Kill me if you will not like this place.
Or perhaps you’ll kill me because of envy.
It is located in Pilar, one of the sleepy municipalities of Siargao. Why is it named so? Because of a rock formation that looks like a rock squatting on another. Squat is the english term for pungkô, so adding some acting-verb suffixes, hence the word magpupungkô.
Pilar has only a few residents, and most of their livelihood comes from fishing, if I’m not mistaken. They don’t have that much tourist attraction except for this one jewel.
I would recommend for you to base in General Luna (GL), rather than go directly there from the airport or seaport. It is because as of 2009, there were no accommodations. But if you are adventurous and got the right equipment in living outdoors, I would say go ahead. You can pitch a tent right on the Magpupungkô beach, or some other beach you may discover along the coast of northern Siargao island. But for those who wants comfort, leisure, and convenience, better book and leave your stuff in one of the resorts in GL. Then you can head for Magpupungkô with a light luggage – just some extra clothes and camera.
Generally, the mode of transportation in the island is the habal-habal. Jeepneys are rare, and always overloaded. At any given time, you have 1/8th chance of seeing one. There are four-wheel vehicles for rent, but you must have connections and deals before you arrive in Siargao otherwise it will be most likely expensive.
How to Get to Magpupungkô
Arriving from Surigao, or from the moon, or the stars, or wherever destination you come from, your boat would dock in Dapâ. From Dapâ you can ride a habal-habal, tell them that you’re going to Magpupungkô in Pilar. The road from the port up to the junction where one road leads to Pilar and the other to GL is concrete, so you will have a smooth ride. But once you’ll take the road from the junction to Pilar, you better hold on to your seat. It is one hell of a ride! The road is gravel and stones, so if you’re planning to rent a motorcycle going to this place, I certainly would discourage you. The road is unforgiving and it is easy for the thin tire to slip among the big rocks.
From Dapa to Magpupungkô, this might cost around 200 pesos per head.
If you came from the airport in Del Carmen and go straight to Magpupungkô, it will take up to four hours of bumpety-ride due to the gravel-and-stones road, minus some thirty minutes on concrete from Dapâ to the junction. There are habal-habal drivers that can take you there. The price to pay is quite expensive – around 400 pesos.
If you came from GL, it takes about over two hours to this place. The road from GL to the junction is also concrete, so you have about an hour of smooth ride. The cost from GL to Pilar could be around 200 pesos.
So What’s In This Place?
Why would I bother going to this place if it is that difficult and agonizing?
First, it has a beach with an ample stretch of white sand, though not that long as beaches in Panglao or Boracay. It’s somehow as long as the beach in Camotes. During high tide, the waves are strong and the current has different directions, so better be careful.
Second, it has this natural-pool that is so clear and alluring you’ll cry your eyes out. I was busy enjoying the place so I didn’t get to shoot any picture that could capture and give justice to its beauty. It only comes out during low-tide so better ask a local when the low tide is to catch it.