Day 2 of my solo Siargao adventure arrived – a very relaxing, fulfilling day filled with beautiful discoveries. Ha! And you thought clicking on that title would lead you to more interesting parts of the Internet 😛 But since you’re here anyway, allow me to tell you all about my journey to the beautiful waters surrounding Siargao.
The night prior, I told one of Ocean 101’s staff that I’d welcome anybody who wishes to join my island hopping tour scheduled on this day, which would cost me 1,500 if I go alone. The more people on the boat though would mean the lesser I had to pay since the cost will be divided up. The boat I reserved can accommodate 7 people max. Friday night and there were still no takers so I thought I’d do the tour on my own. Since the resort told me it was entirely up to me when the tour would start and finish, I told them I’d wake up late on this day and that they should just knock on my door if ever other guests would like to join me.
That morning, I did receive a knock and was told a foreign couple would join me. Yay! That meant I only have to pay 500. Stoked! So I got out of bed and hurriedly prepared for the island hopping. The couple who joined me turned out to be British, which was a good thing because I’m used to hearing English people at work. Rick (or maybe it was Nick) and Marie turned out to be nice and friendly people and I enjoyed my day with them. They just got married and were in the Philippines for their honeymoon. We got talking about a lot of things and I definitely learned a thing or two from them.
The boat that took us island hopping was small. We were on our way when I realized something was missing. The boatman did not give us any life jackets! I realized this crucial matter just as the big waves at the prime surfing area came into view. Needless to say, I had a bit of a panic attack because as you know I don’t know how to swim! :S The confident way the boatman handled his boat calmed me though and it wasn’t long until I was enjoying the ride sans lifejacket. I made sure to sit in front of the boat so my view wouldn’t be blocked by the British couple and so I will not be forced to talk to them all the time just in case they were the overly chatty type. Thankfully, they were also happy with just taking in the scenery and enjoying the silence, which made me like them better.
We arrived at our first island – Guyam island (yes it is an island ^_^). It was quiet small, probably better called an islet or a sandbar that happens to be almost covered with coconut trees, and there wasn’t much when we docked. In fact, I was able to explore the whole of the island in less than one hour. Of course the sand was powdery and white. There weren’t any cottages for overnight stay, just day-use huts and lots of space where one can pitch a tent. The most noteworthy part of the island was the family living there serving as caretakers. We had to pay them Php10 registration fee per person. Rick and Marie were enthused at the fact that this family had an island all to themselves and heartily declared they want to own their own island in the tropics one day too! Moments like these just make me love the beauty of the Philippines more.
After enjoying Guyam thoroughly, we decided to go and take our lunch at the next island – Naked Island. Nope, it is not an island filled with people strolling around in their birthday suits and occasionally indulging in group deflowering. The island’s name stems from the fact that it is basically just a sand bar with nothing on it, no trees or huts, nothing. Hence, Naked Island. When we arrived, a boat bigger than ours filled with tourists was just leaving, which meant we got the sand bar all to ourselves in the next few hours – simply wonderful! The Brits found the area perfect for sunbathing and tanning, so they promptly laid their towels onto the sand and proceeded to get burned. Despite the lack of sunscreen and that it was lunch time, I wasn’t able to resist the waters. I went in and just wallowed there enjoying the cool clear waters while the sun was at its zenith doing its best to cook me further. I just took a break from my “swimming” to eat my lunch, which was an extravagant pork steak from my resort’s restaurant. Considering I was able to save money on the island hopping tour and that I subsisted on just bread and bananas the day before, I definitely splurged on this lunch.
After taking our fill of Naked Island, we decided to proceed to the last destination of this Siargao island hopping tour – Dako Island. Dako is Visayan for “big” and I believe the island was aptly named since it was definitely the biggest we’ve visited this day. It’s big enough that I couldn’t go around it in the few hours we were there. The island had more developed facilities but that did not take away from its beauty. In fact, if I have to choose which island was the best for me that day, that would be Dako. Offering a powdery white sand beach dotted by palm trees and surrounded by the very inviting clear cerulean sea, it was definitely a piece of paradise. Venturing off to one side of the island, I came across lots of fishing bancas, their colors adding the perfect touch of energy to the whole place. All in all, I spent a very restful afternoon at Dako island. And since we could not head back to our resort right away due to the low tide, I spent a good time talking to Marie and Rick about life in the Philippines and their life in the UK. When the tide was high enough for us to return, we finished the island hopping tour in very good spirits.
After freshening up a bit, since there was still sunshine left, I decided it was time to ogle the famed surfer dudes and dudettes.