Siargao, now showing in theaters nationwide, was released as part of the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival, is a Paul Soriano romance film that revolves around three people navigating matters of the heart. Jasmine plays Abby, a local surfer who meets Diego (Jericho Rosales), a celebrity returning home after finding success as a rock star and Laura (Erich Gonzales), a girl who’s trying to Eat, Pray, Love her way out of heartbreak. “There’s sort of a love triangle there, but it’s not one with catfights and bickering. It’s about three people who are learning about themselves and finding home. For Diego, it’s about who he wants to share his home and heart with.” The film’s fourth character is Siargao itself, a beautiful island in northeastern Mindanao, made famous by its stunning surf waves. If you’re planning a trip soon, keep some of Jasmine’s tips in mind.
1. Explore the island on a motorcycle.
The best way to take in the sights and sounds of Siargao is to rent a motorbike and ride into the sunset — but be careful! “Driving around and exploring the island makes for a special experience. I did it and took a small tumble, but I didn’t tell anyone. It was exhilarating and certainly different from anything I’d done in Manila,” said Jasmine.
2. Sign up for a surfing lesson — pronto. Better yet, learn to surf at Hawaiian Jack.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never touched a surfboard in your life, one can’t simply visit the surfing capital of the Philippines and not try to pop up on a board and ride a wave. Eager to escape the crowds hogging the waves? Head over to Hawaiian Jack. “It’s not the most popular surf spot so it’s much quieter and known among more discerning local wave riders.”
3. Nosh on well-earned pasta at Kermit Siargao Italian restaurant.
Be spoiled for choice at the wide array of both local and international cuisines available in Siargao’s diverse food scene. Jasmine’s pick? The always reliable Kermit Siargao Italian Restaurant. “I found their spaghetti Bolognese particularly comforting, after being out and in the water all day.”
4. Don’t forget to pack your camera!
If there isn’t a photo of you paddling out to the waves, did it really happen? This might be a no-brainer but a camera is an absolute essential when travelling. “I’m playing around with this and trying out photography. And this was Siargao — it’s such a picturesque island — so I had to have a camera with me. I didn’t know what beauty I was going to run into!”
5. Check out our Siargao Guide.
Caught the surfing bug? Vacay planning is a breeze with our Siargao Guide that will get you up to speed on the best hotels, food spots and activities to do on the island.
This article first appeared in the January 2018 issue of Smile magazine.