There was a seat sale around June last year so me and my friends decided to take advantage of the cheap flights by booking seats to go to Siargao on March 2017 thinking the perfect time to visit the surfing capital of the Philippines would around that time, at the start of summer. Little did we know, summer doesn’t come at the same time in Manila as Siargao. When I flew from Cebu to Siargao, my plane kept on flying around the Siargao airport for more than 40 minutes because the clouds were so thick and it’s been raining hence the pilot was having a hard time getting a visual of the runway. After exiting the tiny airport, I took a van to where I booked a bed in a surf bunk room, at Bravo Resort in General Luna, Siargao island. A Surf Bunk room is a room with multiple beds where you get to book just a bed, a locker and have an opportunity to meet and share a room with fellow travelers.
This is isn’t the first time I’ve stayed in a hostel type of room but this IS the first time I’ve actually shared a room like that with strangers so I was a little excited, a little apprehensive. I didn’t get that “share a room with strangers” experience though because the bad weather cancelled a lot of flights where I assume my would-be room mates were on. So in the end, I actually the surf bunk room all to myself for two out of the three nights I stayed there.
Since it was raining on and off (and it was far from a drizzle), I was mostly stuck at the resort on my first afternoon. It was ok though, because Bravo resort, I think, was built for lounging, relaxing, chilling, resting. Their restaurant was set up with a section for dining, with proper tables and chairs, and a section for chilling, with lounge chairs where you one can just veg.
In the evening, I had dinner at an Indonesian restaurant called Warung, with people I met at the resort earlier. The place was really nice, the food was yum, the serving was BIG and the price was reasonable.
The next day, the weather was still not behaving so me and my friend mostly kept to the resort. In the afternoon though I finally gathered enough courage to try surfing in the surfing capital of the Philippines. Me and my friends went to the surf spot called Jacking Horse, which was just beside the legendary Cloud 9 surf spot. Obviously this spot was for beginners, and the afternoon I went, the waves were just one foot so I felt it was safe enough to try. It was challenging because the water was choppy and it was a reef break but I had so much fun, I was stoked!
After surfing, me and my friends headed to one of the really popular restaurants in Siargao island called Kermit. They served pasta and pizza, had a great happy hour promo, it’s no wonder the whole place is booked up by 6PM on any given dy. We were just lucky that 1) there was a group who reserved a table for 7PM but we were at Kermit as early as 6PM and were allowed to occupy the reserved table until the group who reserved it came along and 2) the group who reserved the table were 15 minutes late so their reservation was given up to us yay! After dinner, we moved to another bar and drank a little bit more before I decided to head back to my surf bunk and turn in.
The next day, me and my friends thought the sun was fighting through the clouds so we decided to check out Sugba lagoon. Sugba lagoon was around 30-40 minutes land trip to the port and then another 30-40 minutes boat ride away. Unfortunately for us, our teeny tiny boat had to go through rain before we reached the lagoon. The rain drops hurt against my face and the wind was just biting! When we finally reached the lagoon we were so happy BUT it was still overcast and when the wind blew, we definitely felt the chill. Disregarding that though, the lagoon was beautiful! There was a big, two storey hut where one can rent tables and chairs for Php50 per table. The caretakers also sold chips and drinks and even cooked food for a fee. Brightly colored paddle boards were also available for rent for exploring the far side of the lagoon.
On my last day, the sun finally decided to come out and it was such a beautiful day that I decided to surf one last time before I had to pack my bags and catch my 2pm flight back to Cebu then Cebu to Manila. Me and my friends went to grab a light breakfast at Cafe Loka, a cafe just by Jacking Horse and Cloud 9 then rented boards to play with. I had so much fun because this time, I had two other friends to play in the water with.
After an hour, we got out of the water, checked out the boardwalk and then headed back to our resort.
In total I had one beautiful, sunny morning in Siargao while the rest of the time it was gloomy and it rained. Nevertheless, I fell in love with Siargao. I wondered why I never had that burning desire to visit the island before this year. I think maybe I was intimidated by the fact that it’s supposedly the surfing capital of the Philippines…international surfing competitions are held there annually! What I learned from my trip though, was that there’s something for everyone in Siargao, that it’s not just for surfers. I also love the fact that it’s not as congested as Boracay or El Nido…there’s enough space between resorts for one to feel that they can breathe. When traversing the road behind resorts, you can actually see through trees and to the water.
Three and a half days was not enough to discover Siargao, me and my friends have all agreed we need to go back and stay for at least 5 days to a week. The next time I come back though, I’ll make sure to check the weather forecast to make sure the sun will be out 😉