Sunday, March 31, 2013

Getting to Sohoton Park (Bucas Grande Islands)



At dahil hindi naman pwede maging lagging spoiled sa magulang at hatid-sundo sa airport, I decided to take the MRT to Taft then take a cab from there to NAIA Terminal 3. The standard rate was Php 150 but for some reason, the taxi drivers were bent on charging me Php 200 as a fixed rate because it was “traffic” daw. Weh, di nga? That was enough to drive up my blood pressure so I decided to have breakfast at McDonald’s first. Then... I saw jeepneys with the sign “NAIA 3”. Wohooooo! I see a tipid opportunity! So nag-upsize ako ng fries sa McDo. Hihihihihihi!

It was still a tad early when I reached the airport. The check-in counter wasn’t open yet. I camped  on a seat and charged my cellphone in a socket. The Info desk said there are no charging stations but I can use a socket when I see one. 0_o
Silhouette of fellow airport campers in NAIA 3

Sockets in NAIA 3 to charge your gadgets.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surigao Bucas Grande Islands + Siargao: The Plan, The Budget and Itinerary



I heard about this place in Surigao where you can touch the jellyfish, and they won’t sting! I heard this from a fellow traveller in UBBE Palaui way back in 2010. The place was not that popular yet. Summer 2012, pictures of these jellyfish in Sohoton Natural Park plagued my Facebook timeline. Flashback moment: Oh, I’ve heard about this! 

In July 2012, I chanced upon Airphil’s Php 188 seat sale and booked an RT flight from Manila to Surigao. The base fare was Php 376.000 but adding all the add-ons, the total fare amounted to Php 1,334. Ganun na talaga ang "seatsale" ngayon.

I excitedly started researching about my itinerary and projected costs. Ooops, it seems that the costs are quite pricey for a solo traveller. For one, I will have to rent the entire boat myself (gulp!).

So I shared the details of my trip to my travel buddies in my GenSan-Saranggani trip. Abangers mode ng seat sale. By November 2012, they were able to book their own flights. Yay! There was a total of 6 pax for this trip. So... getting a package was an option.

The table below reflects the estimated costs if we do it DIY all the way. I got the group costs from various blogs and forums over the internet. I can't vouch for the accuracy. 



NOTES
GROUP COST
COST/PAX
Sohoton boat rental

3,500.00
583.33
Boat docking fee
Php 100 per boat
100.00
16.67
One-time entrance fee for all attractions


25.00
Life vest rental


30.00
Pumpboat rental and boatman's fee for Sohoton Cove
Good for 3 pax
500.00
166.67
Tour Guide Fee
2 guides per boat - P 330 per boat
660.00
110.00
Snorkel Gear


100.00
Sohoton National Park
Includes various entrance fees, environmental fees, and boat transfers

635.00
Lunch
Lunch during tour is usually "paluto"

300.00
TOTAL of DIY Option


1,966.67


I researched tour operators for Bucas Grande Islands and it seems that Sir Ed of Island Vacations is quite popular. I texted him inquiring about the package tours and he referred me to Sir Tata Bulabog. 

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