The first time I saw a photo of Laswitan in Cortes, Surigao del Sur by good friend Ramil “Bobcat” Gregorio, I thought that it was a waterfall. But upon looking at it closely and researching on it, how can a waterfall be on the shore with the Pacific Ocean at its back?
And so the fascination began.
The journey was long over scenic highways. Glimpses of the sea and the sky whetted our appetites to what could be waiting in Laswitan.
But the way to Laswitan was rough on unpaved road and as the excitement built, it was also tempered by trees and trees and trees.
Questions abound. How can there be shore on hills? How can a 3-kilometer road take so much time? The wait made us impatient.
At the end of the road is a concrete walkway leading down to the black limestone outcroppings. The waves were huge. The boulders were intimidating. If not for our wandering, adventurous and daring spirits, the road to Laswitan would have been a reason to back out.
But the beauty that is at the end of the journey simply made us stay and trudge on. Made us persevere. Made us take that step.
Laswit or the splash that the waves of the Pacific Ocean create on the 20-foot black limestone outcroppings is simply awesome.
It hovers for a second or two in the sky creating a cloud-like formation that then falls over the stark black limestone.
It then trickles over the ridges it has created on the stone and on to the rock pool or gentle blue green lagoon. The deep part of the lagoon swells and creates ripples on to the shallow part. For non-swimmers, this part is the perfect pool to dip in.
Whether you are wading, holding on to the buoys or dipping, the shower makes you raise your arms and shout for the joy of it. You can even hear the ooohhs and aaahhhsss from those staying at the cottages on the periphery of the rocks. It is an experience that has no equal.
So you wait for the next big splash and go through the same awe and wonder as each wave brings on the excitement that surges to joy. This is what makes life in Laswitan, sweet.
How to Get There:
If you are coming from Surigao City, take the Southbound bus to Tandag and stop in Cortes. The trip would take 4 hours. Ride the habal-habal from Cortes town proper to Laswitan. This would take 15 minutes on bumpy road.
If you are coming from Tandag, take the northbound bus to Surigao City and stop in Cortes. Travel time is just 1 hour. Jeepneys with Cortes signboards would be the best. Ride the habal-habal from Cortes town proper to Laswitan. This would take 15 minutes on bumpy road.
Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have flights to Surigao City. Or if you want to make the long journey, take the daily flights to Davao City from Manila and Cebu and ride a bus to Tandag or hire a private van to Laswitan. Travel time is 7-8 hours.
It is best to view the “laswit” during December to February when the waves are high.
Entrance Fee: PhP20. Cottage rental: PhP200. Life jacket rental: Php20/hour. Salbabida (Tube Floater) rental: Php20/day.