Little has been known about the Dinagat Islands if the general public from Luzon would speak. Apart from being one of the newest provinces of the Philippines, Dinagat Islands has been on traditional media just because of a clan that made it their political stronghold. Usual news was usually about issues against the clan. But beyond this varying news, Dinagat Islands keeps its pristine beauty from the eyes of the general public. Within its micro-archipelagic boundaries, lies a number of picturesque islands, clean lakes, virgin forests, breathtaking views, and amazing white beaches. Its quiet state has long protected these landscapes and seascapes away from the inquisitive eyes of the domestic travelling community. It would be one of the least chosen destinations but having visited there for two days, I would like to share these reasons why you should explore Dinagat Islands. Generally, I would describe it as the fusion of Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, Karst Cliffs of Coron, Beaches of Boracay and reach marine life of Batangas, all straddled together in one promising destination.
IT IS THE VIRGIN VERSION OF THE FAMOUS SIARGAO
Many have already set foot in Siargao, thanks to a film that brought that paradise to the limelight. Siargao had already developed its fair share of the tourism market. Little that many do not know lies near the shores of Siargao is the mini archipelagic province of Dinagat Islands. This new province features almost the same natural wonders of other mainstream tourism destinations, sans the crowd and tourists. There are also much fewer commercial developments there, tourism activities are managed by locals instead of the oligarchs or foreign operators.
LESS CROWDED WHITE BEACHES AT PAGKAWASAN BEACH
We have visited many white beaches in a day, most often, we own the area. We were the only group at that place. We only hear mother nature and its amazing symphony running through our ears. We trampled around its compact white sand beach against the clear turquoise waters and ran around the shadows of tall coconut trees. We discovered its karst walls leading to a view deck.
TOWERING KARST WALLS AT CABACONGAN BEACH
We have enjoyed various karst formations in Palawan, with a huge fleet of tourist boats around you. Dinagat Islands also boasts of its own karst cliffs, but somehow, taller. The wall particularly in Cabacongan Beach features at least a hundred meters sheer height with a colossal cave opening above us. I could imagine the colony of bats exiting upon sunset.
EXPLORE ITS OWN BLUE HOLE – PANGABANGAN TIDAL POOL
It was an alternating rainy and sunny climate during our visit in Dinagat Islands. It was about to rain when we docked at Libjo, rain clouds above us, shrouding the remaining rays of the noontime sun. The white sandy beach was covered with thick green grass, a rare sight for me. From the docking area is about a 5-minute short hike to the shores where we would see the blue hole. We were astounded by the clear waters and a chance to explore the tidal pool on a floating makeshift raft, however, the drizzle continues. We discovered a trail to upwards to a cliff leading to a view deck with a commanding view of the lagoon. It is too is an easy climb and we exchanged places to have a quick snap. This for me is my best Dinagat Island experience.
IT WON’T COST YOU MUCH
Unlike its neighbouring touristy and mainstream Siargao, the cost of touring around Dinagat Island is not that expensive. There are many boatmen you can charter and meet halfway on the agreed payment. The accommodations too are at rock-bottom prices. The meals we bought are pocket savers. I wished we could have explored more of this paradise.
When we arrived back in San Jose proper, the ever-glorious sun starts to dance above the horizon and sends its burst of golden rays splattering warmth all around us. The sky burned dark orange and the trees sway against the golden hour. The cool misty salty breeze rushed ashore as we marvelled at the sinking radius of the golden disk from afar. Soon, the sky turned mauve and houses nestled in the sloping town of San Jose starts to twinkle with artificial lights, signalling, it is about time to rest.
EXPLORE THE MANSION
On our second day on the island, we chose the explore the mansion grounds owned by a prominent clan there. We hired a motorcycle to bring us there. At the gate, we are instructed to don long pants for modesty purposes, since the sect managing the grounds believes the site to be sacred. We walked around, checking its amazing garden, the mansion facade and the view deck offering amazing views of the sea below. It was a short visit since we need to catch the ferry taking us back to Surigao proper.
WILL I EVER RETURN?
Definitely! Dinagat Islands has more beaches, lakes, rivers, summits, trails and culture to learn and experience. Despite that it has no direct connectivity to the capital Manila, the multiple transfers itself is already an adventure added to your experience of the islands.
HOW TO GO THERE?
From Manila, take flights to Butuan. From Butuan, take bus or van to Surigao. At the terminal in Surigao, charter a tricycle to bring you to the port bound to Dinagat Island.
From Cebu, you can take a flight direct to Surigao. From the airport, charter tricycle to bring you to the port for Dinagat Islands.
5 thoughts on “Top Reasons to visit DINAGAT ISLANDS”
Wow bilis magsulat ah
It is!! Wishing to be back there
ganda naman sa dinagat sir jan!! looking into your blog nowwww 🙂 balitaan mko sa swishotel!! cant wait for its opening. God bless you always and sana makasama ako sa travel mo minsan ^_^ read ur article from travel with carla, 81 provinces just wow!! continue on venturing on the places less traveled ❤
Soon po Dra! Let’s cover po new places para may fresh content.