Spell Saab

Anniversary in Siargao: Villa Maya + Shaka + Kermit

January 31, 2017 49 Comments

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I married Jim.

We’re not very big on celebrating birthdays and other holidays but we promised each other we’d always celebrate our wedding anniversary! My birthday is in November, Jim’s is in December. Our agreement is to not spend much on gifts and save up for yearly trips to celebrate all 3 occasions instead!

We decided on Siargao for this year because I’d been meaning to visit my friend, Lia. She tells me how beautiful the island is and my heart jumps every time I see her photos. She looks so happy and peaceful there.

It just seemed like such a magical land that I *needed* to cross off my travel bucket list. I’ve got to say I was absolutely right about the magic.

We took a flight from Manila to Cebu and rode a smaller plane to Siargao from there. We left Manila at 7AM and arrived in Siargao a little before noon. Once we got to the Siargao airport, there were a slew of vans for rent.

If you want to rent a private one, you can get it for P1,500. Otherwise, a ride with a few strangers will only cost you P300. The airport is only about 40 minutes away from most hotels so I’d recommend the second option.

A week before our trip I realized I hadn’t booked accommodations yet. I researched a little bit and decided on Villa Maya. It only has 5 rooms. It’s situated near the hot spots but far enough if you want peace and quiet. Trivia: it’s where Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) stayed when he came here! Haha!

There was a little confusion when we arrived. The staff didn’t ask for our names, they just helped us carry our stuff and led us to a room. It was nice but I remembered picking a much bigger one with a nice little nook in the corner. After a few minutes of back and forth, they realized their mistake and transferred us to the bigger room on the ground floor.

THERE’S THE NOOK I was talking about!! I am so getting rid of our couch at home and just building this. I already have Jim’s permission. Hehe.

I made the right call booking the big room because we had our own patio. UGH. It was so beautiful every morning now that I’m remembering it. Huhuhu.

Look, I dripped some buko juice on my shirt heehee

Another good call — bringing my new JBL Xtreme. Amazing sound, extremely loud, and it’s splash-proof so it’s a great swimming party companion. It also doubles as a power bank, so I’m guessing it’s great for long road trips as well.

My super cute swimsuit is reversible!! It’s green on the inside. Got it from Topshop Rockwell.

Since I did very minimal research before the trip, we were expecting tricycles like in Boracay. We quickly learned that the mode of transportation there is the habal-habal: a modified motorcycle that seats more than 2. I’ve got to admit I freaked out a little because both Jim and I have absolutely zero experience riding a motorcycle even as just passengers.

I messaged my friend Danni who went to Siargao last year and she confirmed that, yes, habal-habal is the only way to get around. She gave me the number of two drivers also referred to her by friends. One text and the driver was already waiting for us by the entrance!

We had to get over ourselves because we were already so hungry. We headed to Shaka for lunch.

The laid-back atmosphere was perfect and the girls running the place were so friendly. Their power bowls (P250) are all served with fresh island fruits and home-made granola. DEEEEEEEEEEE-LISH. We’re going to try to recreate these at home.

Cloud 9 Kook: banana, peanut butter, cacao, honey, coconut milk

GREEN OUT: kale, saluyot, cucumber, matcha, ginger, pineapple, mango, honey, coconut milk

After a very filling and healthy lunch, we walked a little down the road and saw VERY GOOD NICE. My friend’s cousin made a list of places to check out in Siargao and I remembered VERY GOOD NICE was there. The list said it’s a very good nice (get it?) place to rent a surfboard and hire an instructor. It’s P500/hour for both.

So we left all our things including our slippers inside a room and walked barefoot across the street and to the beginner’s surf spot called Jacking Horse.

No photos because, like I said, we left all our stuff. I didn’t bring my GoPro because I thought I lost the charger. But Jim said we could have used his PS4’s remote control charger blah blah–but it was too late when I found out, okay? Super flop. Hahaha! But hey, we had a lot of fun surfing. The waves were definitely better than the ones we’ve ridden (expert????) in La Union.

Within the hour-long surf lesson (my third one since LU!), I learned a couple of things:

  1. Don’t forget to put sunblock on the back of your legs. You’re going to be facedown on the board while paddling. My rashguard protected my torso and arms with built-in UV protection but my legs (and a bit of my booty heehee) got a bit sunburnt.
  2. I need surf booties — I’m a wuss who can’t handle stepping on the rocks after each wipeout. I get too paranoid that I’m gonna step on something sharp and cut myself.

After a quick shower at home, we went out for dinner and decided on Kermit — my friend’s cousin claimed it’s the best Italian restaurant in the country. Sold!

The place looked great and the staff was very friendly and accommodating! We arrived a little early around 5pm and since the place was fully booked for dinner, we had to be out of there by 7pm. I recommend calling in advance and making reservations.

They don’t serve pasta and pizza until 6PM so we ordered starters while waiting.

Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter (P300)

My first drink since the new year started: buy-one-take-one frozen margarita!!

I love having frozen margaritas whenever I’m at the beach!

Squid Ink Pasta

The waitress recommended this squid ink seafood pasta and it was very underwhelming. It lacked flavor and the serving was so tiny.

Make your own pizza: mushrooms, gorgonzola, provolone, onions

Maybe we chose the wrong toppings because this was really bad. Sad because I love pizza. Jim thought it was his fault. He hasn’t eaten beef or pork in months, that’s why the pizza had no meat. But he’s really not to blame. Kermit is a really nice place, I wanted to love their food but even if I try to justify it by saying we should have added more toppings, it tasted bad because the dough was burnt. I couldn’t place the weird taste at the time but we had 2 slices each and couldn’t finish it. Very unusual for a couple who normally finishes whole pizzas each.

Still, the place and staff were nice enough for me to give it another chance if I go back to Siargao. Maybe it was just an off-day!

See what I mean when I say the place is so nice?

SLEEPING FAT DOGGY!!!

The mango crepe was a good dessert!

We went home and slept before 9PM that first night and we’ve tried to recreate our Siargao body clock (up at 6AM!!) whenever possible! It’s been helping me sleep a lot earlier than usual. Like right now, it’s already 10PM so I’ve got to disconnect. We spent 3 more days in Siargao so expect more posts tomorrow :)

♥,
Saab

P.S. You can leave a comment with your e-mail address and I can send you some numbers of trusted habal-habal drivers. I also have a number of a guy with a side car if you absolutely can’t habal-habal. LOL.

January 29, 2017

Saab

49 Comments

  1. Reply

    Grems

    January 31, 2017

    Hi Saab! I’d appreciate it if you can give me the number of the habal-habal drivers! I’m planning on celebrating my 22nd (omg) birthday in Siargao!

    The nook looks so peaceful! Can’t wait for your other posts!! <3 Have a great 2017, Jim & Saab!

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 1, 2017

      Sent!:)

  2. Reply

    Jie Fuentes

    February 1, 2017

    Hi Saab! Nice photos! I enjoyed reading this post. Ayan may idea na ako for my vacay sa Pinas:) btw what camera did you use for the pics? joyeux anniversaire!

    Ps: miss your SpellSaabBookClub! 😃 Keep blogging😄

    Jie✌🏼

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 1, 2017

      Sony A6000!:)

      Thanks, Jie!!

  3. Reply

    Jewel

    February 1, 2017

    YAY! Finally you went to Siargao Island. :) Ganda talaga dun, Hmmm natawa ako sa experience mo sa Habal-Habal :D

    • Reply

      Rejoyce Canaynay

      February 1, 2017

      Did you put some filters or edited the photos taken with your a6000? I’m quite undecided what mirrorless camera I should get kasi, if I should get like yours or the Canon m3. Thanks.

      love,
      rej | rejcanaynay.com

      • Reply

        Saab

        February 2, 2017

        Yes, edited using Adobe Lightroom :) Good luck making a choice!

  4. Reply

    Marah Roque

    February 1, 2017

    Hey Saab! Another lovely post! Happy 2nd wedding anniversary to you and Jim! :D
    I’m moving to Manila next year and planning to go around the Philippines, and Siargao is one of the top in my travel list! Is it okay if you email me the numbers of the trusted habal habal drivers? Thank you!! :D

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 1, 2017

      Will do!!

  5. Reply

    Pearly Jane

    February 1, 2017

    I’m remembering my first Siargao trip with this post, miss Saab! Belated happy anniv po! Hihi. I haven’t tried these places when I was there though. Maybe next time~ And yes, ang sakit nung mga bato during surf session. They were so sharp. Haha but surfing was so fulfilling! Ahhh I will go back to Siargao tlga and I hope I can catch you there!!! :D

  6. Reply

    Bea Sacdalan

    February 1, 2017

    Happy happy anniversary, Saab and Jim!! My comment is entirely about your anniversary. Haha! I hope you both enjoyed your trip! My ate went to LU last weekend and I remembered her talking about the habal-habal and she was super tired. Haha! Anyway, I’m thinking if saan punta niyo next year. :p Love you always!!!!!!!! <3 <3

    P.S.: Little Saab soon, yes? Jkjk ;)

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 1, 2017

      I think you mean your ate went to Siargao? Or is habal-habal also a thing in LU?:) Thank you so much!! And nope, not any time soon hehe :)

  7. Reply

    Nikki

    February 1, 2017

    Hi! I’m going to Siargao next week and this post is so helpful, especially on where to eat! :D
    May I get the numbers of the habal habal drivers? Thanks so much!

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 2, 2017

      Sent!

  8. Reply

    Ley

    February 2, 2017

    Weee! I went to Siargao last year, and I’m still not over that trip!! :) Loved where you stayed! <3 We went to the same surf shop, too. "Very good nice" indeed. Haha. Felt like a legit island girl walking barefoot across the road and to the beach. Heehee.

    Actually, I felt the same way about Kermit. I was expecting to be blown away by the pizza, but it didn't live up to my expectations at all.. There's another pizza place in General Luna, Aventino's Pizza, that was a lot better then Kermit. :) Maybe you can check it out next time!

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 2, 2017

      Ahhhh yeah I saw that pizza place!!!! Argh wish I tried that instead!

  9. Reply

    Marymil

    February 2, 2017

    Hi, Saab.

    I’d really love to go there and I’m planning to go there this April. Can you please send me numbers of the habal2 driver? And one last thing any tips when I go there? Thanks

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 2, 2017

      Sent! Bring cash and a waterproof bag :)

  10. Reply

    Abbie Magugat

    February 2, 2017

    It’s so nice opening your blog these past few days and seeing a new posts yeyyyy!
    It’s been 2 years since that #weddinggoals? ahihihi Congrats!!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 2, 2017

      Hehehe yay glad I’m sticking to my goals this new year and updating more :)

  11. Reply

    michelle

    February 2, 2017

    Hi Saab! Belated Happy Anniversary to you & Jim :)
    May I ask a number of habal-habal we’re goint to Siargao this weekend.

    Thank you & god bless! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 3, 2017

      Thank you! E-mail sent :)

  12. Reply

    Meredith George

    February 3, 2017

    Hi Saab,

    First of all, happy anniversary you two! I’ve been meaning to go to Siargao and your post gave me an idea what to expect and what to do in Siargao! Since I live abroad, if you could kindly email me your trusted habal-habal drivers and others tips in Siargao. Much appreciated. Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Meredith
    http://www.meredithgeorge.com

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 3, 2017

      You’re welcome, Meredith! More Siargao posts to come!:) Sent the e-mail!

  13. Reply

    GB

    February 3, 2017

    Hey, Saab! Planning my Siargao trip for this year, as well. I’m so scared of trusting strangers hehe so it would be a big help to know your trusty habal-habal drivers. Happy Anniversary to you and Jim!!!! <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 5, 2017

      Thank you!! E-mail sent :)

  14. Reply

    Katrina

    February 4, 2017

    Hi Saab!

    Siargao looks so beautiful! I actually have plans to go to La Union this March to try surfing for the first time but after that, will definitely plan a trip here. May I also have the numbers of the habal-habal drivers? :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 5, 2017

      Sent!:) Enjoy!!

  15. Reply

    Leigh

    February 7, 2017

    Hi, Saab!

    May I get the number of your habal drivers, please?

    My fiance and I are celebrating my birthday on the island!

    Thanks so much!

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 7, 2017

      Sent! Happy birthday and best wishes :)

  16. Reply

    mina

    February 11, 2017

    The dog is so cute!
    P.S. I thought you were Clara in that side view bikini pic. How’s Clara btw? She doesn’t seem to update her blog anymore.

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 15, 2017

      Yeah she’s too busy being a cool teenager huhuuhu

  17. Reply

    Ly

    February 12, 2017

    God! I miss Siargao! Spent a week there for my birthday last year & planning to come back again this year. Stayed at Harana Surf Resort – place a has good ambiance, nice place to hang out, owners were super nice & they serve good food too. There’s a pizza place across the road that serves veggie pizzas btw. Hope you guys had a blast on your anniversary trip! <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 15, 2017

      Harana had a really good vibe as well!! So many good places to stay in Siargao :) Thank you!

  18. Reply

    Quenna

    February 12, 2017

    It felt like your wedding was only months ago! Happy anniversary to the both of you! <3

    Also, how do you get Jim to take photos of you? I assume you take a look of the pictures taken and then retake it if it didn't take to your liking hehe

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 15, 2017

      He always offers and then after a few shots I get so embarrassed and say “okay na yan!!” and in fair, there’s bound to be one good one. Or at least an okay one. Hahaha!

  19. Reply

    C

    February 15, 2017

    Hi, Saab! Please send me the habal habal drivers’ numbers :) Going to Siargao on May :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      February 24, 2017

      Sent!

  20. Reply

    Alon

    February 26, 2017

    Thanks for the kind words Saab !

    Alon & Venus
    Villa maya siargao

  21. Reply

    Nela

    February 28, 2017

    Hello,Saab. I appreciate if you could send me the phone number of habal-habal driver’s thru email. Thank you so much.

    • Reply

      Saab

      March 1, 2017

      Sent :)

  22. Reply

    Nice

    March 9, 2017

    Hi Saab! Can I still get the numbers of the drivers including the side car? Oh and btw, did you just stay in Villa Maya the whole time?

    Thanks!

    • Reply

      Saab

      March 9, 2017

      Yes, we did! Sent the numbers :)

  23. Reply

    Mia

    March 15, 2017

    Hi, Saab!
    May I know the numbers of the habal-habal drivers especially the one with the side car? Hihi! Thank you very much!

    • Reply

      Saab

      March 17, 2017

      Done :)

  24. Reply

    Jill

    March 23, 2017

    Hi Saab! Can I also get the number of the habal-habal drivers? Thanks! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      March 23, 2017

      Sent :)

  25. Reply

    Abby

    April 9, 2017

    We’re heading to Siargao this May and I’m currently planning our itinerary. Can I get the numbers of your trusted habal-habal drivers? Thank you! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      April 18, 2017

      Sent!:)

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