Friday, May 3, 2013

Bucas Grande and the Stingless Jellyfish


I must admit, I went to Siargao to experience the stingless jellyfish. But getting there is another story. You have many options to get there. And after missing two boat trips to Siargao, I totally ditched the idea of seeing the wondrous creatures. 


But then Kuya Lito (0907.310.3333) offered a tour package which includes a Siargao 3-island hopping plus a trip to Sohoton coming from General Luna, Siargao. I didn't know that we could do such thing, all I knew was the only way to get to Sohoton was to go back to Surigao and get into the Hayanggabon port. The proposed trip package was pricey and I tried to haggle. It would've been a different story if we were in a group which would probably cut down the sharing costs.

Moving on, we were at the docking area in General Luna at around 6:45 a.m. We asked Kuya Lito to cook lunch for us - he personally prepared grilled tuna and chicken adobo (which I totally loved). On board our very posh and feeling mayaman huge boat, we embarked on the 2-hour smooth ride to Sohoton. It was me, J and our 3 boatmen (mas marami pa sila).

Arrving at the Sohoton park, I tried to look for a group that could squeeze us in to lessen all the fees that I heard was over the top. I met Bienna and she gladly accommodated us in their group (they were 4). Instantly, we were 6 in a group (whew!). 

Environmental fee (50 pesos/person)
Boat Docking fee (100 pesos/boat)
Life vest rental (40 pesos/person)
Table fee for lunch (50 pesos/group) - 4 to 5 persons per table
Boat fee (500 pesos/group) - maximum of 6 persons in a boat
Tour guide fee (165/guide) - we were assigned to 2 guides
Paddlers fee (100 pesos/person) - for the small boat going to the stingless jellyfish

There are standard tour packages in the Sohoton Cove and you could also design your own. We availed of the jellyfish encounter and the standard cave/lagoon tours.

off to the jellyfish kingdom
failed to snorkel but this looks promising
We started with the Jellyfish Kingdom where we needed to get into this small boat with a paddler. My paddler seemed to be quiet or shy so upon entering a small crevice I was so surprised to see a jellyfish and I quirked, "Kuya eto na ba 'yun?" and he nodded (wala man lang pasabi si kuya). 

We were greeted by hundreds (or thousands) of stingless Spotted Jelly or Lagoon Jelly (Mastigias papua). I was so tempted to swim and my paddler asked me if I applied sunblock already (sweet si kuya), I said yes and he said that I wouldn't be able to dip and swim with the jellyfish 'coz they could only take so much chemicals from the sunblock - it might kill them. I asked if I could touch or hold them instead, he said yes.


surface shot
baby jellyfish
I took photos from the surface and underwater and both were just so amazing. And I just needed to hold them to confirm if it's really stingless/harmless and it's true. Ang galing! Apparently, the jellyfish can only be seen during the months of January to December (according to their brochure) but just to be sure, go there between March to May. 




Next was the Sohoton Cove. We hopped into a bigger boat but kayaking during low tide seemed to be a perfect option. 


Sohoton Cove entrance
First stop was the Hagukan cave. We had to swim our way inside the cave. Please be careful with the sharp shells on the ceiling going inside the cave. It was so dark inside that the guides used headlamps. Best time to go there is during low tide.

entrance to the Hagukan Cave
be extremely careful
what's inside the Hagukan cave
We went out of the cave unharmed. I had a few scratches here and there - rather a normal thing for the carefree me.


kalma lang
Next was the Magkukuob cave. This cave became famous for its cliff jumping/diving area. One would need to get into the cave to jump. The operative word here is spelunking which is not my thing really. It was extremely dark inside.

The 15 ft. high cliff was the highlight of the spelunking. There's a wooden platform right on a cliff. You could dive from there or go back to the trail. It was my  first time to do a cliff jump in Siquijor (maisingit lang) which I loved and topped almost all of my travel experiences. So I didn't think twice about jumping here. 

entrance to the Magkukuob Cave
stalactites or stalagmites? google...
15 ft.?! tsss...
and this ends our tour... *slow claps*
I was so happy that I considered the offer of our boatman. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be able to experience what I suppose to do in Siargao in the first place. I think everyone should experience the stingless jellyfish (sans the numerous fees). The problem with me is that I find them cute that everytime I see one (after this trip) I try to convince myself that they are destructive, fatal and noxious - ang hirap!







30 comments:

  1. Pretty jellyfishes! :) May I know how much yung quote sa inyo for the package? It's nice how you meet awesome people through travelling. Magawa nga yan minsan. :)

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    1. hi michy! it's for 4,800 for the siargao island hopping and sohoton transfers in a big party boat :)

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    2. Is the 4800 for one person only? I agree numerous yung fees sa Jellyfish. Ang ganda pa naman ng experience.

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    3. it's for the whole boat na ian. siargao and sohoton package na yun. the boat (i think) can fit mga 10 persons :)

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    4. So the 4800 is good for a group of 10 na pala... good deal kung marami kayo...

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  2. stunning jellyfish shots, what underwater camera are you using?
    Thanks in advance :)

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    1. hi katherine! panasonic lumix ts-3 yung underwater camera. mas close kami kesa dun sa isang camera ko. hehe

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  3. Masarap kayang iadobo ang jellyfish? lol

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  4. Galing ng shots, Carla. It's awesome how things fell into place. Nakasama pa kayo sa isang group! Thanks to you, pag nakapunta ako someday, aalalahanin ko na wag magsunblock. Lol.

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    1. thanks gay! korek. pag sinabi mo na du ka ag sunblock papayagan ka siguro mag swim with them. i should've known that before. tsss

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  5. The stingless jellyfish is an exceptional experience. Pero pati yung mga caves ang gaganda din. Liked the underwater shots!

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    1. thanks naman ian! effortless talaga ang ganda ng bucas grande :)

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  6. Whoa! Sangkatutak ang fees! :) Hopefully mapuntahan ko talaga to. Exciting! :)

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  7. hahaha! naalala ko ang jellyfish na nakita ko sa Calaguas, yung bonggang sigaw ko na "Carla! Jellyfish oh!!!!" hahahaha

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    1. natakot ako dun ice kasi may sting yun eh. hehe. ang linawng mata mo sa jellyfish ha! :)

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  8. Your photos are so great! They look like from calendars. Great shots. Kaso ang mahal pala pumunta dun. It was nice to drop by your blog...

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    1. wow! thanks littleyana! it's cheaper pag mas marami mag share :)

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  9. Love your photos! Are the jellyfish as big as they look in pictures? ~nikka

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    1. hi nikka! it ranges from the size of a thumb to a hand :)

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  10. lovely photos maam! anong underwater cam ba yung phots sa jellyfish? :)

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  11. So if I won't apply sunblock, I'll be able to swim with the jelly fish right? My friend who was there a few months back said that they weren't allowed to swim with the jellyfish which made me confused because I kept on seeing blog posts about swimming with the sting-less jellyfish. I really would love to swim with them!

    -Maiza

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    1. it actually depends on your guide or the current situation. i've heard people were allowed even if they've already have sunblocks on. depende talaga... :(

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  12. Ma'am can I ask if bumalik ba kayo to General Luna after sa tour ninyo sa Sohoton? Thanks

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    1. Hindi na Penny, deretso na kami sa Island hopping sa Siargao :)

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  13. I was just in Bohol at the Bohol Bee Farm and every afternoon 4-5pm we could snorkel with these jelly fish...for free :)

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