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Bravo Beach Resort is where you should stay in Siargao

I touched down Siargao from Cebu at around 8 in the morning. I was greeted by the shuttle drivers outside the airport, all vying for my attention, not because I’m such a goddess but because they want me to pick their van transfer service. The airport is 29-km away from General Luna where my place of accommodation is, a transportation service is a must. But I booked my transfer prior to this trip, I just had to look for a certain guy named, Burdoy.

I asked the drivers if they knew him and they sure did. Moments later, I saw this old short guy from a distance donned in a barong shirt. He is dark skinned, his hair is brushed neatly, and he was carrying a placard that bears two names; one is mine.

Ayun driver ni Burdoy, si Binay.” (There goes Burdoy’s driver, Binay)

The old man is not Burdoy but his driver. I didn’t get his name, but because he does share an uncanny resemblance to the former vice president, let’s just call him Binay.

Binay offered to carry monster for me. I got in the van and waited for the other passengers to arrive. All in all, there were 5 passengers including myself. It’s bound to be a long ride, somewhere along the way I napped. When I opened my eyes the van has stopped on a clearing surrounded by trees and small outbuildings. Turns out it’s my stop. I alighted from the van, Binay helped me with my bag, I said my thanks then I started walking towards the resort. I stopped in my tracks upon remembering I haven’t paid. Binay has just got on the driver’s seat. I quickly made the approach and told him that I have to pay.

Okay na,” (It’s okay) he said.

I stared at him confused, “Ano po?” (What?)

He nodded and repeated what he said. I tried to remember if I made the payment online; I know I didn’t. Not entirely sure what was going on, all I could do is say thanks and let him drive off.

I continued my way to the Bravo Beach Resort, which I found on a travel booking app. The dirt pathway opens to the resort’s in-house restaurant and reception. The main reason I chose this resort is that I liked how it looked on photos, clean and new. Despite this, I was still mighty impressed when I saw it in person.

Beyond the restaurant, right in the resort’s backyard is a beach that is bare and beautiful. The view alone makes dining at the resto such a pleasurable experience. There is also a small swimming pool.

Bravo Beach Resort is located in General Luna. If you want to do some surfing or if you want to watch surfers do their thing, you should stay in this municipality. When you search for good accommodation in Siargao you will find Kermit on top of that list. I meant to stay there following my friends’ advice but it’s fully booked. Maybe Kermit is amazing, but I cannot say I feel sorry that I didn’t stay there. I liked Bravo a lot, I think it’s perfect. I went to Kermit for dinner and aside from the fact that it takes an effort getting there due to the poor road condition where it stood, it is also not beach-front. There’s a reason why people love beach-front accommodation; the view of the beach cannot be beaten.

I approached the receptionist who started telling me about the cost that I should settle. She said that the accommodation is good, I just had to pay for the food that I ate. Food that I ate? I  just arrived! I read the name on the paper in which she was basing her computation and found that it’s not me.

That’s not me. I’m just about to check in,” I informed her.

She immediately apologized, but I’d soon forgotten about her when the other receptionist started speaking to me, a young woman with an even brown skin and a lovely smile. She made me sign on a form to enter my information, then she told me to wait as she checks if there’s an available bed already. I stayed in the restaurant, enjoyed the view of the sea, and the welcome drink of calamansi juice.

When the room was ready, the girl called me out and led me to this narrow pathway that is surrounded by plants. We went to room number. I was very much impressed that I muttered “beautiful” as soon as I stepped in. There is nothing fancy about the room, but I love the minimalist design. The bunk beds are made of thick sturdy wood that they don’t shake even if somebody climbs up on the top bed. The toilet and shower are separated, the doors can be closed by a wooden latch. Across the shower/toilet is a long concrete sink, below a huge rectangular mirror.

There are tall closets with hangers, each bed has an electric outlet and a night light, the bed is thick and not too soft, sheets and pillowcases smell fresh, and they also provide a bath towel and a beach towel for their guests. The girl gave me the key tied to a blue string. I asked her name, it’s Monique.

3 – bravo room (3)
3 – bravo room (6)
3 – bravo room (1)

For my 2-night stay, I paid ₱3561.46 ($70.45), pretty cheap if you ask me considering the lovely amenities, the cordial staff, and complimentary breakfast.

Oh yes, let’s go to the food. Bravo is among the must-go places for good food in Siargao. Their most recommended dish happened to be the one that I tried for lunch, the peri peri chicken ₱240 ($4.75). It’s a must-try, the chicken meat is tender and well-seasoned.

On my first night, I had a hard time sleeping due to the loud snoring of the old white guy on the bed below mine. Not only does he snore, he was also suffering from a terrible coughing fit. I remember praying that he gets better, having a bad cough is one of the worst feelings in the world. The next night, the man, as well as the other foreign tourist, have checked out. In came a group of Filipino friends who are dentists. They bought a bottle of whisky and had a drinking sesh Filipino style outside our room. I was busy reading Dan Brown’s Origin on my phone when one of them came to the room to invite me to join them. I considered this for a moment, I have been alone on this trip, hardly talked to anyone so I thought, why not. Let’s go talk to some hoomans.

I went outside, sat in the hammock, then started chatting with them. They were led to the room by Monique earlier and they heard her calling me “ate” (big sister). So there everyone was calling me ate. If I have to be honest, I really don’t like being called ate. In the Philippines, it’s a sign of respect for women who are older than you. I am perfectly aware that I am older than them but I just don’t like being called ate by people who are not my siblings. In my family, the ate and kuya (big brother) is exclusive with siblings, not with cousins. This means my youngest sister doesn’t call our oldest cousin ate yet she is obliged to call me ate because we’re sisters. I hope I made sense.

Anyway, my point, I was raised in a family where the terms for older sister and brother do not extend to the cousins, not even to neighbors. I am used to this, hence I don’t like being called ate by someone who is not my sibling no matter our age difference. I hate it most especially in the place of work as I find it very unprofessional. So yes I am older than you, no don’t call me ate. I will not find it disrespectful if you call me by my name.

In keeping with good faith, I kept these thoughts in my head.

Most of the guests at Bravo are foreigners. One of the girls in the group kept saying baby shark whenever she sees some of them pass by. I realized she was referring to the white men. She was the most flirtatious and most willing to meet some guys that night and she succeeded. Before I knew it she was already talking with 3 of them who are staying in the room across from ours.

I thought I would get an easy sleep that night, I was wrong. The girl and the 3 guys talked so loudly and excitedly, I had to put my pillow over my head to lessen the noise. Why did I freakin’ leave my earplugs at home.

Monique and I were supposed to go out form some drinks that night and I was honestly looking forward to it. Then it rained, and I waited and waited for her message. When I woke up, I got a missed call and 3 sms from her. I said sorry that I zonked out early.

Bravo arranges island hopping tours and airport transfer. The van service that I hired the first time didn’t reply to my message. I wonder if it’s because I wasn’t able to pay them, but then it’s not like it’s my fault. I mentioned it to Binay about it you know. To get to the airport, I took Bravo’s van service for ₱400 ($7.91). I was alone in the van and we reached the airport in only 30 minutes.

Already I am planning to go back to Siargao next year and when I do, I will still choose Bravo Beach Resort. And I won’t forget to bring my ear plugs.

 

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Fábio Rodrigo dos Santos Inácio
    December 31, 2017 at 4:37 AM

    How beautiful and calm it looks there!! I would love to spend a few days there on the beach and enjoying the place. For all that you got the price is amazing!!

  • Reply
    Mikee Pascual
    December 22, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    I was just talking to my friend about how much I’d like to go to Siargao next year, and I’m glad to have stumbled upon your story on Bravo! The white and brown palette of the room made it more appealing for such island as this. 🙂 It’s a place I’d love waking up to every morning! <3

  • Reply
    Sindhu
    December 14, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    beachfront accommodations are my favorite too and I like the rustic interiors of the Bravo beach resort. As always, I love how you weave stories around the places you visit 🙂

  • Reply
    Tin
    December 13, 2017 at 9:57 PM

    Flirtatious. Adjective. Wala namang mali. Bukod dun sa nag isip ng masama at nag interpret ng mali. Also, proofread not proof-read.

  • Reply
    Katchutravels
    December 13, 2017 at 6:05 PM

    I like places that are on the beach. As you say, nothing quite beats the pleasure of dining in front of the sea, and having beach access right outside your cottage. I too have this habit of zonking off early on most check-in days since I usually have a long commute. Now when I look back I am able to connect the dots! What else is there in Siargao? Surfing town with a few beach shacks sounds like a very nice and quiet village for having conversations and relaxing!

  • Reply
    Jon Espina
    December 13, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    I really enjoy reading your stories Marge. I’m also looking forward to travel to Siargao, next year, and I’ll stay at Bravo resort. Parang nakapunta na rin ako dyan by the way you share your experiences.

  • Reply
    Gareth Goes Places
    December 13, 2017 at 7:46 AM

    It’s so cheap there! I would love a long vacation over there and enjoy the time at beach and exploring. The pictures just make it so much better! Thank you for sharing your travel experience with us 🙂

  • Reply
    Rye Santiago
    December 13, 2017 at 5:10 AM

    Your storytelling was very compelling that I forgot for a second I was reading a resort review. You have a way with words, Marjorie. I can imagine you writing books in the future. I haven’t been to Siargao but I’ve caught wind of it several times from friends. I’ll remind you to bring your earplugs next time so you can sleep well sans the noisy chatter. 😉

  • Reply
    dennisallacross
    December 12, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Sounds like a nice place, however, with a few confused people (driver, receptionist, Monique)… 😉
    Very fun and interesting read!

  • Reply
    neha
    December 12, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Wow…still wondering he didn’t ask you for any money for such a long drive..how come? did you try to find out later? Coming to the resort itself, it looks good to stay near the beach. With all the basic amenities and given the proxy to the beach. Since that is an important factor when one goes to a beach destination.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 12, 2017 at 9:49 AM

      Actually I’ve been meaning to ask them and settle it that’s why I tried to book with them again. I was willing to pay, but for some reason, they didn’t reply anymore.

  • Reply
    Arni
    December 12, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Siargao has always intrigued me. I,too share the same sentiment about being called Ate or calling someone Ate. It goes with someone addressing me as “maam ” or me referring to someone “‘maam /sir”‘ . For many years, I got used to calling colleagues and bosses on a first name basis regardless of rank and /or age difference .

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 12, 2017 at 9:23 AM

      Someone who understands! If we don’t want to be called “ate” it’s our prerogative.

  • Reply
    Yves
    December 12, 2017 at 6:13 AM

    For a technical writer, you need to proof-read. 753km?? If you’re a travel blogger you have to double-check all your details because it might mislead your readers.

    Also, I didn’t appreciate how you judged other people there just because they acted differently from you. “She was the most flirtatious and most willing to meet some guys that night and she succeeded. Before I knew it she was already talking with 3 of them who are staying in the room across from ours.” What is the point of this sentence? Mind your own business.

    And also, if you don’t like being called ate, that’s your problem, not theirs. It’s a term of respect, not everyone will adjust to your opinion.

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 12, 2017 at 6:48 AM

      Let me guess, you know the people I mentioned so you’re here trying to defend them? And of course, you need to diss me in the process. First of all, I didn’t lie in the story, it’s true. Am I judging her? Of course not, if she wants to flirt, it’s totally fine. It’s her choice. To be honest, I have nothing against them, they are nice people. It is how you interpret my words that is the problem here.

      If I want to write how I see people in my story that is also my problem, not yours. Since you mentioned it already, let me use your own words, I will not adjust to your opinion. If I don’t want to be called “ate” it is my choice. Why don’t you follow your own advice and mind your own business.

      P.S. Let me use my being a technical writer here, “proofread” should not be hyphenated okay?

    • Reply
      Christine
      December 13, 2017 at 1:03 AM

      There’s nothing wrong with the term flirtatious here. The author is just describing a situation. She didn’t slut shame the girl. And it’s her platform, so expect her side of story and opinion. If you don’t agree with voicing out her opinion on her own blog, then you are free to leave her platform. You can’t expect the owner of the house not to speak in her own home.

  • Reply
    Erica
    December 11, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    How was the drinking sesh with the dentists? I wonder if you are a heavy drinker. Anyway, Bravo beach resort seems like a place I could stay in if I go to Siargao. The unfinished cement walls (and wooden doors) remind me of a (not so luxurious) hotel in El Nido. I can’t believe I forgot its name. I’m extremely sleepy. Anyway, I like that this resort is a stone’s throw away from the beach.

    LOL on Baby shark ate gurl

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 11, 2017 at 11:38 PM

      Actually I didn’t drink, I just chatted with them.

  • Reply
    Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss
    December 11, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    I just smile the moment I read about your encounter with the receptionist. Anyway, this resort is just perfect for me. I love the serenity and provincial vibes, which would definitely makes me really in tune with myself. I love to amble around the resort and traipse my feet on in the white sand beach. I will surely consider this Resort If I get the chance to visit Siargao Island soon. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Johna
    December 11, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    This looks like a ncie place to stay. My friends and I are planning to go here maybe June next year. Will add this place to the listm. Right now were just focussed on getting cheap flights!! Hehe

  • Reply
    Indrani
    December 11, 2017 at 1:17 AM

    753kms of long drive and he didn’t ask you money… I am surprised.
    I can imagine the din in shared accommodations… 🙂 yes ear plugs are a must. Loved the account, held my attention till the end.

  • Reply
    sumit walia
    December 9, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    love the way u write , its more of a personal account hence i can relate to it … though i have never stayed in shared accomodation but i guess that is also a way to meet new people . Have u been to India ?

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 12, 2017 at 6:53 AM

      Hi Sumit, nope, not yet.

  • Reply
    Swati
    December 9, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Bravo beach resort sounds like a perfect place to stay in Siargao, going purely by the view and food. I agree staying by the beach front and easy access to the beach is a different experience altogether. The only part I will be wary about is the noise and talking well into the night. Is that a normal thing to expect in the resort ?

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 10, 2017 at 3:52 AM

      Depends on the location. But to be honest, it doesn’t happen to me very often in my previous resort experiences.

      • Reply
        Swati
        December 15, 2017 at 5:12 AM

        Great to know. I travel with kids so if a good night’s rest is compromised, my next day goes haywire !

  • Reply
    Travel Tips
    December 8, 2017 at 8:14 PM

    What I mostly like from your blog are your lovely photos. they are so evocating and they have a great power.

  • Reply
    Neil Nicerio
    December 8, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Gotta love Siargao, surprisingly hindi maalon sa Bravo Beach or hindi ko lang makita sa photo. Thanks for sharing thus informative article. It made me want to book a flight to Siargao…

    Gawin ko mamaya paguwi ko. 🙂

    More power to your blog!

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      December 10, 2017 at 3:53 AM

      Nope, the part in Siargao with the waves is on Cloud Nine. The water in the beach in front of Bravo is calm.

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