There are a number of ways to reach Siargao. As I was scouring the net for promo fares, I was in luck when Airphil Express had a seat sale. I randomly searched for some available seats and ended up booking 2 seats bound for Surigao. I didn’t really know much about the province so I researched and found out that it is a gateway to Siargao. Only Cebu Pacific has direct flights to Siargao while AirPhil Express only flies to Surigao, then you need to ride a ferry boat from Surigao to Siargao.
So it was set. Cebu-Surigao. Weeks before our scheduled flight, representatives from AirPhil Express contacted us that the direct flight Cebu-Surigao on the date we booked was cancelled. As a compromise, they gave us another option to reach Surigao. The trip will be Cebu-Manila-Surigao and vice versa on the way back.
We did not really know about details of connecting flights so we asked the rep questions and thought that it was still a good deal. Little did we know that the connecting flight was hours apart (long hours). We initially thought that upon arriving in Manila, the connecting flight will be an hour or 2 later but it wasn’t. The prolonged stay in Manila meant additional expenses specially food (and airport food is really expensive).
In time for our flight, I am just so burnt out I wanted to just lay down and forget about the trip. Then it hit me, I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to go to Siargao, the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. My spirit was slightly up caused by forcingly convincing myself that it will all be ok.
Upon arriving in Surigao, we headed to EY Pensionne to checkin. We did not make any prior reservations, just what we also do, (Note to self: Need to change this attitude) and we were more discouraged to find out that they were fully booked. EY Pensionne looked really neat and we were dying to lay down on a mattress and doze off. Good thing we did not need to look further as just fronting EY Pensionne is Metro Pensionne Plaza.
After checking in, we headed to the public market which was a short ride away from where we stayed and bought foood for dinner and some essentials for our trip to Siargao. We then dozed off early as a reward for finally reaching Surigao and also, outrigger boats leave from Surigao to Siargao at 6AM (Bretphil Express) 10:45AM (Dapa Express and Arjie2) while RORO leaves at 12NN. We needed to ride the earliest trip so as not to compromise the to-do list on the itinerary. Boats going to and from Siargao don’t have hourly trips, so if you missed them for the day, you will have to catch them again the next day.
I was up early (as always) and woke’s Sheena’s sleepy ass. She just responded with a groan. After failed attempts to wake her up, I started to raise my voice a little bit and off she went running to dress up. We were in the Boulevard (where outriggers normally anchor) 5:45AM and was disappointed with what we found out. The boat is full and they are not taking any more passengers as there is a Coast Guard doing the head count and he is not leaving until the boat leaves too (can’t blame the officer). We found out that most of the passengers have boarded the boat as early as the night before. The sidewalk vendor then told us that there is another Bretphil outrigger boat leaving on the other side of the port in 15 minutes bound for Del Carmen, Siargao so we hurriedly hopped into a tricycle (like most of the other chance passengers) and went to the other side of the port. Just as we stepped in the to board, another Coast Guard came out of the boat and then instructed the captain to leave. We were just out of luck. I immediately blamed Sheena for waking up really late. After a few minutes of pondering, we decided to go back to Metro Pensionne Plaza. Luckily, they have not yet cleaned the room we occupied so we were able to continue our stay. As early as 9AM, we headed back to the Boulevard and was exhilirated to find out that the new outrigger boat was just still sparsely occupied.
We slept most of the time during ride from Surigao to Dapa Port but you won’t really be able to sleep soundly as the stiff bench paired with the noisy roaring engine of the boat sounds more like trying to sleep in a rock concert than being lullabyed. As they slowly raised the tarpaulin (it had to be put down to protect the passengers from getting wet from the splashing sea water caused by the speed and the smash of the outrigger on the seawater), a smile was slowly painted on my face as I slowly pictured a sign with PORT OF DAPA written on it.
At last SIARGAO!
Later, we found out that missing on the 2nd Bretphil boat bound for Del Carmen was a blessing since the road from there to General Luna in Siargao is one heck of a ride and it would cost us more than the ride from Dapa port to General Luna.