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Part 1. Seniors and minors onboard 
Part 2. Thought there’s a pool party! 

Part 3: Getting naked in Naked Island 

The rain has stopped when we drove out of Enchanted River. Since the road was newly graded, it was muddy and slippery. And I have to give our lady driver five stars for her adept wheel control, years of experience helped to negotiating us safely out of that sticky situation. It took us longer to finally reach the highway. We’re hitting the road again for another hour or so to Britania in San Agustin. As expected, tired as they were from enjoying the splendid river, our passengers were beginning to doze off. Until Ging, our lady driver pulled up in the middle of nowhere to let us see this panorama. 

It’s a rest area, with a good view to answer the call of nature. The islets afar are just few of the 24 other unexplored islands comprising the Britania Group of Islands. There were ironwood crafts for sale here – wooden sandok, wooden tray, wooden pangkamok, tad-taran etc. They’re handcrafted by the locals, which quite frankly, expensive. I understand they’re making a living out of selling these crafts, and by the look of the craftsmanship, they’re fairly made. But for a P150 small sandok, hello! Don’t they know? Pinakakuripot ning mga byahero no


Anyway, few inhales and exhales later, more vans came in to park. You can run but you can’t hide so they say. Seasoned colleagues from ADDU came out of the vehicle and you know what will happen next when you meet people you know at a time and place you least expect them to chance over. They’re heading to Claver, Surigao del Norte, their jump off point to Bucas Grande Islands where Sohoton National EcoPark is located. One of these glorious days, I’m gonna ‘sohot’ and swim with the stingless jellyfish there too. Lelz.

After butt numbing road bends and swings, we’re finally hitting the path that leads to Mac Arthur’s Place. This is where we’re sleeping for the night before hopping the islands of Britania the following day. I thought it would just be a short drive in, but my, it took us another 30 minutes passing by rice fields and few more coconuts to finally come to a stop. Yes, full stop, check point, walang ligtas, each has to pay P25 for the environmental fee. We’re law abiding citizens and if it’s all for the good, then why not. Receipt please!

We passed by La Entrada Resort, the first resort I contacted early on. I must say it's an auspicious business, their rooms were selling like hotcakes on a summer and the only room left that can accommodate us ten was the attic with a good view of the islets at Mac Arthur’s Place. 

Mac Arthur, I yet have to meet you.

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We had a hard time finding parking for the van. People were all over, some were fetching their tents, and some just like us were still groggy like zombies coming out of their vehicles. Some were frowning knowing they have to sleep in the van. Hence, it’s always a good idea to book for an accommodation even its way too, too early. 

And so we settled and prepared for dinner. And since everyone would be ordering food for dinner, we assumed orders would come in late. And so, the big boys decided to look for fresh fish they could just grill over bottles of beer. Unfortunately, the fishes were too afraid to get caught, nada! They have to drive back to Lianga town, about 30 minutes at 90kph, to buy fresh fish. Just a little telling here, food in Britania is expensive. 

Thought this place is spared from rotating brownout. Lights went off while we’re having dinner and the kids went crying. Oh, come on, your mom’s a girl scout, laging handa! LOL. Such situation made me suggest that when you travel, with or without kids, always bring a small flashlight, a box of Emi and a singular tin candle that doubles as mosquito repellant when lighted with you - saved us from total darkness. Electricity came back hours after toppling several bottles of beer and crazy stories with other tourists we met at the reception hut. No more bedtime stories for the kids, before I could even open my mouth; they’re all snoring like pigs. 

My alarm woke me up. It was 5:30am. Thought I should take a photo of Britania’s sunrise, panagsa ra ko diring dapita. It would be an experience seeing daybreak in the eastern seaboard of Mindanao. I went down with my cam and to my first light surprise; I saw traces of what seem like an aftermath of a zombie attack. Bottles, garbage and wrappings were everywhere. And what seem like dead people wrap in Batik cloth lying on the bamboo ledges were flung all over. Van doors opened slowly revealing humans tightly packed in for the night. Have I been blasted from the past? I didn’t know all these happened last night, lol. Grabe, super daming tao

Apologies for that early morning morbid thought but that’s what I can closely describe that morning, seriously.

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Sunrise in Britania Islands

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Early morning walk at Mac Arthur's Place Footbridge, Britania Islands

Few danggits, eggs, several cups of hot choco and coffee later, which comes free by the way. A complimentary Pinoy breakfast that comes with booking that Attic for P2,500, we’re now prepping our baon for the island hop. 

Our lady driver, who knows the tour culture around here suggested we should leave the earliest time we could make possible so we wouldn’t be queuing for the banca ride and it wouldn’t be as hot as Adam, on the Naked island. 

 photo BritaniaIslands9.jpg Island hopping, Britania Islands

Bancas can be rented at PhP1,500 from start to sawa. A banca can accommodate up to 12 persons with two bankeros on board. On lean months, they pull the rate down to PhP1,000. Please don’t raise your eyebrows about the steep fluctuation. Just try to encourage conversation with your bankeros to know why. You’ll end up tipping them more instead. Trust me, have a heart.

The boatride to Naked Island, our first island stop over was just about 10 minutes, but please allow me to take a pause, lelz. Next post will be about getting naked in Naked Island. Yes, you read it right! 

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Continue reading Part 4, The Islands of Britania!

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