“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” -John Lubbock
I can say that every island is different from each other. Having been visited so many islands in this part of Southeastern Mindanao, I still wonder and be amused by the uniqueness of each island even those island or islets is just a sandbar! Well, maybe I developed something in myself that I can tell as time goes by wandering around.
As I am getting busy at work and some other stuffs, that did not stop me from giving time writing this for others like you to read and know more about what Mindanao Island can still offer. I would like to ask some apology to my followers here as some of my sentences are a bit off but I will make sure that you will still understand what I am trying to share and tell.
The tour at Britania group of Islands was not the priority for that long vacation day as everyone in the group was eager to climb at Mount Apo but was postponed as insurgencies happened on that day we are scheduled to climb on our suppose to be trail. Since all are packed up and ready to go, a last hour gathering took place and talked about the planned detour avoiding being a couch potato on a long vacation day. All in group came up with one solution “From Highlands to Islands”.
Our decision to visit Britania group of Islands did not failed us as we enjoyed our two days and one night stay on the area.
We left Davao City at around two in the morning aboard our contact hired van and we did a stopover at New Sibunga, Nabunturan for some early morning snack then proceeded with our travel. We took our breakfast at San Francisco Municipality and dropped by an eatery along the Davao – Surigao Highway frequently visited by travelers.
All in all, we traveled for three and a half hours before we reached the Municipality of San Agustin where Britania is a Barangay. Sceneries of farmlands, Mountains along the way are refreshingly soothing to the eye like me who live all my life in an urbanized city.
Britania is composed of twenty four (24) of Islands and Islets situated at Lianga Bay, part of Surigao Del Sur facing the Pacific Ocean on the east side. Its tourism industry is new as they have just embraced to promote their fishing village into a tourism destination being a recipient program dubbed as “Building the Community, Building the Eco-tourism Industry:” by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Local Government Academy in coordination with the Provincial Government. This is a community development project through the 5Ps (Panibagong Paraan sa Pagpapalakas ng Pamahalaang Panlokal). The RTours who initiated this event contributed in the awareness of boosting the tourism industry of the area and to also help locals bump up their economy by bring local tourist not just here in Surigao but to other places of interest here in Mindanao.
Mangrove on the left side of the road greeted us as we are on our way to the boat pier. It was as fascinating scenery as the waters was so clear along with its white sand shores mixed with fisherman’s colorful small boats.
Our hired van parked on a wide area and we proceeded to their guest accommodation house as we are oriented about the islands and islets as well as about the Barangay, and some folklore stories how the names of some islands was derived.
The sky turned cloudy and it was going to rain that time. The Tourism coordinator assisted us on acquiring the boat as well as the rental of life vest for the rest of our island tour for only 20 pesos. Cheap rental for a life saving item!
As the boat sailed on, rain poured heavily, gust of winds too strong as well as the waves are getting big. Good thing our boat personnel carefully maneuvered our boat with all their might and reached one of the islands for shelter.
It was a great adventure as we experienced those typhoon like scenario in the middle of the sea next to it the Pacific Ocean! Well, for readers, this does not mean that I scare you but this is not happening all the time, remember that nature does not knock and anytime, anywhere we shall be prepared always. Okay?
Moving on, We took shelter at Boslon Islet, the largest islet in the group, Named after a Priest who took shelter on the island on the world war days as narrated by tourism coordinator. It took us 25 minutes of 15 minutes normal boat ride due to heavy rain.
Of all the 24 Islands and Islets, only three islands and islets where visited as we enjoyed so much the island along with other participants. Boslon Island has a huge mountain rock and one can take shelter on its lower ground as the rock was carved by water through the years.