The fleeting trip to Surigao City late last year was full-packed yet our plan was amply covered. We have been planning to explore the city for diving and finding Mabua Divers more than a year ago was a blessing. It was unexpected to chance upon a dive operator, I was rejoicing I found one. So, my dive buddy just gave in to my whims. On a November weekend, we met up in Butuan terminal to catch up a bus to Surigao. Our hosts were too excited to have us for our dives.
We arrived past 8am already with Dirk & Doris eagerly waiting for us, with almost everything ready – the rubber boat, boatman, gears and other needs. Our hosts warned us not to rush, it was comforting as Angel and I both had short naps during the night trip. Dirk showed us around their property that has on-going works for the the additional two floors of the building.
Deep in Mabua
Our boat sped off west ward as Dirk wanted to show us the neighboring shores and the lighthouse, and got back for our first descent in Looc. I went first but was carried away by the current, what did took them long to get off? A local fisherman helped and tow me to our boat until I was picked up. The slope was decorated with a small reef – corals, anemones, feather stars , juvenile fishes and hard corals. There were groupers, barramundi, puffers and nudis. The black leaf fish was a great find!
We had a long surface interval, our hosts graciously entertained us with travel stories! Our next descent was at Mabua Rock, we dismissed it in the morning after Dirk failed to locate it. 🙂 It’s a big rock among white sandy area, covered with corals, anemones, crinoids, hydroids – with juvenile fishes swarming around. It has more active fish life, it was uniquely situated as if separated from other forms of life. The rock served as reef and shelter to variety of species. We found yellow leaf fish, lots of puffers, banded pipefish, dotted barramundi, nudis and a herd of striped eelfish. We noticed a seastar with its fingers deformed, like it has a disease! We made rounds again and again until Dirk signaled for our ascent. It was reviving to be in the depths again after almost nine weeks!
Should you do a round trip Cdeo – Surigao – Cdeo in less than 36 hours? Quirky and rash but we had quiet moments to relax and savor life’s surprises. Indeed Mabua is more than just a pebbles beach as it was known, it has its own secrets beyond its unique shoreline and blue waters. It has its own mystery, just waiting for curious spirits.
After the dives, we rushed to Butuan City and had dinner in our fave cafe, Margie’s Kitchen, lingered and waited until it closed at 1am, then proceed to the bus terminal. We took the 2am aircon bus to CdeO, and arrived past 6am. Leisurely sat on a park bench in Divisoria, then had a sumptuous breakfast at another favorite, Vienna Cafe which opened at 8am. Just savoring precious moments in our favorite homey restos! 🙂
NB. Underwater photos courtesy of Angel using iPhone 4S with iPix.