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Traveling

Exploring Siargao's Cloud 9 July 18-20, 2013

Exploring Siargao's Cloud 9

GPS waypoint: N9 48.827 E126 09.914
Location: Cloud 9, Brgy. General Luna, Municipality of Siargao, Province of Surigao del Norte

Dapa
Being in Siargao already, I thought it would be perfect occasion to see the much talked-about Cloud 9 in General Luna (GL for short) before heading back to Surigao. From Del Carmen, I took a tricycle that would take me to the Siargao capital, Dapa. Dapa is the center of commerce and the transportation hub to the rest of Siargao. Travelers coming from Surigao City and going to Cloud 9 for some surfing action will still have to pass through Dapa.

map location Siargao's Cloud 9

Touring Dapa
Having found a P250/day lodge at MNRB Travelers Lodge in Dapa, I stayed 2 nights hoping I find something interesting. I even hired a pedicab to take me around town until I used up P50 worth of touring. But so far, I didn't see much for the traveler, except as a loading point to get to General Luna...and ultimately to Cloud 9. A noteworthy place in Dapa is Mems...lodging (starts at P500), eats and wifi.

Steep Lodging in General Luna
Upon arriving in General Luna, I wanted to stay at least overnight to explore the place before heading to Cloud 9. But lodging was steeply priced. The cheapest I could get was P400 for a fan room...and that was already with a 30% discount. I had no option but to try my luck in Cloud 9. Unlikely, but there might be a slim chance I could find lodging on a rat-string rate.

Close to the Edge
The way to Cloud 9 was dirt road lined up with small resorts - the mom and pop type. From what I have heard about Cloud 9, I thought I would see something like a Boracay...plush resorts lined-up one after another. But that was not the case. Cloud 9 is still pretty much undeveloped except for a few high end resorts. Not surprisingly, lodging was more prohibitive. Luckily, I learned that I can put up my hammock on the 3-storie nipa hut observation tower and call it home. That's exactly what I did. Free lodging and alfresco at that. I actually enjoyed the challenge. Even if I had money, I probably would have done exactly the same thing. To be nomadic and live this lifestyle, I had to stay close to the edge. Besides, good things keep happening when you're close to the edge...something akin to free-diving on the reef's drop-off.

Cheng from Singapore
I went to 303 Resort to catch up on my internet work. That's where I met Cheng, a Singaporean who was spending extended time in Siargao to surf. We talked and she was kind enough to offer her room for my stuff - that way, I wouldn't have to worry about it while sleeping on the open and public observation tower. I would spend most of my time on her porch as we would just talk, chillout and eat. I'd just buy bread and we'd bring out her peanut butter...and that's the party right there. Her room also served as my washroom where I could shower and do my morning duties. I can't emphasize enough how helpful she has been.

Stand Up Paddle
Cheng would invite me to tag along if she has to surf. One time, I was a passanger on the SUP as she paddled her way beyond the break point. I sat on her short board just watching her ride the waves on her SUP - my first time to actually see someone in SUP action. I just wish I had a water-proof camera to take snapshots.

Hammock Trade
I wanted to say 'Thank You' to Cheng in my own currency - the web. I got my chance when she expressed interest in a jungle hammock being sold and manufactured by Criss Matesic - an Aussie helping marginalized communities through his hammocks. After striking a web deal with Chriss in exchange for 2 hammocks, I was able to give one to Cheng and the other one to Vernon, a retired merchant marine sailor who was also hanging out at Cheng's porch. I'm glad my web machinery is proving its versatility in providing for the things I want for other people.

Ending Thoughts
Odd that I went to Cloud 9 and didn't surf despite being on the water with a board...the mind was just not there. I only wanted to get a sense of the place and chillout. Besides, I was completely happy just hanging out at Cheng's porch talking stuff, drinking coffee and munching on her peanut butter. Sleeping on my hammock way out front of the shoreline on the tower was an added zest. Siargao...until the next time.

--- TheLoneRider

continuation...traveling with Cheng, Nov 2016

ps - If you want me to objectively cover your event for this website (product launch, art show opening, ribbon-cutting, etc.), email me.

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Reader Comments:

ChengCheng
(Jul 20, 2013) ...nice to have met you. I had a good time. I like your idea and concept and I admire what you're doing- very meaningful and pure. Thank you for everything - hamock, info, sharing...etc. Been a week since you left Siargao. Time flies. After you left, I recall our sharing of thoughts and interests which recollect back my passion for my mountain biking and some of my long forgotten dreams - felt young again, excited, confident and energized to pursue my interests and dreams and venture some more. Thank you so much ;)

FYI / Tips

  1. don't leave home without your hammock
  2. wear booties...the reef break can be harsh

How to Get to Cloud 9 from Surigao City

  1. ferry for Dapa, Siargao leaves at 5 am, 10am and 1pm
  2. take a tricycle in Surigao City and ask to be taken to the "pantalan" or pier by the Boulevard, P8
  3. board the Dapa-bound ferry for Siargao, P250, 2.5 hours
  4. from Dapa, take a habal-habal (motorcycle) for General Luna, P30, P30 mins
  5. from General Luna, take another habal-habal for Cloud 9, P20, 15 mins
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July 18-20, 2013

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