|Sunday sunrise in Hayanggabon Port|
We were approaching Day 5 of our Eastern Mindanao trip – our much awaited Bucas Grande day! Originally, we planned to travel towards Bucas Grande on the morning of day 5. After much thought, we realized it would be best to travel as early as the afternoon of day 4 so that we can start the tour early the following day and be able to travel back to Butuan early.
|Surigao City Transport Terminal|
After having our late lunch in Gaisano, we walked towards the transport terminal and asked some bystanders where the passenger vehicle bound for Claver was parked. Apparently, we had two options: take a bus or ride a van. I’ve actually had my share of bad experiences riding a van since day 1 so I thought we can just wait for the bus. But my friend insisted we take the van since he was told that it was already leaving. Since there was no assurance when the bus would arrive, I finally agreed to take the van.
|Jeepneys lined up in the terminal|
The van is bound for Hayanggabon, the gateway to Bucas Grande Islands. It is a barangay in the mining town of Claver just south of Claver Poblacion that is famous because of the presence of a port where boats offer daily trips to Siargao Island. Special trips can also be arranged in the port for direct trips to the Bucas Grande Islands, a group of islands that offers a lot of activities for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The next decision we had to make was whether to get off in Hayanggabon or in Claver Poblacion. This was an important decision to make because we haven’t researched any accommodation in both areas. Anyway, we just told the driver that we’ll get off at Hayanggabon.
|Van bound for Hayanggabon|
After about 1 hour and 20 minutes, we reached Claver proper (poblacion) and our van stopped at the transport terminal. Just two blocks before the terminal, I saw a signage of a pension house and told my friend we can get off the van and check in at the pension house. In that way, we can be sure that we’ll have a place to spend the night in than take the risk and continue the trip to Hayanggabon. We were charged 75 pesos each for the trip from Surigao City to Claver Poblacion. Had we decided to continue the trip to Hayanggabon, we’d be charged 100 pesos each.
We walked towards the pension house that I saw. It’s called Revlun Pensionne, a simple accommodation located on the second floor of a commercial building. They offer two room types: the small double room for 600 pesos and big double room for 800 pesos. We got the small room which was equipped with two single beds, air conditioner, and cable television. The rate was actually okay, although I took note of some minor issues about our room. The air conditioning was not that good. The bathroom door was broken, and the water coming out of the faucet was lukewarm (I prefer normal temperature). Two good things about it, on the other hand, were the free-flowing mineral water and the unrestricting policy on late check outs.
|Outside our room in Revlun Pensionne|
|Small double room|
DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT GETTING TO CLAVER OR HAYANGGABON
From Butuan City:
At the Butuan City Integrated Transport Terminal, ride a bus bound for Surigao City. Tell the driver to drop you off at the junction in the town of Placer, Surigao del Norte. Fare in an air conditioned bus is around 150 pesos. At the junction, wait for vans or buses bound for Claver proper, Hayanggabon, or Tandag City. Fare is 60 pesos if you’re headed to Claver proper and around 80 pesos if you’re heading straight to Hayanggabon.
From Surigao City:
At the Surigao City Integrated Transport Terminal, ride a van or bus bound for Claver proper, Hayanggabon or Tandag City. Fare is 75-80 pesos to Claver, 100 pesos to Hayanggabon. If you plan to stay in Claver proper for the night, tricycles can take you to Hayanggabon Port the next morning on a special trip for 200 pesos.You can also take a van or bus to Hayanggabon Port for around 35 pesos.
|Towards the port. Reddish color of sand due to mining operations|
|The boat's been here for ages|