pie has ten mini buko pie pieces in it. And they’re really yummy and still hot!
Cost of buko pie: P150.00
After another hour or two, the bus stopped at a stopover. I went down to buy some more food. Since there were no more real meals available, I just bought whatever I can find that Mahal and I both liked:
1 Kilo of Lansones: P50
1 big cup of noodles: P50
3 eggs: P30
1 pack of slices of unripe mangoes: P20
The bus we rode (which I didn’t get the name anymore due to the hustle and bustle, plus I was getting hungry so my attention was on my hunger, hihihi) has its own toilet so there was no need for us to use a public toilet in one of the stopovers.
Hot Tip! The road from Cagayan de Oro to Butuan City is long and winding that there is a possibility for a passenger to get nauseous like Mahal did that he vomited in the toilet to the dismay of the bus conductor. So better take some medicine for dizziness an hour before you start your travel.
GO DOWN AT BUTUAN CITY AND RIDE A BUS TO SURIGAO CITY
It was 11:20 PM when we arrived in Butuan City bus terminal. So the ride from Cagayan de Oro took about 5.5 hours. At least our seats were big and comfortable plus there were also TVs screening some action films so it was a pretty comfortable ride except for Mahal getting dizzy.
Then we rode another bus, this time a smaller Ceres bus heading to Surigao City.
Fare: P226.00 each
Hot Tip! Go do your bathroom duties and buy food because the ride from Butuan City to Surigao City takes up to 4.5 hours. Plus, the bus you’ll be riding won’t have any toilet in it anymore because they’re just regular-sized buses so we had to use the public bathroom in the bus station.
Use of Public CR: P7.00 each
TAKE A TRICYCLE TO SURIGAO PORT
We arrived at Surigao City Bus Terminal around 3:00 AM. The terminal is just 4km away from the port but because it was already dawn, we didn’t anymore have the energy to take a public jeepney if there were any. There were already a few tricycle drivers anxious to take on passengers so we said yes to the first tricycle driver who offered us a ride.
RIDE A BOAT FROM SURIGAO PORT TO DAPA PORT IN SIARGAO
It was 3:20 AM when we got to Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal in Surigao City.
After 9 hours of land travel (1 taxi, 2 buses, 1 tricycle), we were finally at Surigao Port. We were catching the 5am Montenegro Shipping Lines (Reina Veronica). The passenger terminal has airport feels to it. There’s a little playground too perfect for our Tuzzy! The whole place is clean as well. We really liked their passenger terminal.
Fare: P100.00 each
Terminal Fee: P10.00 each
Hot Tip! Montenegro Shipping Lines offer promo fare every year from October to Dec. 31. The fare is only P100 per head, economy aircon. After Dec. 31, the fare will go back to its original price of P360.00.
Onboard Reina Veronica, we bought some food.
Fita cookies: P40
RIDE A TRICYCLE FROM DAPA PORT TO CLOUD NINE, SIARGAO
We arrived at Dapa Port at 10:00 AM. We went down the boat around 10:30 AM coz I was still sleeping due to overfatigue, lol. There were already so many tricycle drivers trying to get our bags which really irked me and made me feel uncomfortable but I just went with the flow of things as I no longer have the energy to argue at this point. It’s a good thing that the driver was nice and really offered a good price to think that the tricycle ride can take up to 1 hour depending on the speed of the tricycle. I would have offered more had I known that the ride will be long.
Fare: P200.00 for the whole ride
Hot Tip! On our trip back from Siargao to Dapa Port 9 days later, tricycle drivers would offer us P400-500 as fare. Don’t say yes! Haggle. At least haggle until P300.00. That’s the fare we got on the way back to Dapa Port at the end of our Siargao trip.
We arrived at our hotel, Point 303, at about 11:30 AM. It’s a sister hotel of Ocean 101 where I stayed for 2 weeks during the summer of 2012. I paid for the first 5 nights at Point 303 using my Cathay Pacific Visa Signature card because that was the original plan, to stay for 5 nights which I later extended to 8 nights. Mahal and I stayed here at Point 303 back in September 2013 when we were just best friends and we stayed for a week or so, I think 9 days too. It was just P600.00 per night then. How everything is pricier now here in Siargao!
Cost of 5 nights at Point 303: P8,140 inclusive of 3% interest coz I used my card instead of paying cash.
Hot Tip! If you have the cash, always pay in cash to avoid the interest rates hotels impose on payments.
SUMMARY OF EXPENDITURES
cab: 220/2= 110
1st bus: 400
buko pie: 150/2= 75
other food: 150/2= 75
2nd bus: 226
public cr: 7
tricycle: 140/2= 70
terminal fee: 10
Total per person: P1193.00
So there! I hope I was able to help you plan your road trip (a.k.a. long budget commute) to this beautiful island of dreams!
The next time we go to Siargao, we hope to take the plane even without having to avail of the promo fares and we hope to book at more expensive and nicer hotels (dreaming of Nay Palad formerly Dedon Island) should everything go well with our businesses and we get to improve our income and lifestyle. But until then, this will suffice.
Have fun on your Siargao trip and take care always!
Til my next post!