te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Surfing in Siargao Island

I know this is no longer fresh. This should have been a January post. Even so....

When a friend of mine sent me an sms last October 2012 saying "Girls, let's try surfing in Siargao!" , I thought it was just one of those days when someone happened to think of something (usually a wishful thinking) out of the blue and just want to get the words out. Thinking out loud, so to speak. Like "I want to be an astronaut! " or "Let's fly to the moon!" or  something much simple like "I want to eat halo-halo!" (and it's in the middle of the night). However, succeeding messages indicated that someone is indeed serious about something. Cebu Pacific's having a seat sale  promo for January 2013 flights! It's just a little over Php 3,000.00, fare plus three days and two nights accommodation! M is in! So how can a person resist, right? I was going to say No, but I remembered saying No to every travel proposition they have ever made (Alcoy, Bantayan, Bohol, Baguio, Hongkong, and the list goes on).  

No, that's all they get from me. I sound quite boring, eh? Okay, so I may have a pseudo-reputation of being boring, weird, 'living a monotonous life', etcetera; and well, I don't really mind. But, I said "okay I'm game for 2013". For a change. I do not really have an aversion to traveling--I do love traveling, or at least the idea of it. The thing is, when I want to go somewhere I tend do a lot of research first, that at the end of my cyber quest it already feels like I've been to the actual place. And I am exhausted. So, nah. I tend to dismiss the thought. Plus I'm happy I did not spend a cent. Well, I find that this sort of disposition is quite useful, as there are a lot of places I  badly want to go to--but my pocket could never afford (well, I could go on a one-way trip^-^) such kind of travels (say Paris, or Peru?). For instance, I love Pablo Neruda and his "The Heights of Macchu Picchu" (Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu) made me quite infatuated with the ancient city, that for a time it was all I see when I close my eyes (plus the Incas running to and fro). So I decided to research about the place and I was taken to Peru, to (modern) Cuzco and met the amazing Incas who were not only master builders but also master engineers. I also watched Nova: Ghosts of Machu Picchu five times. Oh, you get the picture. Perhaps, I am good at 'living inside my head'. Now, back to Siargao topic. It was settled, the three of us girls are going. But I told my self I would just go along, that I would not really go surfing. Oh well.

Not Siargao but Machu Picchu. Take me to Machu Picchu, please?

Then came the day. January 25, 2013, Friday. Mactan International Airport Cebu. Our flight schedule was 10:20 a.m. and arrival time was supposed to be 11:10 a.m, but it only took us less than 40 minutes and viola, we we were in Siargao! Great. The resort offered to pick us up from the aiport for a fee of Php1,200. Naturally, we declined (tightwads!). "Tricycle" ride would only cost us Php 150.00 - 200.00 per head. We agreed to pay Php 500.00 for the three of us; and thus begin our 40-minute ride to the resort.

The road to surfing is paved with good intentions. It is also quite long.

The resort: Patrick's on the Beach. We haven't met Patrick though.

This is us: Cottage #15. Sweet.

            Our cute cottage: with two comfy beds, bathroom, AC (and wall fan),
                       TV, mini-ref  and lots more. What more can you ask for?

Sneaking in, eh?

The cottage I covet. Should have been our tree house.

We had our lunch along the way; so after we settled in and arranged our things in our little cottage, my friendly friends wasted no time and decided to go surfing. Apparently the package includes a one-hour session with a surfing instructor, and island jumping (only two islands, you have to pay extra for additional islands); though you can use the resort's facilities and equipment to your heart's content for free. They were both really ecstatic, plus the surf board looks so nice, that I decided to join the club.

First thing's first: Surfboard for beginners. Do not be ashamed.

We had to ride a motorbike to get to the surfing area.

Bumpy ride, eh? Did not stop me from clicking the camera.

The famous surfing spot. But we had to be contented with the area for beginners (or whispers: a.m.a.t.e.u.r.s).             Nah, we can not even be considered as 'amateurs'. I think our break was called Jacking Horse?

There you go: My friend M, carrying the board like a pro.

Our surfing instructor.

This is how you do it girls: My friend J and I on the boards.*

J in action. Perfect form, eh?*

M in action. Like a pro.

                                                 C'est moi. Contended on being able to stand on the board.                                                                    (Piece of advice: wear appropriate outfit.)

Can't remember why I was laughing so hard. I think I've gone mad.

We ended up paying the instructor for an extra hour (Php 1,200.00). After taking shower, we decided to order food for dinner. And they gave us our welcome drinks: Home Made YoHoHo Mango. I had to say no to it since I don't drink anything remotely related to liquor.

Patrick’s on the Beach offers a wide selection of international and local delicacies. They serve delightful dishes from 15 different countries.  We had fresh yogurt (with different fruits), burger, burrito, and chicken adobo. Mango shake was not available at the time, so we ordered banana shake instead which was not so bad.

Exhausting, eh?

welcome drinks: Home Made YoHoHo Mango

Fresh Yogurt. Yum.

Sleeping that night was not a problem at all. Exhaustion is a wonderful lullaby. By the way, I saw fireflies. They were magnificent.

The following day, Saturday, J and M decided to go surfing again sans instructor (and I became the documentarist), before our island hopping which was scheduled at noon.

Against all odds. Second day, surfing sans instructor.

Wondering: what are those two ladies doing? Are they surfing...?

MEANWHILE on the shore, I was Clicking Away. Click 1.

Click 2.

Click 3.

Click 4. Careless and free. I long to be.

Click 5.

 It is called indiscriminate clicking.

They are waiting for lunch.

Patrick's boat, I suppose. Through the ring.

Not so happy feet.

Moi. In contemplative mode. Or just hungry. (photo take by M)
Written in the sand.

Finally! LUNCH: burgers, chips and banana shake.

Naked Island. Signed, M.
Dako Island.

I stand before you. Dako Island and its white sandy beach. (Photo taken by M)

Passing by  Guyam Island. Nice trees!

Now this is SURFING.
And this.

We agreed to have our dinner at Kalinaw Restaurant and Resort as someone told M that their pizza es muy delicioso. But before we head out to Kalinaw, we went strolling. Just strolling. To summon our hunger.

Long and winding. But wonderful.

I walk alone.

Police station. Bluer than blue.

The church.

This way, please.

Be enthralled, it says.

Kalinaw. This is it.

And this.

And this. M clicks. We don't smile.

                          French bread avec quelque chose on top. Can't remember what this is called.                                               We  had to order something else first because they don't serve pizza before 7 p.m.

                                     The star of the night: Royal Kalinaw (cooked in an Italian wood-fire oven)                                                                      A medley of ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, topped with an egg.  

Royal Kalinaw is a medley of ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, topped with an egg. It matches well with their sauce which is basically olive oil and garlic. Notice it's a bit burnt. Perhaps our fault, we were too early. The temperature of the wood-fire oven was still so high. I guess they really have to wait for the oven to cool down a bit--to reach its ideal temperature. Oh well. It was still good. The egg added an interesting taste to the ensemble. I also liked their mango shake. It was like...well, mango. The bill amounted to almost Php 1,300.00. For three persons, not that bad (meaning it is a bit bad). Nah, I would have been perfectly happy if the pizza was cooked to perfection.  So it goes.

Homeward bound the next day, Sunday. I am glad I said yes  to Siargao. It is a nice place--clean, peaceful. The kind of serenity that is inherent in nature seems to transfer to you when you look across the sea or listen to its voice in the early morn. Yes, despite the roaring waves. I can understand why a lot of foreigners are enamored with the place. They are seduced by such simple yet beautiful lifestyle.

Oh, and the people are friendly and honest.

So long Siargao horizon, so long.
Three Musketeers against the Light: M, moi and J.


Turns out a happy camper after all.

* (Sorry for the smiley, not sure I can show their faces since I haven't asked for permission to do  so.  Well, not that they would ever know of this blog.)


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