Tungao and Lawigan: The Road Less Traveled

An invitation to a new destination is music to my ears.  If you give me an opportunity to visit a new place, I would get excited even at the thought of exploring it. It does not even matter what kind of transportation it takes to reach a new place. I say yes to adventure!

That is what happened two fine Sundays of August.


Tungao is last barangay in Butuan City before you reach Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte. It is a 45-minute trip by public transportation. And public transportation is a very large jeepney.


It is so spacious that we can stretch our legs inside. We thought so. As it turned out, we were in for an experience. See the bench?  They would put the bench in the middle and allow passengers to occupy the bench.


So if people occupy the middle, how does the konductor collect the fare? The answer: through the window.


The konductor climbs through the side railings of the jeepney and taps the passengers to collect the fare while the jeepney is in motion! Yes, we have a real-life spiderman in Butuan. I should mention that this jeepney had passengers on top, too! Only in the Philippines!

We really did not have an itinerary. We just wanted to check out what was in this place and just explore.

We found a nice wall in church so my friend, Titit, posed for a photo.


We met a durian vendor. We did not buy because he was going to the city proper anyway.


One major improvement of this place is the road. The road to Tungao is all paved. Years ago, it would be very difficult to get there. Imagine their type of transportation in a rough road.  We were lucky we get to visit the place using better roads. Now, I hope they would do something about the transportation.



During the last week of August, my friends and I got invited to a fiesta! The family of my friend, Mau, came from this small barangay in a town in Agusan del Norte. The place is Lawigan in the municipality of Tubay. It is their annual fiesta. She invites us whenever she visits the place but we never had time until that August.

Look how pretty!


It was challenging to reach this place. This is the remotest barangay in Tubay. To get here, we have to ride a bus for Surigao City and asked to be dropped somewhere near Jabonga. Mau had arranged a driver to pick us up at the intersection.  The driver was a motorcycle driver.  Yes, motorcycle. Two wheels.  My friend and I hopped behind the motorcycle driver. No helmets. Halfway, the road was paved. However, there were areas that remained dirt roads. We had to cross the mountain before we reach the coastal area.  There was an area where we had to walk because the road was slippery and inclined. Did say  it took us an hour to get there? An hour on a motorcycle. Oh, the things I do to feed my wanderlust!

Good thing the place was postcard pretty.


After we devoured the fiesta food, we took a stroll along their beach.


They have big boulders. Perfect for photography.


It was a fine weather while we were strolling and hopping through these rocks. It started to rain on our way home. Imagine two of us behind the driver sharing his raincoat. We remember those signs we saw along the way: “Landslide-prone area”.  Oh, the things I do to feed my wanderlust!

Lawigan can be reached via a jeepney from Cabadbaran City but there are no trips on Sundays.  One can also opt for a boat ride from Cabadbaran. Small boats. No lifejacket.  I cannot swim. I will try when weather is better.

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  1. I totally agree. The Lawigan is such a postcard worthy place! Great shot by the way.
    Personally, I think that the harder it is to reach a place, the greater the view. 🙂

  2. The fruit Durian, remember me about a friend. It looks beautiful at the rocky seaside and you enjoyed it a lot. Rock formations, the sea, the tree…resembles “Jezebel”

  3. What a lovely place. Looks like you had a great time. Exploring new places is so much fun.

  4. What great adventures you have! Sounds like a nice place too!

  5. What a traip – I love going on public transport, it gives you a real feel of the everyday life of that particular place. Great pics as well !

  6. Looked like you had one great adventure there! Transport system really varies from one province to another and each one is unique. Thanks for sharing this place to us. The beach and the forest look amazing!

  7. Never been into any places around Mindanao though I have relatives residing around that province. Say, os there anything I can say aside from “what a journey” and “breathtaking photographs” here? Though I’ve got to admire you for observing their development in terms of their transportation and infrastructure means (yes, the road project counts ).

  8. Beautiful beaches! Such a serene place, just the place to spend a fun weekend with friends!

  9. I’d say yes to adventure too! 🙂 Lawigan does look beautiful – off the beaten track kinda lovely!

  10. Whoa, isn’t it dangerous for the konductor to be doing that while the jeepney is moving? Whaha he must really be an expert. Kids should not be encouraged to do it though and they should be reminded of safety always.

  11. I love reading travel posts! especially with your title thats very interesting. thanks for sharing!

  12. I understand how our wanderlust gets us through the funniest of situations 🙂 Your trip sounds like a real adventure (especially the transportation!)

  13. The less traveled road is always the ones you don’t have to fight with the massive tourists and crowd. You get to appreciate the untouched scenery and path, but sometimes, they might be more dangerous too!

  14. Nice rural place to visit. Remote and off-beat but lucky it is well paved on the way there. You are so brave to go to these places, but the rewards are also great.

  15. It looks like an exciting visits with a refreshing views. It’s so cool that you’ve been through the remotest areas.

  16. You definitely do have wanderlust Katrina, but how cool to take in such places. The beauty of the area and culture must outweigh the fear, LOL

  17. That lawigan trip sounds dangerous! At least that filled your wanderlust. I would love to check out those local treasures someday.

  18. The photographs look amazing and Tungao is definitely going to feature on my travel bucket list after reading your post 🙂

  19. Indeed, only in the Philippines! 🙂 Back when I was a kid, we used to have that scenario when we travel. The bus was too crowded that some passengers need to ride on the roof of the bus because there were only two buses leaving town every day.

    You truly captured the beauty of Lawigan!

  20. Sometimes the road less traveled is the most exciting journey. I hope I can visit that place in Butuan too.

  21. Great photos. :))

  22. Tungao sounds like a band in the 90s. Shucks, namiss ko mamiesta 😀

  23. I envy you sis, you have time to explore remote places in our country. I hope I can do the same too, but with two small kids, mahirap na hehehe

  24. Wow! What an adventure! I recently wrote about my adventurous trek to Ditumabo Falls. But, it certainly wasn’t the road less traveled. Hehe!

  25. Lawigan is a really lovely picture postcard place. Hope to be able to visit the place the next time I visit Philippines.

  26. I love traveling too! And just like you, I also get excited with the thought of having to experience a new place. Of the two places you visited, I loved the Lawigan more. It looks so peaceful and very beautiful in photos. Traveling to that place is really worth it!

  27. Eliz Frank says:

    Tungao and Lawigan look so unadulterated and beautiful. Travel is such an educator and a way to refresh our mind and body. I enjoyed going on this journey with you.

  28. The place looks so peaceful. A perfect escape from toxic city life. I wish we can travel like this too.

  29. The place is breathtaking, wow! I miss going to such places especially after the injury. It would certainly be an ordeal for me and my companions. But seeing these photos from your post is enough 🙂

  30. I don’t remember where I saw this type of conductor that collects fare while the jeep is moving. It was very risky but seems very easy for them.

  31. Wow, you’ve been around. I sometimes regret not going to lots of places when I was single lol. Now I can’t travel as much without my family. I love rural places!

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