We had just entered Sohoton Cove, a natural haven that is the pride of Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte.
While the province is mostly known for its world-class surf and beach resorts in Siargao, Surigao del Norte has a wealth of other amazing natural wonders to offer. A maze of secret caverns, stunning lagoons, spectacular rock formations and countless islets await those who venture to Sohoton Cove.
Leaves drifted down from the trees above to the clear turquoise waters of the lagoon. As we rowed to the different islets, the guides pointed out rock formations sculpted from the weathering of time and erosion. “That one’s called the horses’s foot,” said our guide pointing to a rock formation that jutted out and ended just above the water’s surface.
As we turned round the bend, we encountered another boat-full of people at our first stop – Hagukan Cave, named for the snoring sound that can be heard as the water slams into the cavern.
A tiny crevice in the rocks could be seen inches above the water. In order to enter, I was asked to lie flat on the water while one of the guides steered me through the barnacle-encrusted entrance. The shards seemed to come nearer and nearer my face, until suddenly I found myself floating in a vast cavern, where a hazy green glow illuminated the water. Like the main entrance to Sohoton Cove, the space is said to be only accessible during low-tide. As I floated around, I wondered how the mysterious spot was discovered by locals in the first place, and how many other similar secret hiding places were still out there.
The next cavern we headed to was Magkukuob Cove, which refers to the bending position people have to mimic to make their way through the low opening and up the steep and rocky passageway. Known more popularly as the Diving Cave, the winding cavern emerged towards a skylight and a wooden platform right on a cliff 15 feet above the water, where visitors could dive back into the lagoon. Though the platform, tied to branches and roots of the nearby trees, didn’t look too high up from the boat, the view from the top was daunting.
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