Surfing Sites in the Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with beach breaks in the swells of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea. There are so many different reef breaks throughout the archipelago. Surfing has become more popular in the Philippines.
Below are the surfing sites I visited while traveling in my country. I am not a surfer but I love seeing people learning to ride the surfboard. I love watching the experts doing their skits and dancing with the waves.

Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte

Siargao is the number 1 destination for experts, intermediates and newbies. The surfing capital is exposed to strong swells from the Pacific Ocean.
The widely known surfing spot that made Siargao famous to the international community is Cloud 9. Cloud 9 is blessed with a world-class wave and rated as one of the best surfing spots in the world. It is known worldwide for the perfect barrelling right-hand reef break. The waves are recommended for experts only.

When it gets crowded in Cloud 9, surfers go to the QuickSilver Surfing area. It is also called Cloud 9’s little brother and also has a similarity with the right-handed wave. It is best for intermediate and beginners. Near QuickSilver is Jacking Horse which is also best for intermediate and beginners
Other famous spots are called the Cemetery Pesangan Right and Cemetery Pesangan Left, with a jump-off near the Pesangan Cemetery in General Luna good for intermediate and beginners. Other breaks are for experts is the Tuason Left, Tuason Right, Pacifico and Burgos break.
There are other spots known by the locals which can be good for intermediates.
The best months to surf in Siargao is between September to May. Though there are waves from June to August which also good for newbies. The local and international surfing competitions are held every September.

How to get there

It is located in the northernmost tip of Mindanao. There are no International Flight going to Siargao. Direct and connecting flights to the island are available in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao. You can try the airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Skyjet. The airport in Siargao is called Sayak Airport in Del Carmen.

Surfing Schools

Siargao Surf Camp, Harana Surf School, Turtle Surf Camp, Kermit Surf Resort, Kanawy Surf School

Baler, Aurora

Baler is one of the most popular surfing sites in the Philippines as it is known as the “Birthplace of Philippine Surfing.” The Baler gigantic waves have made it in the international surfing community after the filming of the 1979 War Film ‘Apocalypse Now.” The production crew left the surfing boards to the locals and the surfing was born. Charlie’s Point is the surfing spot where the memorable scene in the movie was shot.

Baler boasts a meter high waves during the surfing seasons of September to February. During the months of March to June, the waves are calm and are perfect for beginners.
Cemento Reef can be experienced with a 4.5-meter barrel which is usually the spot for the annual Aurora Surfing Cup. This is a perfect spot for the experts. For beginners, Sabang Beach is a good place for surfing lessons. Other surfing spots in Baler are Dicasalarin Point, Lindy’s Point and Dalugan Bay.

How to get there

It is 6-hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses coming from Manila going to Baler. If you’re traveling from Clark International Airport, the best way is to hire a 4×4 going to Baler.

Surfing Schools

Aliya Surf Camp Resort, Mahdox Surf, North Shore Surf Camp, Big Z Surfing School Surf Spot

La Union

The primary surf beach is in San Juan, La Union. La Union or ‘Elyu’ is known as the “Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines.” The waves can reach 2.5 to 3 meters during the surfing season. The best time to visit with the challenging swells is from October to march. The La Union Surfing Break is held annually during October.

The three peaks in San Juan are named Beach Break, The Bowl and The Point. Other surfing areas near San Juan are Sunset and Car-rile
There are other towns in La Union for surfing, it is in the towns of Bauang and Bacnotan. For Bauang, there’s a beach break near the cemetery and an abandoned beach resort. The famous surf spot in Bacnotan is Darigayos.

How to get there

It is located in the Northern part of Luzon. It is 6 – 7 hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses from Manila and in the nearby town in Clark called Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Surfing Schools

San Juan Surf Resort, Sebay Surf Central, La Union Surf School, Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

Daet, Camarines Norte

Another beach along the coast of the Pacific Ocean for riding the waves is Bagasbas Beach in Daet Camarines, Norte. Several summer surfing festivals are held in Bagasbas beach for beginners. Surfing board rental and surfing lessons are available along the stretch of Bagasbas Boulevard.

Bagasbas Beach is also widely known for Kite Surfing. The best month to go surfing in Bagasbas is from July to January.

How to get there

There’s a direct bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte and travel time is 8-10 hours. The airport is located in Naga, which is a 2-hour drive to Daet.

Surfing Schools

Bagasbas Kite & Surf Shop, Bagasbas Whitewave Hotel and Surf School,

San Antonio, Zambales

Magic Left is a popular surfing spot in Zambales. It is called Magic Left because it offers a long left-handed wave it produces at the Pundaquit Bay. Another beach break called Mags is also good for intermediate to advance.
Other surfing spots are located in Liw, Liwa, San Felipe called Hig 5 Lahar. Another one is in Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso.

How to get there

Its close proximity to Manila which is only 3 hours away and an hour away from Clark makes it a popular weekend getaway for city surfers.

Surfing Schools

Crystal Beach Resort, Quicksilver Surf School, Zambales Surf Camp, Liwalize It Surf Camp, Kapitan Liwa Surf Resort

Other Surfing Sites in the Philippines

1. Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
2. Real, Quezon
3. Mercedes, Camarines Norte
4. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes
5. Nagtabon Beach, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
6. Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental
7. Lanuza Bay, Surigao Del Sur
8. Guiuan and Calicoan Island, Eastern Samar

Manila to New York City: 16 Hours Flight

It was my first ever trip to the United States of America. I was early at the airport. I already checked in online. The checking of baggage was very meticulous and I had to open it again prior to baggage drop. After which I went inside the lounge area. And since it was still early, I went to Starbucks and ordered my favorite triple chocolate mocha. There were lots of people waiting for the coffee shop. After finishing my mocha, I went to the boarding gates and waited for the announcement to get on board. It was on the 21st of July in the year 2019.

I booked a 16-hours non-stop flight in Philippine Airlines from Manila to New York. I was seated at the last row from the left side of the plane in a window seat. The good thing was I didn’t have to bother anyone from behind since we were in the last row, but the problem was going to the washroom and there were two passengers on my left.

It was a comfortable flight, I watched two movies first, charged my phone in the charging USB from my personal space. But because of the busy schedule I had a month before my trip, I was exhausted and I slept the entire trip and whenever I woke up, it was already time to eat. I would wash up after every meal, then go to sleep after 30 minutes. I lost track of time but my belly was full after 5 meals, 3 meals with rice and 2 heavy snacks.

When I was awake, I would look from my window seat with the moon blazing into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Or I would keep track of the plane’s navigation as it went to the sides of the North Pacific Ocean over the Vancouver skies and landed at New York JFK International Airport.  And I was really excited to see the New York skyline with all the night lights while the plane descended. I could finally say, Welcome to the United States of America.

It was past midnight when I arrived. It took time to get out of the plane. I talked to my seatmates and found out why they were traveling in the USA since it took time for us to get out of the plane as we were on the last row.

We headed to the electronic immigration to scan the passport and the visa. We went to another line to be interviewed by the immigration officer before being allowed to get our baggage. It took a little while to get the bags. It took an hour before I was finally getting out of the airport. Ms. Gwen, the person I was seated invited me to her sister’s house in Queens since it was already past 1 in the morning. I told her I would just take a yellow taxi and head to my friend’s house in Upper East Side Manhattan.

They looked out on me while I board the taxi and they told me to keep in touch once I got into my friend’s house. It was one-hour drive from JFK airport to the Museum Mile in the 105th street. The ride was okay, the driver was from Indian descent. He was not a safe driver since every traffic light that we stopped, he seemed anxious to drive. Until we hit the 106th street, he drove while the traffic light was red. I heard the wailing of the NYPD car from our back and we had to stop. Three policemen came to the yellow cab and talked to the driver. I was already scared as it was my first time in the USA and it happened in the wee hours of the morning. I called my friend and told him what happened and he told me that I was near the apartment already. After 15 minutes, the policemen let the driver go and we were heading to my friend’s apartment. And eventually, I saw my friend once I got out of the taxi.

He said that the apartment was small. It was located on the first floor at the end of the hallway before the stairs and emergency exit on the right side. It was a two-bedroom apartment and I would say it was still big compared to a small apartment in the Philippines. I settled inside and it was at 5 in the morning when we decided to sleep after catching up.

You can also check my post last year after my trip to New York City with the title A Summer in the United States of America

For New York City tours click here

For Biking tour click here

Siargao Island Hopping

There are three different islands visible from our resort. The islands are Guyam Island, Daku Island and Naked Island.
Going back from Sohoton Cove and the continuation of our island tour were three other islands. We first went to Naked Island.

Naked Island

Naked Island is locally called Pankikian. It was changed to Naked Island as tourists discovered the white sand beach in Siargao. It is naked as there are no visible plants or trees except for the shimmering white sand.

We were blessed to enjoy the island without any tourists. We were the first boat to arrive on the island and we enjoyed the seclusion for a brief moment before most of the tour boats arrived. We spent our time swimming and enjoying the sun and the crystal clear turquoise water.

Daku Island

The second island visible from the shore of General Luna is Daku Island. Daku means big. It is a big island with a wide sandy beachfront.

There are locals who are inhabitants of the island. We also enjoyed the food and swimming here.

Guyam Island

Of the three islands, Guyam is the tiniest island. The small island is shaded by coconut trees. It is also a place for events on the island.

The side of the island which is facing the Pacific Ocean has a stunning view of rock formation.