「 Siargao Island, The Philippines 」 C H A P T E R O N E
The morning of the flight had finally arrived. I'd been waiting for this day for what seemed like absolutely months and finally it was here. In another timeline, I would be heading to Taiwan today, followed by Korea. But not in this timeline, oh no. In this one, I decided to go with my gut and forfeit my flights that I had already paid for - all for the island of Siargao. I didn't make this decision lightly, and it put a certain expectation on the island that it didn't have before. Would it be better than a trip to Taipei and Seoul? Would I have a better time, and would it be more relaxing? Was it worth it? All those questions were coursing through my mind as I put the seatbelt on in our tiny propeller plane and we left the runway at Manila - straight for Siargao. Flying in the Philippines is usually quite cheap, but Siargao is usually rather expensive as its not an island that has many flights to per day. However there are some promotions that you can snap up if you're subscribed to the Cebu Pacific mailing list - the flight should have been about £120 ($150) but instead I nabbed it for a measly £40 ($55)!
In all honesty, I would've paid even £120 for the flights just to get to this island. As we started to descend, it was clear that this was going to be a spectacular trip. I looked out the window, and gazed at the crystal blue ocean - and suddenly Siargao island came into view. First the white beaches that lined seemingly the entirety of the island. But what got me was the palm trees... hundreds, thousands... no tens of thousands! Lining the entire island, each of them casting beautiful shadows on the palm tree behind it. I thought I knew what paradise was, but clearly I was wrong. This was it. Suddenly my feet were getting restless - I needed to get off the plane. We finally landed and I was given the opportunity to be free on this island, I was like a kid in a candy shop. A companion I met on the plane and myself joined together and hired a van that took us into General Luna from the airport, which was the main town located approximately an hour away. It was still early, and the sun was shining down onto the palm tree-lined roads that lay before us. I didn't know where to look, where to turn my head. Everything about this place was gorgeous and utterly bliss and I was at that moment lost for words.
We finally arrived at my hostel and I bid farewell to my companion as the van dropped her off at her own hostel. I had arrived. On the road were bikes with surfboards driving past, almost every 10 seconds, alongside tricycles dropping off locals in the town. It was bustling, and people seemed very relaxed as they sauntered down the road, some with surfboards under their arm ready to catch their first wave of the day. However I didn't want to surf today, that was for next time. Today, I wanted to drive. And drive. And keep driving. One, to get some good photos of the palm tree forests while the light was good. Two, to get used to the roads while I was here. And three, simply to explore what this amazing place had to over. I headed onto my hostel, which was located down a pretty narrow alleyway but not too far from the main road. I arrived at huge blue gates with a sign "Footprints Homestay" - I was finally here. Before I could knock, two guards, each wielding a shotgun (very surprisingly!) opened the door and let me in, and in a matter of seconds I was welcomed by the staff there. Christine, who worked as a tour guide there, showed me to reception where I paid the very cheap $10 per night (and $5 per day for the motorbikes) to stay in one of their dorm rooms. She then showed me to my bed and met my hostel mates for the week, who were some very cool, relaxed people. Then I heard the roar of an engine outside, my chariot awaited. Without wasting anymore time, I hopped on the motorbike and drove around the town, my smile beaming cheek to cheek as I struggled to comprehend how beautiful this place really was. I mean... look at it!
There is so much to see in this place, but I really just wanted to feature the striking palm trees before I said too much. This was truly a jam-packed trip and I want to write about it as much as I can, but for now I want to leave you with these pictures.
P.S. I apologise for how excited I am for these trees.... I mean look at them, do you blame me??
Siargao Island, The Philippines
D E T A I L S
🌏 | Siargao, The Philippines
📷 | Canon PowerShot SX730 HS/DJI Spark
🎨 | Lightroom Mobile edits used
Over the next few weeks I'll be trekking through The Philippines and I'll be sharing with you my stories, emotions, advice and tips about this wonderful place. I will be doing this while sharing my photographs with all of you too. I sincerely hope this inspires you to go out there and travel!
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Click on the photograph in case you missed the last adventure...
I N S T A G R A M 📸