One lesson learned during our visit to Magpupungko Rock Formation is to make sure its low tide when going there. Our first attempt was an epic fail! We went there on a high tide! This magnificent piece of nature shows up as sea water lowers down creating a natural pool. What makes it unique is that the ocean waves get separated by a large reef making it possible for you to walk on it. Such an incredible phenomenon!
The reason why Siargao has been a word of mouth not only among surfers but also among travel enthusiasts is because of this famed surf break located in Cloud 9 in the town of General Luna. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the island boasts of a lot of surf breaks catering to novices and pros but the one in Cloud 9 gives you that total swell. During rainy months, especially on September, waves can break into towering heights forming the number 9. This is the reason why the International Surfing Cup is held yearly during this month.
The perks of having a boyfriend(now my husband..ayee!) who’s from one of the most visited places here in the Philippines is you get to enjoy the place for free! No hotel booked since we stayed at their house and no transpo (just gasoline for the motorcycle) incurred. What’s best is you can visit the place not just once or twice but for a lifetime! I’m talking about Siargao- the surfing capital of the Philippines. Not just a haven for surfers, the island is home to elaborate sceneries, fine white sand beaches and stunning lagoons.
Would you believe I actually rode those waves? I wish. Haha
Siargao is a teardrop shaped island located at the Northeastern tip of Mindanao facing the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the province of Surigao del Norte. The fastest and most convenient way to the island is by plane. Cebu Pacific offers direct flights to Siargao from Cebu. Flights from Manila are connected via Cebu.
Another option, which we always do is traveling by boat from Cebu to Surigao City then from Surigao to Siargao thru a fastcraft. Cokaliong Shipping has boat schedules to Surigao City everyday except Mondays. Fare is around 800 php. The boat leaves at 7 pm and arrives at around 8 am in Surigao Port.
A very common scene as the boat approaches the port is the influx of badjoas (sea people). Boat passengers drop several coins to the sea and the badjaos, with their intricate swimming skills dive these coins.
Welcome to Surigao City
There are 4 shipping companies catering passengers from Surigao to Siargao. The rates and schedule are as follows:
1. Dapa Express (big pumpboat)- 6 am and 11 am ; 250 php/person + 10php for the terminal fee; 2 hours travel time
2. Fortune Angel- 11:45 am; fee is 250 php/person + 10 php for the terminal fee; 2 hours travel time
3. Montenegro Shipping- 12 noon; fee is 250 php/person + 10 php for the terminal fee; 2 hours travel time
4. Roro- 6 am and 12 noon; fee is 250 for aircon; 100 php for non air; this option is kinda slow- 4 hours travel time
We boarded the Fortune Angel at 11:45 am to Dapa, Siargao Island. All passenger boats from Surigao dock in the town of Dapa. It is also my hubby’s hometown as well as the financial hub of the island. And by the way, for those of you who are wondering, Cloud 9- the world- renowned surfing site is located in General Luna, a town 20 minutes away from Dapa.
The trip was smooth and fairly comfortable. I was expecting to be seared by waves of the Pacific Ocean but lucky for me, the worst waves only come during the rainy months that is from July to December.
We arrived by 2:30 pm. For those planning to take this route,make sure your time is not limited since it will take you almost a day to reach the island.
Port of Dapa, Siarga Island.
And I’m here!
We were welcomed by his friends.
And a sumptuous feast at their house!
The main mode of transportation in the island is by motorcycle. Almost all families have private motorcycles. In Dapa, they have “potpot”, a bicycle with a side car which can accommodate 2 persons, fare within the town is 5 pesos. For inter-town trips, tricycles and habal-habal are available for charter. There are no fixed rates hence you have to haggle with the driver.
I was set to discover the beauty of Siargao. Not only is this place a mecca for surfing but it is also a refuge of natural wonders. I fell so in love with the place. That is why we decided to have our wedding in one of its white sand beaches! (I’ll be posting about it on a separate blog) Here are the places we visited and things we did during my first time there:
1. Cloud 9 in General Luna
2. Island Hopping in Daku, Guyam and Naked Island
3. Magpupungko Rock Formation