The little town of San Francisco, the nearest point of entry to the marshes of Agusan, is a few minutes from the main road going from Davao to Butuan, which actually is a very good road. You can find a good number of decent lodgings in the town offering basic amenitiesâ€”usually one room with a bathroom – including the pleasant De Asis Lodging House and Diwata. Arguably, the best among these is the Laguna Lodge.
Laguna Lodge is conveniently located a short distance from the bus station in a quiet street away from the noise. It is a low white building made up of 45 rooms. These are air-conditioned, relatively spacious with attached bathrooms. They are clean though furnished in a rather meager manner – two beds, a linoleum-clad floor and walls painted green.
On the ground floor is a little room that serves as a restaurant, but it is better to have your breakfast in one of the cafes near the bus station and buy warm, freshly baked bread from the corner bakery. A 10-minute walk takes you to Christinas Cafe, where you can dine in an old, pretty little wood house set in a garden courtyard. It serves the best cuisine in town, but make sure you go there early, as it closes at 8:30 p.m.
How to get there
Both by air and land
1.Â Manila/Butuan/SanÂ Francisco (4 1/2 hours) Ninety-minute daily flights on Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific from Manila to Butuan. Two and a half hours by car/van from Butuan to San Francisco by private car or public bus. The best bus companies are Bachelor Express, LCI and Reyno Express.
2. Manila/Davao/San Francisco (6 hours) One-hundred-five-minute daily flights on Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines or Cebu Pacific from Manila to Davao. Four hours by Bachelor Express or private car from Davao to San Francisco.