More Fun in the Philippines

Unspoiled, Ayoke Island in Surigao is swell seekers’ haven

Ayoke Island's clear cost facing the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,

It’s hard not to be enticed by the stories from townfolk of an island blessed with nature’s bounty, superb beaches, and great surfing breaks only a few have visited and charted. With an extra day during my visit to the historic town of Cantilan in Surigao del Sur, I tried to find a way to set foot and discover one of the town’s four islands, namely Ayoke.

Fisherman in Ayoke Island checks his net for trapped fish. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,

Ayoke Island is a small fishing community of more than 100 families. Almost half of the island is part a marine protected area or a sanctuary wherein fishing, catching giant clams, and collecting coral is prohibited, making it perfect for snorkeling.

With the crystal clear blue water surrounding the island, you can choose from the different types of terrain you want to plunge yourself into. From the fine white-sand beach facing Cantilan to the rocky coastline facing the Pacific Ocean, whatever side of the island you’re on, the view is just amazing.

The pristine beach facing the mainland of the town of Cantilan. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,

The island has two areas for surfers who want to experience a different surfing experience. I enjoyed the scene when islanders between the ages of 9 to 13 years old started showing off their talents and surfing skills along the Tinago Reef crashing the waves like young professionals. A more challenging break for professional surfers is situated at the eastern end of the island where huge rock formations appear like sculptures on the coastline.

Young wave riders as young as 9 years old are already showing potential as future surfing champs. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,

Thirteen-year-old Lawrence Maturan shows a trick against the waves off Tinago Reef. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,

But what captivated me the most was the picturesque sunrise and sunset that engulf the sky above the island. Although sans the sun since the rainy weather gave way to the cloudy cover, nature took over and painted the sky with breathtaking colors. Discovering nature’s sky painting at it’s finest perfectly ended my day of discovering Ayoke Island.

Breathtaking view of sunset in Ayoke Island. Photo by Erwin Mascarinas,