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Surfing, Smiles and Siargao

Surfing, Smiles and Siargao

Magpupungko rock pools

Magpupungko rock pools

Three weeks into the Philippines portion of my trip and this country has already exceeded any preconceived notions I may have held. The spectacular scenery. The kind-hearted locals. The tropical climate. The travelers I’ve met. The delicious (and oh so cheap!) food…

Yeah. I’m ~really~ digging this place.

I started my trip in Bohol and after a few days made my way to Siargao—surfer paradise in the Philippines. While Bohol was pleasant and a wonderful place to begin my journey, it was Siargao that has left a lasting impression in my memory.

I spent 10 glorious days in this southeastern island. Besides the surfing, what makes Siargao special is that it’s currently at the perfect level of tourism. It’s not necessarily ‘off the beaten path’ per se but the ratio of tourists/expats to locals is manageable. The same cannot be said about more popular destinations like Boracay or El Nido.

Most people visit Siargao to learn surfing as the waves are great for beginners. I tried surfing with an instructor and had a great time because all I needed to do was stand up and ride the wave. I didn’t need to worry about paddling or catching the wave, which is, you know, what makes surfing surfing. I also filled my days with practicing yoga, island hopping, visiting caves + naturally-made rock pools, and partaking in the lively nightlife.

The local bars and businesses take turns each night hosting pre-parties and parties so that each establishment has an opportunity to profit from visitors looking for a good time. As a result, they’ve created a weekly ‘party schedule’! When I heard of this I thought it was a joke, but soon I found out the document actually exists.


It was also in this lovely island that I took a step closer to transforming into my inner spirit animal: a dolphin. While I’ve never been very confident in the water because I didn’t grow up swimming, I was able to float, platform dive, snorkel and even swim! Slowly but surely I’m becoming more relaxed in the open water.

I’m currently in Malapascua island, in the north of Cebu, still daydreaming about Siargao. I’ll spend a couple more weeks in the Cebu area before taking off for Palawan, then ending my Philippine stint in Manila.

Considering the statistical probability of drowning if I jumped off this platform. Surprise, surprise I didn't.


My favorite type of eatery in the PH: roadside bufffet-style restaurants offering a variety of meats and veggies (Average price is $2.50!!).


The surfer instructors from my hostel celebrate the victorious cockfight of their chicken. In the Philippines, cockfights are wildly popular (Not pictured: the other 10 rowdy surfers happy on rum).


Palm trees for days. I like to have a coconut at least once a day.


Stumbled into this gorgeous matriarch and her family on a tiny island we were able to walk to after the low tide following a full moon. She explained they were hand fishing for expensive fish the Chinese. She showed us what they look like, how to prepare them, and even let us taste sea urchin. 


Geeking out over my seashell necklace present given by the lovely JD. In Malapascua, I was gifted a handmade ring on my first day. I wanna continue this trend. I like bracelets and earrings, too ;)


Right before I discovered I could, in fact, float and swim!


Hanging with the boys is great and all, but where's my babes at?!

Update from the road

Update from the road

Endings and beginnings

Endings and beginnings