The Philippine Archipelago is known for its rich coastlines and beaches. The country is made up of more than 7,000 islands and quite a few of these islands have earned international acclaim. One of those islands is Siargao.
Known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” this teardrop shaped island is located in the Philippine Sea, around 800 kilometers southeast of the country’s capital city, Manila. The island, which has an approximate land area of 437 square kilometers, is located in the eastern side of the Surigao del Norte province. Its reputation among the local surfers has spread onto the international scene, giving the place more and more tourists each year.
With its beautiful beaches, Siargao is considered as one of the tropical jewels of the country. The island’s east coast is marked by a series of small points, reefs and sandy beaches. Its reef and points, which helps in creating clean and fast waves, are the main factors responsible for turning the island into the Philippine’s wave surfing capital.
The “Cloud 9” is one of the best known surfing waves in the island. Earning a worldwide reputation for its thick hollow tubes, this right-breaking reef wave serves as the annual location for one of the biggest surfing events in the island, the Siargao Cup. This local and international surfing competition is a yearly event sponsored by Surigao del Norte’s provincial government.
Originally, the wave was discovered by a group of travelling surfers way back in the late 1980s. A few years later, the wave received its name from an American photographer known as John S. Callahan. By depicting the island’s scenic beauty in his photos, John Callahan successfully put Siargao on the map. His major feature on the island was published in the March 1993 issue of the US based magazine Surfer.
As a result, Siargao started to draw thousands of surfers and surf enthusiasts all over the world. Aside from the big waves and exotic view, Siargao’s Cloud 9 is also famous for its relatively cheap rates. As compared to other surfing destinations, the place is full of affordable accommodations restaurants and bars. Although the island is known best for its excellent surfing conditions, the island also boasts of a line of positive geographical features.
In addition to the big waves and cheap accommodations in Cloud 9, the entire island also holds Mindanao’s largest mangrove forest reserves. The vast land of mangroves is found within the municipality of Del Carmen.
In terms of geography, Siargao boasts of a seemingly endless stretch of wetlands. This certain geographical feature indicates the island’s potential for commercial seaweed propagation.
Finally, Siargao’s Pacific-facing reefs are located just right at the edge of the famous Philippine Trench. The island’s deep offshore waters, on the other hand, secures the undiluted power of the ocean swells each time they come into contact with the island’s coral and rock reefs.
People who are planning to go to the island of Siargao for the summer should start making early hotel reservations as the small island can get crowded even at the start of the warm season.
-by Mara Tismo-
(Photo taken from hubpages.com)
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