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Monday, May 07, 2018

Siargao trip day 2 - Shaka Siargao, Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Tide Pool, Harana Surf Resort and Resto


Day 2 adventure starts so early in the morning, so we woke up at around 5am to prepare for our super early breakfast. Because we got an advise from our tour guide that we should visit this cafe in Siargao and the earliest time they open is at around 6am, the cafe is also a popular to tourist because of the healthy food they make. I dont have a clue what the cafe can offer, but I just want a hot coffee that day and also a sliced of bread with butter.

It was a cold morning that day and thanks to that short rainy event and the entire island received a nice cooling from the cold rain. I know that it will be hot the entire day, but this is a challenge when you get to absorb the different weather situation in a tropical island.


I was planning to capture the sunrise in Siargao, but I got no extra time, because it was so cloudy that morning and we're waiting for my companions to wake up, because it was nearly 6am when I was standing infront of Cloud 9's boardwalk.



We just walked from Kesa Cloud 9 Resort going up the hill and reached this cafe called Shaka Siargao.  Its a cafe that serves smoothies, juices, power bowls and lots of healthy food.


Shaka Siargao is so tiny, that's why we went here at 6am as soon as the cafe opens, so that we can have the entire dining area which I think can serve 15 people. Lots of tourist came in after 6am and they got a hard time getting a seat because we occupied the entire cafe.

Just go here at 6am if you want to be seated while enjoying your cold power bowls.


Im not a fan of power bowls, but this is a chance for me to try something healthy. I ordered that Bakunawa Bowl, I told them no to include the pineapples, but they've added more fruits because they ran out of stocks of dragon fruit


My hot brewed coffee


Banana bread.


Bakunawa power bowls
Wow! this meal is packed with lots of fiber!! this breakfast meal powered me up til after lunch time. It is really heavy. I didn't get to finish the entire smoothie under it but the banana  and some quinoa and coconut are packed with lots of energy


Spotted this Tripadvisor 4.5 score award certificate. Just to show that the cafe's credibility when it comes to serving their customers with good food.


We rode the van driven by our tour guide Mr. Phillips, it was like an hour of drive from General Luna to Del Carmen. I looked on our itinerary list and I learned that we will be going to Sugba Lagoon, one of the most visited tourist site for swimming and water sports here in Siargao.



We arrived here at the tourism center located at Del Carmen


Mr. Phillips Cruise then showed to us the land and water miniature map of the entire area of Del Carmen and its mangroves and islets. Just to showcase the Del Carmen Mangrove Reserve, one of the biggest mangrove site here in the Philippines.


We learned that the Del Carmen Mangrove Reserve is also the home of the Philippine salt water crocodile, snakes and other creatures who lives in a mangrove eco system.

They say that it is safe to travel around by boat, because there's an area where crocodiles stay and it is far from the boat highway



I dont know about the pricing of the boat trip to Sugba Lagoon, but I heard that the boat rental is around PHP 1,500 and good only for 5 people for one boat.



Their motor boat is a two engine propeller type. That;s why the boat is so noisy and it can speed up to 120.

Tip: Bring some ear plugs if you plan to to go Sugba Lagoon. My only complain here is that the noise of the boat engine so noisy and it can make you deaf for awhile, you know that tingling sound and you hear it for an hour after the ride.

Its a round trip, so expect to get annoyed by the noise of the engine two times.

Travel from the Del Carmen tourism office going to Sugba Lagoon is around 30-45 minutes.
It depends on the speed of your boat if it can do it for 20 minutes.

But for safety reason, the twin propeller boat can speed up on a wide water area, but it slowed down when it entered the mangrove area, just to avoid hitting some crocodiles or any hazardous item floating on the water. (could be a plant, plastic, or a branch of a tree)

One of the propeller of our team's boat got broken, I think it hit something at the mangrove area, we're glad that it was a twin propeller type, and then the boat speeds away using one propeller.


Also if you have your camera gears with you and smartphone. Make sure you store them inside a dry bag. The boat ride is so fast and expect a lot of splashes. I was afraid of the ride because the boat runs so fast on the water. Its like riding a jet ski on top speed.

But it was a fun ride and you get to see the beauty of the Del Carmen Mangrove Reserve.



After half an hour we arrived here in Sugba Lagoon.
Wow! I was scouting already a nice spot for snorkeling, almost every corner and side of the lagoon is ready for swimming and snorkeling.


SUP or stand up paddle surf is the most popular water sports here in Sugba Lagoon. You can rent one SUP board for a (Im not sure if its around PHP100 per hour)


Take note that Sugba Lagoon has no kiddie pool, kids are required to wear life vest when swimming and they need adult supervision.


The boat path going to Sugba Lagoon. The boatman told me that its safe to swim here or snorkel, but Im so afraid to go this area because its so wide hahahaha. And also I dont want to get hit by an incoming boat.  But they say that the snorkeling area is here.


I've been viewing a lot of Siargao vlogs on Youtube and I always see this diving pad in Sugba Lagoon. For me its a dream come true to see this diving pad, although I dont have the courage to try it and dive into the lagoon hahahah.

I was sick that day and I dont want to tire myself. So the remaining energy is for my snorkeling activity.




Jump!!! spotted Ms Ailene and travel blogger Marky  trying the diving pad. Also we spotted a 6 year old kid jumping from the diving pad and she did it for more than 10 times. Wow!! where did she get that energy!


My photo taken by Ms. Mitch
I was so busy floating around Sugba Lagoon and snokeling using my full face mask.
Its my first time to swim without a life vest hahahaha. Some parts of the lagoon are deep, maybe around 15 feet. But whenever I get tired, I just float and face down the water.



Nothing much to see, but under the lagoon are some dead corals and also some fish.
I think the far side of the lagoon, located at the boat path way has lot of live corals.
But Im afraid to go there because its too deep.



My view when on the water..I took this photo using my GOPRO Hero 3 + camera


The side of this island is my rest area. I just sat for some minutes if I need to take a break from swimming.  I was careful because the rocks are so sharp and there are lots of branches of tree at the side.



Lots of tourist here at Sugba Lagoon. I think the best time to go here is at super early in the morning. So that you can get a dining area and also order food in advance.



I was swimming til I reached this barrier. A local guide informed me not to go through beyond this barrier. Because there are lots of jelly fish at the other side. People riding their canoe and SUP are escorted back to the lagoon.


Here's one of the best moment while I was snorkeling in Sugba Lagoon. I just this school of fish swimming near this dried branch of a tree.


My friends rented this pool boat and I wasn't able to join them..I was tired and I just want to take a rest in our table at resto house of Sugba Lagoon.

Ohhh its so fun pala. Sayang!


Here's our lunch at Sugba Lagoon.
All are fresh catch and was cooked here


Grilled Squid


Fish Sinigang



After our meal, I went back to the water and swim more...but I got tired and was sick again, so I took a rest at the resto house and missed the boat pool ride. I recharged my body and I prepared a little energy for the boat ride and also travel back to main land.

The Sugba Lagoon is a must visit if you want to see the mangrove reserve, the islets and the lagoon. For water sports activities, this is a good spot for snorkeling, SUP, canoe, and extreme dive on pad.


After our long trip from Sugba Lagoon, we went here at Pilar to visit the Magpupungko Beach. Its a short distance drive from Del Carmen to Pilar, I think its just around 30 minutes road travel.


This beach, I also call Pilar Beach, Im not sure what's the name of this beach.
This beach area is where the most precious gem of Siargao is located.  The Magpupungko Tide Pool.


For me its a gem, its one of the most visited natural attraction here in Siargao. The natural reef becomes a pool during low tide and people come here to swim and also enjoy the cold sea water.

We arrived here during the high tide season, and we saw that the tide pool is over flowing and was covered with sea water. There's also a strong current of water flowing around and through the tide pool. So everything is under water, but thats okay,  I should swim around and enjoy the beauty of this tide pool.

Its my best and favorite spot here in Siargao and I can stay here til the end of the day. For me this is the best tide pool ever in the Philippines.

Fish and other sea creatures are trapped inside the tide pool, so the pool is also turned into a fish aquarium.


Im ready to jump in and snorkel around.
If you plan to visit Magpupungko tide pool. I suggest you wear your aqua shoes to protect your feet from the rocks  Also wear your snorkeling gear to enjoy the awesome view under the tide pool.





Everyone are just chilling with in the tide pool. We love the cold water and the current the flows from the tide pool. The wave from the far side of the reef pushed the cold sea water to the tide pool and flushes the over flowing water out of the tide pool, the side of the tide pool over flows and a strong current takes effect. We were careful when walking at the side because the current might push our feet and loose balance.


I think I need to buy a new rash guard...the only one has its label breaking up..
Need to visit the tiangee soon!


Magpupungko Tide Pool has a big rock that serves as a jumping station for cliff divers. The water below I think is around 20-25 feet. Its so deep and I was there swimming and the water below is dark.  There are times that I avoid going near the rock just to keep away from the cliff divers.


Magpupungko Tide Pool is the best!!


Beating the wave current... The feeling of... Im holding on for my life haha


Crystal clear water, btw this is around sunset, and the water is still clear,


Can you see the fish?


Photo op with Anagon


Now swimming to the deepest level of Magpupungko Tide Pool.
Ohhh I super love swimming here, there are no wave, no hazard, and also I love that Im contained inside this big pool made from natural rocks and reef and I swim with the fish with no hassle.


For my next visit, I will see you again during the low tide season.
Finally..  nice to meet you Magpupungko Tide Pool, one of my wish to visit you is finally granted!



After our day 2 trip around Siargao, Our tour guide Phillips Cruise brought us here at Harana restaurant, another popular resort and resto here in Siargao, its a few minutes away from our hotel, so we got the time first to take a bath and freshen up before going to our dinner.

When we arrive, the entire restaurant is full and we rush to go here on schedule because our guide made an advanced booking and we got to reserve a table for our group.

I dont have the photos of our dining experience, but I do have some photos here, lifted from the FB page of Harana


Just like in the photo, our dining set up is that we lounge on the floor and ate our food on a low table. I was sick that night and I got no mood to finish my food, but Im glad that I can stretch my legs while we eat. And ohh we also met 2 beach dogs roaming inside the resto. They say that the dog owns the resort hahahah.




Some of the food we ordered that night.
I dont have my actual photo, but the food photos from Harana will give you an idea how good is their food.

Yup. I recommend you try it too.


After our dinner, we went straight to Kesa Cloud 9 Resort to rest and also get ready for day 3 Siargao adventure.

On the photo: I transfer all my media files to my laptop. I need to free up more space so that I can produce more footage for my blog and vlog.

Wow!!! Day 2 is just a start for our adventure in Siargao. The real adventure starts on the next day.
So keep on reading and let me know about your thoughts about SIARGAO

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collect Transformers toys.
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December 20-onwards
Holiday break and vacation