Britania Islands in Surigao del Sur
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After my cousin’s wedding, the after party was set a few kilometers away. No, it was not a club or a karaoke place. We were off to Surigao del Sur’s best kept secret, an island-hopper’s delight, 24 islands and islets scattered all over Lianga Bay facing the Pacific Ocean, called the Britania Islands. We’re now ready to embrace the sea, sand and sun at San Agustin.
The best seat in the pump boat
The first question that pops into mind is this. Was this a British settlement? Why is it called Britania? After a little “research”, I found out from the pump boat operator that Britania is an ancient term for Roman Britain, a Latin name derived from the Greek form “Prettanike,” which means, a collection of islands with individual names. Interesting!
The unpaved road to San Agustin
Britania Group of Islands
Groupie with relatives
Somewhat similar to Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands or those found in Phuket, Thailand, most of the islands are uninhabited with rock formations and minimal to no vegetation, its natural charm at par with Boracay’s pristine white sand beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters deserving to be featured as one of the best spots in Asia by the National Geographic Channel.
Paglangagan Twin Islands
There are four favorite destinations for island hopping since they are just a few minutes apart: Boslon Island, Hagonoy Island, Hiyor Hiyoran Island and Naked Island. According to the said “research”, each island is named after the predominant flora that grows on it and also on their distinguishing qualities:
- Boslon Island – The largest of the group, a cross and a statue of Virgin Mary stands on one side. This is also the “lunch island”. Our boat operators prepared our food SUTUKIL-style for a minimal fee. Better come here early to appreciate its wide white beach as it could get crowded during noon. Moreover, a few steps away during low tide is an added bonus called the Paglangagan Twin Islands which hold a secret cave used as a burial ground for fallen Japanese soldiers during World War II. Sounds like an adventure!
Hagonoy Island from afar
- Hagonoy Island – The farthest yet the perfect setting for a jaw-dropping cover photo of a person stranded on an island like in the movie Cast Away featuring Tom Hanks. This is where we spent the most time swimming.
- Naked Island – apparently nothing grows on it, I thought it was called “naked” for some other wholesome reason. Experience the clashing of waves from different directions on this crowd favorite. It’s quite small but definitely wider and more stunning than Camiguin’s White Island.
- Hiyor-Hiyoran Island – Want the Britania Islands as your backdrop? Say no more.
Boslon Island’s coves and rocky terrain
Tourists can visit the islands from 6AM to 4PM only. Though, a half-day tour of the islands is sufficient. Avail this trip for a standard rate of PHP1500 good for twelve persons already or choose to explore all 24 islands for only PHP2000. Be an early bird to feel like you own the islands. Don’t forget to bring sunblock and other necessities. Leave only footprints but take the happy memories with you!
The little ones are eager to start the adventure
HOW TO GET THERE:
Ride a private vehicle or PUV going to Tandag City and alight at Barangay Salvacion, San Agustin. From the main road in Salvacion, hire a motorcycle to take you to barangay Britania, where the port is located. The 2km-ride takes about 15 minutes and costs Php20 per head. On your way, you’ll pass by the Tourism Office where you’ll pay PHP25 each for environmental fee. They can also assist you in looking for a boat for island hopping tour. Don’t forget to haggle!
Under the shade of the rock formations
Tourists flock during weekends
WHERE TO STAY:
Though we didn’t spend the night there, there are plenty of resorts at Barangay Britania. An overnight stay for two usually costs between Php800 to Php2000. Campers can have access without any fees.
Stranded in Hagonoy Island
Follow my other adventures at kingofsinulog.wordpress.com. Later strangers!