photos and words by Guest Blogger Jocelyn E. Morano on January 4th, 2011
A surfer’s dream destination, famous as the world’s great frontiers for surf exploration, visiting Siargao is a whole new experience for so many local and foreign tourists.
Some 5 years ago, only a few resorts mostly owned by foreigners who married locals and dwellings can be seen.
Now, resorts are sprouting everywhere to accommodate the increasing tourists, alongside with this comes with the also steadily increasing of inhabitants around the area.
Siargao offers solace and tranquility perfect for those who want to escape the hassle and busy life from the metropolis.
Siargao Related: see launching the 1st Cloud 9 Night Surfing
Going to Siargao may take several hours but setting foot to the so called gem of Mindanao, everything is worthwhile.
From Surigao City, one can choose between taking the two-hour fast craft ride to Dapa (Siargao’s main port) or by 4 hour ferry travel (RORO) from the port of Lipata to Dapa.
Surfing competition usually held in September, having a vacation during off season would be very enjoyable because there’s still plenty to do like island hopping, diving, kayaking, biking and sun bathing.
Siargao Related: see different spectacular surfing sites
It is best to experience the “three-island boat tour,” for those who prefer swimming and leisure walk by the beach.
Our first stop is the farthest island called “Naked Island” because it is a dome of sand in the middle of the lagoon, it has no vegetation, no coconut trees, no inhabitants, and one can walk around the island with so many washed up shells of different shapes and types. The local name of this sandbar is Pansukian.
Next stop would be a 15 minute boat ride towards “Daku Island”, in Visayan dialect it means ‘big’, it is ideal for picnic with fresh buko juice on the side for only 15 pesos from the locals. In December, the island is not recommended for swimming because of its big waves and deep waters. It still has a powdery-white sand and teeming with coconut trees that provides good shades.
Perfect for swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling is the beautiful “Guyam Islet” a typical uninhabited tropical island with white sandy beach and coconut trees around it. Locals also called the isle: “chill and grill”. The Guyam Island is just across the General Luna beach, that offers a vantage view of Siargao and it can be reached by pumpboat in less than 10 minutes.
Luckily, one will truly enjoy a sumptuous dinner of fresh fish from local fishermen at a very cheap price. One has to wait for them near the shore adjacent to the local market.
I was told, aside from surfing, deep-sea fishing is gaining popularity amongst tourists where one can get a chance to join local fisherman for a day fishing adventure and catch bill fish, barilis (yellow fin tuna), tanguigue (Spanish mackerel) and morang (dolphin fish).
The fresh catch brought by fishermen which is in abundance all year round are the bolis (skipjack) and blue marlin.
Travel time will take you long to reach Siargao, but with its natural beauty and enticing white sand beaches, it’s worth the experience.