Tag Archive | "Siargao"

Siargao: The Daku Island

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Siargao: The Daku Island

Posted on 04 May 2014 by Dreidel Regala

Did you know that the surfer’s favorite Siargao isn’t only a paradise for wave riders?

Daku Island

The island found in the province of Surigao del Norte, Philippines is also home to beautiful sceneries perfect for a day off from chasing swells. Think clean torquoise waters, cream fine sand, wide quiet shoreline, delicious grilled mahi mahi, and fantastic sun. Sounds like a page from the great book of amazing places right? Well that’s exactly how Daku island in Siargao is – divine.

Approaching Daku Island

Docking the boat

Boy setting the boat's anchor

Like the moment you take a bite out of your favorite sandwich, everything was deliciously as expected and undoubtedly fulfilling. I had to quietly take a moment, look around, enjoy then walk towards our cottage with a big THIS IS NICE YAH! look in my face.

Left side of Dako Island

Very wide beach

Girls enjoying the view

Enjoy uncrowded view for your pictures

Although the beach isn’t that very long, the width makes up for it so you can have your own space for your whatevers like lying on the soft sand as these guys!

Getting tanned

Getting tanned

Doze off in the soft sand

Doze off in the soft sand

But if you want roof you can always rent a cottage. There’s one for both short and overnight stays.

Open air cottages for day trippers

Open air cottages for day trippers

Overnight cottages

Overnight cottages

How about eating by the beach? No problem. Just buy your ingredients from the General Luna market then bring them over to the island and have it cooked for a fee. Barbecued chicken. Grilled Mahi Mahi. Oh have to try that Mahi Mahi!

Ask the store there to cook your lunch

Ask the store there to cook your food

Getting ready for lunch

After eating, just repeat whatever you did. Swim, nap, play, eat. And that’s your afternoon cycle!

Shores of Daku Island

Front view

For surfers, there’s a nearby surf spot (cause there’s always one in Siargao!) just ask your guide.

FAQs

How to get there?

Join an island hopping tour or rent a boat for the day. Most hotels have it.

How much is the boat fee?

Ranges from Php1,200 – 2,000. Split this among joiners.

How far is the island?

Around 20 minutes from General Luna.

How much are the cottages?

Short stay: Php200; Overnight: Php700 (Rates may change)

How much is the cooking fee?

Starts at Php250.

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Where to stay in Siargao: The Matanjak Guest House

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Dreidel Regala

Matanjak Guest House

Matanjak Guest House is located in General Luna, Siargao. It’s between the famed Cloud 9 and the General Luna town.

As soon as I walked in Matanjak’s yard, I immediately felt the friendly vibe. “Lunch tayo!”, a few people were gathered in the open kitchen feasting on Tuna and Kinilaw on their hands. Normally I would shy away but my stomach has been growling ever since I got to the small plane bound for the island. So I took a huge chunk of Tuna for my appetite’s delight. Oh it was so good!

This is going to be good.

View of Buddha Surf Resort in the balcony

View of Buddha Surf Resort in the balcony

Minimalist interior

Minimalist interior

There are 5 rooms in Matanjak. Each one having a balcony or a terrace which I thought was amazing. At P800, I never had a balcony before ha! P800 a night may be a bit high for a solo budget traveler but Matanjak is actually one of the few places (if not the only place) with this price. And since there is a kitchen, guests can cook to keep expenses at the minimum. Incidentally, this kitchen is also a great venue to meet new people. From guests of Matanjak to local friends of Matanjak.

They come in everyday! Nice!

Matanjak common kitchen

Matanjak common kitchen in the middle

The owner Bunsoy, who surfs Siargao’s waves with a paddle board – UNLEASHED, is one of the nicest people you’ll meet in Siargao. He’s a traveler too so he enjoys meeting other travelers and very much knows what his visitors are looking for. “Parang nag-ta-travel na ren ako” referring to the people who stays in Matanjak.

Meeting their family is also like getting the whole package. His brother owns the adjacent resort La Luna which serves good food while his tatay owns a boat perfect for island day outs. For surfers, you can rent boards in Bunsoy’s shop or maybe ask one of his brothers to teach you. Good people I tell you!

By the way, from the airport it’s best to take a van going to Matanjak since General Luna is almost an hour from the airport. Vans cost P300.

***

The name Matanjak is derived from the surf spot in front of the guest house. It can be seen by walking (1 minute) towards the beach.

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Philippines: What to do when it’s raining?

Posted on 15 August 2011 by Dreidel Regala

Philippines is a tropical country. It’s hot and humid most of the time which makes beaches and sun activies a popular retreat. But the country also gets the other side of the weather wheel. Rainy season in The Philippines happens between June to September (but could sometimes go until November) which is exactly the opposite to Europe’s and America’s summer time (and vacation time).

So is there anything to do during the rainy season of Philippines? Answer, absolutely! You won’t have to soak yourself up at the sofa at home or skip your vacation time until next season because there are still tons of things to do.

For a certain group of people the rainy season is their favorite. They pack their gears and boards then head to the nearest (or maybe biggest) wave they can find. Yup, the stoked surfers wish there’d be massive sea rumblings to create their ride. Beginners prefer the La Union and Zambales coasts then eventually head on to Baler, Aurora Province or the monster Siargao island.

Another great water activity that feeds on massive flow is white water rafting. You get splashed and thrown as you maneuver your way through the rapids. Visit Kalinga or Cagayan de Oro and get your adventure. And when your at it do check other possible activities in the area (like in CamSur) where you could also find a place to wakeboard, jetski etc.

Did you know that The Philippines is made up of a lot of Islands (7,107!)? And like having different tongue dialects is not enough, the food also varies! Every province has their own specialty to offer and to which a stranger must try. Go food tripping to the province of Bacolod and taste their Inasal chicken, have a hot La Paz Batchoy soup in Iloilo, eat the sweetest Mangoes from Guimaras, divulge yourself with the tastiest Lechon from Cebu, or head to the culinary capital Pampanga. Whichever it is you prefer just don’t forget to grab a balut!

There are several festivals going on around the country all throughout the year, and fortunately some do fall on the rainy months! The Pintados festival happening on June 29 in Leyte is one of the most colorful ones with participants decorating themselves with body art. Another popular one is the August Kadayawan festival of Davao. Food feast, souvenirs and a lot of performances happening so it will be everything fun. Bacolod also has its own version with the MassKara festival in October. This is a great opportunity to eat the yummy Inasal chicken while you’re watching the entertaining performances of masked dancers. And if you want to see giant “higantes” paper-made puppets head to the Higantes festival in Angono Rizal on November 23.

And finally take a plane to the northernmost tip of the archipelago – Batanes. While the rest of the country is raining, the people in Batanes consider the rainy months as their summer. See beautiful hill landscapes, stone houses and a different culture in this interesting part of The Philippines.

Well there you go. The rainy season isn’t so bad after all. Get yourself up and make your adventure count under the rain.

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