9/13/09

Cloud Nine

the access to a world-class wave

Siargao Island is one of the few destinations in the Philippines where there's a majority of young foreign visitors - really the backpack set - quietly mixing with the locals. At the Ocean 101 Resort where I stayed, I felt like I was the odd man out, the only Pinoy guest in a group of Aussies, Brits, Israelis, Japanese and French. The conversations usually revolve only on one thing: Cloud Nine. No, it's not the local chocolate bar, it's the name of a surf break that took Siargao out from obscurity.


Cloud Nine is just a short walk from the resort. A rickety wooden foot bridge led towards a pavilion where the view upfront is pure action. Surfers in Quicksilver/Billabong regalia take in the right-breaking hollow tube. On a busy month like now, Cloud Nine is more as they say like Crowd Nine. Foreigners and locals alike bob up and down the water as they wait for the next big wave, many of them practicing for next month's Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational, an international surfing competition.

Cloud Nine was discovered by an eccentric Hawaiian surfer John 'Mike' Boyum in the early 80's but never got its name until surf photographer John Callahan christened it in 1992. From being a secret among a few, Callahan's alluring photos got surfers from all over the planet wanting to visit this remote island. Since then, Siargao saw an influx of more repeat visitors, lured by surf breaks, cheap accomodations and friendly Siargaonons. Even locals have mastered riding the waves, many of them offering tutorials now for 500 pesos an hour.

someday. . .

Siargao's fringing reefs lie at the edge of the 34,000-foot deep Philippine Trench. During the southwest monsoon season or Amihan from July to November, prevailing offshore winds generate so much power to swell up the island's outer-reef breaks, most notably Cloud Nine. The waves are at its peak between September and October when typhoons brewing in the Pacific kick it up a notch. As for me, I merely get a kick watching all that action from the viewing pavilion.

local and foreign surfers take a time out from surfing action

16 comments:

  1. Nag-surf ka bai?

    I have heard a lot about this place and I am surf lots of surfers would really flock there as it is still cheap (relatively) compared to other surf spot.

    Enjoy your vacation!!

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  2. Hala, ang lalaki ng alon.. asteeg.. meron palang ganito sa atin..?

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  3. clapping here! that's my target place to visit this year but im not sure if it will still happen because i got a new job. no leaves yet.

    great great shots!

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  4. Nice one! I dont surf but would love to see this place...

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  5. Beautiful Island. When it comes to surfing, Siargao is definitely the best. But the closest I can come to is in Baler or La Union. Hope to go there someday.

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  6. that first image is fantastic. so you're backpacking too?

    looks like you're having a grand time before the cold weather hits the east coast, eh?

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  7. Ah...Siargao...one of these days....one of these days....

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  8. wow! they do match those in Hawaii!

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  9. Wow... great pics... you managed to captured the action very well... and now I want to see this too !

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  10. I liked the first photo so much! Ang ganda ganda ng lugar. Did you go surfing? =)

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  11. " I felt like I was the odd man out, the only Pinoy guest in a group of Aussies, Brits, Israelis, Japanese and French" ...ain't that sad?

    I heard a comment like that from a colleague as well. sayang daw at hindi ma-visit ng kapwa pinoy yung magagandang spots sa mismong bansa niya.

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  12. i know siargao has been famous because of cloud nine.
    ...dyan pala punta mo.
    great shots at those enormous waves! la union is also a destination for local and foreign surfers...
    ..have fun and enjoy your vacation!

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  13. Surfing, wow, never been there, never done that.

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  14. Hi Whattaworld,
    Wala lagi bai. Hadlok ko sa bawod ha ha!

    Hi Angel,
    Ngayon alam mo na, hope you can see this one day.

    Hi Dong,
    Congrats on your new job! You'll get to visit Siargao, ikaw pa.

    Hi Twin,
    I'm like you, I just wanted to see it.

    Hi Lawstude,
    I haven't seen the waves in Baler & La Union but Siargao's really huge at this time of the year. Hope you get to see this.

    Hi Photo Cache,
    Yes, I'm doing a bit of backpacking
    and sun exposure before it does get cold in NY.

    Hi Gigit,
    Oh yes, you definitely have to be here. You'll find great company and your great abs will shine!

    Hi R-yo,
    that's true, Cloud Nine was actually compared to one of Hawaii's huge surf breaks!

    Hi Sidney,
    I won't be surprised if you'll find yourself here sooner and sharing your own experiences.

    Hi Witsandnuts,
    No, hindi ako nagsurfing. Na-intimidate yata sa laki ng alon he he!

    Hi Jeff,
    There's nothing wrong visiting other parts of the world as long as tinangtangkilik din natin ang mga magagandang tanawin sa Pilipinas.

    Hi Docgelo,
    I'm hoping I could also visit Baler someday. Thanks!

    Hi Snowbrush,
    Perhaps you can give it a try? Thanks for the visit!

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  15. kala ko pards ikaw na yung nag surfing sa mala cloud nine nating wave...

    panalo sa picture, taas ang kamay ko at sabay sabay kaming mag wave!

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  16. hi dens.
    man ur pro-shots are improving day by day. its globally competitive. do share us the tricks. im glad ur doing well (as usual) what u love and njoy the most.- came along with travelling of course.

    u did put to life those waves. i feel like surfing now.

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