Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Philippines
One of the top surfing spots in the Philippines, Siargao Island is located in the province of Surigao del Norte, Mindanao. Siargao Island is about 800 kilometers southeast of Manila facing the Pacific Ocean. Siargao Island has a land area of about 437 square kilometers.
The coastline is marked by a succession of reefs and white, sandy beaches. The island’s waves usually curl up to a height of 13 feet caused by winds coming from the pacific. No wonder it is named as the surfing capital of the Philippines.
One of the best known surfing waves on Siargao and the Philippines, with a worldwide reputation for thick, hollow tubes is “Cloud 9”.
This right-breaking reef wave is the site of the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte. The wave was discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980s. It was named and made famous by American photographer John S. Callahan, who published the first major feature on Siargao Island in the United States- based Surfer magazine in March 1993, and hundreds of his photos in many other books and magazines since his first visit in 1992.
Callahan has put Siargao Island on the international map and has drawn thousands of surfers and tourists to Siargao. Cloud 9 also has a reputation for being a relatively cheap destination for surfers with many cheap accommodations and restaurants and bars to choose from. There are several other quality waves on Siargao and nearby islands, but Cloud 9 has received more publicity than any other, indeed in the Philippines as a whole. It is the only wave easily accessible without a boat, leading to overcrowding and the nickname of “Crowd 9” among surfers.
Eager foreign and locally owned accommodation and tourist facilities have profited from the magazine publicity and the influx of visitors drawn by the annual Siargao Cup competition in September. Siargao is well known as “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines” with a reputation among surfers within the Philippines and the International scene.
Eddie Florano has also written a song called Surfin’ in Siargao from ‘Ukulele World: Acoustic & Power Ukulele’ album (2006).
You can also feel the Siargao experience through its mouth-watering, exotic seafoods and other places to visit aside from the pleasures of snorkelling, sailing, diving and surfing in the island’s beaches. One can go caving, mountain biking or trekking in its appealing mountains and jungles.
Reaching Siargao is convenient due to numerous transport vehicles that travel from Cebu or from mainland Mindanao. You can take connecting flights from Metro Manila to Cebu City then to the city of Surigao. Fast watercrafts also travel from Cebu to the Surigao in about 4 hours. Ferries from Surigao take one to Siargao island.