Siargao | Surfing Capital of the Philippines
Siargao, the biggest and largest surfing spot in the Philippines for the fact that big waves are present all year round. Some tourists even say that its the #1 surfing spot in Asia. So, if you are a beginner trying to learn to surf or an exploring pro, Siargao waves will not fail you.
This tear-drop shaped, once hidden gem in the Philippine Sea is 800 kilometers southeast of the country’s capital, Manila. Situated at the northeastern tip of Mindanao, it belongs to the province of Surigao del Norte. Actually, there are so many things you can do in Siargao beside surfing but let’s just talk about surfing here for now in the most popular surf spot among the many in this town, the Cloud 9!
Siargao Islands Cloud 9 belonged to CNN’s World’s 50 best surf spots and it luckily landed on the 9th spot! Lucky 9 indeed. Cloud 9 never got its name until 1992 when surf photographer John Callahan headed an expedition that included pro surfers Taylor Know and Evan Slater to Siargao. It was he who named the A-frame reef after the local no-melt chocolate bars. According to him there was not much else to do other than surf yourself silly. ” Going into town after lunch for a warm Coke and a Cloud 9 was the highlight of our day”, says Callahan.
Nowadays, some folks call it the Crowd 9 since most of the tourists flock there compared to the other several waves in Siargao . It also has received more hype than any other. Maybe because it is the only wave that is easy to get to without a boat. However, Cloud 9 is not for everyone but definitely for pros only and well, daredevils. Those powerful breaks crash onto sharp corals with left and right rides and one slip can rip skin and bones by the ocean bed. Last year marked an event that placed Cloud 9 again on the international surfing scene when it welcomed the World Surf League hosting the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup which held a QS 1,500 (Qualifying Series) rating. Locals and professional surfers from 10 nations competed against each other at the prestigious event. Local John Mark Tokong claimed victory over fellow Filipino Piso Alcala with Austalian Teale Vanner and Lucas Chianca at equal 3rd place.
Here’s a clip from the event: