3am: I jumped out of bed, got ready despite only having a few lousy hours of sleep, kissed my boys goodbye and set off for a date with paradise!
5am: Met the participants at the airport, all of us with groggy faces but excited to get to Siargao, a first for all of us, so I said we were all Siargao virgins! And what better way to experience it than together.
6am: Got on the Skyjet flight and passed out. Woke up right when we landed and was happy to see a cupcake and bottled water on my lap from the flight attendant, even better than most budget airlines that usually give nil.
Bravo Resort has to be the best place to chill and get lazy in the island. The rooms are well ventilated so air freely comes into the rooms especially on rainy days. The common area is opened on all sides with cozy seats and bean bags for lounging and the restaurant has yummy food and drinks (a glass of their special frozen calamansi drink called Pomada for only P50 and a veggie roll with hummus and couscous for P150. Ambiance is perfect and when its storming outside, they pull down these tarps to keep the lounge from getting drenched. We sat there, made new friends, did our welcome circle there and did some Healing Rune Readings with the group.
Yoga at Greenhouse
There are currently only two yoga teachers on the island– Adi my darling soul sister from lovethesearch.com and Andi from Urban Ashram who is now a local. They share the yoga classes that are attended daily by locals and travellers who want to stay mindful during their travels. We took one class at Greenhouse one drizzly afternoon and it was a good break from hibernating in our host resort’s reception area. Andi was gentle yet firm. Yoga is really a gift and because of this retreat, I am super inspired to take Yoga Teacher Training one day so that I can help heal myself and the world through yoga. Her partner, talented and spunky Italian, Gianluca Rolli (who also happens to be an illustrator and parkour expert) was our photographer for the retreat.
She is now settled on the island and I may need to write an entire entry on this wonderful wild woman. But basically, Adi and I have been best friends since high school. She’s changed 180 degrees because of yoga, surf and traveling but is also still the same beautiful soul I have always loved since our Southville days. It was so inspiring to see her in Bali, Lombok and now in Siargao. She is active with the community and does beach clean ups regularly and hopes to keep Siargao pristine and uncluttered. Adi took care of us the entire time we were there and I love her for that!
Despite the rains, we were able to habal our way to Dawis for lunch! Dawis is a hole in the wall restaurant that serves gourmet dishes at super affordable prices! I had the special Fish and Mango Curry, while someone else had some schnitzel. The chocolate mango refrigerator cake was delish too! We had our meals at the backyard of Felice, a super cute and crafty nook owned by a good friend Jof who is the island’s watercolour artist. Felice is definitely a must-see on the island. Here, Adi led us in the Find Your Bliss workshop. “Are you living a life of passion?” was her jump off point. And it sure did make us dive into our deepest desires to create a mind map for our lives.
Because rain means hibernation time and lets admit it, us Manila freaks do need to catch up on some well deserved zzz’s! We enjoyed sleeping in a little bit longer than usual and this was a treat!
A motorcycle ride, or habal habal, is only P20 from point A to B and has a plastic cover to protect you from getting soaked. You can fit two to three people on one bike (plus the driver, except that three would be pushing it so this is not suggested!)
Surfing in Cloud 9
A must see rain or shine. It is no wonder people from all over the world come to Siargao to surf here. The boardwalk is soo lovely, made me feel like we were the Lords of Dogtown! There are waves for the pros and just around the bend were the waves for the newbies.
Finally, a direct flight to paradise – fast, affordable and safe!
Friendly Dogs and Cheap Food
These island dogs are part of the community and you’ll see them roaming around town. Living in a quiet, laid-back island teeming with beautiful nature, no wonder why these dogs are pretty friendly too!