Friday, April 5, 2013

Sandy Toes In Siargao Islands

We were cozily tucked in our room for the past hour before the weather became more forgiving. The clouds had mercy and the rain stopped at around 11:00am.

Cloud 9 is acclaimed to have the best waves for surfers. The best swells are during the rainy months of September to October. International surfing competitions are held here, an event that keeps the town pumping. 

I had my failed attempt in surfing when I was in Baler. While it isn’t the end of my non-existent surfing career, I wasn’t feeling up for a surfing lesson. Surfing lessons were offered for Php 450-500 and the instructors guarantee that you’ll be up on that surfboard cruising with the waves.

The weather washed away my surfing dreams. I was content on taking pictures along the boardwalk. I was more excited with the island hopping tour. My last beach trip had been almost 6 months ago, in Isla Reta, Davao.

My glam shot
The waters were clear, they started gleaming. The sun was coming out again.

There were habal-habals (It is acceptable nowadays to use English pluralizing rules for Filipino words...Yes?) hanging outsite the boardwalk chancing on getting a passenger. The habal-habal can hold two additional passengers aside from the driver. Kuya Rodel (09094235305)charge Php 40 for a roundtrip to General Luna (GL), the jump off point for the island hopping. He also had a contact for the boat. The boat will be ready in time when we get to GL.
Sweet ride. May bubong pa!

Kuya Rodel chatted merrily during the ride, amidst the roar of the motorcycle. He is proud of his town, and how Siargao is known internationally for its waves for surfers. A lot of surfers ended up with some of their students. Some are living in Australia and New Zealand already.

Kuya Ben (09215114499) was our head boatman. Their first, final and only offer was Php 1,500 for three hours of island hopping. I was skeptical if we were gonna finish everything in 3 hours but Kuya Ben said that’s actually quite a long time for the three islands. 
If you want a lifevest, you have to tell them that you want one before you jump in the boat. I think lifevest rental is around Php 40-50. I cannot recall, I did not get one. :P And be ready with your drinking water, sunscreen and sunglasses.

We were off to Naked Island first. The island is pronounced as “naked” in English (with the “long a”). I thought all along that this was a Filipino word. Hihihihihi. 
Just a dose of sand for my toes please.

Spot the major epic fail in this photo. Pa-acting acting. I wrote Surigao, pero nasa Siargao nako.

Naked island reminded me of White Island in Camiguin. No shade, just a small islet boasting white sand and clear waters.

My Camiguin shot circa 2010. I was wearing the same yellow dress.

No vendors here. No crowds. We owned the island and swam for a good 30 minutes. Another boat came by and we were reminded that there were two more islands. Ayaw ng ka-share sa isla!

Next: Dako Island. The waves were crashing here. The sand was a bit coarser but the expanse was bigger. The waves here were stronger. I kept getting washed back in shore despite my attempts to swim further.

Group shot! Mimicking my sun salute pose. Hihihihihi.
We also chanced upon a fisherman hauling off seaweed (pako) from his boat.
Us: Kuya! Ibebenta nyo yan?
Him: Hindi, pagkain naming. Kuha kayo oh, hindi naming to mauubos

He handed us a pail-full of seaweed which we divided amongst us to carry back in the boat. Pinupulot lang. The island may be remote and far from the comforts of civilization but they just pick their lunch from the sea. What a simple and happy life they live. 

And they have solar panels!

Last stop: Guyam Island. This is a privately owned small island. You can circle the entire island in less than an hour. The caretakers charge a small fee of Php 10.00 for every visitor (excluding the boatmen). Part of the island is surrounded by a white stretch of sand, and a bigger part is surrounded by rock formations. Reminded me a lot of Biri Island.

We found some creatures living on shells (sorry, hindi ko talaga maalala yung tawag sa kanila). We drew boundaries (as if these creatures would recognize them) and placed them on the start line, then cheered them onto the finish line. Kakera!

Parang mga bata!

If you plan to explore the rocky parts, be prepared to wobble and balance while walking. If you have on Havaianas and the like, take extra caution when taking a step forward – you don’t know if your step will be slippery.
Take your glam shots here!
The purple camera case made it to Siargao!

That was our last stop, before heading back to GL. These islands definitely made it on my top beaches in the Philippines, along with Coron, Isla Reta and Calaguas. No surfing for me, but this island hopping adventure sealed the trip!

We were done by 4pm. The beach was in low tide, so we had to walk around 400 meters to get back ashore, where our habal-habal was waiting for us. 

We also saw this creature while walking back to the shore. Cool!

1 comment:

  1. Fast craft going back to Surigao are really time limited? No more trips beyond 10am?


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