Feeding My Soul in Siargao Island

8:29 PM CARLA 0 Comments

"Don't you dare come here . You will fall in love with this island, meet lovely souls, get lost in time, drown in its beauty and get stuck here for a while. When the time catches up and your plane is calling for you to leave, you won't want to. And when you finally do, you'll miss it when you're gone." 
- Stephanie Dandan, infinitesatori.org

Siargao. How I love and miss you! I crave for your positive energy, fresh air, pizza, buko shake and waves every single day.

I can now fathom how a lot of beautiful souls have grown roots in this island. In fact, my own strings, too, are now tightly attached to its glorious waves, lush green surroundings, white sand beaches and turquoise clear water. And it's so damn difficult to cut these strings now.

Soundtracks of my favorite travel movies are blasting on my headphone and I rest my broken leg (due to a longboard accident) on a pile of pillows as I'm writing this. Staring at our beautiful Siargao photos, letting myself drown in those infinite moments once again, going back to where it all started.

After graduating in college, I wanted to backpack through Southeast Asia immediately. Craving and thirsty for adventures. But the 20-year old jobless me did not have funds yet so I thought perhaps I could start in Siargao, work there for a couple of months. I was so desperate to live there and learn more about surfing (fell in love with it after trying it moons ago in  Lanuza) at the same time. You see, this island has been calling me for a long time already. Up until now, actually. Haunting me every time I see a blog post or an Instagram post about it. But I think God really has His own ways, and believe me His timing is always perfect.

On my first few months at work, I met a beautiful soul, Sam. I overheard that she just got back from her hometown, Siargao. Oh what a lucky lass. Destiny was really doing its job because she sat beside me. I introduced myself and we couldn't stop talking about surfing and Siargao since then. I was happy  to know someone from work whom I can share the same interests with. Weeks after, I finally booked us that damn ticket. 

We were ecstatic the moment our tiny plane bound for Siargao took off. Moments after, the clouds cleared up and I saw our little island down there. Waiting for us. And, touchdown. Finally living my Siargao and surf dreams!

On our first day we rode our motorbike like locals. Passing through small towns and endless lush green fields. Everything was so amazing, I couldn't help it I stretched my arms out and took all the fresh air and sunbeams in while we were speeding from town to town. The island has just started to cast its magic spell on me. On us. Until we reached the rock pools. Everything was surreal. We climbed on the rocks and jumped, and swam and lounged around the clear lagoon until we owned it. I lay on the water, closed my eyes and floated. I cleared my mind from all the chaos and everything that disturbed me. Just let it all fade away. 

At night we had barbecues and motorbiked our way to Baile and Jungle Disco after. Met different kinds of people from different parts of the world. We talked, almost screaming amidst the loud music. We all hugged each other like we're friends for a long time, separated ways and got reunited in the island. Beer here, rum there. Chugged down glasses and bottles of booze in quantity I can not remember and danced the night away. This island is crazy in a good way.

Still intoxicated from last night's shenanigan, we managed to wake up early in the morning. We grabbed the surfboards and hit cloud 9. There we met the funny and vibrant Balong and together we surfed the Pacific Ocean despite our heavy bodies. We caught some waves and got wiped out most of the time. I'm not a good surfer, I just love surfing, haha. I gained souvenirs in the form of reef cuts. I looked at Jude, Sam and everyone in the lineup getting stoked. 

Just another happy day in the island.

Famished after surfing, we bumped into Luke and his six-pack. 

One fine day, we sailed to Naked, Daku and Guyam. The sea was calm and the sky was so blue. We thanked the heavens for the smooth sail as Sam and Bungot said the sea was usually rough going to these islands. When we docked I was amazed by how the sand was gorgeously white and fine and how the water was so clean, and we sunbathed in bliss. The boat stopped halfway through Daku and our kind boatmen let us enjoy the coral garden. We thankfully dipped  into the clear water, snorkeled, and played. Every movement carries our worries away. At Daku the accommodating locals prepared the foods we bought from the market. We ate grilled fish and pork, kinilaw, coconuts and watermelons with our bare hands like hungry castaways. Suddenly the sky went gray and the rain poured when we decided to play on the shores of Daku. We let it flow on our skins, went back to our hut and had rum until the sun shined again. 

The island is roasting me and turning my locks lighter, and I let it. No regrets, just good vibes.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you might look back and realise they were the big things." - Robert Brault

One night, my island gal Apple invited us to an acoustic session in the resort she manages. Full after dinner, we headed to Chill Out, went directly to the bar where Apple was standing and greeted her. Acoustic music was now flooding the whole place. A few moments later, a lot of sun-kissed beautiful souls flocked in, grabbing drinks and rubbing elbows with each other. We lay down on the mat spread peacefully on the grass beside the beach under the moonlight. The cold sea breeze was embracing our bodies, we sang to the music brimming in our ears, sipped on our rum cokes as the stars latched our eyes. I thanked my friend Apple for bringing us altogether in this stoked island night. Island vibes flowed whichever direction I looked. It was a perfect night for me and there's no place I would rather be. 

On our last days in the island we had a road trip and boat trip to Caub. As we drove, I've seen more beauty of Siargao. It was fun passing through the mangrove sanctuary. I was secretly hoping to wake and see the nocturnal crocodiles nestling underneath the dark waters. Sugba Lagoon was damaged by a typhoon so it was temporarily closed, and so we ended up sailing to Midway Island instead. Our boatmen were kind enough to let us peek into Sugba Lagoon's majestic water. There were men reconstructing the hut, it was so tempting to plunge into the turquoise water. I always loved to visit Sugba Lagoon! We passed by more unspoiled lagoons and empty beaches and our faces are brimming with excitement as we witnessed how beautiful mother Earth is. When we arrived I was quite shocked and so damn happy that we were the only visitors in the island. We swam, meditated and owned another island for a day again and I thanked the heavens for letting me into this kind of hibernation. The sun was almost setting when we bid farewell to the only soul assigned to take care of the island and went back to General Luna. We surfed until dusk, savored the waves and sunset at Jacking Horse and filled our tummies with pizzas in Aventino's after. 

"and our minds were meant to sail
take a rest from our thoughts
take a break from this world
and we'll feel miles away
from the places that we used to be"

To my beloved Siargao, I want to shout to the whole world how majestic you are. I want them to feel in flesh how you stole my heart. But I hope all your visitors and dwellers will help preserve your laid-back beauty.  I hope tall buildings will not come sprouting on your soil. I hope they will not spoil you and make you like Boracay. Because you're already perfect just the way you are now. I want to thank you for changing me after this trip. Thank you for reminding me of what I really want in my life. Thanks for teaching me that little things should not be taken for granted. Thanks for teaching me how to live simply. Thank you for every sunrise and sunset. Each one on your horizon made me believe that I was really there, present in the island and that made me thankful for finally living my dreams. For your clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches and glorious waves. Those barbecue dinners at Ronaldo's and the rest. For that beautiful sunset and for making me believe in angels when we had a flat tire on our way home from Magpupungko, in the middle of nowhere where there were no lamp posts in sight and everything was pitch black. Thank you to those kind-hearted locals who came back for us and help us find our way to the vulcanizing shop. For the spontaneous motorbike rides. For my reef scars, that will always remind me what it's like to have a beautiful adventure. For always putting me into a state of bliss every single day. To Mike and his father for the warm welcome. Thank you for fetching us at the airport and making sure our stay in Aventino's was awesome. Thank you for making the best pizza in the island! To Balong for being a kind local. For accompanying us everywhere we went and for teaching us more about surfing and for taking us to the airport. To Apple for being a nice friend and for always inviting us to Chill Out. For introducing us to Thor and Elise, the cutest babies in the island. You always radiate sunshine! To Bungot and Sibelle for sharing the fun and happines during the island hopping and for being so generous with their skills, ideas and GoPro mount. We owe you our stoked surfing photos! To ate Panyang and brah for trusting your baby board to me. I really owe you! Thank you heaps! And of course to Sam, for making this trip happen. And exuding a lot of good vibes ever since. Wouldn't have booked that ticket yet if we haven't met. 

I thank the heavens for letting me meet a lot of beautiful souls.

"Somewhere in your journey, you will find places. Places special enough that will make you want to stay for a while. Places that will make you dream of having a piece of it to your own one day. Places that you’ll want to keep forever. These places are rare. Because our wandering feet can’t stay still so when we find something like this, something that begs us to stay, it makes our hearts quiver and grow roots." 
- Stephanie Dandan

The time has come and it's time for us to leave. I went surfing with Jude and Balong a few hours before our flight. We ate some pizzas after and bid farewell to everyone. We took flight and the little island slowly vanished as we went up. I've been to some places before but it was the first time that I cried in the plane on my way home. 

Wherever the road takes me, Siargao will always have a special place in my heart. This trip served as an eye-opener and made me realize to chase my dreams. I'm now planning on how to be on the road again, with my heart and soul filled with so much inspiration and gratitude.

I will be back and I'll call you my little island home. 
To my favorite stardust, Stephanie Dandan of infinitesatori.com, if you come across my blog one day, I want you to know that you're my ultimate inspiration for travel writing. And you've inspired me to write this post. This one's for you! Every word you produce is magic. Keep on shining, beautiful soul! :)


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