Hidden in Hinatuan: Remote Reef Surf in Surigao del Sur

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Hidden in Hinatuan: Remote Reef Surf in Surigao del Sur

Surigao del Sur has Lanuza – a municipality with epic breaks home to the Lanuza Surfing Festival. We’ve written about one of its spots before, the dreamlike Punta and its natural mystic. But yet another paradise unearthed, the reef breaks of Hinatuan is again a natural wonder that could also be one of the province’s treasure aside from Hinatuan’s Enchanted River. The stunning surf that breaks beside rock formations truly is a marvel. And guess what, locals and some few visitors are already surfing it.

reef break and you can tell its on an exotic location

 a goofy having it

not the same slabs you’ll find on Cemento, Baler. but this could be on a gentler day. and its lovely as it is.

James Paul Mascarinas is a Mindanaoan hailing from Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. James is the one who brought this to our attention. He commonly surfs in Lanuza but it was off season then and so he wandered a bit more South to Hinatuan as told by his friends. After surfing here, blown away by discovering something new, James was quick to tell his surf buddies about the break. He called this spot “Red Pearl”. He may or may not be the first one to surf it. But yeah, it takes one wave thirsty soul to find a thirst quenching spot.

Locals told him that the waves always break like this. And according to James, it did break like this on his every visit.

The town is called Barobo. These pictures were taken by Jason Inslee, a surfer/traveler from the US. He and his friends were responsible for the Ok Lang Gihapon video we featured last year. You can tell these guys really sought remote surf as getting to this place in Hinatuan is no walk in the park.

the locals. imagine what can happen if you give each kid a surfboard.

accommodation anyone? looks perfect.

Surigao de SURF

Yet another surf spot in a country of 7,107 islands. For sure, there’s more. You may say we are “exposing” our surf spots and YES, maybe we are. Why keep hidden things of such beauty? Exposure is a good thing, but exploitation is not. So while we keep on discovering new places, we need to keep things as they were and mind how we develop. Development isn’t bad, it is the developers and greed that is the problem.

Gotta go to Surigao del Surf soon! (I always say that but I rarely go past North). But nevertheless my friends, we have another thing to dream of to keep the stoke burning. Please do share and pass it on.

*thanks Jason Inslee for the photos. Do not use them without permission. Thanks James Paul for the amazing stories you shared to LokalSoul.


  1. I was born in Surigao del Sur but I didn’t know Barobo had a surfing spot! Maybe it’s because I’m more into diving rather than surfing, but in any case, our province does have a lot of wonders that are still unknown to tourists. Thanks for helping to promote it!

  2. lokalsoul says:

    you have a great hometown! also, i read your feature of the underground river. that’s how i learned about it. oh you should try surfing Aleah!

  3. james paul says:

    and ako po una naka surf dito sabi narin ng mga locals 🙂 … and BACULIN po ang name ng baranggay sa municipality ng HINATUAN surigao del surf province … 🙂

  4. lokalsoul says:

    you’re a lucky guy! ikaw na bahala sa spot na to. hope you can do something for the locals 🙂

  5. Alona says:

    I am HINATUANON, but i don’t know that there’s a surfing spot there. Your lucky!:-) I wish I can visit there.

  6. tofu says:

    do you have to be rich to be able to enjoy this kind of experience? i really want to try surfing. :))

  7. lokalsoul says:

    of course not!

  8. fritz says:

    Let me correct the exact name of the place and location,that is barangay Harip of Hinatuan and next to it is barangay Baculin. Harip and Baculin is not a part of Barobo. I am from Hinatuan and I know very well the location. I ask the locals there and they told you were there for 3 days in Harip doing the surfing.

  9. fritz says:

    Thank you so much for promoting our place…the Hinatuan Tourism Council is now looking into this discovery of yours.Thank you for the great name “Red Pearl” we will be using this name in respect to your great discovery. Red Pearl will complement with the famous Enchanted River as Hinatuan’s tourist destination.

  10. Grace says:

    I am one of the locals of gacubay,baculin..and I am concerned about the exact location of this discovered natural wonder…. I hope those queries will be given answers…..the exact location…I will be following these..

  11. Grace says:

    I had scanned all the pics took during the discovery and I had to confirmed that the location is in our very own place.It is in sitio Gacubay,barangay Baculin,hinatuan Surigao del Sur.when i saw the pics of the locals,,,there I saw my neighbors and cousins….So HIDDEN IN HINATUAN:REMOTE REEF SURF IN SURIGAO DEL SUR is in my place….Punta!gacubay,Baculin!hinatuan Surigao del Sur….

  12. jonna says:

    Hi I am from Cagayan de Oro City and I am nature lover. I havent been in Surigao del Sur. Anyone could help me the detail about transportation from Tinuy-An falls in Bislig, Britannia group of island and some paradise spots in Surigao del Sur this coming December. I am getting paranoid researching about how to get in that paradise spots from the city of Bislig what to ride or is it safe for to hire a motorcycle? Is there simple accommodation aside the picture I seen above? Pls I need some suggestion….
    Cant wait to see the beautiful views in Surigao del Sur


  13. james paul mascarinas says:

    i also surfed the “harip” waves maam frits , yes thats us surfing there,kami sab ang first naka surf daw didto ingon ang locals.. i did a couple of rides there pero wala mi kakuha ug picture tungod sa daut na panahon..pero ang naa sa pic diri na article kay ang “red pearl” w/c is in gacubay baculin , hinatuan 🙂 tana lang mabutangan ug maau na trail padulung sa spot.. dako pa kaau ang lugar para ma develop ang tourism diri na place ..tana ma promote pa.

  14. Grace Luna says:

    Good am every1.i am one of the locals of gacubay,baculin,hinatuan,Surigao del sur where RED PEARL as named by sir JAMES PAUL MASCARINAS can be found..MS.Jonna,u can add me in my fb ( GRACE LUNA) or txt me in my roaming number(09472317005) and I’ll give you instructions how to reach some beautiful spots in Surigao del sur including the enchanted river of cambatong,hinatuan Surigao del sur,Britannia group of island of britania,san agustin and a surfing area in our place..Sir James Paul Mascarinas,thanks for making it clear to us the exact location of the RED PEARL..I will also do my part as a local of gacubay,baculin to promote this spots to my friends,business partners and acquaintances …thank you to all the people behind this discovery..I owe this all to you…for those who need to know more about our place,you can add me or txt in my number above..godbless

  15. Grace says:

    Good day!just yesterday,surfers coming from Cagayan de oro surfed in the Red Pearl..they reached gacubay following my directions as I gave them contact numbers to assist and guide them.and yesterday afternoon they txted me that they’ve been there..and today another group of adventurers from Surigao city txted me,asking guidance and direction to reach there also..I just wanted to call the attention of LGU hinatuan to please give attention for this beautiful spot in our place..me,as 1 of the locals is trying to promote this spot thru fan page,sharing the pix as allowed to me to post by the discovers,and keep on liking those pix..hope this will given attention..and the discoverers would be recognized.thank you

  16. r A says:

    hi pips.. how many hours does travel time take from lanuza to the “red pearl” spot and any recommended place to stay?.. was planning to spend 2days in Lanuza then got interested with Hinatuan’s Enchanted River.. Now, i saw this red pearl article by LokalSoul and figured it would be convenient to try both considering i’d be travelling south to check the enchanted river. Thanks guys.

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