Monday, September 23, 2002

Siargao Stories: 2002, part 2


Woke up early. Like seven in the morning early. In Manila there is no feasible explanation for me being awake at 7am. But for some reason being out of town changes my body clock. Anyway, we get dressed go over to White Sand again for breakfast AND to move our things there. Okay, not actually White Sand but the area behind them people just refer to as Sarah Jane’s.

Sarah Jane is this local girl married to a Scot and they have this neat house right off the beach that they are developing into a small resort. The type that will eventually have tents and a common bathroom. As it wasn’t ready yet they generously gave us their bedroom to use for the duration of our stay. Her husband, Terry, is great… very friendly. But it’s Sarah who really cracks me up. She has this empowered woman vibe going on and she is totally with it. Plus her family is just the best. (post-script: I didnt realize exactly what kind of empowered woman she actually was til the next year...)


Most of the beach along this stretch of General Luna is rocky. But at Sarah’s place it’s just all pure white sand and transparent water! We’re talking gorgeous beach spot. With the requisite palm trees and occasional wild bird alighting for a snack in the tide pools. Heaven.

So after settling in and seeing the lovely beach, we headed straight back to Cabuntog to get our id’s and then off to Cloud Nine to watch the competition. Which was intense by the way. The waves had become a bit fickle but those guys were carving what they could out of the swell! And a fair amount of them were able to catch some super sweet tubes. As with surfing Cloud Nine, a few boards broke and more than some of the surfers donated skin to the reef gods. And off to one side were all these grommets (young surfers, technically between the ages of 8 and 13) practicing near the channel.

We headed back to Sarah Jane’s place to swim. The tide had sort of gone down a bit… well okay, a LOT. Enough that Kaz and I had to walk out a fair bit to find enough water so we could sit under the sun. Semi-wading. We kind of just sat there and talked. Among our best bits of conversation were:

Kage: The crew should all pick a place to build a house.
Kaz: Yeah. That way we have a lot of homebases to chill at.
Kage: Exactly. I pick Siargao. I don’t want the house in Boracay.
Kaz: Sounds like a plan.

Ah the pipe dreams of the sun-stroked!

We’d talked so long that we didn’t notice the tide had completely gone out and we were no longer sitting in shallow water… rather, we were sitting on damp sand! Hahaha. Which was cool cos by then we were ready to eat anyway.

Late lunch found us back at Cloud Nine, ordering breakfast food for lunch. Go figure. Now, I have to be honest here… I am not sure exactly how we spent the rest of our day. I know that at some point we watched the special grommet division. And we met up with Zeny and made plans to go island hopping before we left. And invited her over to our beach (yes, by then we were calling it ours) for a sunset swim. Which we did… along with Mark and one more guy. The water was super warm even after the sun had gone down. But getting up was a whole other story cos the wind was blowing and we were starting to get cold.

There was a fashion show scheduled for that night so we showered up and decided to chill at Sarah’s before heading over. At this point I think I should mention we were sharing the place with a group of British bodyboarders. We thought they would be fun to hang out with but, no offense to Brits in general but they turned out to be rather cliquish… and a little boring.

While hanging out at Sarah’s we met her husband Terry… an Irishman who has settled into island living. He regaled us with tales of his years in the Navy. And of how he met and fell in love with Sarah. He was a blast. Not at all the kind of crochety old man you think he would be. He has plans of developing the place a little more… but he definitely wants to keep it rustic. None of that commercialized Boracay stuff you usually see.

Eight o clock rolls around and we walk over to Cabuntog. After Terry pimps us to the Brits and makes us all walk over there together. Well, his plan was a bust cos they talked amongst themselves. With the exception of this one guy Daniel whom we’d met the day before. So it wasn’t a surprise that once we got there we went our separate ways.

Armed with the first of many beers that day Kaz and I tried to pick a spot close enough to the stage so we could shoot the fashion show. Ah the models – tall mutant giraffe women. Filipinas were never genetically meant to be that tall… or skinny. But the boys… some were quite yummy. The area near the stage was crowded… people were in the water already. One enterprising crowd even got into a banca and set themselves afloat near the stage. Meanwhile there we were up to our thighs in water taking photos.

After a bit I got tired. Gave Kaz the camera and looked for people we knew to chill with. Lo and behold Nigel and Paolo just a few feet away hooting and hollering about the “booty” onstage. (Sigh, boys.)

The coolest thing I think that happened was I got to see my first moonrise… so I was barely paying attention to the rest of the fashion show. I mean, wow… the moon started below the horizon… all orange and angry… then as it started to rise it got lighter and lighter… until it was this benign white orb hanging in the sky. Unreal!

Kaz joined us a little later and a night of drinking and general vicery ensued. Spent a lot of it with Paolo and Nigel (who can talk like its going out of style). At some point we got very inebriated and tired. So we decided to walk back to Sarah Jane’s. We must have been more tired than we thought because it wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered I’D DROPPED MY MOTHER’S DIGITAL CAMERA somewhere on the sand!
tune in for more action and suspense!


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