Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reaching Cloud Nine

The fast craft left Surigao City at 11 am and arrived at 2 pm in Dapa
Rey in Jheviel's tricycle
The Siargao landscape
At 11 am we rode a fastcraft (makeshift boat with outrigger) to reach Siargao Island.  At 2 pm we reached the port of Dapa and it was drizzling.  We had no idea what we are going to do next but the tourism office at the port was very helpful, giving us the option of what to visit and where to stay.  Minnie also made arrangements regarding our impending trip to Bucas Grande the following morning.
The huts where we stayed
Patrick's on the Beach
Signage bearing namesake
We met a friendly tricycle driver Jheviel, who volunteered to be our guide in the island.  All five of us friends, with our supposedly light-packed bags, alighted his six-seater.  Surprisingly we all fitted, with me getting the premium seat in front. My tightly bigback getting a spot on the trike's GI roof. With a quick stop to fill up the tricycle's tank with gasoline, we made the 30 minute ride going into General Luna town to where the nearest beach resorts are. We chose Patrick's on the Beach, not because of the resort's owner is a namesake, but because it had rustic looking cottages with airconditioned rooms, at very reasonable prices. 

Patrick's on the Beach's dining area
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After unloading our heavy bags, Jheviel whisked us away to Surf Side and eventually the surfers' sought-after Cloud Nine. The place had a lot of mushrooming resorts, surprisingly some having obvious hints of tasteful design.  Surf Side may have the beginnings of another Boracay.  I am just hoping that it won't go that way as honestly, I feel Boracay is now not very much different than the developments of any Metro Manila suburb (like Paranaque or Las Pinas) because of congestion. 
Cloud Nine!
The deserted Cloud Nine beach
View from the viewing deck closer to the beach
The far viewing deck
I love General Luna's and Surf Side's sleepy town ambience.  The after hours still consists of drowning away your worries with a bottle of beer, a plateful of inihaw and exchanging engrossing stories.  No apparent rave parties yet...whew!

Boardwalk leading to the far tower
Bantigue stand
Cloud nine, on the other hand, is a revelation.  For someone like me who is neither a surfer nor a beach bum, I find the place's character enthralling. The beach was bare and deserted which made me wonder where the surfing aficiondaos were. They were apparently a few hundred meters off the coast in open water, riding their tusted surf boards.  In the midst of the cove was a very long boardwalk leading to two quaint structures, mere gazebos to watch and gaze at the people attempting to catch their perfect wave.  The farthest structure, three-storeys high, gives multiple angles of every surfer's attempt.
The tower cum view deck
View beyond tower
Surfers a hundred meters from the tower
Waiting for their wave
I was expecting that we will stay a few minutes to have our pictures taken on the boardwalk.  We ended up staying much longer, amazed at how the serious surfers were twisting their bodies and limbs, and manipulating their boards to achieve their greatest adventure high. 
Catching cloud nine
View of boardwalk from second floor of tower
From third level
Our sutokil dinner
That night we went back to Patrick's to enjoy a sumptuous Sutokil (sugba, towa and kilaw), wih my friends buying the tuna and other ingredients in the local market.  We asked the resort's cook prepare the dinner for us at a small fee. The meal was excellent! It was a perfect way for us to end our Siargao day while listening to the next table's (British guys) banters of how they caught their perfect wave.  It was our version of cloud nine sans mounting an actual surf board.  But reaching  true heaven was still in store ahead of us...

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