Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What we did in Siargao for 6 days 5 nights

Sup guys! I can't believe I'm writing my travels again. This isn't particularly new because we did almost similar tours in other cities in Mindanao. I couldn't fit surfing in our schedule but, alas!

Siargao for me has breathtaking views from above; beautiful sunset; clean & green vegetation; warm sunny days and chilly nights; good waves checked everyday; simple lives and lots of cool people.

It was an unplanned adventure to tell you the truth. We wanted to celebrate our 9th year anniversary and going abroad was on the list, supposedly going back to Jogja, or visit Hong Kong or Bangkok or Japan ambition lang haha! We were financially unsure so we booked a flight to Siargao instead because why not, we've been there once but only for a very limited time and we really loved it especially the surf spots (that time I did surf). In other news, we didn't go to Siargao just because of the movie Siargao, I haven't seen it yet.

After flight details I immediately searched for hotels and airbnb but, unfortunately I totally forgot that we planned our trip on a holy week (DO NOT PLAN ON A HOLY WEEK LOL). So when I kept searching, almost all of the hotels and airbnb were fully booked. I asked for suggestions on facebook, got replies and finally booked them. Thanks to my friends who gave them suggestions.

So this blog is all about what we did in Siargao in 6 days and 5 nights, most of our days were motorcycle rides but heck it was all worth it!

A few reminders:
  • About plastic. First of all, we sincerely apologize for the use of plastic bottle during our stay although we did recycle & reused one but when we got to our final destination they didn't offer free water so we bought bottled water again. I told my fiance that we bring our own non-plastic bottle or flask but he complained. So just a reminder to everyone, bring yours and let's stop using plastic in Siargao.
  • Transportation savvy. Rent a motorbike! but only if you have a driver's license, I recommend automatic or semi-auto moped because it's cheaper via transportation and easier to get around. Gas is at 50-55 php.
  • Don'ts. Do not wear anything on your body that could possibly harm the reef and/or jewelry or other things that could easily be misplaced in the ocean. Don't make a ruckus, many people don't like noise pollution, I don't like it and same goes for the locals. Don't just leave your garbage anywhere, find a trash bin, it's so easy! Don't leave your kids unattended or it will ruin your vacation haha! If you see someone throwing trash in the ocean, please tell them to swim for it and put it in his/her mouth :)))) Don't be an asshole- drinking beer and smoking cigarettes right next to the shore (I saw some cig butts near the water, stop it!). Don't leave your things unattended, even at the restaurant, shore, beach, wherever you are, you will never know when it's safe or not. Don't be stupid enough to take something away from the ocean, just leave it be (I saw a post on IG someone placed reef fishes on a plastic cup, it's embarrassing). Don't forget to smile and say thank you always. 
  • Do's. Do bring off lotion because mosquitoes aren't your friends. Do prepare your trip beforehand, book island tours (where food is included). Do surfing at a reputable surf school. Prepare your cold hard cash before heading to the airport or destination to Siargao, cards aren't that useful there. Have patience, when a resort restaurant gets crowded, the service could get slow but great food awaits so just enjoy your pinya colada whilst waiting. Do enjoy and just keep cool, Siargao has a slow-paced kind of life although General Luna can get really crowded at sundown so better take pictures in the morning or sunny afternoon.
  • Backpacking. Backpacking can get you anywhere at any time hassle-free. For me, it's still the best and easiest so I highly recommend backpacking Siargao.

So without further adieu...

Day 1

We flew with PAL, it was a good flight and it was fast. But I also like road trip, there are a lot of awesome stop-overs along the way.

Arrived in Siargao at 8-ish in the morning so fueling up at Fili Beans Espresso is a must!

So since it was still kind of early to check-in at our first place, we went for a dip at Cloud 9. Yes we brought all our belongings.

You could try this but I don't recommend it hahaha! It's fun and challenging.

Our first home was Soffta Surf Ranch. They offer beds for backpackers and family private rooms. We booked a private room, it was quite spacious for only the two of us. Toilet & bath are shared but most of the time clean. I highly recommend Soffta because the hosts politely responds to your needs and they are cool people; bed spaces and rooms are affordable and location is very good. They answer inquiries on facebook swiftly.

Our bed, it wasn't hot to be honest. 

Front view of our bed, a nicely lit room during the day. There are curtains yes.

I am animal whisperer lol

After a little rest at Soffta, we went to Cloud 9 again to take an afternoon dip. Since we are big Intermittent Fasting nerds, we have all the action throughout the day and mainly eat a big meal at feeding hours.

First on our foodie bucket list. Kawayan Gourmand. Grabe! Everything was so delicious, I am even salivating right now :( A must try in Siargao. They also have vegan treats. 

Next, should you be interested in food that's a little similar to fine dining but at a crowded and noisy place lol, Bravo is a must-visit resto but not for the kuripot (penny-pinching). Seafood, chicken, beef, cocktail drinks, wine, beer and more, this place surely is jam-packed especially on Sundays. 

I had wine and this succulent pork curry in coconut cream, please try it!

Met ole' friends and decided to stick around drinking Sangria and beer.

Day 2

Time to head out for some coffee.

I recommend brewed coffee at Lunares coz it's so delish. Can't start my day right without coffee aaaah.

My favorite so far, the Cloud 9 kook bowl. After freshening up at Soffta to check-out coz we only booked one night; we went to Shaka Siargao and had some energizing carbs before embarking on an hour journey to the north. Absolutely recommended especially this one, it's an after surf treat.

We traveled up north to Pacifico because our next booked place was located at a serene and secluded area of the island near the river. It was a special road trip because we saw how Siargao residents live in fields and mangroves, we saw a lot of carabaos as well. Children are eager to greet visitors; they waved their hands at us to say hi and some even enthusiastically shout hello! The people of Siargao are very friendly and some of them are from Davao so basically Bisaya is spoken.

We passed by this sea of coconut trees. I have never seen this in my entire life and I live in abundance of them. This is a must-visit spot, just along the highway of Pilar.

We did a stop-over at a beach in Pilar, it doesn't have a sign but it was really quiet and secluded. Just went here to take pictures and stretch our butts lol.

Like this one :)

After an hour drive via our motorbike, we checked in at a place called Pacifico River House or "Joy's place" as what locals recall. They don't have a website nor facebook so best option is through Airbnb. It's quite difficult to find it so better call host Joy. However, most residents in San Isidro know it's location so it went swell.

This isn't the Pacifico River House nor Joy's place, these are river houses of San Isidro community. They will be your neighbor if you stay at Joy's.

When we arrived at Pacifico River House, we were greeted by this awesome view. This is where we spent our time chatting with new friends, contemplating, drinking what fits us, and specially fireflies watching. I also tried swimming in the river, quite refreshing and challenging (the current and the anxiety of crocodiles lol).

Para akong nabaptized uli nung naligo ako dito hahaha!

Our room was like a suite charat! We loved this room so much. Everyday the view was relaxing; the air conditioning was quiet and cold, mahimbing talaga ang tulog namin. Bed was comfy and clean, and these big glass doors is the best accent in the room.

Our view everyday.

T & B looked nice as well, definitely clean and everything worked perfectly. 

Outside these big glass doors. Hiniram ko lang yung hat haha! :D

We also ordered our daily brewed coffee here in Pacifico River House. Jessie is one of the hosts, she makes really good coffee! Go on and try.

It was our first time in north of Siargao so we decided to drive around and look for a place to hang loose. Pacifico Beach Resort Bigwish was instantly on our bucket list. There's free parking, free to sit and relax, beach bumming, swimming, watch surfers do their thang, and non-touristy.

Just me and a few people swimming. Waves here are so good but rip current looked frustrating haha! Perhaps pro surfers would definitely love this spot.

Aye! Golden hour.

Their restaurant has really nice interior and staff are attentive and kind.

I really love healthy options so Bigwish's restaurant has excellent and delicious dishes. You should definitely dine here!

To make our dining more memorable, we finished off with their pinoy colada -which was super yummy by the way (made me obsessed with pineapple colada), and seasonal fruits. They also have bliss balls that were really good and healthy.

Going sundown in Pacifico while drinking Pinoy Colada lol.

At night we went back to Pacifico River House, took a nice hot shower and just relaxed because we were mostly out during the day.

Me doin' a relax and looking up to watch fireflies hovering around a tree.


Today, one of the places we wanted to visit in Siargao was the northern tip of the island, what is it? Let's find out!

First, traveled all the way to north with our trusty motorbike. You won't miss this spot, it has a great view where green meets blue.

This view I was telling you.

First stop to swim and snorkel is Alegria. Alegria beach is my favorite in the island; quiet, non-touristy, clean, shoreline is long and just screams "chill". I would want to go back here and bring my own snorkeling gear.

By the way, I got my orange kini at Ming's Xoop, defo cute swims and other kawaii stuff.

Mas clear pa kesa sa ex mo.

We certainly enjoyed our time here in Alegria, we spent so much of our day here haha! We were actually aiming to go to Magpupungko but sadly it was high tide during the whole trip which means Magpupungko is not swim-able. Alegria was still worth our while though. Please if you visit this place, make sure you clean your garbage and don't step on corals.

Our next destination was the very tip of Siargao. Yeap, screenshot and no signal lol.

On our way to the tip was somewhat special, there were plenty of coconut trees aligned to a sandy path, then we saw fishermen just chatting in a hut, and I politely greeted them, they replied with a smile. We went here to take pictures for keepsakes, worth every shot!

If you come here, keep checking your GPS until you find a tiny path with lots of coco trees and come all the way to the coast to see this slanting tree.

Waves here are rough and I probably saw too many rip currents which is difficult for swimming. Perhaps the best thing you can do here is just sit, picnic and savor the breeze, or just take pictures.

All you need to do is respect everyone and everything around you.

We drove all the way back to San Isidro/Pacifico but this time we tried to dine at Calypso.

I had burger & fries at Calypso, it was absolutely good; not oily nor bland. We also had hawaiian pizza; pizza looked & taste good too but the burgers were the highlight.

After Calypso, we went back to our room at Pacifico River House and change our clothes. I asked if they have a stand up paddle board (SUP) unfortunately that time they don't but now they do, so just ask ma'am Joy, Jessie or Mike. You can also do boating in the river and paddle around the mangroves but sadly that time there were no available boats to use.

We were invited over "dinner with guests". A friendly reminder though, this isn't included in Airbnb however it was a delightful dinner we will never forget because we had valuable conversations with the owners and fellow travelers.

Mike, Joy & Jessie were the busy bees to prepare this feast but Mike was the mastermind of Netherlands-inspired dishes. You should definitely try Mike's cooking!

Cheers to a great night of long conversations, and sharing thoughts and opinion. This happens when internet is shut off and there is no television on sight.

I highly recommend the "dinner with guests", be sure to buy your own wine because it will be a loooong night.


Today is Sugba Lagoon & island tour day! It was awesome!

But before you skip this introduction, kindly remind yourself to bring your own cooked or uncooked food.

Buy fresh seafood, rice and fruits at the local wet market and let caretakers in the island cook for you, it's either in Sugba Lagoon or the other island part of the tour. Make your own boodle fight.

Sometimes Sugba Lagoon doesn't cook nor offer food, sometimes they do; other times it's the other island who does it. They said they take turns in terms of food.

There are tours that include lunch buffet or boodle. The most popular tour is in Kermit Siargao.

Don't forget to share some to your boat drivers too.

Anyway! The tour is way more important than food haha! Intermittent fasting is the key to do whatever the heck you want during a trip not thinking about what to eat. Just keep on hydrating.

Sugba lagoon is beautiful to look at; snorkeling was okay, and since it was the start of holy week, tourists kept coming in fast so it got seriously crowded all of a sudden. 

SUP boards and kayak everywhere but sometimes all of them will be unavailable. You can only stay at this place for 2 hours max so use time wisely. 

Swimming here was relaxing but maybe if we paddled far away from the Sugba Lagoon cottage, we could see more marine life. Pretty much good vibes despite tourists pouring in.

The second island was interesting because the caretakers in the isla gave quite the detail about what to do, especially plastic bottles and garbage. They kindly cooked food for us too.

This island isn't as crowded as the other touristy islands so it's good location for a photo op.

Don't try this on shallow waters lmao.

After our tour, we headed back to Pacifico River House and checked out hence it was our last day. We booked a house at General Luna so we already prepared all our belongings before going on tour that time. 

An hour motorbike going back to General Luna, and sunset view was so worth it, I don't even have to take pictures. It was a beautiful golden hour trip.

We got back to Gen Luna before light turned dim and checked in at Dayo Siargao.

In Dayo Siargao, everything is laid back. The house is pretty convenient for us; good for couples because the room is kinda small. This house we rented was really affordable and for it's price- location and air conditioned room was super nice. It's situated in a quiet neighborhood along the old road of GL.

I forgot to take pictures inside the house because we were tired most of the time haha. Nevertheless, I highly recommend you stay in Dayo house.

We also booked for next day's tour of the three islands in Siargao through Jessie from Pacifico River House. Since the port for the tour is in General Luna, it was easier for us to join them.

In the evening, we went out to savor food (and break our goddamn fast lol),and there was one restaurant that got me curious and excited at the same time.

Warung is an Indonesian restaurant in Gen Luna. I love Indonesian food so I was really curious if these guys were legit and yes they truly are! Here is my fav, chicken satay (ayam sate).

We also had their croquette as an appetizer. It's so good for starters, a bit oily though but delish.

I had nasi campur, it has all my favorites! This restaurant even has Indonesian music on and you can hear some Gamelan. Ah... reminds me of Jogja.

We also had gado-gado. No one disagrees with gado-gado. Almost everyone I know goes gaga over peanuts! This is peanut and veggie party in my mouth.

Sheff had mie goreng so all the dishes here are authentic. The waitresses speak in Bahasa Indonesia too. We ordered fresh fruit shakes even without sugar they all taste yummy. I would love to come back here!

Ending our night with a cute picture of Reef, a friendly doberman in Warung. We gave him a few beef satay then he raised his foot so I can shake it (it's a trap! lol) and he stood there begging for more. He uses his paw to poke around people too asking for food, he was so cute!


Today is another tour of the three famous islands in Siargao. We wanted to go surfing but I can't pass this moment to be with new friends para bibo ba! The more the merrier.

The first island was Naked island. Perhaps in the past people can take their top off and capture semi-naked photos but these days it's packed with tourists so that may be impossible.

Find a good angle where people aren't clumped in groups. The sand bar belongs to no one because it's just a sand bar.

Next was Daku island.

We had lunch here in Daku so generally all of the people were busy; busy cooking, swimming, playing volleyball, boat parking, drinking and playing music; I don't know it was really congested haha!

But no matter how teeming that day was, our lunch was super good! Mangaon ta ninyo! Thanks to our wonder woman tour guide Jessie.

Aw, Happy meal.

Fyi, we didn't go to Guyam island because boat parking was full, on the other hand we went to the diving area in the middle of the ocean.

It's all water and sand. It may be advised to put on a life jacket if you can't float. That time the current was a little strong so it was tiresome to swim.

I love this diving area, it was super cool!

After visiting all of the islands, we head back to General Luna and dropped off at Cloud 9 to watch the sunset and have our last dinner together at Kermit. Nevertheless the tower was overflowing with tourists and surfers, it was a crazy sight! But I wanted to take one shot at dusk.

Here's my take. It may not be enough but I think it's beautiful.

We went to Kermit Siargao in the evening and as usual, the reservation took 2 hours of waiting but hey! Food was like prize money.

Whilst waiting we drank some pinya colada, mojito, and something orangey in their bar; it was happy hour so it's buy 1 take 1. I think I was the only one who didn't stop drinking lol, they're all so good.

At Kermit Siargao, waiting for our pizza and a little celebration coz it was also Carlo's birthday. :P

First pizza came.

And second. We also ordered pastas, and everything was delicioso! :}


Our flight back to Davao was very early so we had to travel from Gen Luna to Del Carmen in the wee hours of the morning.

We had a terrific time in Siargao! My fiance and I spent mostly offline because signal was scarce; we were having good conversations with each other, and met new people; appreciating nature, and the simple gestures of Siargao locals. 

It was definitely a great experience for us despite the lack of time, and we'd love to go back but it will just be about surfing.

Thank you so much Siargao and I hope your wounds heal from the flocking tourists and asshole litterers.


  • You can rent a motorbike through Gelmer Salado: 09950117791 - his bike is an automatic Honda 2013 model, it was quite new and black looks rad. 500 php/day + 50 php red gas. Only people with driver's license can drive in Siargao because of police visibility.
  • If you are a couple traveling to Siargao and driving sounds like a plan, it's better. Rent your own mobile/bike coz transport fees aren't reasonable some times.
  • Pacifico River House ( We booked Room 1 - 1,613 php/night for 2 people. It may be difficult to find so the best way is to contact Joy, or ask the residents of San Isidro where "botoon" is and "Joy's place". 
  • Dayo Siargao ( Dayo Siargao is a house complete with amenities- kitchen, terrace, air conditioner in bedroom, toilet & bath (but don't expect it's not a shower), toiletries, yoga mat and towels. You can inquire through facebook by sending them a DM. They also have a waffle house, mini mart and souvenir shop - where we bought souvenirs for our workers at home. 
  • Kermit restaurant is always busy and full of diners, but they still accept reservation only for that day until the restaurant closes I guess. Try waiting and just sip on your pinya colada haha!

That's all! Sorry for the long story. I hope you enjoy your stay in Siargao, and don't forget to be kind always.