SIARGAO: A Wander to Ponder

Hey, have you ever asked about yourself how to be on your own on a strange place when no one knows you and even recognizes you? Well, this was my motivation when I went to Siargao. I will write a different blog about why I pursue traveling and going solo.

Hi again! Welcome again to my blog. Sorry but still trying to manage to write frequently. I know I have a lot of stories to share but kinda hard to tell everything. Hope you will still continue to read my blogs and stories. And I really don’t know actually how to start writing again kinda bit lost or overwhelmed maybe? But hey here I am sharing to you my Siargao trip, my birthday gift to myself. Yes, sometimes you need to reward yourself and you don’t need to wait for someone to give it to you. And if you are curious enough and asked me who I am with on this travel, no one. Me, myself and I. Yup, this is a solo travel. Kinda having a moment to myself. Go embrace the independence girl/dude. I cannot say that this is my first solo travel ’cause I already did it in Bali (unintentionally) but I can say, the official one. So yeah, too much introduction and should I get started?

I know a lot already asked and even messaged me on my itinerary and even what happen on my trip. But first, why from all the places in the Philippines and even around the world, why Siargao? Kinda asking myself the same question too. So, let’s have some brief background about this place.

Siargao is located in Mindanao under Surigao del Norte province which is in the southern part of Philippines. I am not really good in geography so my Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) teacher in high school or even in grade school may hate me. Lol. But all I knew, it is well known for its waves and best place to surf. But did you know that it also has the largest mangroves forest reserve. Well thank you Wikipedia for that. But yeah, I can say that this is true. I saw a lot of mangroves when I went to Sugba Lagoon.

Didn’t I answer the question still on why? Maybe because after doing some research, found out that locals are really nice (so wasn’t really scared to try) and also because I booked this flight last year supposedly joining some group of friends.

So, let’s go on the how to pack of this blog.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are 3 airlines that has a direct flight to Siargao from Manila. You may choose from Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific (CEBPAC) or Sky Jet. But for my case I booked my flight via Clark. I really love the Clark International Airport, no bias NAIA but I’ve been having my flights here and it didn’t experience any delayed flight. Though you still need to ride a point-to-point (P2P) bus if you are coming from Manila but it’s better than being stressed from all the delays. Am I right?

Booked my flight via PAL. Really love flying with PAL because they have free check-in luggage and snacks. You win my heart with the snacks. And if you would compare the three airlines, I think PAL would be the expensive one but I think it is still worth it’s price. Asking me how much my flight cost for a roundtrip? Its costs ₽3,600+ or $70, a score already for me ‘cause it’s PAL. I think I booked it in a promo fare last year.

Going back, so when you arrive in the Siargao Domestic Airport in order to go the General Luna (GL) — the popular municipality ’cause it is where the Cloud 9 located, the popular surfing spot, you need to ride a van or a habal habal (motorcycle) which could cost ₽300 or $5 per person. I rode a habal habal going to GL, too early for an adventure, right? But the province breeze is so nice and refreshing. I would definitely do that again.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a lot of places to stay in Siargao, there are high, mid and backpacker price ranges depends also on your budget. I was really searching a place that is peaceful, comfy and safe especially since I’ll be away from home. I was really trying somewhere near the main road and the beach but ended up staying in the back road. Did I regret it? Definitely not. It still fits on my criteria.

I booked via Airbnb. Here are the places I stayed and became my second home. If you still don’t have an account click on this link then create an account, you’ll get a ₽1,600 or $30 credit that you could use for your bookings.

Sallt Bungalow (Airbnb link)

This has a mini kitchen and a sink, you can cook here but I didn’t manage to buy some food already and cook since I already stayed here for one night.

The Hillside Resort (Airbnb link)

This place is really a score for its price. It also has a pool but a lot of construction is still on going. So maybe when this resort is already complete the price would be a bit higher.

Will I return and check-in here again? Yes, cause the vibe of serenity is here. I was able to sleep well here too. Although I thought I wouldn’t but ended up having a good rest. I really felt myself and body was recharged. Maybe because it is really far from where everything happens like parties, etc.

But if I could still have other choices, these are the places I’ll try to book next time — Villa Solaria, Kokai Resort, Kawili and/or Kubo Siargao

If you have stayed here before, share also your feedback so everyone would know and I too.

WHERE TO EAT

Food should always be a part of planning if you’re traveling. And sorry I didn’t take much photos of the food for this trip ‘cause either I was so hungry by that time or I really forgot. Mostly I only ate dinner, ‘cause lunch was always in the island and I sometimes forgot to eat breakfast. I know it’s bad sorry, don’t be like me. So here are some places to try — Sugba, Mama’s Grill, Kermits, Shaka Cafe

This is Linguine Seafood in Kermit’s. I really like eating past, you can really taste that the main ingredient is tomatoes. I was about to order the famous Kermit Pizza but I don’t think I might be able to finish it alone so I ended up ordering pasta. 

This is Bom Dai, a power bowl that has granola and acai berry juice which is my favorite. 

Other places to try that is in my list is Aventinos (really have delicious pizza according to my new friends) and Vivo Inn (where there is an acoustic music every Friday). Food in Siargao are really good for sharing even the Shaka Bowl. 

WHAT TO DO

I only stayed for 4 days and 3 nights. I know it’s too short because I only planned it according to how many vacation leaves I still have at work. That’s why i try to list some of the things I want to do in this place.

CATCH THE SUNSET

The first thing I did was go to Cloud 9 and watch the sunset. As you all knew me or even read my first blog I already mentioned that I really love sunset. Lucky I am to catch it on my first day ‘cause the following days in Siargao didn’t have that clear sky. And I literally run to catch it ‘cause I arrived around 4pm from the airport and had to travel an hour just to go to GL. But it was fun.

LAND TOUR

When I woke up the next day, I heard the sound of the rain. It was really a bad weather. It was not was I need since I’ll be doing a land tour. It rained, really hard. But it did stop quite sometime during my land tour. But when I was about to end my land tour it poured really hard. Did I mentioned that I was riding a motorcycle to places mentioned below? So, imagine that it was raining so hard and my habal habal doesn’t have a top cover. I was really soaked in the rain. It wasn’t a problem at first ‘cause my land tour has water activities so I am already wet but the rain pouring at my face was really the struggle. But still it was fun for me, something I can always remember.

These are the following places you could visit if you want to go on a land tour I went to the following places:

📍 Maasin River

It is where the famous Palm swing is located. A tip from me, first ride a boat here which cost 500 or $10 . Explore and enjoy the view and at the end of the river it has beautiful ending, a small clear pool. 

📍Sugba Lagoon

You only have 3 hours to stay in this place and bringing food and plastic bottles is not allowed. There are a lot of things to do here, you can do kayaking, paddle board and even snorkeling.

📍Kawhagan Island

This island is where you could have your lunch cause you can’t eat in Sugba Lagoon. It also has a sand bar but wasn’t able to really explore this island as the weather didn’t cooperate.

📍Pamomoan Island

This island is just across the Kawhagan Island. You could see from my previous photo.

Upon arriving in Del Carmen port where you can rent/ride a boat in order to go to these 3 places. The cost depends on the places you want to go. This is also the port where you could go to Sohoton Cove. Unfortunately, I didn’t try to go there ‘cause it is far, about 2 hours boat ride and didn’t have much time for me.

Going solo was expensive for me and luckily, I met these beautiful people and we shared a boat. The boat cost ₽2,500 or almost $50 for 6 persons and you will be able to visit the 3 places. It was really fun to share this day with them. When I jumped in Sugba Lagoon they’re cheering for me. Aww, I missed you guys. Hope to see you soon.

📍 10,000 Coconut Trees / Palm Trees attractions

Unfortunately, Magpupungko Rock Pool was closed during my stay. Btw, going to these places can be done even just having the motorcycle. So, if you’re really that adventurous go rent one. It will cost you ₽350 but I think it has a different price if you’re a foreigner which cost ₽500 or $10.

After having a land tour, I went outside and met a solo traveler too, who is on her last night. Hi Cess! Hope you’re reading this. We partied and met different people again. Yeah, you read it right, I went to a bar that night. My first night out in my entire life. Just had some few drinks. And it was fun to meet different people and only if I had more chance to hear their stories too.

TRI-ISLAND HOPPING

On my third day, this is where I got really tanned and toasted. Lol. The tri-island hopping — Guyam Island, Naked Island, Daku Island

It was a sunny day. I was really happy finally the sun was out for my island hopping. My prayers were answered. I just went to the port waiting for some people who also wants to have some joiners. There is where I met Lala, owner of the Experience Siargao Tour. I only paid for ₽1,000 or $20 for the tour and did you know that the lunch is already included. It was already a score for me. I recommend you to go check and book their tour. It was really a short one ‘cause we started late 10am and ended up by 3pm. Quite short but fun. But if you want to really go solo or have your own boat, it will cost ₽1,500 or $30 which is already good for 6 persons and you can buy your lunch at Daku Island.

🏝 Guyam Island

This island is really small that you could really explore it within 2 minutes. But Lala mentioned that this place is beautiful for sunrise and even sunset. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. Even though it is small, I think this is my favorite island. If I could stay here longer.

🏝 Naked Island

This island is literally naked, only a sand bar. But the sand is so beautiful and it has lots of seashells. 

🏝 Daku Island

Our last stop, this is where we eat. The food prepared by Lala was really delicious. I wasn’t able to explore the island ‘cause I was hungry and also wanted to just chill and swim. The water here is a bit deep and waves kinda big but it was beautiful.

SURFING

Oh, it was already my last day. Sad, but I ended up my journey with surfing. I woke up early. Kinda odd right? Why odd? Because I am a night owl and waking up early is not really my thing. And because I have limited time and enjoying Siargao wouldn’t complete if I didn’t surf. I went to Cloud 9 around 6am in the morning. I was able to see the sunrise. It was beautiful. A great reminder that this is a brand-new day.

It was nice to wake up early with this kind of view and only few people surf in the morning. I was the first to arrive. So, there was a time that I have the sea on my own. So, go and wake up early if you really want to surf. It was really fun surfing even though I was on my own. It was already my third time surfing and I already managed to stand already. The instructors were the one cheering for me. Lol. Maybe next time I learn to paddle on my own. Didn’t have much photos and videos to share but really, I had so much fun. A great ender for my trip.

While writing this I am asking myself will I go back to Siargao, my answer would be YES. ‘Cause there are still a lot of places to visit like Corregidor Island, the Sohoton Cove and would definitely want to go to Magpupungko Rock pool.  And also really like to surf here though it was rocky. But the question is would I try it again going solo? Maybe not, going to Siargao with a group of friends would be much fun, I think. So, if you plan to go here, tag me along. Or let’s do travel collab. Please let me know.

Sorry if it was a long blog. Don’t want to cut it in different entries though. Hope you could feel the same feeling I had when I traveled in Siargao. Share your inputs with me. Thank you for taking your time! Hope I can also hear some great stories too if you travel toSiargao.

Btw, here are the people you may contact if you plan to visit :

Habal-habal driver/guide: Kuya Ric

IG: @uldaricoespinosa

Contact number: +63 995 029 6616

Tri-island hopping: Lala

IG: @experience.siargao

Contact number: +63 921 797 0905

Surfing: Kuya Balong

Contact number: +63 919 598 6369

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Author: justgoannie

Hi! I am Ann. Welcome to Just Go Annie, my online world. Not a writer but wanted to share my thoughts and experiences on traveling, life adventures and other little things.

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