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asia / Philippines / Travel

June 12-17, 2018
5 and a half days full of warmth

I never really enjoyed beaches when I was younger. I burn easily and didn’t know how to swim until around 2017 (self-taught! haha!), so being around water that was more than 4ft deep while basking in the sun was something I was afraid of. Categorizing myself as more of a mountain person in the past, trips to the beach were rare. I don’t know what changed my mind; I still love the mountains, but now I often find myself craving for sun, sand, and sea.

The plane ride at that time was around Php8,000+ round trip via Skyjet Air. To me, that was not cheap since I’ve purchased tickets to Hong Kong and Singapore for half the price in the past. Between saving up versus experiencing something new, I decided to go for it since I had the extra cash to spare anyway. After all, a trip like this with friends doesn’t happen very often.

It’s been a year and my memory is a bit hazy, but here’s my best effort to recall what happened with the help of my photos + our group’s Google Sheets file!

Day 1

We arrived at Siargao just before lunchtime. We checked in at Harana Surf Resort where we booked a Family Villa, had some food in the in-house restaurant, and from there we walked to Shaka Siargao. It’s not a short walk, so I suggest you take a trike if you’re not comfortable with that!

Cloud 9 Kook Smoothie Bowl by Shaka Siargao (php250)

We also visited Cloud Nine, a popular surfing spot. A bunch of us decided to just stay by the sides and chill at the beach, while the others went surfing.

Day 2

It was in Sugba Lagoon where I got my worst sun burn ever! No regrets though, it was one of my favorite stops! We stayed here for around 2 hours if I remember correctly. It was super fun paddling around the turquoise blue and emerald water (this is hard btw, it’s an arm workout) and swimming with some stingless jellyfish.

This is also where everyone takes that “IG-famous Siargao shot.” I hate the feeling of falling so it took me f o r e v e r to jump off. It’s around 3 meters, almost 10 feet high.

We went to have lunch next to the Magpupungko Rock Pools. I didn’t take pictures here because I was so tired, but I thought the place was really pretty. If you have a drone camera or a GoPro, this is the perfect time to use it. If I ever go back to Siargao, I’d definitely want to spend some more time there and swim.

Day 3

I enjoyed Siargao’s lagoons more than the beaches probably because of the landscapes, so Sohoton National Park was something I liked a lot. It’s not so easily accessible though, I think it took us 2 hours one way to get there and only a few tour operators offer to take you here since it’s so far.

The man who paddled me to the Jellyfish Sanctuary!

I don’t have any shots of the Makuku-ob Cave, but basically it’s one way in and the only way out is to jump off a wide plank that’s 5 meters or around 16 feet high. We also went to the Jellyfish Sanctuary, but no pictures here since I was afraid my camera would get wet. It looks like any other lagoon in the area, just with jellies. A GoPro can be very useful here.

Corregidor Island

Next, we had Corregidor Island to ourselves. We also had 2 island doggies following us around, it was so cute. We spent a lot of time just chilling and taking pictures here. We ended the day with dinner at Kalinaw Resort back in the main island.

Truffle Pasta at Kalinaw Resort

Day 4

Where we had lunch on Mam-on Island

Day 4 was Island Hopping Day! We were going to do three islands, and the first was Mam-on Island which we had all to ourselves. We had a super yummy seafood lunch before we went on to beaching in the crystal clear waters and the soft white sand.

Naked Island

Naked Island is what it is: a naked island. It’s nice to visit once if you haven’t been there, but there’s really not much to see so I didn’t bother including more than one photo. It should be interesting to take photos of if you have a drone though, and it’s probably much more appealing if you go on a less crowded day or time.

Daku Island

Our last stop was Daku Island and I met the cutest bb! Her name is Puppy! I might have spent 30 to 45 minutes being anti-social just carrying her around the island and pretending she was my own before I returned her to where she was found.

We stayed in Daku Island until sunset and pastel skies bid us goodbye. This day was the last of our Siargao tour streak.

Day 5-6

Met this cutie on the evening of Day 5 while having dinner at Warung

I had planned to try surfing for the first time on Day 5 but I was suddenly struck with a fever so I stayed at the resort and only went out for food. On Day 6 we just had lunch at Mama’s Grill and headed to the airport to fly back to Manila.

Food Recommendations

My Favorites!Worth Trying
Indonesian food! I really loved the Nasi Campur (not sure if this is the exact name) and the Chicken Sate! Would love to go back and try the others.
Shaka Siargao
I really like smoothie bowls but this one was just okay for me. Still think it’s worth trying while you’re in Siargao though!
Barrel Sports Bar
I had their burger (php199), it was so good! My friends had the shawarma which they also liked. Go here early because it can get crowded.
Mama’s Grill
Really really cheap food over here, but go early since it gets crowded. I thought the food was just okay but you really can’t complain for the price you’re paying.
Kalinaw Resort
This is a luxury resort so it’s more expensive, but well worth it when eating with friends who you can split the bill with! Love the Truffle Pasta and their pizzas!
Harana Surf Resort
This was where we stayed but I didn’t get to try much since we went out a lot. I had the sizzling fried chicken and it was alright!
Pan de Coco
Not sure if there’s only one place to get this but we got ours near a church. I think one piece is just php5. Ask your trike driver to take you to someone who sells this.
Bravo Beach Resort
I loved the Peri Peri Chicken! Out of all the restaurants I listed, this might be my #1! Bravo also has a really cozy feel to it and the setup is great for bonding with friends.

The beaches that are just car rides away from the metro cannot compare to what you can experience in far provincial/coastal areas. I hope Siargao keeps its magic despite the commercialization that tourism will bring, and that the local government will be able to manage this in a sustainable way. Siargao is definitely somewhere I wouldn’t mind returning to.

Airline Skyjet Air
Lodging Harana Surf Resort
Tour Operator Siargao Island Tour, Galatea Siargao

x Alexis

The Author

Photographer and visual artist from the Philippines.


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