Siargao Island

I'm finally getting around to posting photos from July, when my daughter and I spent 3 weeks in the Philippines. Even I was a little surprised when I realized it was my daughter's 4th time there given she was only 2 years and 6 months old. During this trip one of the places we visited was the island of Siargao, which is known internationally for its surf breaks, specifically Cloud9 and its perfect barrels.

We traveled with my sister, aunt, and cousins and stayed at the gorgeous Kalinaw Resort, which is owned by French expats Fred and Pierre. One of Travel & Leisure's World's Best Resorts, Kalinaw has only 5 villas so it is secluded and quiet, until we got there anyway.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

The villas are elevated, surrounded by lush gardens, and have expansive decks that are perfect for doing nothing.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

It was nice to have a sit down meal after a morning airplane rides to get here. Without direct flights from Manila, Siargao is able to stay relatively non-commercialized. You can probably count the cars on this island with your fingers. The main transportation on the island is the habal-habal, aka motorcycle. Whether it is a family of 5 or a surfer with 5 boards, it's habal-habal. After dark, there is pretty much nothing to do besides dinner at the few restaurants and resort options available. What it lacks in nightlife, Siargao more than makes up for with its unspoiled beauty.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Coral art by Life After Breakfast.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Silly cousins Kai and Amelia hide in the reception desk.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

These amazing flowers fall from its tree during the night and litter the beach in the morning. I have no idea what they are, but I told Amelia they're truffula flowers.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Kanilaw's petite dejeuner.

Double decker hermit crabs.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Off we go on an island hopping adventure!

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Provisions and surfboards aboard! Luke bought water, fish, rice, vegetables and fruits from the open air market right off the docks before we left. Thank goodness he was with us otherwise we would have had no idea.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

First stop is an ocean break. The waves are small but we are the only people here. How amazing is that! Six-year-old surfer Kai and his dad surfer Luke doing what they do.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Next stop is Daku Island for swimming and lunch.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Loli D and A.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Syllaphoto credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Syllaphoto credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Luke rented one of these huts and hired a local cook to prepare our meal.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Conch shells bought at the island.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Fresh ceviche.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Grilled fish and squid.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Coconuts are picked and cut to order. My favorite drink and snack in the whole wide world.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Just us on this powdery beach.

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Just, wow!

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

photo credit: Ricci Sylla

I'm so hooked on Siargao and can't wait to go back.


Photos in today's globetrotting story were taken by Dr. Ricci Sylla.

Ricci is an ObGyn by profession, and an avid, snap-happy photographer at all other times. She likes taking pictures mostly of food, but since the recent population explosion in her family, cute nieces and nephews show up much more frequently in her Picasa files. She hearts cake, ice cream, macarons, cotton candy and fancy desserts! You can follow Ricci on Instagram.

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Kanilaw Resort
Siargao, Philippines
kalinawresort.com

Daku Island, Philippines