Ate Lourdes sits on a shaded part of the island surrounded by pristine blue waters against white sandy beach shorelines. The calm breeze inviting a slow morning crawl of tiny crustaceans and pulsating waves. She hand picks sea urchins in a bucket. Next to her, a pile of seaweeds and few fresh catch of the day by the dozen. Her banka (canoe) rest along uninterrupted subtle rolling waves as it sway back and fort creating a calming mantra sound.
At ten in the morning is a continued retreat of isolation and undisturbed coves and beautiful shaded sandy beach. An island all for you to explore. Only ate Lourde’s mini stall with a readied colorful umbrella fort seeing an imminent cloudless blue sky.
Yes! And welcome to Britania. A paradise- virgin from any sight of tourist. A group of uninterrupted island sits within the calm Lianga bay opening its mouth to the tumultuous pacific ocean. Ate Lourdes is in one of them. She is deep in her daily routine. Strategically hops from one island to another to find the freshest catch of the day. Lost in trance of time. Her son dives the shallow water scanning for a collection of breakfast for the explorist and lunch for the locals.
The private feel and accommodation at O’s landing beach resort separates you from any hint of civilization. Its hospitable welcome and invitation is a relaxing retreat by the calm waters of the Lianga bay. A koi pond at the entrance welcomes the kids and your own private villa facing the bay points you towards the nearby small cone shaped island. The rooms are spacious for having three small family to fit in. The small open restaurant by the beach welcomed us with local delicacies and favorite fresh catch.
The O’s landing resort | We managed to fit a small family of three in the spacious shared villa with a comfortable second story loft
The evening brought a special bond and an overdue reunion to a wonderful serving of “lutong bahay” or comfort food served by the locals. The steady night and low to non existing light pollution around the area bring the placid evening tide to a stellar heavens at night.
Wake up to a tranquil morning and receding ocean with a swift breeze from the bay introducing the morning glow of sparkle on the ocean bed. The still and anchored water craft sit on coral bed while a trikle of tiny waves wake you up to a sound of a divine morning.
The boat docks are extended wooden platform out to sea. These are made extra long due to low tides and receding ocean floor in the early hours of the morning | These wooden boats are owned by local fishermen turned tourist guide who will take you out on a full days journey in all of the Islands within the Lianga bay
courtesy: google map
Britania is located in the Island of Mindanao in the region of Surigao del sur. A two hour and half land trip from the City of Butuan. The City is an hour and a half flight from Manila. You can take the bus or better yet rent a van for a days trip and Island hoping. This trip was part of our 2018 trip to the Philippines. We traveled this part of Mindanao with a group of college friends and their kids. We stayed at the O’s landing for one night and woke up early the next morning to catch the wonderful morning glow. The landscape of the sleeping ocean receded way back bringing along with it a distinct hazy moon far in the distant horizon where tiny ocean bed crawlers are busy emerging to surface from the coral beds. Walking on wooden platform, the moon slowly disappears as we catch the early sunrise, and our colorfully decorated ferry boat wait for a jest and commotion.
Fresh uni by the sea: Ate Lourdes meticulously trims the spikes on the surface of the sea urchin and slowly make her way in to cutting them one by one, scooping out the meat inside and sells them by the cup. 100 pesos each equivalent to about 2$ in value, incredibly fresh, incredibly cheap | bottom left: saang or spider shell | bottom right: Joel expressing his curiosity on his lunch.
naked island sits idle against directional tide and a picturesque Agusan Sur in the backdrop
Bring a light breakfast or snack with you while you tour twenty-four islands and islets. Your local guide can accommodate to take you to an island to eat or on their own private boats. Just make sure to clean up after your trash and keep Britania beautiful and clean.
Snorkel the crystal waters and explore the underwater coral formations and lively sea creatures. Enjoy the every echo the children bring as they romp the watercraft and jump off into a pleasant oblivion of paradise all around.
One of the many island of Britania, Isla Hagonoy | The local tour guide will take you to each island and will stop in the middle of the ocean for a nice dip in the warm pacific waters.
The pristine beauty of this serene place compliments the turquoise waters as the sun saturates the vivid and gorgeous landscape of Britania. Mindanao has such immaculate places undiscovered that will bring you to new senses and refreshing new set of perspective for travel. This beautiful and private tour to the humble beauty of Britania is one I continue to seek in the many future travels we embark.
Time stops here in Britania. Your itinerary go as unplanned- care free fleeting by the momment. Chose your island and isolate yourself in solace and solitude. Britania is a beauty waiting to be discovered.
If ever you get to meet ate Lourdes, capture her smile, support her in her business and invite her to eat with you. This world has so much unrealized daily inspiration that does not live up to social hype or the limelight. Be generous in meeting people on your way.
Be blessed always.
I want to give credits to my friends (Dan Dan, the Valido and Ledesma family) who continue to venture the undiscovered places and inspire us to travel.
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