Thursday, December 15, 2011

::Around Surigao:: Surfing in Siargao and Everything in Between

From Socorro Port, we took a passenger ferry to Dapa (P100 + P3 terminal fee). As expected, the ride was wavy, and it only took us an hour to get to Dapa. 

cramped ferry to Dapa, Siargao

Surprisingly, there weren’t any motorcycle drivers who approached us. We walked a few meters to a nearby bank / ATM machine to get some money, and only one driver managed to offer his service. Initially, he asked for P500, then P300, but I read somewhere that they can go as low as P100 for a ride to GL (General Luna, where the surf resorts are located). When he finally caved in at my haggled price, we rode the bike, and we were brought to Cloud 9 (the portion of beach in GL known for its huge waves). 

As there are a lot of good reviews of Ocean 101, we asked to be brought there. Unfortunately, it was fully booked so we had to look for another place within our P700/night budget. A good alternative was Kesa Resort, which was a few hundred meters away. We got our own cottage with a balcony, twin bed, each with mosquito nets. 

Kesa Resort: Twin beds each with a mosquito net

Downside, the toilet and bath were common and outside the cottage. Asked how long we were staying, I said 2 nights and asked for a discount. Receptionist immediately brought down the price to P600/night. 

Refreshing view from the resort's dining area

Right beside our resort is Boardwalk Resort. Self-explanatory. Offers a short walk to a 3-storey hut where you can just enjoy the immensity of the Pacific.

Boardwalk which allows you to enjoy the Pacific Ocean

Since we have been to a lot of islands snorkeling already, we opted to do just one thing in Siargao: surf. The standard rate for a lesson is P500/hour including surfboard. Cloud 9 is definitely the perfect place to catch waves. 

The theory part was just 5 minutes then we went to the waters immediately. Instructor cleared the sand and told me to imagine that it’s the surfboard. Sorry readers, no documented photo here :(

Only two things: 
1) lie on your stomach; 
2) get up on both feet and balance at the center of the board. 

Even as a beginner, I managed to surf even for a few seconds. I wanted to extend and practice some more, but towards the end of the hour, my arms were becoming sore. Somehow, you need upper body strength (which is my waterloo) and a good balance to be able to get the best of surfing.

Surf lesson was over in an hour and we still had a lot of time to kill. We asked if there were nearby white sand beaches because most of the beachfronts in Cloud 9 are rocky reefs. We were told that there are resorts in GL town like Patrick’s on the Beach.  A P20 habal-habal ride brought us to the town, where we got some food supplies and walked back to the white sand resort. No sunset here as it is the east, but just relaxing by the sandy shore having late lunch was enough.

Late lunch extended to twilight

The following day, we set out early to catch the 11am ferry back to Surigao. 
BritPhil transports passengers from Surigao to Dapa and vice versa daily

The resort staff told us that the going rate for habal-habal from GL to Dapa is P300. I immediately protested and told them that our ride coming to GL was only P100. Only then did I find out that the reason the drivers can drive it down at rock bottom rate is because the resorts give them a handsome commission of up to P250 per referral. No wonder.


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