Surigao City was in a festive mood as locals were celebrating Bonok-bonok Festival but I was not there for that. I was on my way to Siargao Island. From the bus terminal where I was dropped off by the Philtranco bus I took from Davao, I flagged down a multi-cab to the pier. There's a ferry leaving in less than an hour and I was desperate to catch it. Meanwhile, newspapers were still full of survivor's stories on the recent Superferry sinking. Ouch.
Luck was with me, the Fortune Angels ferry wasn't full. I paid 150 pesos for a seat in the airconditioned section. Cheap as it was, I see the ferry company hasn't spared expense on life vests and life rafts. My life after all isn't worth 150 pesos. For a trip that will last about 3 hours, I was confident we'll make it to Dapa, Siargao's main port of entry.
Two Jean-Claude Van Damme movies later, we sailed slowly into Dapa. As soon as I got off the boat, I saw this small table on the pier that says Tourists Register Here. A lady gave me a map and advised me on how much to pay a motorbike - called habal habal in this island. Out at the gate, various people waited for disembarking passengers hoping to get some business. I spotted one motorbike driver named Jovert and just like what the lady told me (and Lonely Planet Philippines for that matter), I was quoted 150 pesos for a trip to my accommodation of choice.
LP Philippines recommended Ocean 101 Beach Resort, a place it says is where many of the visiting surfers stay. It's tucked away from General Luna or GL as locals say it, about half an hour away from Dapa. We drove on paved roads until GL, a small town with mostly dirt roads. There are several resorts based in GL itself that's listed in the book but since I wanted to be close to the surfing action - even if I don't ride the waves - I chose Ocean 101 Resort.
At the resort, I was told there's an available fan room for 1,100 pesos a night. One of the girls showed me a beach-front room which is actually their aircon room with a ceiling fan. Giving her a confused look, the girl explained "Hurot na man gud among fan room mao nga ipagamit na lang namo ni sa imo. Ayaw lang gamita ang aircon kay 2,000 pesos na." ("We ran out of fan rooms but we're letting you use this. Don't use the aircon or else you'll pay 2,000 pesos"). Oh, a little upgrade with a huge clean bathroom and a great view outside is something I can't complain about.