SIARGAO | TRAVEL GUIDE



Siargao is one of the top tourist destinations of the Philippines Southeast area because of its scenic views, islets, and surfing. It is located in Mindanao and it contains the largest Mangrove forest reserves.




Siargao has 9 municipalities, Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro. In our trip, we only went to General Luna, Dapa, and Del Carmen municipalities.


We went to 7 destinations for 2D1N (2-days,1-night) trip. Magpupungko Pool, Sugba Lagoon, General Luna Beach, Cloud 9 Boardwalk, Guyam Island, Naked Island, and Daku Island. There are more great destinations there like Sohoton but considering the amount of time, we can’t visit it. I will surely be back for Sohoton.


Before the start of the trip, I needed to spend 3 to 4 hours from Gensan to Davao. I am a Dabawenyo but currently living in Gensan. Here is the track of the time we’ve spent.


I didn’t include the in-betweens like the Van stopped, breakfast, lunch, activities, etc. Note that we are riding with a private van. Time is just an estimate for your reference. It may change depending on the speed of the vehicle or bus.

HAYANGGABON PORT TO DAPA PORT TO DEL CARMEN PORT


Expect to spend at least 2 hours in the ocean on your way to Dapa port from Hayanggabon Port. You will be riding with Banca boat that can accommodate at least 20 passengers. The ocean is dark and waves are somehow aggressive, it depends on the weather. In our case, we were stuck in the middle of the ocean when the boat stopped, maybe because of engine failure. We took the opportunity to take some photos on the edge of the boat just to have fun while the operators are fixing the problem. After a few minutes, the bat managed to start again.

Actually, we supposed to be in General Luna’s port as per the sample itinerary but we arrived at Dapa instead. There are some changes happen, we have to proceed in Sugba Lagoon instead of Magpupungko because the Sugba Lagoon might declare to close it because of the number of tourists. Maybe that is the reason why we have arrived at Dapa port because it is nearer in Sugba Lagoon.

We had our breakfast in Dapa and we proceeded to Del Carmen Port for another Boat Transfer going to Sugba Lagoon. There are hundreds of colorful umbrellas in the Del Carmen and of course, we added it to our shot list.


SUGBA LAGOON

Sugba Lagoon named as ‘sugba’ which is a grilled term in Cebuano because it was like a smoking lagoon before.



After you reached the lagoon, you have to find a table so that you can settle your things. You can easily approach guides working there, they usually use a pink uniform. Asking is the key. You can pay directly to them as well as the payment for kayak or padding board. If you also want to have a life vest, just ask. Expect that there are so many people coming so you really have to move. There are also souvenirs available and if you want to jump or dive in the hut, it is free. Prices listed below.


PRICE LIST


We have thought that the time it will take to reach the Lagoon is just minutes but we were surprised that the Lagoon is far from the Sugba Lagoon Port and we spent half an hour.

Siargao houses the largest mangrove forest in the Philippines. There are so many mangrove trees during your way to Lagoon.


You can bring your phones and DSLR cameras, and even drones. The way going to Lagoon is not too risky for gadgets.


Note: Don’t bring plastic bottled water.


MAGPUPUNGKO ROCKS POOL

Entrance FeePhp30.00 ($0.6)


It is a long beach with scenic rocks and the sand is outrageous. Most of the people are staying in the big pool, a big space on the left side of the beach surrounded by rocks. Waves are aggressive and you have to be really careful. The sand will give you a bit of a challenge as it will submerge most of your feet that make it harder for you to walk.

The drone camera is best for this place if you want to capture the look of the Magpupungko rocks pool.


There are so many vendors on this place. Foods, souvenirs, not just inside but also outside.


GENERAL LUNA (NIGHT TIME)


Make sure you secure accommodation before starting the trip or any trip that lasts for days. You can check hotels online but my suggestion is to try looking through Airbnb first. It is an app that provides various accommodation houses, hotels, apartments, condominiums and more. It is nicer and affordable compared with other room accommodations.


In our case, we had an agency that already booked our accommodation which is a big room with 5 single beds and 1 double deck.

General Luna at night is just like another place from another country. Filipinos might feel like they are the foreigner because the population of foreigners is vast. They are usually using motorbikes just roaming around the place.

There are great bars and coffee shops but their prices are a bit higher compared with your usual bars and coffee shops. We had our dinner at Mama’s Grill, their process is you have to look for your own seats, no reservations, but you can wait. You can choose their various delicious foods and have them cook while waiting if there are seats available. The traffic of people is vast as well.


FARE COST


Tricycle Fare Php20.00 ($0.4)

Tricycle Fare (after 10:00pm) Php30.00 ($0.6)


This is a fixed rate no matter how far or near your destination is.


CLOUD 9 BOARDWALK

General Luna is dubbed as “Cloud 9” and you can really say that you are in Siargao if you see the Cloud 9 boardwalk. It is commonly the background for some tourists. What makes it special is when you catch the sunset in this place.


SURFING


Well, if you choose Siargao for your next destination, consider trying to surf because this place is the surfing capital of the Philippines.


Keep in mind that the beach has many stones and you have to be extra careful. I had some scratches in my right knee during my surf.


Capturing your moment is pretty awesome, you can bring a surf mount for your Gopro, just to make sure it is installed properly at the surfboard.


SURFING COST


1 hour with an InstructorPhp500.00 ($10)

Half day without InstructorPhp300.00 ($6)



ISLAND HOPPING: GUYAM ISLAND, DAKU ISLAND, NAKED ISLAND


There are three island hopping destinations in Siargao, the Guyam, Daku and Naked Island. All of them is a must visit place with beautiful ambiance.

Island Hopping Cost Php1,500.00 ($30)

Additional cost will be added per Island below:


GUYAM ISLAND

Entrance FeePhp30.00 ($0.6)


It is just a small circular piece of Island. This place surrounds hammock which is pretty awesome for pictorials. You know, just enjoy the place, give yourself permission to be a kid for a while.


A drone is actually best for islands and I wish someday I can have one.


DAKU ISLAND

Dock cost (per boat)Php100.00 ($2)

Cottages*Php250-300 ($4.5-$6)

Volleyball Rent (1 hr)Php30.00 ($0.6)


*Cottages is free of charge if you order foods from them and have them cooked.


Daku Island is much busier and bigger compared with the other two islands. You can play volleyball, drink some tequilas, have a heavy lunch. The foods are amazingly tasty. The price is higher than usual but still affordable. Cottages are everywhere, the island is bigger and the people are awesome.



NAKED ISLAND

It is just the people and the sand bar islet. It is named as “Naked” because there are no trees.



WHY WE SHOULD GO OUT ON A TRIP?

I think there are so many reasons why. It depends on your ‘why’ and your purpose. It is summer and it is the perfect time to meet the oceans again. I’m grateful to be in the Philippines, especially in the southern area because there are so many great beaches and islands you can choose from. I go out on a trip because I need it, not just wanted it. I need the outside world because I’m always in my room working as a freelance designer online. I need it because it fuels my creativity, it gives me more ideas, inspiration, so many lessons and most importantly, I need it because I can able to know myself more.



2020 ©Deson Cunado 

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