Wandering Around Mainit, Surigao del Norte

Today and yesterday were declared special non-working days in the Philippines in observance of All Saints’ Day. I didn’t want to spend two days in the staff house just watching movies. I decided I’ll be spending the holiday in the city to catch up on my writing (I still have so many things to publish in this blog) and maybe visit a place in Surigao I haven’t been to yet.

But the other night, it was raining so hard that I was already having second thoughts if I’ll still push through with my plan. In the end, I decided to go on with my plan and asked a colleague who is from Surigao how to get to Mainit Lake. He said the lake is boring, there’s nothing much to see there, just water. But he suggested that I go to the town of Mainit if I wanted to get near the shoreline. He said there is a resort, the Kasili Lakeside Resort. Another colleague suggested the resort and told me they have a restaurant so I decided I’ll just go there to have lunch.

Yesterday morning, after checking-in at Centrotel Citi Suites, I went to the bus terminal near Gaisano Mall to look for the multi-cab bound for Mainit Town. I didn’t see any multi-cab but there was a van with the sign Matin-ao. I asked the driver if it is bound for Mainit and he said it is so I boarded the van. After fifty minutes of travel, I arrived at my destination.

Kasili Lakeside Resort

Not sure where the restaurant is, I went inside one of the buildings of Kasili Lakeside Resort and asked the lady staff where it is. When I entered the restaurant, there were no customers inside, only the staff busy brushing the floors. One of them assisted me and took my order. I ordered Hot and Spicy Ginataang Kasili as suggested by the lady who took my order. She said that Kasili is an eel that can be found in the lake. After ordering, I went outside to check on the lake.

Lake Mainit, viewed from Kasili Lakeside Resort. The lake is the fourth largest in the Philippines. It is also the deepest lake in the country. It is surrounded by the towns of Mainit and Alegria of Surigao del Norte and Kicharao and Jabonga of Agusan del Norte.

The huts, from what I have read, used to be fishing cottages

I chose the table outside so I can have the view of the lake while eating.

The view from the restaurant

Hot and Spicy Ginataang Kasili. It was really spicy but tastes really good.

My lunch

Mapaso Wellness Resort

After having lunch at Kasili, I started walking but wasn’t really sure where I was going. Then a tricycle driver stopped near me and asked where I was going. I asked him if he could take me to Mapaso Wellness Resort and after agreeing about the price, he took me there.

Mapaso Wellness Resort is also located in the Municipality of Mainit and is around 5 kilometers away from Kasili Lakeside Resort. It is a natural hot springs resort with an array of pools with flowing supply of hot spring water. The resort is open from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon. I was told by the tricycle driver that the entrance fee to the resort is Php 25.00 but I didn’t see any booth that collects entrance fee so I didn’t pay any. The driver told me it was probably because I didn’t stay long.

The resort has plenty of cottages for rent and there is even an area for grilling. It also has a wide parking space and there is a canteen that sells snacks and they even have ice cream. I didn’t try the pools because I was alone and the place was a bit crowded. Next time I go there, I will make sure I have companions so I could try the pools.

A bridge at the resort

There is also a mini falls at the resort

The pools

Construction of the cottages on this side of the resort is still ongoing but the pool at the top is already complete

The stairs leading to the pool at the top

The pool at the top. I touched the water, it wasn’t hot.

The view from the top

Mainit Town Plaza

Mainit Municipal Hall

From Mapaso Wellness Resort, I asked the tricycle driver to take me back to the town proper. I dropped by the Catholic church of Mainit which is walking distance from Kasili Lakeside Resort. After my visit to the church, I walked to Mainit Town Plaza which is a few meters away from the church.

San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish

Love their bench

Mainit Town Plaza

Jose Rizal’s monument

From the town plaza, I rode a tricycle bound for Magpayang which is about 5 kilometers away from the town proper. A local told me there are no vans or multi-cabs in the town proper. From Magpayang, I boarded a Surigao City bound jeepney.

How to get to the Municipality of Mainit:

From Surigao City:

From the bus terminal near Gaisano Capital Surigao, ride a van bound for Mainit or Matin-ao. The fare is Php 50.00. You can also ride a Butuan bound bus, alight at Magpayang and from Magpayang, ride a tricycle to the town proper of Mainit. Tricycle fare is Php 10.00.

From Butuan:

Ride a Surigao City bound bus or van, alight at Magpayang and from Magpayang, ride a tricycle to the town proper of Mainit. Tricycle fare is Php 10.00.

To get back to Surigao City or Butuan City from Mainit town proper, take a Magpayang bound tricycle. There are buses, vans, and multi-cabs bound for Butuan City and Surigao City that pass by Magpayang.

To give you an idea of how Magpayang looks like

Notes/Tips:

  • If you want a cheaper mode of transportation from Mainit town proper to Mapaso, you can take habal-habal (single motor). I’m not sure about the cost but it is cheaper. I decided to take a tricycle because it is safer. I paid Php 200.00 for the whole trip because I made the driver wait for me.
  • The road to Mapaso resort is cemented.
  • You can also include in your itinerary Togonon Falls which is also located in Mainit and Songkoy Cold Spring located in Tubod, the municipality next to Mainit.
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4 thoughts on “Wandering Around Mainit, Surigao del Norte

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