I arrived at Surigao at around 8 in the evening. Tired from the boat ride I tried to look for a place to stay, I checked a couple of lodges looking for the cheapest one. I found a lodge that looked cheap so I went on to inquire how much it is for one night. The guy that was guarding the parking area said it’s 500 per night. I then asked if he will be up all night guarding the parking, he said no. He will go up to the lodge at around 10, which means no one will be guarding my precious motorcycle for the remainder of the evening.
That’s when he started asking about me… the usual stuff. Where I was from, what I was doing there, where I’m going, honestly answering the same questions is starting to become annoying. Then she called an old lady that was sweeping the front of their house and said “This guy is from Manila and he is going to Zamboanga!”. Then the old lady said “Don’t go there, you know? With all the bombing and firefights there I don’t think it’s a safe place to go to.” I then asked if she has been there, she then said “No”.
This has been a recurring theme during my ride here in Mindanao. When I was still in Luzon they told me that Mindanao is not a safe place to visit, the same thing was said when I was in Visayas… I was hoping that things would change once I’m in Mindanao, apparently, it didn’t. The ironic thing was people who claim that a place is unsafe to visit haven’t even been there.
Now knowing that there wont be any security for my motorcycle tonight made me look for a different lodge. I asked the security guy if he can recommend another one. He then told me that there’s another one with a gate and 24 hours of security. That sounds like a good place to stay for the night, I went on to find it. It indeed has a gate, a red one, upon entering I got the vibe that this will be expensive. I was right… it was 800 a night! Tired I decided to just take it, will just look for cheaper places to stay next time. The room was nice, air-conditioned with its own bathroom. Enjoying what for me is a form of luxury, I was able to get a good night sleep and a nice shower.
After having some breakfast on a nearby cafe I asked the security guard if he knows a nice place that I can visit (by asking people for suggestions is how I get around). He said visit Siargao there’s a lot of really nice places there, I then asked “How do I get there?” he said I have to take a boat. After quickly researching about Siargao on my phone, I deemed it worthy of a boat ride.
I arrived at the port, there were some fixers out side, I asked one of them as to how much it would cost for me to get to the island of Siargao. Now if my memory serves me right the total cost was around 1000 php, but I would still have to wait a couple of hours before the next RORO leaves. Then someone approached me and said that if I want to leave earlier I can just take the smaller boats to get there. After asking for directions I went to find the small boats.
When you first see the boats you will immediately ask yourself “This is it?”. The boats were small it seems to only load a little bit of cargo and less than 50 people. I asked one of the guys there if it’s possible to load my motorcycle on those boats, he said “Yes! We do it all the time”. They seem pretty confident with their answer so I decided to take it. When I asked how much it costs that’s when it hit me, it’s almost 1,500 php, that’s expensive!