Soon after a quick decision was made to book my flights to the Philippines, I realized I knew nothing about travel there! There are so many islands, and methods of travel, it was intimidating!
It was recommended to me, by a fellow traveler, to start with Siargao. He mentioned the only flaw to starting here, was that no other destination will live up to it – he was right! Siargao is tied for first place on my ‘Filipino love’ list. Ironically enough, my buddy Shane from YYC was headed to the island as well, on the same day! He met me at the airport, with our next ferry tickets in hand. What a way to start a new country – easy peasy.
It took a 12 hour night ferry from Cebu to Surigao and than a two hour ferry from there to Siargao. What a journey. I will say the night ferry was a blast. Picture the largest bunk bed dorm you have seen, tripled. The entire top deck and air con room below plastered with locals making their way. Children, luggage, groceries and roosters included. We met a group of travellers straight away and took in the midnight air with a few bottles of rum, naturally.
First few days was spent with Canadian friends – which felt nice after India and all my flights. We managed to scooter around the entire island. Finding beautiful pools, rock formations and Palm Tree forests. Going through the villages was like being recognized as Hollywood movie stars. All the children would run out to the road and scream for high fives. I can’t explain how lovely the vibes from the locals are!
I ended up staying here for 5 days, I couldn’t bring myself to leave when the group did, so I moved onto a little jungle hostel and was not disappointed. The family running, Jing’s, treated us all like their own – we were invited to the family pig roast for Jing’s wife’s birthday. I have never seen so many people dive into a BBQ feast in my life. Absolutely cause. At home we are too polite it seems. Here, if you didn’t force into get food, you would miss out. The evening was followed by ridiculous games, mostly for the locals to make us dance and provide entertainment for them it seemed. “Are they laughing with us, or at us” because a common thought throughout out the next 30 days.
My first week in the Philippines wouldn’t have been complete without attending a cockfight, on Valentine’s Day. So much love, er, just kidding. I couldn’t believe how terrible it was. I hadn’t realized they place blades on the roosters feet… Anyway, I am glad I went, it’s a huge culture experience for the Philippines. That being said, I will never return to such a ‘sport’.