Upon arrival at the Siargao airport, the Tourism Local Government staff welcomed all of us tourists and asked us to answer some survey. They also assisted us in looking for a vehicle going to the town proper; what they got for us was like a semi-truck. I then settled at the back of the driver while some of the foreigners chose to sit at the open area of the vehicle. While in transit, I was so surprised to know that the only bank in Siargao that has a branch in Manila was Landbank. Right there and then, it made me consider opening an account with them since they have ATM services in most of the remote places I had been to.
After almost one hour on the road, I finally reached my accommodation --- Jadestar Beach resort (09192344367). The owner greeted me and graciously escorted me to my cottage. Since I opted for the non-aircon native cottage, she gave me a discount and charged me for PhP300.00 per night. It was indeed the cheapest accommodation in the area. I then rode a motorcycle (“habal-habal”) in going to the surfing area. It was low tide and the wave was just disappointing since I could not see any huge waves bursting with froth-like foam. I was expecting for such sighting, as it also happened to be the National Surfing Competition week.
Due to the said situation, the organizers postponed the competition until the waves would reach an acceptable level. It was already late in the afternoon when I finally decided to take my lunch at a resort in front of the surfing area. I had a sumptuous but quite expensive meal at PhP250.00. What contributed to such exorbitant price for lunch was the rice. It was priced at PhP50.00 per cup. It was then that I found out that their rice supply comes from Surigao City because in the island, they can only plant rice once a year.
I then had the opportunity to walk along the shore and enjoyed the sea creatures trapped inside the crevices due to low tide. In the late afternoon, I decided to return to the resort and rode the motorcycle for PhP20.00. In the evening, I had dinner somewhere else as food was not available in my resort. The owners assisted me and asked Bobong (my guide, 0921.9651848) to bring me to Ronaldo’s Inn and Restaurant (0907.4214993/ 0907.7397898). I enjoyed the food here as they were mostly grilled and yet, very affordable. Then, we went to the Boulevard to watch the fashion show sponsored by a local beer company. It was a well-organized event wherein several locals eagerly watched.
The following day, I toured the island with Bobong. We rode the motorcycle, which was the only means of transportation that can go around the island faster than the regular vehicle. Most of the roads were still under construction and some were totally made of soil. I went to Del Carmen town to inquire on how I can go to Kangbangyo Island to see the saltwater crocodiles but he advised against it as the island was far and sightings were rare because they mostly stay underwater.
From the port, the sight was magnificent as you get to see huge chunk of mangrove forests. Then, we went to the falls but since it was dry season, the waterfall was not as attractive. We also passed by a beach with white sand and pristine waters comparable to the Alona Beach in Bohol. We wanted to proceed to Magpupungko but it was still high tide so we decided to have our lunch at a carinderia that was overlooking the mangroves. It only costed me less than hundred pesos for a meal that was actually good for two (2) persons. Definitely, it was one of the cheapest meals I have ever had!
We then went back to Magpupungko, a beach with fine sand wherein one can see a small turquoise pool being formed during low tides. I then checked out the post cards and discovered that most of them are local made.
In the evening, I still went with my guide to the town’s Boulevard but this time to watch the Hip-hop Dance Competition. The participants came from different places in Mindanao and they were very good. I then stayed and watched until past midnight just to know the winners. Watching the competition capped my tour for the day that costed me only PhP900.
On the third day, I decided to take surfing lessons. It was only 8:30 am and yet I could feel the scorching heat of the sun. Seeing that the waves were just right for beginners, I hired an instructor and paid PhP500 for an hour lesson and board rental. At first, I was hesitant to try the actual surfing since I felt uneasy being with a group of local and foreign surfers but I still went on anyway. My first try was unsuccessful and I toppled onto the water. The second try was still unsuccessful and I sustained a cut on my chin from the surfboard. Finally, on my third try, I was able to stand on the surfboard and repeated the same feat. The time went by so fast and the moment I left the surfing area, it was already half past ten in the morning.
After lunch, I went back to the resort and rented their boat for an Island tour, which amounted to one thousand pesos (PhP1,000). I went to three different islands to take some photos. My first stop was the Naked Island ; it is called as such because of its pure white sand comparable to the white island of Camiguin . I even had the glimpse of the flock of birds staying in the island. I then proceeded to Dako Island , where several people live but still, the island maintained its clear water. Finally, I went to my last stop – the Guyam Island . The island is as pristine as the other islands with its powder-like sand and clear waters perfectly back dropped by coconut trees. Although it is a private island, there were still several people who go there for picnics. I really had an enjoyable tour of the islands and the pictures I have taken were just astounding.
When I went back to the resort, I decided to take a walk around the town. I tried looking for a restaurant to no avail. It was getting very hot so I opted for a carinderia. The ice cream I had tasted really good considering the long hot walk from the resort. On my last evening at the island, I had a refreshing break from the heat when it rained. After dinner, I went again to the Boulevard just to have some beers and to enjoy the music.
Early morning of my last day in the island, I still went to Cloud 9 to take a final glimpse of the waves. The waves were then stronger and higher just like the ones I saw on television. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera to document the huge waves. I almost plunged into the inviting water but I did not have the time anymore since I was about to leave.
Siargao is definitely a place that I would recommend anyone to visit. The sights are just worth the trip and the expenses are just reasonable. And for sure, this is not going to be my first and last time to visit the beautiful island of Siargao.
Visited last October 23, 2009