Journey back to 2010
The nomad and artist in me came to visit this long weekend that just passed. With my lens in tow, we breezed off to the far northern part of island Mindanao. We planned to go to Tandag in Surigao del Sur; but a day before Friday, plans changed. We decided to head off to Butuan city and stay for the night and experience what this city of my grandmother has to offer.
Part of experiencing the city is to dine at “Margie’s.” and that’s just what we did. It’s now located in a quaint place with a quaint bookshop aptly called, “book nook.” Margie’s and book nook caught my interest. Their charm is just too enticing. Sad to say, we’re both fickle minded. We zoomed off to Surigao city at the last minute. We were supposed to be in Surigao city on Saturday as planned. Things changed and off we went to the surfing capital of the Philippines.
Unmindful of the fact that both of us are treading on unfamiliar grounds, we drove off and as the song goes, just followed the yellow brick road. One arrow led us to another arrow and after following a series of arrows and a few asking for directions, the cool wind breeze of Surigao city brushed our faces (it was raining!).
The Surigao city in my mind was different from what I saw. It is a progressive city with the charm of an old town. It’s full of life both modern and provincial. A very charming city. It’s an adventure one should not miss.
From what I’ve heard, a week never pass without a rain in this city. Little did we know we are about to experience this tale. It was raining real hard but it went off as fast as it poured. The rain did not stop the Surigaonons and visitors from enjoying the night. We met with friends and had dinner of what they’re famous for and my favorite, crabs and prawns! We finished it off with wine. We had more than a bottle but why worry, we’re in a company of friends and we’re enjoying ourselves!
The night has to end. We parted with memories of a great night; but wait, the parting did not make us doze off to dreamland. The night hawkers in us made us explore the city, unguided. We ended up at Islands, a bar cum café. The place was alive and full of people like us who are not yet ready to call it a night. A band was playing and people were partying outside. We stayed indoor and just enjoyed ourselves with a round or two of beers. Then we headed off to the hinterland where we were billeted. It’s overlooking the city.
The morning after. Sun was bright again; and morning would not be morning without my dose of caffeine and I had two doses with my breakfast. Breakfast was at Maharlika café overlooking the sea and the city. It was relaxing. The sea was so calm despite the heavy rain of the previous day.
We packed our bags with my camera full of the beauty that is Surigao. We headed off to Butuan city with a few stops and turns to take shots of the road stories that caught my naked eye.
Butuan is synonymous with Margie’s (for me). The food is really great! I had spicy Vietnamese chicken. Its spiciness came from ginger and its rice was sprinkled with basil. I topped it off with coffee and bittersweet brownie. Aaahh bittersweet happiness! It was just delightful. The previous day I had fish n’ fries sprinkled with basil. I just have this love affair with basil. I so love this spice! The coffee was kaling-ga coffee and it was the dark roast type. Perfect with my bittersweet brownie! He had Salisbury steak and food for the gods. True to its name, it must have been the favorite of the gods. He brought home a few pieces for himself; wouldn’t even share unless I make coy. Hmp! We stayed there for hours and I immersed myself at book nook while he was busy with his legal matters.
Finally, we were almost near our final stretch. We left Butuan city and drove down to the province of Misamis Oriental. My province! When we reached Medina, we stopped by at Duka Bay. The stars must have been aligning with us; there was just one remaining suite. We stayed for the night and it was raining again. The soul is willing but the body is begging for sleep. While he was having his forty winks, (he was the king of the road, aka driver) I busied myself with my lens. It was just the perfect moment. I’ve been waiting for this; to take photos after the rain. With dewdrops hanging on petals and leaves, it was just perfect! I was so enamored by the beauty of the moment and the place.
It was again nightfall and we had our favorite lapu-lapu and sizzling seafood at the restaurant. The night was magical. You can hear the splashing of the waves while dining. Rain had stopped and the night sky was lit with stars. That night, I had the most relaxing sleep. I dozed off the moment my head hit the pillow; and I realized I was also tired.
Morning came and we had a leisurely breakfast, had two doses of caffeine. Brought my camera with me and took photos; photos of him while he was busy minding his surroundings. I called this album, “the different faces of a chismoso.” He was unmindful of the lens and just continued with his thing. Of which I also enjoyed. I also had fun taking shots of children enjoying the sea and the sand. I also had a brief encounter with national geographic. Almost did! I followed a bird through my lens but still I never caught that moment when it took a bite on a leaf. It would have been my perfect national geographic moment.
We bid goodbye to Duka and again, one should not leave Misamis Oriental without stopping by at Talisayan. The best seafood! I had adobo shells and fried lapu-lapu (again!). It was the perfect meal to cap our adventure. Then we headed off to the city that is Cagayan de Oro full of memories.
This long weekend was one of the perfect getaways. The series of events were unplanned. We just went with the flow and enjoyed ourselves.
Definitely, I’m going back to the surfing capital and beat the high waves. Soon I’ll conquer it!