April 18, 2015

SIARGAO 2015 TRAVEL DIARY – Cafe Loka

Siargao has been in my bucket list ever since I saw how beautiful its beaches are. Obviously I am a sucker for white sand beaches and clear blue and turquoise waters. Whenever I have the opportunity to travel, I always choose a place where there’s a beach; I may not have the beach body and the confidence to wear two-piece swimsuits and I also don’t know how to swim properly, but the feel of sand under my feet gives me a certain high. 


Since one of my good friends is coming back to Manila this Summer, and we always make it a point that we will travel whenever she’s on vacation in the Philippines, I booked us a flight to Siargao Island. Most flights to Siargao are quite expensive especially for a regular-earning professional like me, but thank goodness for airfare promos and seat sales that I was able to book a flight to Siargao that was cheaper than normal. There is no direct flight to Siargao, you have to pass by Cebu and board a smaller aircraft to Siargao. There’s only one airport in Siargao – Sayak Airport in Del Carmen town, which is a relatively small airport compared to Caticlan’s or Coron’s airport. Only 1 flight arrives and leaves Sayak airport daily when it’s the lean season; but when there’s a surfing competition Cebu Pacific (the only airline that flies directly to Siargao) opens two flights per day and this is around May to September.
 
 


Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea in the province of Surigao del Norte. It is  best known for its beautiful and large waves that are good for surfing, especially that this island is on the southeast part of the Philippines and faces the Pacific Ocean. But Siargao is not all about surfing, it boasts of other tourist destinations like beaches, natural pools, lagoons, falls etc. The landscape in Siargao reminds me of both Coron and Bohol, but it has its own different charm. It’s more laid-back, more peaceful and even though tourists flock it, it isn’t crowded at all. The locals of Siargao is one of the nicest and hospitable people I’ve ever  encountered – they are simple, respectful, fun and honest. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating. During our 4 days stay on the island, I’ve come to love it and had somewhat a separation anxiety when we were about to leave. I felt like I wasn’t ready to leave just yet, but then that only gave me a fuel to return to Siargao when I have the chance to.



CAFE LOKA

Coffee + beach are the two best things in life for me. Whenever I am on a beach vacation, I have this habit to wake up very early, make myself coffee and drink it while I sit somewhere on the beach and just stare at the beauty of what is in front of me. During our third day in Siargao and after our island hopping trip, we again availed of surfing lessons with our instructors.




I woke up super early that morning so by afternoon my energy is already low. And surfing would entail a lot of strength and if I don’t drink something to perk me up, I don’t think I can stand on the surf board anymore. On our way to the Jacking Horse Trail surfing area in Cloud 9, I spotted this restaurant café, named Café Loka, so I told my companions to go ahead and start their surfing lessons and I’ll just check out this place and get a caffeine fix.


 

I think Café Loka is the Siargao version of Boracay’s Real Coffee and is conveniently just a few steps from the entrance to Cloud 9 and right by the Boardwalk, The former also serves breakfast and other meals, coffee, shakes, sandwiches, breads and other pastries. Just like Real Coffee it also on the beach front. But Café Loka I think is better when it comes to the atmosphere of the island life that it exudes.


  

First off, it is an open structure, with minimal décor and architecture. I love that their centerpieces are these local wild flowers called “santan” which grows almost everywhere. There are hammocks and beach chairs in front of the café where you sit, sip coffee and watch the surfers and surfer-wanna-be's (like me) in the distance.




I ordered an iced latte plus their carrot/pineapple/banana muffin. The coffee was ok, I had the liberty to add sugar to my liking. At first, I thought the combo of the ingredients of the muffin was weird, but I was surprised that it tasted great. I had a little chit-chat with two of staff who were present at that time and they’re quite friendly and attentive.




And then I sat in one of the seats facing the beach, watch friendly people and surfers passing by greeting me hello and I say hello back. It was lovely afternoon, really… Nothing can’t really beat coffee in hand, plus the view of the beach and the sea, the smell of ocean breeze, the hot summer air and big waves ridden my surfers from afar. It couldn’t get any better than that… only the sad part is that it was our last afternoon in the island. I wish I can go back soon and stay longer… I would be most likely to spend my mornings and afternoons in Café Loka.


You can contact our habal-habal driver/tour guideKuya Levie here: 09076281852 and our surfing instructor Joel here : 09087437709


CAFE LOKA SIARGAO
Cloud 9, General Luna, 
Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte
Philippines
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Loka/1479590612316873

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