I peered through the tinted window of the front seat of the SUV.
Everywhere was green pastures, tall coconut and banana trees swaying with the soft breeze. Fresh air. Cool wind that could only mean we were near the sea.
I couldn’t help smiling. I knew the driver kept looking over at me, probably thinking I was crazy, but I didn’t care.
I was 15 minutes into Siargao. And I was loving every bit of it.
About 30 minutes from the airport, we turned into dusty, unpaved streets.
“Why don’t they pave this?” I ask the driver in Tagalog.
“The foreigners didn’t want to. The unpaved, beach sand streets make it feel like a real island paradise,” he answered.
I nodded, acknowledging what he meant. And he was right. With the streets white sandy-paved, it really felt like I was on an island paradise.
The SUV stopped suddenly and the driver motioned “Buddha’s” to me before getting out.
I was slightly surprised to see someone from Buddha’s waiting outside, presumably for their incoming guests. But as they walked me to the spacey, main house, I immediately felt the homey, comfortable environment.
Buddha’s Surf Resort is located along the main streets of Siargao, a short walk from the beach and right in the middle of General Luna and Cloud 9.
Siargao was beyond anywhere I’d ever been to in the Philippines. It had the same friendly vibe as El Nido had, thanks to Buddha’s managers Marlo and Chris who took me around the island. But at the same time, when dark comes in, the lack of street lights would prevent tourists from walking around, lest you know how to ride a motorbike (which after Siquijor and Pai, I still had no idea how!).
The staff greeted me with fresh coconut juice, surprising me again when they knew who I was.
The two storey main house of Buddha’s Surf Resort was separate from the rooms. The top floor was for entertainment purposes when Buddha’s would have bands playing. The ground floor included its kitchen and common area. It had some artistic drawings up over the wall and a quote I especially liked up above the kitchen counter.
They also had a tide watch, probably for surfers to know when to check the waves. It’s open area was only fitting to the fresh air blown occasionally by the island breeze.
Their restaurant served free breakfast with a good selection of meals for lunch and dinner. Price for food ranges from P150 – P300 per meal.
Marlo lead me to my room, at the second floor of the establishment housing the rooms.
The room was huge and air conditioned, with a queen sized bed and a single bed, presumably for my companion. The bed and pillows were super soft, something I appreciated especially after staying up until 4am at the Jungle Party. It was so comfortable that I refused to get up at 8am the next day knowing I had an island tour. Good thing, Marlo and the guys were pretty flexible.
There was a study table on the side and a television fronting the bed. Below the television was what looked like a player, although I never got to test what it played.
I loved the full size mirror at the side and the huge window doors beside it lent sufficient light during the day.
The shower room was also big and clean, with marble floors. It contained a big table, something quite useful when you have plenty of toiletries.
The room had a private balcony, with two tropical lounge chairs that looked over the whole resort. The resort has a beautiful lawn that included some hammocks, a volleyball net and a long rope tied to two coconut trees.
I remember watching some of their staff walking on the rope and it amazed me to see their dedication to surfing. I have tried surfing, but I’m pretty sure if I had to do that balancing exercise, I would fail miserably, what with my clumsiness and possibly zero athletic abilities.
At the same time, the room also looked over the lot at the back, with a baboy ramo (pig?) walking around its pretty huge, coconut tree-clad area. It’s pretty amazing how Siargao remains non-commercialized despite its fame.
With its stylish architecture, the wooden furniture and facilities, the artsy designs and the feel-at-home environment, Buddha’s Surf Resort was definitely a great place to stay.
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