I love meeting people on my travels. Whether it be some seatmate during a short ride on the public bus, buddies during an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting adventure, fellow bloggers during a meet-up at a festival, or some mates with whom to share an island-hopping experience, every encounter is worth remembering.
Harvey and I took the fastcraft from Surigao City for the 2.5-hr trip to Siargao. We checked in at ocean101 with the insistence of our habal driver. Come day 2, we were fortunate to have met Myra, Jun and Salse because then the five of us could split the boat expenses for our island hopping plans. More than just sharing the expenses, we shared uncontrollable giggles as everyone was wonderfully jovial. Jun and Salse have been traveling the Philippines and Southeast Asia for quite a while now as a couple. Jun is quite a character and a hit with the ladies at the restaurant because of his ab-forming jokes! Salse mentioned that she wants to travel to Harbin, China. Situated in Northeast China and once the biggest Russian enclave outside Russia, Harbin (famous for its frighteningly cold winters) seems more Russian than Chinese. I knew of the place because of an episode (of a show whose title I forgot) in TLC. I’m looking forward to your Harbin photos, Salse!
Myra, on the other hand, is a solo traveler who I thought was a local surf instructor when I first saw her. She did so well when we went surfing later that day that we only could marvel and be envious at how easily she could stand and be one with the waves. She works in advertising and graphic design and as much as she wanted to stay longer in Siargao, she has deadlines to meet. Oh well, all good things must come to an end. But then there’s always an opportunity to travel and not too long after this Siargao trip, I received an invite from Myra on FB for a Baler surf trip. (Ikaw na Myra! haha)
After the five-hour island-hopping to Naked, Daku, and Guyam islands, we then headed straight to cloud 9 for surfing lessons. Salse was asking if it was possible not to take lessons and just hit the waves, because they (Jun and Salse) were fast learners. From that moment on, we decided to call ourselves the fast learners (though I don’t really consider myself as one). I hope to travel again soon with this rowdy and witty group.
I never really admitted that I was a fast learner and I was risking my life on the ocean so I sought the professional help of Jose, a surf instructor. And though I haven’t conquered yet my fear of drowning and crashing onto sharp dead corals, at least I’ve tried standing on my board. (EMPHASIS ON TRIED.) And yes, I drank gallons and gallons of saltwater.
This I’ve realized after a hard day of battling the waves instead of riding with them: YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO STAND IF YOU ARE AFRAID TO FALL.
I know it would take me a long time to look at a surfboard the way Myra does (she’s totally in love with it) and though I could never be a true fast learner like Jun and Salse, I would always have fond memories of Siargao not only because of the beauty of the island but also because of the people I shared the memories with.
Meet our boatman:
Photographs of Naked Island:
Sights at the Cloud 9 boardwalk:
Travel notes: Island-hopping is at 3ooo pesos per boat (good for 6persons) and will last for about 5hours. Surf lessons are at 500/hr and whole day surfboard rental is 500pesos.