Surfing in Siargao

 

What is it like to surf?


To say that Siargao is beautiful is an understatement.

Really.

If Mother Nature is the most generous kind, then she has given Siargao the privilege of all her beauty.

If I have one wish for my country, it really is about having to preserve the nature around us.

Living in (polluted & smoggy) Beijing, most of my adult life, made me realize how lucky we are as Filipinos to be spoiled by clear blue skies, sunny weather, magnificent sunrise and sunset, gazillions of stars, romantic moonlight, and paradise beaches.

Seriously, we are spoiled.

That’s why it pains me to see that privileged Filipinos would still go to Thailand or other countries to swim.

Punyeta, we have 7,107 islands to choose from! 

I also wish that these marvelous islands will stay pristine. I don't mind cottage resorts, but please, NO to high rise buildings and five star hotels & restaurants! They don't blend well. Period.

And that’s one thing I’d like about Siargao. The local people are still there and offering what they only can provide to its tourists.

I learned that over the years, the land value has increased in ten folds and that’s given because Siargao has become one of the must-see destinations for Westerners especially those who love surfing.

I love that the Siargaonon(?) go about their daily lives without really mindful of what their surrounding can offer. Or maybe, we came there during the off season month. But then again, it's visible on how simple and ordinary the place is, yet the hidden treasure is really for you to discover!

If you plan to visit Siargao, there are reasonable places to stay. A single bed cottage can cost from Php 200-600 a night. Which means its no five star treatment but good enough (at least for my third world taste), then again, you're there...


TO SEE THE PLACE AND EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF.


Take my advice: Keep it simple but make the BEST memories you’ll ever have. (This is brought to you by the people you’ll meet, the adventures you will take, and the inspiring values you will learn.)


So once in Siargao, you have to surf in Siargao!


If you know me better, you’ll learn that I’m up for an adventure such as this.

Heck, my parents are now embracing that wild side of their daughter. Haha. But it took me sometime to earn their full trust about the choices I make with my so called ‘dare and be spontaneous’ kind of thing.

Tatay is already in full support as he now tags along to be my official photographer! Lol!

Since Siargao is among the best surfing places in the world, you will surely meet a lot of surfers in the island. It's like their way of life. And if only, I have multi-millions worth of money, I'd be spending most of my time doing the same thing--- bumming!

You can book and arrange surfing lessons in your resort. They all have contacts to some of the good surfing teachers around island. It’s not cheap though. It’s Php 1,000 per one hour of lesson but surfing board is already provided. We also paid Php 100 for our habal-habal fare as they picked and dropped us off from our resort.

The best part of the day to learn how to surf is early morning, like around 6-7 am (just like we did) or around 4:30-5:30 PM.

As a beginner, our instructor took us to the infamous area for surfing—Cloud 9. And if you’re a veteran surfer go straight to Tuason Point just 2km north of General Luna (better known to locals as GL), which is closer to Dapa, the pier of Siargao. 

Learning how to surf is very simple. Yet, you need to compose your mind, body balance, and speed stand.

Just like learning how to ride a bike, you need to fall countless of times before you can balance yourself and get on with the whole adrenaline rush of it!

From surfing.about.comLie on your chest, your head up, looking ahead. Put your hands on the board beside your shoulders palms down like you were going to do a push up. Push your upper body up while at the same time you sweep your feet under you, laying them on the stringer, the line down the middle of the board, so your weight is centered along the stringer. 

When you come up, remember to keep low. If you stand erect you will fall. Assume a position of a sumo wrestler. Press your feet shoulder width apart and " grip the board in your feet", opposite of the way you would press your thighs together on a horse. Have your hands a bit higher than your waist and just in view of your vision. Always look up! If you look at your feet, you will fall down.


I loved it!!!


And for someone like me, who lacks body coordination skills, being able to get up and stand on the surf board was such a BIG achievement!!! I'm so proud of myself.

FYI: I was not scared! Although you can't really see my face.

But in the end, I enjoyed it! And if only I could do it more often as I could...


Have you guys tried surfing? What's your adventure for this year?


Diving in Malapascua

 

Are you curious as to what the underwater world looks like?


It has been my life long "secret" desire to learn how to dive. But since no one in my immediate family has done this, I thought I'll never will.

As I've said earlier, I'm no good swimmer. And I have water trauma, too. But my very adventurous side can't stop me from doing so. I'm not sure when I could do it. All I know was, I needed a break from my very monotonous life.


I needed to be near a body of water. I needed to breathe.
I needed to let go of some things...

With the help of some divine intervention, I found a few websites and the next thing I knew, I was booking flights, resort room, and signing up myself for the course. Now that's what I called, spontaneous living! haha

So thanks to this blog: Matt-Gibson.org, I came to know about Fun and Sun Dive!

True enough, Malapascua has lots of dive shops to chose from but Fun and Sun has the friendliest instructors in the island (at local pa!). Even the resort owner where I stayed, Mike said the same things about my choice of diving shop.

The course fee was Php 14,000.00 including the course materials and the use of diving gêars/materials. Rumor has it, they're the cheapest in the island.

Coincidentally, I was given Mike as my instructor. He's born and raised in Cebu City but came to Malapascua to learn how to dive, and eventually fell in love with the island (as most of us did) and never left!

I took the Open Dive Course-- for beginners so to speak. It takes three-four days to finish the course including the dive. For the first two days, I was literally reading books and watching videos. The whole time I was doing this, I was bored!!! Haha. I was itchy, and excited, and can't wait to be underwater!

It was on my second day, late afternoon, after having been instructed the important basic skills in diving, in a confined water, when my instructor decided that I was ready to see the underwater world! And boy, it was the excitement that was killing me! 

I can't fathom enough how I felt at that moment. All I know that the realization of finally being to do it was beyond pure bliss! I never once felt scared! Really.

The corals, the fishes, the water plants were all remarkably beautiful in my eyes. I thank GOD for being awesome and wonderful to have made such a marvelous creation.


I was changed. I was freed. I was healed.


That is why, if you'll be given a chance to do something as amazing as as awesome as like this-- JUST DO IT! There is never a perfect time.


You just know. No buts. No ifs. Just embrace it.

Malapascua is a haven place for divers who wanted to be up-close with some thresher sharks. I was asked if I wanted to but I kindly declined. Only because, we were to leave the dive shop at 2am and see the sharks at 3am. Ahmmmm, I think I could live my life without them...for awhile. ;)


Have you tried or would you like to try scuba diving?