In my ardent desire to help promote the many spectacular places to see in the Municipality of Governor Generoso in my home province of Davao Oriental, The Travel Teller organized a day tour called “Suroy-suroy Sa Sigaboy: A Day Tour to Gov. Generoso” last Sunday, May 20, 2012. This tour was co-organized by my travel best buddy Sarah Jane Elizar, the woman behind Sarah’s Travel Diary.
This event was inspired based on my recent trip to Governor Generoso sponsored by the Municipal Tourism Office of the town. As my way of thanking them, I promised to bring friends and guests to also see and experience all the things I love about their coastal town. After weeks of planning and inviting, “Suroy-suroy Sa Sigaboy: A Day Tour to Gov. Generoso” was all set and ready to go participated by 26 equally adventurous souls.
Aboard the two hired passengers vans, we left Davao City at 4:00 o’clock in the very morning. From Davao City, traveling by land to Governor Generoso is approximately two and half hours. As planned, the group stopped at the Welcome Park of Davao Oriental for breakfast. This is the part of Davao Oriental developed by the Province as one-stop tourist destination. It has a coffee shop named Oriental Café and a recently constructed 601-step Shrine of the Holy Cross where motorists, tourists and alike can enjoy. The coffee shop was still closed when we got there but we were allowed to use the outdoor tables for breakfast.
Soon after breakfast, we traveled our way to Governor Generoso. The Municipal Tourism Staffs were already at the Municipal Building waiting for us. We were also privileged to be escorted by no less than the Provincial Tourism Officer of Davao Oriental Mr. Miguel Trocio who traveled from Mati City just to be with us.
Our first stop was the Tibanban Shores to catch the beautiful fishing industry of Govgen. The town of Govgen is the fishing capital of Davao Oriental. Like my first visit, I was still impressed by the serene seascape here dotted with colorful fishing boats with the stunning Sigaboy Island at the background. Most of the participants felt the same way. They were stunned by the view that was laid before them. For photographers, it was a very good start of the day.
From Tibanban, we headed to Aloy’s Tilapia Hatchery. Participants were jovial seeing ponds and fingerlings that abound the whole place. Manong Aloy, the owner was also there giving us an educational tour of the whole place.
From Aloy’s Tilapia Hatchery, we then traveled our way to Cape San Agustin. It was an hour and half travel passing through scenic coastal roads of Govgen. Like my first visit, we made sure to stop at the key places I considered tourist spots of Govgen before reaching Cape San Agustin. Our first stop was the coastal roads of Montserrat which I considered a perfect place to behold. Like me, participants were so excited they jumped out from the van and started taking pictures of all sort at the road. When done, we moved to Montserrat View Deck just minutes away from that coastal road where the scenic view of Sigaboy Island is fantastic. Everyone seemed pleased.
From the View Deck, we headed forward to Barangay Magdug to see the Centennial Tree. Like me, the group was truly amazed seeing this gigantic Mamacao tree. Participants explored the whole base of the tree. Some even went inside the hole. On my part, I took some pictures at the back where I missed shooting the first time I was there.
From Magdug, our next stop was Tubob Beach at Barangay Tagabebe, about 30 minutes from the Centennial Tree. Unlike my first visit, it was low tide when we get there. It means we can explore the whole beach as much as we can. In my case, I took time photographing some scene I wasn’t able to shoot on my first time. Pretty amazing!
From Tulob Beach, we then proceeded to our final destination – the Cape San Agustin! During my first visit there three weeks ago, the weather was very gloomy and drizzling. This time, it was cloudy but it wasn’t raining. So, when we arrived at Cape San Agustin, the weather was just really perfect to enjoy the scenery. Like me, all of the participants did what I did there – climbing at the Lighthouse (Parola), sightseeing the Celebes Sea and Davao Gulf, photographing the Islet and many more. Since it was low tide at that time, some even went down to the shores and enjoyed the sea rock formations that abound down there.
When done, we moved to Parola Beach, the pink sand beach of Cape San Agustin. Our seafood lunch was waiting for us there. Hungry, we feasted over the mouthwatering seafood dishes prepared for us by the Tourism Office of Govgen – grilled fishes, kinilaw, grilled squid, grilled pork belly and a lot more. While we were eating, Joey Gamao, the Assistant Tourism Officer, briefed us about the importance of Cape San Agustin to the history of Governor Generoso. Though eating, everyone seemed to get amused hearing stories from Joey.
After lunch, I asked everyone to prepare themselves for The Altar. As mentioned, The Altar the is the most important spot in the whole Cape San Agustin as it is believed to be the place where Spanish Missionary priest St. Francis Xavier celebrated his first Holy Eucharist when he arrived in Mindanao. Learning this, participants got excited to see how the altar looks like.
In my part, I got so thrilled because this time I’ll be climbing up the top of The Altar. I failed to climb there during my last visit. So, this time I asked our tour guide Ralston to prepare a rope that we can use to climb up there. And so going there, my excitement was really consuming.
Geared with excitement, I braved the challenge of climbing up the Altar. With the help of our guides, I did it. I made it to the exact place where the great Saint once said his first mass. Incredible.
From the top, the great view of the seascape is so breathtaking. The Celebes Sea, the bed of sea rocks, the pink sand beach – everything surrounds the place looks incredibly magnificent! It is in this spot that one can clearly behold and appreciate everything down there.
Our day tour to Govgen did not end at Cape San Agustin. Our final stop for the day is the island tour to Sigaboy Island. That means we had to hurry up getting back to the town proper as it was already 3 o’clock. An hour and a half later, we found ourselves at the shores of Tibanban waiting for our boats to bring us to Sigaboy Island.
It was already getting dark. The sun was about to set. The boats started to bring other participants to the Island. I, on the other hand, chose to be on the last boat so that I can take photos of sunset of Sigaboy that I failed to capture during my first visit.
The sunset on the day was not that glorious compared to other sunsets that I’ve witnessed. Some gloomy clouds covered the setting sun from afar. But I opted to wait until fate would allow me taking at least one sunset photo I could be proud of on that day. And alas, I got one! It was not that breathtaking but that is the best one I captured.
When my time to ride the boat, I got again so excited. The waves are getting stronger. Darkness almost covered the place. As the boat sailed, we were swaying to the beat of the waves. I enjoyed such spectacle. And it was so unusual. We are heading to the Island at sunset to take a dip of the Sigaboy’s waters – I mean night swimming at the Island! Unbelievably fun!
At the island, if not all, everyone was on the beach swimming, teasing and enjoying the warm waters of Sigaboy. It was our ultimate prize for the day having toured non-stop the many spectacular things to see in Govgen. While swimming at the Island, I glued my eyes to the spot where the yellow skies reflected on the waters. It was so beautiful. Life is a beach, I exclaimed.
It was already past 6 o’clock when we sailed back to the mainland. After freshening up, we headed forth to our vans and started traveling back to Davao City. Everyone was exhausted from a whole day’s trip but it was all worth it. Tired, most of us fell asleep inside the van while heading back to Davao. As I headed back home, I felt so delighted of what we just made that day – touring and sharing to others the beauty of Govgen. Indeed, it’s more fun in Governor Generoso! “Suroy-suroy Sa Sigaboy: A Day Tour to Gov. Generoso” was fun!
In behalf of my co-organizer Sarah, I would like to thank all the participants of the “Suroy-suroy Sa Sigaboy: A Day Tour to Gov. Generoso” who, like us, enjoyed so much the hidden treasures of Govgen. May you guys share to your friends what you see and experience in this part of Davao Region. Our heartfelt thanks also goes out to the Municipal Tourism Office of Governor Generoso for their untiring support in making this day tour possible. Special thanks to the Provincial Tourism Officer of Davao Oriental, Miguel Trocio for keeping us company during the event. To everyone, again – salamatay gayud kamayong tanan!
HOW TO GET TO GOVERNOR GENEROSO:
From Davao City, one may take either public utility buses or L300 vans to reach Governor Generoso. Public utility buses coming from Ecoland Terminal in Davao City travel to the town of Governor Generoso daily at one hour interval from 3:00 o’clock in the morning up to 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Travel time with these buses takes less than four hours. On the other hand, L300 Vans with terminal at Gaisano Mall and Victoria Plaza Mall, both in Bajada, Davao City takes only two and half hours.
Municipal Tourism Office – Telefax No. (082) 440-354
Mr. Joey Gamao – 0935.920.2165
Mr. Clinton Polancos – 0905.121.2915
Mr. Ralston Jayee Gabayan – 0939.543.0468