Exploring Surigao City: Dinayugan Beach Revisited

Last Updated on April 16, 2020 by Tina

Last Sunday, I went on a solo adventure again. I am still on fieldwork (meaning I am still at the mine site), but it was our rest day and I didn’t want to spend Sunday sleeping or watching movies the whole day so I pushed through with my plan of revisiting Dinayugan. The last time I was there was two years ago with officemates. And though up to the last minute I was still undecided whether to go to the city or the beach, I’m glad I chose the latter.

Dinayugan is a beach located in Nonoc Island where our mine site is located. For those who are not familiar with the place, Nonoc Island is an island that is part of Surigao City and consists of three barangays: Barangay Cantiasay, Barangay Talisay, and Barangay Nonoc. Dinayugan is part of Barangay Nonoc.


To get to Dinayugan, one can take a 10 to 15-minute boat ride from the port in Brgy. Nonoc. But this entails cost and if you are going alone, it is a bit expensive because you have no one to split the cost with. Another option is to walk along the shore. We have done this the last time we went there and it wasn’t that hard so I was confident that I could do it even if I was alone.

That morning our officemate Eve dropped us off at the port of Brgy. Nonoc because it is where the commercial boat bound for Surigao City is docked. Our officemates CJ and Roda were going to the city that day. From the port, I walked northward towards Nonoc National High School and dropped by a store to buy cold Coke and chips after which I continued walking until I reached the last house. That’s where my adventure began.

These houses mark the start of my adventure

I was a bit surprised to see the water so close to the shore. I figured it must be high tide. The shore consists of boulders, some small, the others really big. I continued walking but was very careful with every step because one wrong move and I might slip or sprain my ankle. I can’t get injured because there’s no one to assist me.

About one-third of the way, I got to a part where there is no rock to step into, just murky water (I don’t know why the water near the shore was brown, must be because of the waves). I was afraid to step into the water because I cannot see what was in there. My super creative mind was imagining “what if there is a sea snake hiding somewhere”. I am really afraid of snakes. I stopped and for a moment I thought of going back. But then I checked the time and it’s not even 7:00 AM yet. Five hours more before CJ and Roda are back from the city. What am I gonna do in Nonoc?

The one with the red circle is the spot that I was afraid to step into (behind the rock)
This is how the shore looks like, very rocky

Then I turned around and saw a guy in a rowboat, rowing towards Dinayugan. I waved at him and asked if he could drop me off to Dinayugan. He did not answer so I thought it was a no. But then he moved his boat towards me so I assumed it was a yes. When the boat was near me I got on the boat and sat steadily.

While I was on the boat, I never felt frightened and the possibility of the boat capsizing never crossed my mind. I don’t know, I felt so calm. Maybe because the sea was calm so I never felt afraid. Few minutes passed and we got to Dinayugan. I gave the boatman money and he refused thrice but I insisted. He tied his boat in one of the rocks then took the sacks in his boat. I thought he was going to catch fish but later I found out he was getting sand.


The rowboat
This is where I ate my breakfast

As for me, I looked for a nice spot along the beach to eat breakfast. After eating, I looked around for sea glass. I was able to collect a few pieces. Then I went to the place where there are cottages for rent and sat on the grass. I was alone in the place. I spent about half an hour there just chilling. Then I went down and explored the area. I found a family collecting sand about 10 meters away from the cottage area. In the water are three or four guys spearfishing. I walked some more and wanted to check if I’d get to Brgy. Cantiasay if I continued walking but when I checked the time I realized I might not get to Nonoc in time if I continued so after taking a few snaps, I started walking back.


Cottages are for rent but there is no one around to collect the fee. With the way the place looks, I could say that the place is well-maintained because it is clean


The boat of the guys doing spearfishing
Flower from one of the trees. This is not gumamela

I didn’t ride a boat on my way back. I wanted to enjoy the view and take more photos. The walk wasn’t really tiring even though it was hot. Along the way, I saw a stick. I’m glad I took it with me because when I got to the part that I was afraid to cross earlier that day, I used the stick to check if there is something in the water. Success! I was able to cross it. No snakes, no jellyfish, no scary creature.

I’m glad I decided to go there instead of going to the city. When my officemates found out that I went there alone, they asked me if I didn’t get scared. Not a single bit, except for the thought of snake haha. I am so used to exploring alone so I enjoyed the whole experience, riding on a rowboat included.

How to get to Dinayugan:

From Manila to Surigao City: As of the moment, there are no direct flights from Manila to Surigao City. You can take a flight from Manila to Cebu then Cebu to Surigao. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Manila to Butuan and from Butuan, take a bus or van to Surigao City. The bus ride is around 4 hours long.

From Surigao City to Dinayugan:

  • From Pantalan Dos, take the commercial boat going to Nonoc Island (the boat’s name is EMGJ). The boat leaves the city at 12 noon but you have to be there an hour earlier to ensure you will get a seat and because sometimes the boat leaves earlier than 12. No need to buy a ticket, just write your name in the manifesto, board the boat and look for a vacant seat. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes and the fare is Php 50.00. From Nonoc port, you can either hire a boat that will take you to Dinayugan (but I have no idea how much it costs) or you can walk just like what I did. Note though that commercial boat bound for Surigao City leaves Nonoc at 7:00 AM so you will have to spend overnight on the island or you can rent a pump boat that will take you back to the city.
  • Alternatively, you can rent a pump boat that will take you to Dinayugan at Punta Bilang Bilang. (I am not sure with the cost but we pay Php 600.00 one way for a pump boat with a capacity of 6 persons.)

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