May 4-5, 2016

We were up by around 3am to prepare and get ourselves ready to Siargao Islands. I was half asleep and half excited that time. From Placer, we needed to take a bus going to Surigao City’s port going to Siargao. We took a bus going to Surigao City bus terminal for P30 and it took us around an hour from Placer and there was no traffic. It was a very long drive, eventhough it’s normal in Manila to travel an hour on the road, I don’t why I get tired with the same travel time in the province. From the bus terminal in Surigao City, we rode a tricycle going to the port of Surigao City for P20 each.

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Sunrise in Surigao City Port

We reached the port of Surigao City before sunrise and needed to wait a little longer before boarding the boat. There are these express boats going to Siargao from Surigao City which costs P300 and will take you around 4 to 5 hours of travel time. Yes, it’s that far. It’s like you’ve taken a trip from Manila to Baguio City via bus. But I guess the boat fare is relatively cheap considering how far it is from Surigao. We departed Surigao City at around 5:30am.

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Inside the boat going to Siargao Islands

It’s really a long trip, be ready to sleep while sitting and must be good at it or you shall endure the entire travel awake. You can also download an offline map of Surigao del Norte so you can track your location even if there’s no data signal.

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Habal-habal of Siargao

Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines, also dubbed as the 8th best surfing spot in the world. It is a group of islands located at the east of Surigao del Norte at the East Philippine Sea and near the Pacific Ocean.

Upon arrival at around 9:30am at the sea port of Dapa, Siargao, you may take a habal-habal to your destination, your chosen hotel and resort, it will cost you around P50-100 depending on how far and how many of you will take a ride. It is usually more expensive for solo travelers because you always need to pay for the entire transportation; whereas, if you’re in a group, you can always divide the fare in the number of persons in your group.

BRAVO BEACH RESORT

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We checked-in at Bravo Beach Resort which is owned and managed by young foreigners. The place is very cozy and relaxing with a paradise-feel you don’t want to leave anymore. My sister booked the room from agoda.com for P3,500 per night for the 5 of us with free breakfast. You may also check Airbnb or Traveloka for hotel accommodations in Siargao. Bravo offers a view of the beach plus a mini pool where you can dip yourself in a fresh clean water if your the type of person who doesn’t like the sticky feeling after a swim in the sea. You may also just relax and breathe the fresh air on their sofa-bed or hammock while enjoying the pleasant and calming view of the beach. The staff were also helpful in guiding us on what to do in Siargao.

There are plenty of foreigners in Siargao, you’ll feel like you’re the foreigner in your own country. They roam around the island like locals.

GENERAL LUNA

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General Luna beach facing Guyam Island

We went to General Luna beach via habal-habal for P20 each to have our island hopping. The island hopping costs  P1,500, for the entire boat, consisting the visits to the three nearby islands, the Naked Island, Daco Island, and Guyam Island.

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Our first destination was the Naked Island, along our way, there was a floating hut that looks like it’s intended for leisure fishing. There were people fishing using their fishing rods. We were not able to stop over to check what they really do there.

NAKED ISLAND

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Naked Island

The Naked Island live to its name being naked, no trees to cover the island but it has fine white sand which is very nice and pleasant on your feet plus it doesn’t absorb heat. It is very nice to walk on it even during noon time, but it’s really naked, there were no trees at all to give you shade in case you get too exhausted because of the heat of the sun. I like the white sand and the pristine turquoise water that feels so refreshing and relaxing even under the scorching heat of the sun.

DACO ISLAND

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Daco Island

Our next island was the Daco Island or some local call it Higante which means big or large in Filipino. Obviously, the island is the largest among the mini islands surrounding Siargao. Daco Island is also big enough to be inhabited by some residents. We stayed in Daco for a while to have our lunch packed for us by Bravo Beach Resort which cost us P150 each. We just rented a cottage for P50 so we can eat our food. We also ordered some of their grilled seafood like the mini octopus.

The sand in Daco Island is also white but much coarser compared to the sand of Naked Island. But generally, it is fine and still beautiful. There are corals around the island where you can snorkel and see some fish.

GUYAM ISLAND

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Guyam Island

Lastly, my personal favorite is the Guyam Island. This island is just near General Luna of Siargao. It is just a small island with lots of trees in it. It is a picturesque sight where you usually imagine a perfect view of an island. It is a kind of island we usually draw during our elementary days because it’s what the ideal island we always see in cartoons. It is uninhabited because of its size but there’s a cottage where you can put your stuff in it.

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School of Fish

I was able to snorkel around Guyam Island and found some cute school of fish which were feeding among the dead corals. I don’t know what kind of fish they are.

CLOUD 9

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Cloud 9

Your visit to Siargao wouldn’t be complete without the sight of Cloud 9, the surfing spot in Siargao. There is this dock where you would walk to reach the area near the waves. The area has lots of dead corals so you need to wear aqua shoes if you’re sensitive to rough and slightly sharp surfaces. But generally, it is bearable to walk on it. Buhay pa naman kami after we tried surfing.

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My niece and I tried surfing in Siargao, because it may be just once in a lifetime. It costs P500 for 30 minutes which includes the rental of surfing board and the instructor. Unfortunately my sister was too afraid to come near me to take photos of me while surfing. Ayun walang photo op. Huhuhu!

It was my second time to try surfing, and good thing that I was able to surf properly using the short board. It was so fulfilling! My first time was in La Union using a long board which is more ideal for beginners, and I think the surfing spot there is more barefoot-friendly.

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Grilled Fish

We had our dinner at Mama’s Grill along Tourism Road just near Bravo Beach Resort, a famous local grilling restaurant. They offer grilled seafood and barbecue at an affordable price. Would range from P100-200 per meal per person. They also serve alcoholic beverages for those you want to cleanse their inner body and soul. Just kidding. Be sure to be there before you starve because the place is crowded during meal times.

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Breakfast at Bravo Beach Resort

We just stayed in Siargao for a night. After our breakfast, we packed our belongings and headed straight back to Dapa Port.

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We need to take habal-habal again to go back to Dapa Port in Siargao. It was a pleasant experience for a very short stay. I am looking forward of going back to the island and explore more of its beauty.

Expenses:

ITEM AMOUNT
Bus to Surigao City           30.00
Tricycle to Port from Bus Station           20.00
Boat ride Surigao City – Siargao P300 x Round Trip         600.00
Habal-Habal entire duration in Siargao         320.00
Island Hopping P1,500 good for 5 pax         300.00
Packed lunch by Bravo Beach         150.00
Bravo Beach Resort Room P3,500/night for 5 pax         700.00
Cottage in Daco Island           50.00
Grilled Seafood         150.00
Surfing Lessons         500.00
Mama’s Grill         150.00
Free breakfast in Bravo Beach Resort  –
TOTAL     2,970.00

 

Surigao del Norte (Mainland) Part 1 of 2

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