Siargao Island is the premier surfing destination in the Philippines, nestled in the pristine and preserved backdrop of the Surigao del Norte paradise. Fed by the mighty waves of the Pacific Ocean, this island presents itself as the Philippine alternative to Oahu and Tahiti.The island maintains a simple and laid-back economy, lifestyle and culture. Copra farming, seaweed propagation and tourism are the sources of income that the locals most rely on. They speak Surigaonon just as the rest of the province, but English and Filipino are very well understood. Being a haven for surf-loving tourists, the locals are very friendly, hospitable and have remained loyal and pious in their local traditions and belief systems. With the development of its road network, jeepneys can now take locals, tourists and goods around the island, but the ingenious invention called habal-habal, a motorcycle fitted with iron grills at the sides, still continues to carry passengers between towns. For those who want to hop on the island’s assortment of islets, boats are available to take you one island at a time.
Photo credit: Kate Lam