The island of Siargao lies in in the south eastern region of the Philippines and is well known among surfers. Google Maps will show you the exact location and the world famous surf spot Cloud 9 is one of many attractions which draw travellers from all over the world to this island. But also for surf beginners like myself there are enough spots to surf without having to fear to get beaten up or to get swallowed by massive waves. According to the lifestyle of surfers there are countless cool places for parties, great food and locations to meet and hang out. Renting a motorbike at Siargao makes sense in many ways, you can explore the island yourself and always have your surf board with you.
The next picture shows you the view to the Cloud 9 Surf Spot with the judges house and yes this spot is for pros only ! The great thing about this spot is that a beginner’s spot is close by and not more than 200 meters away. This is very inspiring, at least most of the time.
There is a maxim among the surfers: Surf, eat, sleep – repeat and I was really surprised that on my days surfing, which started at 6 am, the surf spots where already quiet full at that time and where surfers are, yoginis are not fare (or is it the other way around ?).
Surfing causes a strong appetite and as mentioned before there is a wide range (for every budget) to satisfy those needs. For accommodation I personally like quiet places so for Siargao I decided (once more) to stay at an Airbnb place, the Yay Lodge. This Lodge offers five small houses with private bathrooms and a open kitchen which serves also as a common get together place. Just click the Link to see the place on Airbnb – Yay Lodge. Jasmin, who owns this place is doing a great job there by providing all sorts of useful information and you even can rent motorbikes directly from here so you can be mobile in terms of reaching the surf spot and the bars close by !
After the early morning surf lesson I went (daily) to my favourite place, the Kermit Resort in Siargao. I gave the Resort my personal 5 star award for price-performance ratio and the feel well character. And besides the great food and drinks they are providing the offer services like: private surf guide, surf gear, tours, motorbikes and so on. A original classic !
One of the tours Kermit Resort is offering is island hopping which is (if the weather is fine) also a classic thing to do. Why ? Because a whole bunch of strangers take of (on a small boat) for which is more a party trip then a sightseeing tour. I loved it and the fish the grilled for lunch was amazing, so were the mangos !
Like most touristic places who are booming the investment ascends rapidly… without long range thinking. Places like that are usually fare away from strict controls and regulations. The management of recourses is pour or it will be just blinded out but to satisfy the needs of demand most money goes to the transport facilities. This course of action mirrors itself all over the world and the so called ‘insider tip’ does not exist anymore and if so… the just for a very short time. It all starts with satisfying the needs of a few by providing them with ‘more’ ! It is too bad that there is no balance between the demand, the realisation and the therefore needed infrastructure to handle the caused challenges.
What does all of that mean ? It means that it is easily possible (and often seen) to convert a paradisiac island within a few years into a garbage dump. The abundance, the pollution, the traffic, the trash etc. etc. which is all caused by satisfying demands is transforming the so called ‘insider tip’ into a new: Let’s move on…. slogan !
Usually everybody focus on the procurement and not on the consequences of procurement ! Meanwhile and seeing this movement many times at several countries worldwide I am not surprised by seeing also the same useless action of the investors which, after a few years of utilising a place, decide to sell and move on – in the search for a new ‘insider tip’ ! The following video can just show a very tiny glimpse of the imbalance of supply and demands.
The next Video shows without a doubt a paradise and i hope that the contrasts is moving you as well as it was touching me. Kermit Resort offers this full day tour to Sugba lagoon.
The minivan leaves General Luna and after one hour of driving you reach the small town of Del Carmen where you change the transportation. Traditional Bunka boats are taking you now with great speed trough sublime scenery while passing long stretches of mangrove forests. This fun ride takes about 40 minutes till you enter through narrow and confusing channels to Sugba lagoon. An ideal spot for swimming and stand up paddling but not for snorkelling (since locals where fishing here with dynamite for a long time !!!). And while you enjoy the crystal clear waters local chefs are preparing your lunch. A privilege to taste for once more the Philippine kitchen highlights, especially in such a surrounding. With the pleasure of Philippine hospitality and my appeal to humans and their common sense, that overexploitation of natural resources has a tipping point, i am on my way to the last destination in the Philippines, Bohol island.
Siargao – Philippines, February 2017