White Beach: Cagwait’s Hidden Paradise
In the 70s, the famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh flew to the Philippines as part of his campaign to preserve endangered wildlife like our Philippine Eagle. Upon circling Mindanao, a beautiful sight caught his eye. It was a horseshoe-shaped cove with white fringe bordered by dazzling blue sea.
Immediately, Lindbergh was said to have landed his plane on this unheard of town, and exclaimed, “It’s like Waikiki in Hawaii!” He has just christened the white beach in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.
The Municipality of Cagwait is around 32 kilometers southwest of Tandag, the capital town of Surigao del Sur. It is bounded by the towns of Bayabas on the North, Marihatag on the South, the Diwata mountains on the West and the Pacific Ocean in the East.
White Beach is endowed with a wide expanse of powdery white sand that is almost the same in texture with that of the famous Boracay sands. Your feet sink in its heavenly powdered grains, as you walk along the shore. What’s more, the varying shades of blue waters tempt one to take a plunge.
The White Beach became so popular among locals in the province who flock to it in thousands during the Kaliguan Festival, celebrated every June 21-24th, which is the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist. “Kaliguan” was a coined word to mean location for a good bath as gratitude for all the blessings bestowed on the small community. The 5-day festivities hold a prestigious beauty pageant (the Perlas ng Kaliguan), dance performances, sports activities and cultural activities, all happening on the pristine white beach and participated by neighboring municipalities.
Kaliguan may have an impact on its tourism industry, but the municipality is yet unheard of outside the province, waiting to be discovered, prompting then former Mayor Bonifacio Ondona to refer to its hometown as “the Unseen Paradise”. For more information, visit www.surigaodelsur.net.