Philippines · Surigao del Norte · Travel Tales

Island-hopping in Siargao

Guyam Island, near Siargao
Guyam Island, near Siargao

If we’d been running across the NAIA terminal 3 to catch our plane the day before, our hired jeepney was roaring at max speed across the Surigao countryside for us to make it to the first ferry to Siargao that day. Our driver had told us that the first trip was at 6am, so at 5 we were still taking our sweet time sipping coffee even though our driver was telling us to hurry. It turned out that the boat was almost full when we got there at 5:20am. At 5:30 a coast guard inspected the boat; by 5:45 we’d already left the port.

On the way to Siargao on a fine morning
On the way to Siargao on a fine morning

The trip to Siargao via the LQP ferry took about two hours and 45 minutes. Edison, Angel and I spent some time on the roof of the cabin amid sacks of vegetables and other passengers’ cigarette smoke. What we saw: first there were pretty islands, then crashing waves, then Chinese vessels. Finally we got to the Dapa port in Siargao.

Mangroves near Cloud 9
Mangroves near Cloud 9

We had hired a van (P1000) to take us to Cloud 9, particularly to Wayfarers, where we’d been booked for two nights. After dropping off our backs we immediately went looking for lunch—and lunch is steep in Cloud 9! At the same time, with the help of Ms. Jane (who runs Wayfarers with husband Martin), we were able to hire a boat to take us island hopping around Siargao.

At 10am, we were off; our first stop was Guyam Island. True to its name, it’s small, and I walked around it in less than 10 minutes. I marveled at the crystal clear waters around the island. Pretty soon we were the only ones left there. We took many pictures here, mostly of ourselves.

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I’ve been to so many island hopping trips but this is probably the first time I’ve been on such a small island.

A cottage on Guyam Island.
A cottage on Guyam Island.

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Next stop was Daco Island. Upon stepping on it, our feet immediately sank under the fine white sand that could outrival Boracay’s. Also true to its name, Daco is the “big” island, with cottages and vendors of coconut.

DJ contemplating the sea
DJ contemplating the sea
At Guyam Island, near Siargao
At Daco Island, near Siargao

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Our final stop was Naked Island—“naked” because there was no vegetation here at all. It was just a mass of white sand in the middle of the sea, and it’s even smaller than Guyam Island. It was one of the most desolate places I’ve ever been.

Naked Island.
Naked Island.
Edison walking along the shore of little Naked Island
Edison walking along the shore of little Naked Island

Our trip back to Cloud 9 was eventful because the waves were so huge by then. It was enough to get scared about, but I was left marvelling at the wonders of the outrigger boat. Even though the waves were hitting us from the side, our boat didn’t tip over but simply wobbled around, the outrigger balancing us perfectly.

It was such a tiring day that when we got back to the resort, instead of taking a nap, Czhar and I slept until the morning after. That 14-hour sleep was awesome.

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