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Surf Mindanao: Passing through Boston and Cateel

Surf Mindanao: Passing through Boston and Cateel

Traversing the east coast of Mindanao is not a route I usually take. That’s why during the whole northward surf trip from Mati City, my eyes were glued to the window seat of Joven’s car. 

If you remember that for almost half the month of February, I was on a surf trip with an amazing surf crew (shout out to Joven, Alex, Sandy, Bhrett, Lisa, Wanda and Karen!). Driving almost 1000 kilometers and surfing around different spots in Mindanao, it was our very own version of an “Endless Summer”.

There were a lot of idyllic places you could stop over along the highways like this one where you could see breaking waves at a cove.

There were a lot of idyllic places you could stop over along the highways like this one where you could see breaking waves at a cove.

Passing through coastal roads, sleepy beach towns, green rice paddies and a mountain road full of trees on both sides, the journey itself felt like a destination. Stopping here and there for a few photos every few turns, our drive got a little extended because there was just so many beautiful sceneries that were really worth getting photos of.

Continuing the story two weeks ago, we passed through Baganga which is one of the six provinces in Davao Oriental. The last remaining provinces we still had to see were Boston and Cateel. 

These two barangays were one of those provinces hit the hardest by Typhoon Pablo in 2012. I’ve never had the chance to visit either Boston or Cateel before. I know I must have missed half of my life already but it’s never too late to visit a place I’ve never been before!

A drive on the coastal roads meant seeing different kinds of beaches like this one between Baganga and Cateel where instead of sand, it was pure flat reef as the bottom.

A drive on the coastal roads meant seeing different kinds of beaches like this one between Baganga and Cateel where instead of sand, it was pure flat reef as the bottom.

Boston felt like the poster child of the saying “from ridge to reef”. Our whole drive through the province was refreshing to the eyes. Driving by the coastal road can get a bit predictable especially if you’re still in the same region.

It was quite different with Boston.  Driving through the Davao Coastal Road filled with different hues of blue as the shore alternately gets deep or shallow depending on the terrain of the place. Afterwards I find myself in the middle of greenery with mountains and rice paddies to either side. 

An abundance of coconut trees serve as a reminder that the beach was somehow still nearby. True enough after a few kilometers the mountains beside us slowly gave way to the sea. We were driving by a cliff and not so far below us were waves breaking so ideally, tempting us to try and ride them right away.

A last look at the beautiful yet eerie leafless mangrove trees at Baganga’s Sunrise Boulevard. Photo by Joven Sambade Jr.

A last look at the beautiful yet eerie leafless mangrove trees at Baganga’s Sunrise Boulevard. Photo by Joven Sambade Jr.

It was raining hard the past few days and it was only during the day we drove northward did the sun decide to shine. Alex, who never lets a day pass by without surfing, voices out how we should have spent the day surfing instead of driving. Although if it was raining that day, I don’t think I would have jumped out of the car and got great photos.

I made mental notes of the places I would love to revisit again when I’ve had the luxury of having more time to explore these municipalities. I am definite that there are a lot of beaches to discover here in Boston and Cateel. 

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