After our lunch and a little rest in the resort, we headed to the most awaited part – Bucas Grande and the rest of Sohoton Cove. Unfortunately, a bad news reported to us that jellyfishes weren’t visible at the moment. According to locals, summer is the best season to visit Bucas Grande because jellyfishes are abundant in the area. Anyway, we still go our way to the cove that means “Grand Opening”.
We stopped by the registration area because the big boats cannot pass through the gate of the cove. It is only accessible during low tide and via an 8-man boat (including the guide and captain), therefore it’s really a must to go out of the cove when the level of water is getting high since there’s no way out than the ‘gate’. At maliit lang ang opening kaya you have to watch your head out from stalactites.Passing through the grand opening (translation of Bucas Grande) is like having a grand entrance – A little suspense from the dark until islets after islets shine through and a sea of green dominates my sight.
There are only three things to visit in the cove.
First, the small Hagukan Cave. Travelers need to swim going inside to see it’s beauty. I advise to make sure you have lifevest eventhough you know how to swim. Malalim kasi ang tubig at nakakapagod if there’s no lifevest. You will not enjoy the view. Why? It’s weird why the water seems like glowing. They say it could be the jellyfishes but I haven’t seen even one. Though maybe it’s the light from the sun that diffracted when it passed through the water and spread out underneath the cave – like something that’s glowing in the dark.
Second is the Magkukuob Cave. This is smaller than the Crystal Cave but I believe the formations of stalactites are more stunning than other caves in Sohoton. They’re longer, compacted and crystal-like. A must-see is the formation on the way up. My apologies if I wasn’t get a photo of it. My camera’s flash was not functioning. Hehe. Anyway, for those brave enough to have another cliff diving session, you gotta try this though this is lower than the diving spot in Tiktikan. Don’t get bothered if you have no vest and you didn’t know how to swim because the guides will rescue you. Just pray! Anyhow, once you get at the top, there’s no coming back but dive. (I should’ve not spoiled this HAHA)
Third is everything you see in Bucas Grande. It’s like entering a colony of something. When I was there, I imagined myself in the movie ‘Anaconda’ (less Anaconda, of course HAHA) – the time when they’re traversing the Amazon River peacefully with only the sound of nature and the purr of the boat’s engine – like there’s nobody there but us. All that voices out to my mouth is the word ‘wow’. Wow because the cove is like walled by different islets – like a colony safeguarded of indestructible walls to protect from enemy. As I said, there’s no other way out but the small ‘gate’ that closes during high tides. Wow because no man can create such, yet it’s like planned by someone with great powers. Wow because the cove supports wide array of biodiversity where animals freely live in the wild. The endangered Philippine Eagles seem like watching us from afar, like a soldier ready to attack when triggered. Wow because the jellyfishes are friendly enough to play with its visitors without their defensive mechanisms. Wow because the panoramic view of the entire cove is stunning enough to let your eyes simply enjoy the sight. Wow because that is all a speechless mind can utter from amazement and surprise.
The protected area of Bucas Grande is another evidence of why the Philippines is gifted of beauty of nature and biodiversity. Yet, the protected area is like begging for something that might endanger it from us.
The only photo that will break your heart..
One of the first things I’ve noticed when we arrived at Claver was the effect of quarries in this part of Surigao. A lot of industrial ships, almost all of it were aged and weather-beaten, were docked and roaming around the place. The ships must be very busy of something aggressive happening nearby. At first, I thought they only concentrated to a specific area far from where we’re going. However, in the middle of the sea, I’ve realized how great these quarries have already impacted Surigao. Then, it caught me thinking the possible effect of these activities to the place that got me wowed. Sohoton is in danger, I believe. .
While it seems like a peaceful place, focusing your eyes on the background reveals the effect of mining activities in Surigao. Please note that the island in the background is around 40 minutes away by boat. Thus, to see the deforested mountain kilometers away from where I took the photo means that the impact has gone worst. Unfortunately, it’s not the only area where deforestation exists. This video below proves it very well although it hasn’t captured the looooong stretch of it. (Credits to the owner of the video).
The video from Youtube is the same place we passed by going back to Davao City. The long stretch of the effect of mining activity in this part of Surigao seems like we weren’t even gone by a paradise like Sohoton. It’s weary, distressing and heartbreaking. The view at the top will show you hectares of no trees and grasses but trucks and cancerous mountain. A very heart-pumping and very grateful experience in Sohoton and Bucas Grande was translated to grief and sorrow. The ‘desert’ in Surigao is warning us of the greater effect it could cause the gift of nature we have.
Although there have been mining laws signed by different authorities to protect our environment, mining such as this should be investigated by the government to ensure compliance to laws. Gifts must be treasured than taken for granted. My only prayer after more than an hour of traversing the ‘hell to Sohoton’ is for us to have more time to correct the mistake we have done to this paradise. It will never too late. My hopes are up that nothing worst will happen and will ever reach the paradise of Sohoton.
On a lighter note, let me end this by sharing the video of our whole journey in Sohoton Cove, Surigao. Enjoy! ;)
Special thanks to:
Tour Guide: Suh
Mobile Number: 09953840901
Budget: PHP 3,450.00