Thursday, April 16, 2015

San Jose, Dinagat Islands

After Dinagat Islands, only Jolo, Sulu remains to be conquered and I am done visiting all the 81 provinces.

Summer 2015

How to get there

From Manila, board a plane going either to Surigao City, Butuan or Cagayan De Oro (Davao City is very far but is also a possible route).

In Butuan or Cagayan De Oro, board a bus going to Surigao City.

In Surigao City, go to Pantalan Dos and board the ferry/passenger boat to San Jose (not Dinagat which is a 4-hour ride and different from your destination). Dinagat Islands is the province, Dinagat is a municipality in Dinagat Islands. While San Jose is the capital of Dinagat Islands.

Schedule of the passenger boats to San Jose 
first trip - 5:00 am (boat leaves early the moment as it is full of passengers)
second trip - 12 pm
third trip  - 3:30 (RoRo)

Schedule of passenger boats from San Jose to Surigao City (different ports)
first trip - 6:00 am
second trip - 6:30 am / 7:00 am
third trip - 11:00 am
fourth trip - 3:30 pm

Fare in the boat is P100/pax.
Be at the port at least an hour before the slated trip.

After 1 hour and 25 minutes, we arrived and docked at San Jose port and the first thing I did was to find my ride for the day. And as usual, when you are in Mindanao, the best or usual tour is using a habal-habal. My driver/tour guide was named Bombi (0909-687-9906).

Dinagat has 7 municipalities and San Jose is the capital of the province.

Island hopping costs P3,000 for 3 pax only.

White Castle
I have no intention of sleeping in Dinagat. I had two options, namely: catching either the 11:00 am or 3:30 pm return trip. I chose the 11:00 am trip back to Surigao. The boat arrived 7:00 am and I had to be back at the port 10:00 am and that gave me only 3 hours to roam around the island. After negotiating for the price (P500 for 3 hours), we zoomed to our first destination - White Castle.  

It is owned by the incumbent governor of Dinagat Islands. It is situated in Barangay Mahayahay, San Jose. We tried to go to the PGMB Shrine (Barangay Aurelio) but we were not allowed admittance since I was wearing shorts. They have a dress code for men and women.

Cagdianao's Municipal Hall

For our second stop, I was given the choice of going to a cliff in another municipality (18 kilometers away from San Jose) or Tagbiyaran Beach (21 kilometers) . I chose the latter.

Along the rugged road, we passed by Cagdianao's Municipal Hall. it took us 50 minutes before we reached the town.

The Boulevard
The town has both a plaza and a boulevard. According to my guide, only Cagdianao has both a plaza and a boulevard.

Just 5 minutes away from the town, we arrived at our destination.

Except the white sands on the islands, it is the nearest white beach in San Jose. This beach is popularly called by the locals as - Tagbirayan Beach.

One can relax and enjoy nature on this spot.

Thereafter, we headed back to the town of San Jose. But this time we used a different route back to San Jose.

overlooking of the landscapes
We used Barangay Cuarinta in order for us to see the overlooking of the town of San Jose. 

It is a must that you should use this route in order to enjoy your nature tripping adventure of San Jose, Dinagat Islands.

Bombi, my driver/tour guide
Our contract was good for three hours but we were able to finish in 2 hours and 45 minutes. I waited at the port for the 11:00 am trip back to Surigao City.

Enjoy San Jose, Dinagat Islands!


  1. Hello can you remember how much is the cost for van transfer from Surigao to San Jose?
    thank you

  2. magkano po pamasahe from manila to surigao? -Juan Francisco

  3. Anong araw may byahe from surigao to san jose?