THE PRISTINE ISLANDS OF SIARGAO


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Siargao is a teardrop-shaped island located in the province of Surigao del Norte. It is home to Cloud 9, a world-class surfing destination. All the while I thought Siargao is just a surfer's haven. Little did I knew that there is more to Siargao than roaring waves and hot surfers.

During our stay at Isla Cabana Tropical Island Resort, we asked our host, the resort's manager Mr. Dupz Escatron-Ravelo to arrange a boat for our island hopping activities. The basic boat tour covers three nearby islands namely: Naked, Daku and Guyam. Boat rental is Php 1,500 excluding meals. You may order from the resort's restaurant (a la carte), or you may opt to buy fresh catch in Daku Island and have it grilled. However, the latter may leave you with fewer options. When we went there, there was no food available. So, to be sure, either bring something to eat, or be prepared to have late lunch after the tour.

Naked Island
Our first stop was the Naked Island, an expansive sand bar that is about 15 minutes away from General Luna. The sand bar was powdery, and true to its name, it's so bare that all we wanted to do was lay down and bask in the sun!

Sand Bar at Naked Island
Our boatman said the island disappears at high tide, so if you're planning a visit, better go here in the morning for you to enjoy it.

A view of Daku Island from Naked Island
Naked Island is comes number three in my list of the best sand bars in the Philippines (number one being Manlawi in Caramoan and number two being Virgin Island in Panglao). I haven't seen the White Island in Camiguin so I can't compare yet.

Nothing to do but bask in the sun

There are no trees nor huts at Naked Island, so if you're planning to stay longer, better make sure you have sunblock, wide-brimmed hat or even umbrella as you can get sunburned! But, if you're goal is to get tanned, this is the perfect spot to bask in the sun. Just bring your tanning oil (in my case I use a mixture of olive and virgin coconut oils, yes the one from the kitchen).

Not so far from the shore, you can also enjoy snorkelling as there are a few corals and colorful fishes in there. too bad, my Sony Cybershot TF1 underwater camera literally died after a few photos taken underwater. Tsk tsk tsk. Here are a few last shots before my underwater camera died:






After Naked Island, our next stop was Daku Island located about 5 minutes away from the former. But before going to the island itself, we asked our boatman, Mang Lito, to bring us to a snorkeling site. He said he will bring us to a marine sanctuary in front of Daku Island. Lo and behold, our boat stopped a few meters away from Daku Island where we enjoyed the underwater wonders of Siargao. There was a giant rock underwater which the locals call "upuan ng sirena" (mermaid's throne). The rock indeed looks like a huge bean bag-shaped rock where fishes freely play in the middle. What a pity, how could my camera die before we saw this!!!

Daku Island from afar
After snorkeling, we had two choices: to hop on the boat via climbing the wet and slippery outrigger booms and floats since Mang Lito's boat doesn't have a small ladder where we could climb up; or hold on to the floats while the outrigger boat gears towards Daku Island. We chose the latter. Yes, the latter.

At first, we thought it was fun and easy. But when the boat started to speed up, we felt like we would drown to death! Good thing, our boatmen were patient enough to pause once in awhile to let us rest and breathe.

Huts in Daku Island
When we saw the white shore, we felt relieved! We hurried to a small hut where there's a small store and asked if they have seafood available. Unfortunately, they don't have. =( So, we were left with no choice but to have late lunch after our tour.

Octopus for lunch?
There was one man who tried to sell octopus at Php 100 per kilo to us, as well as saang and taklobo (giant clams) but we felt the price is too touristy, so we did not give in.

Taklobo and saang

Docking at Daku Island


The long stretch of sand here is fine and white, similar to the ones in Siquijor. There is a community on the island so it is not too isolated. There are also huts available for day tour and overnight.

Huts for day tour and overnight stays
The open hut costs Php 200 while the enclosed hut that can fit 2-3 pax costs Php 700 per night. You can also pitch a tent should you wish for a minimal fee.

Chill out at Daku Island

Open hut @ Php 200

A cottage for an overnight stay

The other side of Daku Island
Aside from beach bumming, swimming, and snorkeling, you can also play beach voleyball at Daku Island. It actually reminds me of Banana Island in Coron.

Our final stop was Guyam Islet located a few meters away infront of Isla Cabana Tropical Island Resort. It is relatively small than Naked and Daku, but definitely worth a visit.

Guyam Islet
The sand is fine, although the beach has large rocks scattered around. If you have been to Bulog Dos in Coron, this is comparable.

Shore at Guyam Islet
Rocky side of Guyam Islet
The waves at Guyam Islet are kinda stronger than in Daku and Naked Islands when we went there. If you want, you can also have your lunch here. Just buy some stuff to grill here and bring your own griller and charcoal.



There are huts available for day tour but when we went there, there was no caretaker si we didn't know where to pay (or if there is really a fee).

A hut at Guyam Islet
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Isla Cabana Tropical Island Resort
General Luna, Siargao Island
8416 General Luna, Surigao Del Norte, Philippines

Mr. Dupz Escatron-Ravelo
09285595244 / 09175230300 / 09209099777
 islacabanaresort@gmail.com / info@islacabanaresort.com
http://www.islacabanaresort.com
Instagram:  #islacabana

Comments

  1. and i miss mang lito... too bad i didn't ask him about snorkeling sites in the area, sayang. im sorry to hear about your underwater cam :(

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