Why I celebrated my birthday in Siargao and what makes it one of my most memorable Birthday trip ever?
If you find yourself vacationing on Siargao Island, then island hopping is definitely an activity you shouldn’t miss. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines, Siargao Island is also one of the Top 10 surfing destinations in the world according to CNN Travel.
Fantastic shot from Sabrina‘s GoPro
While many people think that Siargao is just for surfers, the island is also a nice place to relax and explore sand bars and beautiful islands; it’s perfect for beach lovers. Island hopping is a fun activity that will allow you to explore the unique attractions and landscapes of various islands.
Siargao Island Hopping
During our recent sojourn in Siargao, we dedicated our third day to island hopping. Coincidentally, this day was also the 1st anniversary of the launch of Clelia Mattana’s Blog, and also my birthday. Despite the gloomy weather, we still headed to the public market to buy food for our lunch on one of the islands. We contracted one of the local boatmen for our tour and minutes after, we found ourselves on an outrigger boat heading towards Naked Island. As we sailed towards our first destination, the blue skies finally cut through the grey, a perfect birthday island surprise.
Approaching Naked Island
Pinoy Travel Bloggers in Naked Island
Our first stop was Naked Island (no, it’s not a nude beach!). Similar to Camiguin’s White Island, Naked Island is a huge sandbar with no trees or any kind of vegetation. Locally known as Pansukian, Naked Island is surrounded by turquoise waters and has plenty of beautiful sea shells scattered along the shore. While everyone was enjoying the sand and sun, a local fisherman approached us selling freshly caught octopus. For only a dollar. We bought one for our lunch.
Sherv and Luna Emami in Naked Island
How about freshly caught octopus for lunch? (photo by Sabrina Iovino of www.justonewayticket.com)
Sandra, Clelia and Sab in Naked Island
It was already noon by the time we left Naked Island. Everyone was already sun-kissed and hungry, but extremely happy. In less than 30 minutes, we finally reached Dako Island. Dako is the Visayan term for “Big”, which is a fitting name for the island, since it’s the biggest island among the three islands near the town of General Luna.
Our $4 worth cottage in Dako Island
Home to tropical soft sandy beaches and inviting clear waters, Dako Island has lush vegetation that offers a truly tropical paradise, perfect for people who want to spend the day lazing around in the sun. For a small fee, the locals cooked our food and even provided plates and drinking glasses for us to use.
Gay and Ron Paparazzi Shot
While waiting for our food, Clelia, Sandra and Sab were busy taking photos while Ron, Gay, Sherv and Luna are having their grandest time under the sun. Lai and I just stayed in the cottage we rented, perfectly located right in front of the beach.
Sandra (with red sarong) is obviously not a blogger haha
Apart from the locals, we had the entire place practically to ourselves. After taking photos, I just sat down and stayed inside the hut uploading photos to Instagram and Facebook… Yes, SMART 3G is very much available on the island.
Exotic Spider Shells for lunch
After almost an hour, our lunch was finally served. We had grilled fish, grilled Saang or Spider shell, grilled hotdogs, grilled chicken, stewed octopus and steamed rice. I can’t believe we spent less than P150 ($3) per person for such a wonderful lunch.
Native Cottages for rent
It was already almost 4pm when we left Dako Island for our last stop: Guyam Island. Imagine a palm tree-covered garden surrounded by a beautiful sandy shoreline with gorgeous aquamarine waters…that’s what Guyam Island was, the perfect treat.
Panoramic iPhone 5 photo of Guyam Island
There were locals having a picnic when we arrived, and they were extremely friendly. The shoreline facing the mainland is composed of white sandy beaches while the back of the island facing the Pacific Ocean has rock pools and some interesting rock formations. We all enjoyed swimming as if we’d never done something like this before. After spending more than an hour on the island, it seemed that nobody wanted to leave, but the boatman suggested we get out before dark…so the birthday celebration continued.
Amazing Guyam Island
Is Island Hopping on Siargao expensive? Believe me, you don’t have to break the bank to be able to do it. We took a local banka (Outrigger boat) to this island for just 1500 pesos plus the food, cottage rental, cooking charges and entrance fees.. we only spent 350 pesos per person (less than $7) isn’t it amazing?
About to leave the island
Island hopping on Siargao is an incredibly unforgettable experience. Except for kids, birthdays are sometimes sad thinking that you are getting much older but my recent trip to Siargao made me even feel better. For years, I’ve been wanting to celebrate my birthday in an isolated island and I finally did! It was truly memorable and probably the happiest one.
Dear Siargao, I will see you soon.
Island Hopping Tips:
- Visiting Naked and Dako Island is free. Guyam has a P10 Peso fee per person.
- Most resorts have their own boats available, but in case they don’t, you can easily find a boat for rent near the public market.
- There are no restaurants on any of the 3 islands. You can buy packed lunch in any of the restaurants in General Luna or you can choose to buy uncooked food and have it cooked in Dako Island for P250 pesos.
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