Dear Siargao

Indeed, there is beauty in simplicity, but it has never been so apparent to me than in the last five days I spent in Siargao. This captivating remote island is bereft of materilisim, commercialism, and pretense. And while Instagram has painted a pretty reputation for Siargao, this no-filter-needed beach is actually a very modest, unassuming place that perfectly epitomizes simple island living.

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Siargao is known for its waves and people from all over the world have been coming here to surf. But for non-surfers like myself, it’s a place to really get off the grid and just absorb the beach life. Without other more popular water activities, like parasailing, jet skiing, or riding a banana boat, or commercialized recreation spots, we filled our days with island hopping, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and the best of them all, just lying on the beach and basking under the sun. There was also one afternoon that we spent quietly sitting by the beach front, a book in hand, getting lost in the pages and the sounds of the waves. I can’t recall the last time I sat outdoors to read. Days were slow and filled with many hours in the water or in the comfort of silence.

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Top to bottom: Daku Island, Naked Island, Sugba Lagoon, Naked Island

We also spent time going around General Luna and Cloud 9, and that’s when I was even more drawn to the island. Locals don’t own cars and people get around via tricycles, motor bikes, or even just bikes. Most of the food, if not all, is locally made, too. The absence of any fast food chain was a good thing, forcing us to really try as much of the nearby restaurants as we could. My personal favorite is the burger from Barrel– it was juicy, and surprisingly, so tasty! Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the burger because I devoured it as soon as it came–can you blame me?

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Top to bottom: Tacos and gambas from Bravo Beach Resort,Β mango graham shake from Daku Island, burrata pizza from Harana.

Siargao revealed the joys of a modest living. I was imagining myself in the shoes of a shop owner we came across who sold handmade accessories. A typical day would be tending to the store, catching some waves, a quick swim perhaps, and ending the day with a hearty, homemade meal. Nikka and I were contemplating about how this kind of life would be a 180 degree turn from everything we know but it sounded so, so inviting. A roof over your head, a means to earn a simple living, and a beach at your disposal. That’s all?! I ended up reflecting on all the many things that maybe I can actually do without–not only things, but also habits, activities, expectations, and more. So naturally, this got me thinking: in true KonMari style, I might as well declutter my life, not only my closet!

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Photos: Also from Naked Island, Daku Island, and rooms from Bravo Beach Resort.

For all the five days spent on the island, I will confess that I didn’t give much thought about the city life I left behind. The only thing on my to-do list was to eat well, explore, and make the most of the time I had with Poch. Back home we’re usually too caught up in work, errands, and family obligations to just you know, be. There are many times when I’d find myself missing him despite living under the same roof and seeing each other every single day. In this fast-paced world, we really do tend to turn into drones that just do and forget to be.

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For a beach trip that I booked on a whim last December, I didn’t think it would turn out to be an introspective and reflective escape. But, I’m so thankful for the new perspective this island has lent me for even just a few days.Β And so my wish for you, dear Siargao, is to stay the same. Live the same slow life that we all need to be reminded of. Thank you for showing me how much more there can be in a life without.

Trip Details
Accommodations: Bravo Beach ResortΒ (Double Room, Php3,900 per night)
Flights: Cebu Pacific Air (via Cebu, est. Php 10,000 round trip fare)
Airport Transfers and Tours: Siargao Island Tour
For more details about the trip, feel free to get in touch! Email me at mickijosue@gmail.com

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First of Summer: Coron

The last time I was in Coron was in 2008, over ten years ago. That time, Coron was not that popular. We arrived via a ship that took us first to Bohol then Boracay, with Coron as the culminating destination. My fond memories of that trip included a beautiful set of islands, untouched and absolutely breathtaking.

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Coming back was something I had looked forward to because one, I love the beach and couldn’t wait to be reunited with the sea. And two, Coron was one of the locations at the top of my list of favorite beaches. Pocholo and I had been eyeing it for some time but had never been able to actually book a trip. Luckily, the Perreras family decided that this year’s annual trip would be in Coron–finally, it happened!

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