Sohoton Cove and the Mysteries of Bucas Grande Island


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Asia » Philippines » Surigao » Bucas Grande
September 29th 2006
Published: October 18th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

This is a map of Siargao and Bucas Grande at the wall of Ocean 101This is a map of Siargao and Bucas Grande at the wall of Ocean 101This is a map of Siargao and Bucas Grande at the wall of Ocean 101

I drew an arrow to show you the distance we travelled for 2 hours by boat.
Today, we have planned to go to Sohoton Cove, Socorro, Bucas Grande Island. It is 2 hours away from Siargao Island so we hired a double engine boat that can cover the long distance and withstand moderate waves.

Bucas Grande is a less popular island compared to the other major islands of Surigao namely, Dinagat Island and Siargao Island. I have not seen much pictures of it from the internet so I did not have a clear image of what to expect. Little did I know that it turned out to be one of my favorite places here in the province of Surigao.

Feeling small amidst a chessboard of green cliffs



We left the resort at 9:30am. On the way, we were again able to see Guyam, Dako, and Naked Islands. Within an hour’s time, we have seemed to approach a large island that did not have sandy shores. Instead, it had sprawling rocky cliffs with heavy vegetation. For another hour, we were maneuvering around small green cliffs that must have sprung out of the sea from nowhere. There were lots of them! I was feeling smaller and smaller… like Honey-I-shrank-the-kids and I was on a chessboard amidst
The clear waters of SohotonThe clear waters of SohotonThe clear waters of Sohoton

Photo taken by Ayeen [http://sweetsentiments.multiply.com/]
green cliffs (or my imaginary pawns). I felt smaller but, at the same time, I was feeling more peaceful inside -- stunned in awe of the beauty that surround me.

It was noon when we arrived and registered at the Sohoton Cove Visitor’s Area. Immediately, I put on my mask, snorkel and fins. I could not resist the turquoise waters that surround the many islets in this area. I plunged in and noticed that the Visitor’s Deck was constructed on top of an underwater cliff. Just a few meters off the wooden foundation is a drop off. I was seeing like an underwater valley. All the visible islets above sea level were just the peaks of these mountains. There were schools of small fish happily swimming about. I found two sea cucumbers feeding, each elongated to a size taller than I am! There were clams, lots of sea urchins (“tadjum” in Surigaonon) and angel fish. I was enjoying the water’s excellent visibility.

We ate lunch, which we took with us, then we boarded 2 smaller pump boats for all 14 of us (5 were our guides).

Exploring Caves



In 30 minutes, the guides brought us to an island even my Ate Eunor hasn’t been to before. We trekked into a very narrow path swamped with tall grass and shrubs. In a few minutes, we found ourselves at the mouth of splitting caves:

Bolitas Cave



Going left is Bolitas Cave which was named so, due to the presence of small rounded stones they call “bolitas”. The chamber is so small that only one person could pass through at a time and he has to literally crawl downwards. It was a dark chamber, they say. We did not get in this cave. (Hopefully, I may come back to Bucas Grande and enter this narrow-mouthed cave.)

Crystal Cave



Going right is the safer Crystal Cave. This is the cave we chose to get into. Since this has not been tagged yet as an official tourist destination (BTW we’re lucky they brought us here), there was no provision for flashlights unlike Kweba De Oro in Cagayan De Oro. Somehow, we managed to get in and see crystal-like formations on its stalactites. It was getting warm as we walked further through the cave. It only took 30 minutes for us to explore the walkable chamber of this cave.

Sohoton Cove



It felt like being in a labyrinth as we turned left, turned right and turned in all sorts of directions… Till we finally saw a cove! THE Cove! Alas, it’s Sohoton Cove! Yey!

We entered through the cove without having to bend down too much. It was a small cove and it took us barely half a minute to pass through it. Inside were more very green cliffs and clear, crisp, turquoise waters. True enough, such splendid view of nature gave me a feeling of tranquility. As my mom puts it, as if she can just talk to God right there and then - because we were immersed in His wonderful creation. I do not know how it felt like for my other travel mates, but for me, it was more than just a nature trip - it was communing with the Creator’s unfathomable works of wonder. I guess I have somehow learned to shift from the been-there-done-that kind of mentality in traveling.

In my opinion, there’s more to than just seeing and being seen on some fantastic place. It’s more about how the place has affected or changed you.



Horseshoe - Sohoton Cove’s Landmark



As soon as we got through the cove, the guide showed us the only landmark that helps him (and the other locals, as well) recognize Sohoton Cove amongst the many islets/cliffs and its crevices. It’s a rock with an oversized “stalactite” that barely touches the water. They call it Horseshoe.

Our guide said we must leave Sohoton in a span of 2 hours or else the high tide will flood the cove and we will be trapped inside. It’s the only way in and the only way out of this group of islets. I very much respect the fishermen of Bucas Grande for they know their islands like the back of their hand.

Hagukan Cave



We reached a crevice by some islet and the guides jumped into the water. They say we have already reached Hagukan Cave and it’s time for us to get inside it. Weee!!! In an instant, I was wearing my gears already. I swam around the boat and then into the cave.

We entered through the part of the crevice where the ceiling of the cave and the water level is slightly larger than the size of one’s head. We had to be careful though; there were barnacles that are sharp enough to scratch one’s face. It could be scary to enter for people with claustrophobia and H2O-phobia combined, HEHE! It was really dark inside. Our only source of light was from the opening of this cave. Inside is a big rock to stand on. It’s a relief for the tiring challenge of treading water. Good thing my friends were all provided with PFDs or life vests. Everyone was having fun swimming in the dark.

I did not see much fish inside, though. I saw a few angel fish who didn’t mind my presence as they seemingly stare at some part of the crevice of the cave.

“Haguk” means to snore in Surigaonon dialect. They say that on the onset of high tide, the opening of Hagukan Cave almost gets flooded. The entry of splashing water plus the strong winds create the sound of a snoring giant. Thus, it was named Hagukan Cave.

Magkukuob Cave



We entered another cave smaller than Hagukan. It was not as dark as Hagukan, but it had more visible and beautiful rock formations inside it. The water inside was waist-level. Upon entering the cave thru the water, we climbed up into its elevated chamber of plentiful jugs (large holdings for climbing). It was a steep climb. Most of the holds were pointed
Inside Magkukuob CaveInside Magkukuob CaveInside Magkukuob Cave

We walked up this steep chamber of jugs
upwards, but atleast they were not sharp. We climbed up till we realized we were out of the cave and 15 feet above the water! A make-shift wooden ledge was tied to the branches and roots of some trees.

The guides challenged us to jump into the water.

Jump?! Haven’t we done enough jumping in Cagayan De Oro 4 days ago?

My heart was beating faster. Again. The last time I jumped, I was imagining rocks beneath the rapids. I am terrified by these rocks that might knock me off unconscious and eventually make me drown. This time, there were real rocks. Ackkkk!

Jump in a Parabolic Direction



The rocks (or boulders) were part of the island we were standing on and we have to jump away from it. In nerdy terms, we have to jump in a parabolic direction. We should not hit the boulders below us. Like my friends, we took our time to convince ourselves we could jump off safely. My mom was my number one cheerleader. She shouted, “Anak talon ka ha!” (Daughter, jump… okay!) One guide even pleaded my friend, “Sige na, talon ka na.” (Come on, please jump now.)
Jumping off a cliffJumping off a cliffJumping off a cliff

We ended up 15 feet above the water as we exited the chamber of Magkukuob Cave
The guides were hurrying us up because high tide is nearing and we have to leave the area soon. So we all jumped.

I hate to leave Bucas Grande but we have to; or else we will be trapped inside and we will have to wait till the next day for the low tide. I heard there’s still a lot to see in this island. I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Bucas Grande is still a mystery to me despite the handful of caves we've seen today.

We went back to the visitor’s deck to pay appropriate fees (about 2000 pesos all in all). Thanks to Ate Eunor for exuding Surigaonon hospitality, she paid for everything in our stay here at Bucas Grande! We left the island at 4:20pm.


Back to Siargao Island… Dropping by Guyam Island



It was already 6:00pm when we docked at Guyam Island. It was already dark. We were moon bathing instead. My mom bought freshly picked coconuts from the man in the island so we spent some more time feasting on fresh buko (“lubi” in Surigaonon) juice and white meat. Ahhh… I still have room
Aerial View of SohotonAerial View of SohotonAerial View of Sohoton

Photo borrowed from Karlo [http://www.xanga.com/rasta_jo]
for dinner.

The surf behaving badly…



Over dinner, Jing, my surfing tutor, told us we have missed watching the Surfing Competition. It was scheduled tomorrow morning, Sept 30, but the committee decided to hold it yesterday. What?! I was a bit disappointed. All the more I got confused will all these changes in schedules. True enough, the surf breaks in Siargao are feeble and unpredictable. I read that somewhere in the internet. Anyhow, we were told to hurry washing up because the Awarding Ceremony for the Surfing Competition will be held at 8:00pm tonight. It’s already 7:00pm so we better hurry!

’Sorry, but I am not a party person’



The van brought us to Cabuntog Lodge, which is 10 minutes away from our resort. We sat next to where the foreigners were. My travel mates did a good job of finding the right spot. We were right in front of the stage/runway! This is the most strategic location to take pictures of the hunky surfers as they grab their trophies and awards.

After the speeches of the Barbers family and after the Awarding Ceremony, was everyone’s favorite… the Bikini Open. The crowd was enjoying the event and we partied till midnight. Beach, surfers, drinks, new found friends, loud music, PARTY!!! I said I’m not a party person but I partied hard tonight. Okay, enough already. We need to get some sleep and recharge for tomorrow’s surfing lessons! Yahooo!



Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


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Pan de SurfPan de Surf
Pan de Surf

... because it's shaped like a surfboard. Others call it Pan de Totoy. Go figure! (This bread of General Luna is still baked the old-fashioned way.)


18th October 2006

ang gwapo talaga ni crushee! (ung parang si wolverine) hahaha. kakatakam naman yang si pan de surf
20th October 2006

wonderful...
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! You must have had a great time exploring the many wonders of Bucas Grande Island. You've got a nice way of describing your adventures and the things you saw... I almost felt like I was there in person! Well done!
27th October 2006

oo nga e miss ko na rin yung pan de surf... sweet_sentiments, bagay kayo ni crushee!! hehe
7th November 2006

Fly here!
Thanks thanks Ralph. Come on! Hop into a plane and I will tour you to our beautiful islands...
11th October 2007

ganda talaga nang Bucas Grande Island....hindi niyo pa nakikita ang lahat lalo na ang Magkahuyog Falls..sana visit niyo rin po ito I'm sure hahanga rin kayo sa kagandahan nito...at sana makikita ko rin ito sa internet..thnks..more power!!!!
13th October 2007

Come
Oh...come on and descover the mysteries of Bucas Grande Island....you will miss half of your life!!!
15th November 2007

Paradise Island
I'm proud to say I was born and raised in such wonderful paradise island the "Bucas Grande"...........You will be amaze of its beautiful spots.....come and see its mysterious views and the so called enchanted cave......that will make you stay there for along time.... c ya,,,,,,,,
6th December 2007

Wow
Wow talaga ang "Sohoton Cove" to the highest level in terms of adventures...ma pa- pa wow ka talaga sa todo excitement mo of this very amazing place..see u there...hello friend Rina lets go back there.....swimming ta u ha?.....
14th March 2008

Paradise
one word to summarize my comment about Suhoton: Wow!
5th April 2008

amazed by Sohoton
I am from Davao City, I did not know anything about Sohoton, my friends just brought me their without much explaination. It's one of the most fascinating, amazing, et.al. place I have ever been to. A must see place. :-)
2nd September 2008

p
im so proud to be socorronhon!
8th September 2008

^_^
yes< that is really true! sohoton cave in Socorro, bucas grande island is amazing! a God's gift that should be treasured and kept forever! Sohoton cave, Bucas Grande island---perfectly amazing!
14th October 2008

Daghan mi'g ganahon sa bucas grande. Ali mo! malipay mi taga isla makameet ug mga estranyo.
12th November 2008

wonderful cove sohoton...
it's amazing and wonderful... the best cave I've ever seen... to all adventurous what are you waiting for? go go go go go go.......
4th December 2008

sohoton... the best!
i've been to sohoton just once but the experience is priceless. sohoton is by far the best compared to anything else. sohoton for me is nature at its finest....
12th January 2009

It's amazing cave....It's a nice
14th January 2009

!
finding for a place where u need to relax? visit our place! where u can find the tranquility and peace that u r finding for, u can experience and feel the soothing effect of relaxation, and u can witness the bewitching view of the crystal-clear under water world. u don't need to go in2 anodir nation, kai nia ra sa SOCORRO ang a2ng gipangita! don't be a stranger of your own place. wat r u waiting 4? tra lets, visit socorro!
14th January 2009

m prouD 2 b a socorronhon! the pan de surf u call s actually NILOLI. hehe. i am proud to say that, with sohoton cave, magkahuyog cave, and all other bewitching and eye-catching spots, and kind people, NOTHING BEATS SOCORRO!
9th March 2009

wow
its really wow.......... WONDERFULLLL!
16th April 2009

wow
palawan + boracay + hundred island= SUHOTON it all in one package
17th May 2009

i had a blast in siargao!i did the jump like every other tourist!=D i feel in love with the island!be coming back soon!
30th June 2009

socorro
wow!!! talaga ang socorro, bucas grande island? meron na silang puyange beach na parang buracay, may magkahuyog falls na parang maria christina , ang kapehan, na pweding mag relax dahil sa presko ng hangen na parang baguio, sea foods sa dagatan na lahat meron sila, lalo na sa sohoton cove na its mysterious place, nandon ang hagukan na nakakaputi ng skin, diving na nakakalula, at sa bolitas cave na matatag puan ang cristal na mga bato na kasing gilak ng ginto,, wow! talaga I LOVE SOCORRO, I LOVE BUCAS GRANDE ISLAND.
6th July 2009

wonderful
nothing else........ wooooooooondddddeeeeeeerrrrrrrffffffuuuuuuullllllllllllllll.....
23rd November 2009

fabulous
I've been in sohoton or soton when i was a little kid... my father brings me thier many time. since my barrio is near the place. my town is STA Cruz. but that was part of my childhood. I've been longing to visit again next year fiesta of our barrangay....after 25 years....
24th January 2010

i love this place!
we went to sohoton last summer.. it was one of the greatest places ive been to. nice people, peaceful place! its just sad that we havent stayed for long there since weve spent most of our time at cloud nine... i wish i can go back to sohoton!
14th May 2010

proud to be
that is really true! sohoton cave in Socorro, bucas grande island is amazing! a God's gift that should be treasured and kept forever! Sohoton cave, Bucas Grande island---perfectly amazing!we went to sohoton last summer.. it was one of the greatest places ive been to. nice people, peaceful place! its just sad that we havent stayed for long there since weve spent most of our time at cloud nine... i wish i can go back to sohoton!
1st June 2010

bucas grande is truly amazing
hi! i'm glad you've visited this truly beautiful and mysterious island. I had the chance to visit this place in 2002. it wasn't that well-known yet. if i had known better, i should have taken more pics to remind me of its glorious and enchanting beauty. Actually, i stumbled upon your blog coz my friend keeps on asking about surigao. this will surely convince her to visit the place sometime in the future. and i would surely go back to bucas grande. up until now, it's beauty never fails to mesmerize me all the more.
23rd June 2010

Thanks to you guys..
thanks to you guys for visiting and exploring the wonderful place in Surigao ., yeah really the Sohoton cave in Socorro, Bukas grande island is amazing.. I proud to be a socoronhon... ^_^ Now I am developing a site for sohoton cave, with a title "Sohoton adventure" to easy you guys to came here and reserve with no hassle... so you next guys..
10th July 2010

patsada jud
yeah..it's true bucas grande is a amazing place we have a nice veiw and also suhoton is a exiting place.so go thier char taga socorro manku..mao
20th July 2010

I can't wait to see sohotton once again.... i've been their when i was a little kit..... though til now i'd never had a chance to visit my province (sta Cruz) i hope in the near future ay makakapasyal di ako dyan... mabuhay mga surigaonon
7th August 2010

Its suhoton cave. theres no suhoton cove.
22nd September 2010

ganda on the mix
bucas grande is truly amazing hi! i'm glad you've visited this truly beautiful and mysterious island. I had the chance to visit this place in 2002. it wasn't that well-known yet. if i had known better, i should have taken more pics to remind me of its glorious and enchanting beauty. Actually, i stumbled upon your blog coz my friend keeps on asking about surigao. this will surely convince her to visit the place sometime in the future. and i would surely go back to bucas grande. up until now, it's beauty never fails to mesmerize me all the more. thanks to you guys for visiting and exploring the wonderful place in Surigao ., yeah really the Sohoton cave in Socorro, Bukas grande island is amazing.. I proud to be a socoronhon... ^_^ Now I am developing a site for sohoton cave, with a title "Sohoton adventure" to easy you guys to came here and reserve with no hassle... so you next guys..
11th October 2010

Im so proud that i am a purely socorronhon
28th June 2011

sohoton tour online information and reservation
Yes sohoton cove of Bucas Grande Island is simply amazing such a wonderful and a God gift place, we proudly announce the new sohoton tour site with all information including history, tourist spots, rates, reservation online and more hurry visit now atsohoton amazing tour
6th July 2011

amazing bucas grande!
nice!,you explore the beauty of sohoton cave,,,because i want to see it,in personal,Im excited to go there,,,,,thanks for blog!!!
16th July 2011
A view from the inside of Hagukan Cave

amazing place
It is really nice........
9th August 2011
A view from the inside of Hagukan Cave

sohoton cave
sohoton is a very beautiful place
4th September 2011

We were there in Sohoton last August 24, 2011. This is really a must-see place...a lovely place.
10th November 2011

i like reading your blog. it reminds me of my trip to those islets last August. the next time you go to bucas grande, don\'t forget to check out the harmless jellyfish there. it\'s an awesome experience. you get to swim with swarms of jellyfish. they\'re completely harmless,. you dont have to worry of getting stung or having an itchy feeling.. they all come in different sizes - the smallest ones are just as big as a pencil eraser, the larger ones are as big as your palms. their colors range from golden brown to dark brown with some greenish or sometimes orange tints.. seeing them underneath the blue-green waters is such a breath taking sight. you would surely love to see them too

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