For the first time, I celebrated my birthday away from home. It was during one of Cebu Pacific’s piso fare seatsales that I was able to book our tickets. It was a happy coincidence that the dates I booked coincided with my birthday. I and my companions didn’t create an itinerary for this trip, but I was determined to enjoy every last minute of our trip to Surigao del Sur 🙂
The magic number was 7. They were friends, both old and new. Me, Ian, Rose, Jan and Francis have already been to several trips together so we knew each others quirks and tendencies. It was my first time to travel with Kris and Nonong. There was a bit of awkwardness at first, but we quickly grew out of it. Travel does that… It always has a way of bringing people closer together.
A thumbs up for Cebu Pacific this time because our flights left and arrived on time. I was the one who almost didn’t make it to the airport in time for check-in. I decided to put my faith in Manila’s public transportation but it failed me even though I left 2 hours before the check-in counters were supposed to close. A lesson was learned. Thankfully, my friends were able to check me in at the self-service kiosks. I arrived 10 minutes before the boarding call. Whew!
A portion of our travel budget went into snacks bought during the flight. For some reason, the 7 of us were all hungry during the flight. We stopped the snack cart and it didn’t get to leave for a good 15 minutes because of everything we ordered. I got a sandwich, chips and hot chocolate for Php 260. Expensive, I know. But I wasn’t thinking about the cost because I was so hungry. If we had the time, we should have brought food before getting on the plane.
How we got to Bislig from Bancasi Airport
There are no direct flights to Surigao del Sur. The closest airport was in Butuan, Agusan del Norte. We had to figure out how to get to Bislig from Bancasi Airport. Thankfully, there were vans waiting for passengers at the airport. We left our bags with the driver and went to eat dinner at the diners just in front of the airport while waiting for the van to get other passengers. The fare was Php 350. It was a bit expensive but the advantage was the convenience of not having to commute to the terminal for public transport.
The driver told us that it would only take 2.5 hours to get to Bislig. But the frequent stops made the trip 4 hours long. We left the airport at past 7pm and arrived at our accommodation near midnight.
Casa de Babano
Casa de Babano is one of the well-known establishments in Bislig. This is the only part of the trip I arranged. I reserved our rooms only 2 days before and they thankfully had rooms to accommodate our group. We availed 2 separate rooms for the guys and ladies. Our room had 3 single beds, aircon, TV and shower. The guys’ room had 2 single beds, a double deck, TV, aircon and shower. Breakfast was included in our room rates. I only wish that there were more power sockets in the room (we had 2 after removing the plug for the TV).
The breakfast left us wanting for more. The serving size was small – a cup of rice, half a scrambled egg and a piece of hotdog. We just decided to make up for our hunger during lunch. LOL.
Mac Arthur’s Place
We stayed at Mac Arthur’s during our last night in Surigao del Sur. This was so we were closer to Britannia Group of Islands and to the airport. We availed of 1 room this time.
What I liked was that they had their own boats to take guests on the Britannia tour, a small store for food and necessities and a restaurant where you can ask them to cook your own food.
What I didn’t like was the limited number of sockets (there were 2 plugs shared among 7 of us) and no hot shower too. The water from the faucet had a weird smell and taste. I would immediately drink bottled water after brushing my teeth in the bathroom to remove the taste. I think they need to check for rust in their water pipes.