LANAO DEL NORTE | Quiet Morning at Linamon’s Mago-ong Beach / Montaner Beach

Monday, September 30, 2013

Morning Dip at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

The sand was brownish black, the waters a dark shade of blue, the sun was shining and the morning was beautiful. I was at the town of Linamon, the so-called beach capital of Lanao del Norte and except for a local family having a morning dip, I have the whole stretch of the beach to myself.

Gentle Waves at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

I still have a few hours left before travelers participating in Iligan’s Waterfalling Adventure 1.0 arrive. With nothing to do at Rene’s Pension House (B & C Pension House) and not wanting to waste time, I asked L if she knew any good beach around the area where I can while away the time. She mentioned the town of Linamon and I immediately knew what she was talking about. I passed through the coastal town on my way to Mukas for my roundtrip Iligan to Ozamiz trip the day before.

Luring Out Worm Baits at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

Locals collecting worms by the beach greeted me as I dropped my bag on one of the rocks protruding near the shore. Using tahop sa mais, they lure out worms from the sand which are then used as fishing baits. I tried to start a conversation but they were either too shy or simply too intent on what they were doing. I let them be.


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

Mago-ong Beach, a local said as I asked the name of this particular beach at Linamon. I found later through Google Maps that this beach is actually named Montaner Beach. There’s no entrance fee and even though it was empty that day, locals usually flock the area during weekends. I saw some thatched huts along the beach—I’m pretty sure the ones maintaining those make a killing in collecting fees for the weekend crowds.


At Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

I held off swimming as long as I could, taking the requisite photos first. But resistance, as they say, is futile. I finally took off my shirt and dove down the blue green waters of Mago-ong / Montaner Beach in my boxers. The waves were mild and the water warm to my bare skin.

Murky Underwater at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

Most of the seafloor is sandy aside from the few coral-like rocks littering some of its parts. I was hoping to shoot a few fishes but I can hardly see any. I’m not sure if it was because of the poor visibility of the water of there really wasn’t any.

Marines at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

A truck rumbled and I surfaced from the water. My underwater reverie and solitude was broken as a platoon of Marines unloaded. Hurriedly taking off their shirts, they hollered and ran to the beach; their Black Labrador dog, leading the way. I was suddenly surrounded by soldiers taking a breather from their duties.

Fisherfolks at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

I guess it was time to move.

I headed westwards where I can have Mago-ong’s waters all to myself again. I greeted a few good mornings to locals I passed along the way—they returned my gesture with friendly smiles. Being alone in Mindanao ain’t scary after all, well as far as Lanao del Norte is concerned, anyways.


Brown and Black Sand at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

The sand became finer as I progressed westwards, its brown color now suffused with a darker variety. The seabed at this portion of beach is better for swimming too, having almost no rocks at the bottom. I spent quite sometime here simply floating and swimming along the almost non-existent waves.

Mang Canoy, a Resident of Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

Drying up ashore, a local sat next to me and asked why I was all alone. His single question soon turned to a long conversation about his hometown in Camiguin and how he came to Linamon. Mang Canoy can’t see much due to old age but what he lacks in sight, he makes up with his talkativeness and friendliness; shifting subjects from the Manileños aversion to Mindanao to happenings to the nearby city of Marawi to volcano eruptions to anting-antings, without missing a beat.

Beach Resort at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

With the sun rising higher, I bade farewell to the old man and continued walking. A slew of resorts rose at western side of Mago-ong Beach. The shoreline became rougher and the waves stronger. An artificial marine sanctuary with good underwater life is located within the area according to Mang Canoy. He should know, he helped install them himself.

Sunny Day at Linamon's Mago-ong Beach

I took one last photograph of Linamon’s Mago-ong Beach before turning my back and heading back up the highway. My time roaming around Visayas and Mindanao on my own was about to come to an end. In a few hours, I’ll be meeting travelers from around the country and the chase for waterfalls around Iligan City would commence.


Linamon Location MapMago-Ong Beach | Montaner Beach
Address: Brgy. Mago-ong, Linamon, Lanao del Norte
Entrance Fee: Free
GPS Coordinates Map: 8.185341, 124.156700


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  1. ayeeee buti ka pa nakarating ka dyan! Indeed it is not scary afterall when you are already in Mindanao. Personally, I feel scared at times with what I read on papers.

    Linamaon ka na...malapit na talaga sa IWAT 1.0 ang post mo. :) next post for sure. :)