Siargao Island is a place I’d keep coming to. You know the feeling when you already planned your next visit even when you just arrived? It is that charming.
I arrived really early in Siargao, alighted at Dapa Port around 9 in the morning. It’s a sunshine-y day. I got in touch with a friend of a friend days back prior to this trip but he doesn’t know any homestay places in the area so I figured I’ll have to search it on my own. I met a fellow backpacker at the market and had a little chit-chat. We both needed a place to stay. We clicked in an instance. We rode on a tricycle and told the driver to bring us to a “Homestay” place. The driver brought us to a lovely place in General Luna. The place is called “Jing’s Homestay”.
We went inside and asked around for the details of the homestay. I looked around and noticed this isn’t the “homestay” I thought about. It turns out it’s a family run hostel. I had no choice but to stay here for the night. The people around doesn’t have a clue with what I am talking about. I really expected to stay at someone else’s house. Eat the same food they serve on the table and all that “homestay” stuff.
It may not be the “homestay” I imagined but definitely it was the same “homestay experience” I have imagined. The family who run the hostel is super nice to everyone. They check us all the time and let us have a good time by their common dining area. They always always make sure we don’t get bored. They have a lot of good ideas popping every now and then. The owner by the way is one of the first surfers in the island and one of the first to teach surfing to the locals. The family is such a funny and warm bunch. It almost felt like we’ve known each other for a very long time.
I spent the day motorbiking together with my new found buddy. We checked out the different surf spot, we went to Pilar and to Union. We didn’t get to surf that day but we were able to check out other spots anyway. The day flew by so fast. We arrived back in our homestay right before sundown. There in the common dining room were other travellers from all over the globe gathered for a little siesta time. We joined the group and had dinner together and spent the rest of the night talking non-stop about travel. And yea few bottles of beers involved before we called it a day.
The following day, I woke up pretty early and was able to catch up with the man behind the homestay, Mr Jing. He’s a funny man who definitely knows how to make any person smile with his effortless humour. It was a great day, breakfast was of omelettes and good laugh.
I bid goodbye to the place I called home with a happy heart. I wish I could stay longer but I couldn’t so I had to scout for a new place to stay. Nevertheless, my “not-so-legit-homestay-experience” was pretty amazing and it opened my eyes into many many possible things. I definitely learnt a lot and looking forward to that more “legit” homestay experience somewhere. Someday.
The people I met at Jing’s Homestay were also the reason why I extended my trip to more than a week. Good times!
For those who wants to check it out, here’s the info details:
Pob 5 (Bayud), General Luna, Siargao Islands 09152781113
Airconditioned room: 1000/night Fan room: 800/night
Author Bio: Shugah Pauline is a 23-year-old solo wanderer who lugs a 40-liter backpack without a definite itinerary. A digital nomad or “Cyber Gypsy” as she calls her self. She would never be found lounging pool-side at a tropical resort. For her, travel is all about thrills and spills and seeing how a place can really get her heart pounding. It’s about swaying tree barks, getting robbed by a local and running after him (because anything can happen!!), scaling cliffs and generally laughing in the face of gravity. She doesn’t believe in taking it easy; she believes in pushing it to the next level. She doesn’t drink beer and prefers a sweet coffee machiato, por favor.