With Boracay getting a little too crowded during Holy Week and other peak season months, tourists need other places in the Philippines to discover and explore. Palawan has been getting some attention and so has Bicol, but if there s one place that s got foreigners raving, it s Surigao del Norte. That s mostly because of one island in the province. Before we discuss the main attraction, let s tackle the other interesting aspects of the province, like the Bonok Bonok festival. Preliminary contests are held before the celebration to pick who will perform the dance of the Mamanua tribe. During the main day, a huge feast is celebrated to complement the beautiful tribal dance. This is all done in honor of San Nicolas de Tolentino. The main festival is celebrated on September 9 in the city of Surigao . This is perfect because it also happens during surfing season. For more cultural immersion, a visit to the Surigaonon Heritage Mini-museum will treat you to archeological diggings of burial vases and the like. The museum is located at the Boulevard within the city.
When traveling in a new locale, stopping over to try the different cuisines is a must do. Surigao city alone contains a few decent restaurants to please your tongue. If you are on a budget, Dales Foodhauz serves delicious meals that are worth a little over a dollar. This is not the only dining enclave in town, however, if the food does not suit your palate. There s also Mario s Grille, which is situated near many hotels. The grilled pork chop and buttered shrimp are their specialties, and the ambience makes diners come back for more. If fine dining strikes your fancy, however, Adriana s is the place to go. Relatively pricey for the city you re in, but the sea food is quite worth it. Try the crab or grilled squid, either will satisfy. There are other restaurants to try in the city, and you can try them all out, but it s probably time to leave the city and go for a little fun and adventure. It s time for Siargao.
Siargao is one of two main islands of Surigao, and it is the surfing capital of the Philippines . Surfing season starts in August, but the best time to go (other than during the Bonok Bonok festival) is during the October International Surfing Competition. This event alone goes far in proving the quality of surfing in this surfer s paradise. There are many different types of waves that crash on the reefs all over the island, but it is Cloud 9 that put Siargao on the map. Sometimes reaching 3 meters, its hollow wave but powerful reef break make it a challenge and a pleasure for experienced surfers, hence the name. People interested in staying should try Sagana Surf Resort, which is located right in front of Cloud 9. Beginners be warned, many of Siargao s waves are world class hitters. However, you should be pleased to know that boards can be rented out, and simpler waves are abundant. Many have visited only for vacation, but some never leave and end up migrating there, due to the call of the wave.