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