Saturday, September 19, 2009

Off the beaten Track: Siargao

Off the beaten track. Images of Siargao, Surigao

The long trip from Davao to Siargao Island in Surigao is the highlight of my South Central Mindanao land sojourn. Not only was it the longest travel, it was the most exhilarating and the most adventurous.

Adventure spanned several provinces: Davao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and finally Surigao del Sur. It started out in private vehicle, shifting to Roro, motorbike, walk in wooden bridges, oversized boats culminating in several Bachelor public bus.

The 1st 6 hours brought us to San Francisco in Agusan, the next 2 hours to the archaeological site Butuan City, another 2 hours to Surigao City, gateway to Siargao Island. 3 hours were spent in the sea. The last 45 minutes brought us to Cloud 9, literally in Cloud 9, a state of extreme happiness .

Arriving at the surfing site at around 4 PM, was enough time to catch the last streak of sunlight but sufficient time to watch the spectacular display of balance and grace of the foreign and inland surfers.

The gushing waves, blowing wind and cool breeze for the last few minutes of day break were enough to recharge us after the grueling traveling hours. Nature blessed us as those momentous short moments in Siargao. According to the Australian and Japanese surfers we talked to in the evening, what we captured were the best surfing moments for the week. Just as we left the shoreline the following day, rains started to pour changing the mood of the sea.

Destinations off the beaten track make attractive targets. The desire to step on Siargao Island, the surfing capital of the Philippines has long been an obsession ever since The Lonely Planet featured it in its initial edition. This year, by a confluence of events, elements were in place for me to experience this hidden tropical jewel that faces the open sea, the Pacific Ocean. Off the beaten track combined with Cloud 9 exhilaration makes a natural high.

Thanks to associate Jovert Pondoc who went the extra mile to ensure that nothing comes my way to perform my assignments well and to see what I want to see. Shobee, Jiv and Rigel showed up by chance who have been gregarious and hospitable all the way. Without them, the activity would have been more than doubly difficult and expensive. The Lonely Planet, another constant companion with its tips and maps made me get the most pleasure at the least cost.

Today it was General Luna. Next it will be Pilar, Socorro and Dinagat.

Enjoy the images captured by the intrepid traveler to South Central Mindanao. A completion of my visit to the wonder called Mindanao.

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