Having read all the raves about big surfing action and cloud 9’s, I decided to check out Siargao Island to see what the big fuss was all about. For the record, I had no intention of doubling up on any given vacation. Meaning that if I set aside a period of time to travel to some destination, I always make it a point to only go to one place. This is to ensure that my enjoyment of that particular place is pure and undiluted.
In fact, for my August vacation, my only objective was the magnificent Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City, Surigao Del Sur only. But having accomplished that adventure, and with a few days to spare, I thought that perhaps going to Siargao as well is a splendid idea. Which brings me to lesson #1 when on vacation.
Lesson #1. Stick to the plan. Even if other opportunities that may enhance the vacation experience present themselves, sticking to the plan will ensure that you don’t jeopardize your financial budget. Not sticking to the plan could prove ruinous in the long run. Some activities that you have carefully planned ahead for may be swept under the rug of euphoria when you allow yourself to be dazzled by an opportunity that came out of the blue.
So far, the places that I’ve featured heavily in this blog are those tourist spots in the Philippines that are ‘off the beaten track’; places that are truly worthy of anyone’s visit but are often not very accessible to the recreational traveller. Places like the Hinatuan River and most recently the Tinuy-an Falls.
Lesson #2 The best spots are often hard to get, like women. Sometimes, in order to be somewhere amazing, you have to risk life and limb just to get there. You may have to ride a rolling coffin (like the habal-habal) or engage in perilous rock climbing just to get to the prize. But I’m telling you, whenever you risk your life for something, it only makes it even more precious.
Siargao Island on the other hand is not off the beaten track. It is world famous for its surfing spots and surfing competitions, which means surfer boys from all over the world make a beeline to that island during the ‘ber’ months bringing along with them their mates, pals, groupies, and of course attracting the attention of the locals who are only too willing to see some skin, or muscle, or even a butt-crack once in a lucky while. It is however, part of the Surigao area (the place I’m currently really raving about) and since its only a couple of hours away from my vacation base, it seemed to me like a total shame if I were to just ignore it and go home with only the Tinuy-an trophy in my pocket when I do have a few days to waste.
Of course I have to think about finances as well, and knowing that I will be bringing along two elves in a rather famous place, I could be looking down the bankruptcy well in no time. Which is usually the case with most unplanned side-trips. But somehow by some strange travellers luck, an opportunity presented itself in the form of well connected friends.
It turned out that the owners of Island Restaurant, that delicious Butuan restaurant that I’ve been visiting every night since arriving in my hometown and where I wolf down sinful quantities of ridiculously fresh seafood, are from Siargao Island. And as they are very good friends with my significant other, when they heard about my wanting to visit Siargao, they immediately offered to have me stay in their house on the island. How awesome is that.
I’m not gonna elaborate on that one except to say that after 6 hours, 2.5 by bus and another 3.5 by a slow-as-snail ferry boat, I was face to face with our hosts in the Dapa Port in Siargao Island. Another 15 minute ride along the very nicely paved roads of the island and we arrived at our final destination– GL or General Luna, home of the famed Cloud 9 and host to the usual International Surfing Competition.
Not really see, watch out for more posts and pics about Siargao.