By Andre Pena-Caberto
I’ll let you in on a secret, but this is not one you have to keep. I will let you whisper to your neighbor’s ear; scatter it around like sand in your workplace; rave about it among your real time and virtual friends.
Are you ready? Here it goes… Barobo is the Maldives of Caraga Region! Tucked “secretly” is the small town of Barobo, Surigao del Sur is a cluster of islets waiting for you to discover.
From the town’s proper, you can directly hop on a bangka (pumpboat) and be whisk into an adventure a mere 45 minutes away from the mainland.
There is one, Cabgan Island, a two-faced island of bipolar surprises. Here you will be welcomed by natural vegetation bursting in all sides. One part will have you frolicking in calm waters and white sand while also giving you the delicious choice exploring the jungle that stretches into the exciting possibility of exploring the other slice of this mysterious island.
Fancy the challenge? Hike through the island’s rugged forest trail–just like getting to know a person’s deeper level, you get to expose the island’s raw and rougher side. the horizon on the other side, you eventually realized, has the power to magnetize you with surf breaks worthy of international respect.
While crossing over from Cabgan to the Vanishing Island-which literally vanishes during high tide- you will be rewarded by what is known to be Barobo’s trademark, the Turtle Island itself!
You will be amazed to see this natural wonder shaped indeed like a monstrous gentle giant sea turtle covered with hills and trees, perched quietly on white sand bar. His is a sight not to be missed.
When you get to the Vanishing Island, try to stop your mouth from gaping, as surely you will when you step on this jaw-dropping islet. With sand so chaste and fine, you would mistake it for powder. The sandbar stretches far and wide in knee-deep waters.
This particular island, I can fairly brag, is a strong contender that can go up alongside Maldives for its immaculately fine white beach and gem-strewn ocean.
After exploring the isles of Barobo, I’ve decided to postpone my travel plans to the Indian archipelago. And now that you’re in on my secret will you come with me and visit this (yet) unheard paradise?
Editor’s note : Ms. Pena-Caberto works in a bank and is a part-time fashion model, Yoga practitioner and promising creative travel writer.
Photos Alexander Caberto, Jr.