To seeing more of the Philippines

August was an incredibly busy month for me. My busiest at work, so far, in fact. I flew a total of ninety five hours – initially I was set for ninety nine (an hour away from our maximum), until they removed a flight and gave me my first three days off instead of my usual one that month. I was sooooo tired, man. So tired I just told myself I had to go smell the sea — my ultimate stress-reliever — and go somewhere new and somewhere I don’t get to fly to and stay in for free. I ended up booking a flight to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte. This was the first Philippine island I’ve been to (other than, of course, our own here in Luzon, Cebu, and Davao) and it was absolutely stunning.

Our flight going there was delayed by four (sigh) hours so we lacked the time to explore on the first day and ended up just renting a motorbike. It was my first time to ride one!!!! It was rather exhilarating, minus the fact that I had forgotten my Raybans were on my head when I rode and they flew off as soon as we moved. Two kind tourists who were also on a bike went out of their way to hand them to me while I ran towards them. The babies naturally got chipped (mag Sunnies Studios na lang tayo next time para hindi masakit sa puso pag nagasgas, fam, huhu). We headed to Magpupungko Rock Pools, which was at least an hour away, and since it was a Sunday and a long weekend, wasn’t exactly a sight to behold. We wanted to leave as soon as we stepped foot and saw the crowd, lol. At least the motorbike experience was fun, I guess.

(There is going to be a lot of my face on this post since I pretty much abandoned my own camera and decided to just completely relax, I apologize profusely in advance, haha!)

We headed back to town after a few minutes, ate at a recommended local restaurant called Kermit, then went back to our resort at Siargao Bleu. Slept early so we could wake up early and have a productive second [and last full] day.

Photos from around the gorgeous Siargao Bleu Resort.

We transferred to our second hotel – Isla Cabana (probably the second most beautiful – and most expensive – accommodation I’ve stayed in so far, next to Katamama Hotel in Bali), before going on an island hopping tour, which was basically Siargao’s main attraction.

The view from our villa in Isla Cabana. What. a. beaut! If only I could wake up to this sight every morning. I’d probably be a morning person! (Just kidding. I will never be a morning person.)

Welcome to Naked Island 4, our home for the night. We paid for the more expensive villa, which I think was bigger, aside from having its own pool and being directly across the beach. The bathroom was beautiful, there was a curved tv with Netflix pre-set. I feel like sometimes resorts use the fact that you’re in a getaway as an excuse to slack off on facilities – but Isla Cabana did not at all. (And of course they shouldn’t, what with that price, haha.) Worth it.

Anyway, back to island hopping: my last boat ride was from when I was still a kid, and I only ever remember being nauseous; so the island hopping idea was rather nerve-wracking for me, but I sucked it up (and actually found the rides very relaxing). Thankfully, though, the waters were very calm, and the islands were only a matter of minutes (ten to twenty) away from each other. What Siargao lacks in air accessibility, it makes up for in land and sea. It was so easy to get around the island!

This has to be my all-time favorite photo of me. Always humbling to see how insignificant we are in this world.

Pictured on the left is Naked Island, while on the right is Guyam Island. (Not pictured: Isla Daku) Of the three islands we visited, Isla Daku had the softest sands (and the steepest entrance fee). The softest my feet have ever touched, in fact (but I haven’t been to Boracay or Palawan, so). It was also the biggest of the three, so we spent a bit more time here.

Underneath Isla Daku’s coconut trees.

We saved Naked Island for last hoping to catch the sunset unobstructed (there was no shade in the island–it was actually naked), but the weather was unfortunately quite gloomy, so we just swam for a bit then decided to head back. I initially wanted to be able to sit for a while and read a book, but since we had very limited time and were already happy with what we’ve seen and wanted to enjoy Isla Cabana’s facilities, too, we called it a day.

But not before taking a crapload of photos, of course :p I am not usually one to wear bikinis out, (I still like to believe I’m conservative, lol) as you can probably tell by the awkward poses, haha, but these suits from Float were too chic I had to have them.

Three days were too short, to be honest – there was still a lot more to explore in Siargao that we couldn’t: the Sugba Lagoon, for instance – but three days are pretty much all I’m guaranteed to get for now, so, yep. Maybe, hopefully, next time – I’d definitely love to take my loved ones here someday.

Here’s to seeing more of our own islands! It was lovely getting to know you a bit more, Philippines. xx

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Photos by Al Amin Films

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