Surigao Del Sur: Cantilan- “The Cradle of Towns”

The IT and Engineering department of Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan campus is holding a 2 day seminar about “PC Interfacing”. My husband was invited to be the speaker of the said event.   So one Thursday night my pards and I packed up and off we go to north.

Here is a brief history of the place we’re going to:

Cantilan is one of the oldest towns in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. It’s the mother municipality of CarCanMadCarLan area. This is an acronym town namely: Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. This explains why Cantilan is regarded as   “the cradle of towns” in Surigao Del Sur.  The story of the origin of Cantilan started a long time ago when the inhabitants used to cross the river to buy fish from the woman named “Tilang” who also resides near the shoreline. When people were asked for directions where to buy fish, they were often answered with “Adto Kan Tilang” ,  A Cantilangnon dialect which means “You go to Tilang”.  Later, the place was named Cantilang. This was then changed to Cantilan.

We took a bus, and then a van.  After 12 hours of travelling in a long and winding road, we finally reached the school by almost lunch time.

We are warmly welcomed by Ms. Divine Grace Loren and  Mrs. Cheryl Tayo.  The HRM students then accommodated us to their mini hotel and we stayed there for two days.

SDSSU, Cantilan Mini-Hotel
SDSSU, Cantilan Mini-Hotel room
Audio/visual room: Before the seminar started.

Lunch break! Enthusiast students stayed for a while for clarifications and grabbed a copy of must have pointers. Peeking out from the audio/visual room, I took some of these shots. And did some clicks around the campus area. Actually the school covers a very wide area but I never get the chance to go around.

From AV room, we moved to Computer laboratory for the hands-on exercises of PC Interfacing.

On the other hand, these were some of the “Catilangnon “common dishes.  Crabs! crabs! crabs! Surigao is in the northeastern coast of Mindanao facing the pacific ocean.
 So this town is really abundant in sea foods.  The place where I have eaten the fattest crab! 😛 This recipe is  Ginataang Alimango (Crab in coconut milk) A steamed crabs and squash, simmered in coconut milk and seasoned with spices and finger chilies.
Steamed crabs. 😛
Fish in sour broth
Daing na isda (dried fish). The favorite dish of most Pinoy, the dish that all masses can afford. Daing is one of the cheapest method of food preservation. The usual procedure is by sun-drying the salted fish to remove the moisture from the  meat.
 Squid Kinilaw (Raw squid salad).  Kinilaw is a popular Filipino dish and is basically made with raw fish and vinegar. But in Cantilan, MEN! they  have their own variation too,   serving squid instead of fish. This one is new to me and I love it.
Sikwate. A native, hot and thick chocolate drink made from tablea.  Tablea are made from pure cacao beans .On our second day at the campus, a very hospitable, kind and friendly teacher  named Cheryl Tayo and her husband Rene personally brought us breakfast and a thermos of sikwate.  It has a very addicting aroma and so was the taste because the tableas are freshly made from a nearby manufacturer.
Photos with Ms Loren,  Mrs. Tayo and some of the second batch students who attended the seminar.   🙂
End of the two days seminar, the students together with their lovely teachers accompanied us to the bus stop. We had a wonderful time and once again a new set of people has marked my heart.  Unfortunately, I never get the chance to take a photo of the oldest church in town. It was built during the Spanish regime in early 1800’s. I saw it while riding a motorcycle upon our arrival but I  didn’t take a snap because I was planning of roaming around the town afterwards, but it did not happen.  Our trip continued from Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur travelling 6 hours to Tagbina Surigao del Sur.

More stories and photos on my next post. Come and join me on my journey. 🙂

31 thoughts on “Surigao Del Sur: Cantilan- “The Cradle of Towns””

  1. Then this is a completely different culture from where you live? The pictures are great. Interesting food with fat crabs,too. Thanks for posting!

    1. thanks for hopping by… 🙂
      Sikwate is one of the oldest drinks in the country prepared by melting the tablea in a cast iron with wooden batter. This hot drink is seldom seen in the city nowadays…

  2. Hey There! You’ve got a beautiful and very interesting blog over here! I love when people share their life experiences and lessons learned! Thank you so much for coming by my blog, and subscribing to it! Hope you find interesting reading and images/photos from our travels!
    Warm regards from Recife, Brazil,

  3. When I looked at the crab and the dried fish, they look like the common everyday life in my country! We surely have many things in common when it comes to these! 🙂
    Well done on capturing the images!

    Subhan Zein

    1. Yes I guess we really did have lots of stuffs in common, neighbors indeed. Yesterday, I have read a blog from an Indonesian girl and was amazed by her photos of different stuffs for sale in the market because those things were abundant in our market too. 🙂

  4. That hot drink (sikwate) looks absolutely intriguing … all we have with leanings in that direction is cocoa powder. I make a drink with boiling water, a dessert-spoonful of powder, two or three goodly blasts of hot chilli powder, some fresh cream and one or two squares of milk-chocolate melted and stirred in. It’s a drink guaranteed to warm the coldest mid-winter person (if they survive it).

    Actually, in a darker sort of way, yours looks quite a bit like it …

    1. I haven’t tried a spicy hot drinks. I will surely try that. But not with our tablea of course, with cocoa powder. I think it will be a nice hot drink to have in the cold mountains. 🙂

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