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Siargao Island Day 1: Airport Chronicles and Checked-in at Tarzan's House

Siargao before Typhoon odette
the iconic Cloud 9 Boardwalk in Siargao

Expectations were no longer in placed as well as excitement. Our trip to Siargao were canceled for numerous times and expenses added up on non-existent flight due to uncertain happenings in Metro Manila aka NCR+ where flight was cancelled last minute, and we had to redo everything and back to zero. 

So, on top of our mind – we just need to make our trip happen and that’s it – no plans, no itinerary, no nothing as long as we haven’t set foot yet on the island. It was supposedly a 1-month trip but was downgraded to 17 days – we didn’t want to adjust it from the original plan because we just wanted to make the trip happen. 

And so, it did! Happy to set foot in the island (after 4 years or so) named as one of the top islands in the world and best in Asia by the Condé Nast Traveller’s (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards 2021Siargao Island! For the list of requirements needed bound for Siargao Island, check my post here.

    NAIA Terminal 3.

    We already did our pre-work, did the web check-in, purchased check-in luggage and agreed to be more 2 hours early at the airport despite of 6:50AM boarding time because we’ll never know the new protocols in the airport – might be longer or shorter time dropping our luggage but who knows until we get there; better safe than sorry, right.

    Upon arrival at the airport, it was crowded already. There were many people juggling with their stuff and papers (requirements printed). There was a long line already for Cebu Pacific’s. But prior to that, the guard will ask for your ticket and Negative RT-PCR Result (depends on the place that you are travelling to) at the gate entrance. Keep all your requirements handy for smooth-sailing boarding.

    First – we lined up and waited for our turn to have our travel documents and requirements checked. We waited for 30 minutes, more or less, before we reached the personnel that will validate the requirements. Siargao Island requires 1) Negative RT-PCR Result 2) Valid ID 3) Confirmed DOT-accredited accommodation for 2 nights 4) Letter of Approval from LGU 5) Acceptance Letter from our accommodation, and 6) E-Health PASS (Now, S-PASS QR Code). Install Traze App and register as it is needed at Siargao Airport.

    Important Note(s):
    1) Print all the requirements or have it saved on your phone so you can just easily hand over. If travelling with a group, might as well have a dedicated person who can show all the requirements – easier for validator and more organized for the group. You still have to be in the line though.

    2) Bring a lot of patience. Wear your face mask and face shield all the time.

    Second – we lined up for the printing of bag code for our check-in luggage. They are very strict with the weight so make sure that you have enough else you need to pay for those extra weights. And here’s the surprise! After we dropped the luggage and about to enter onto the boarding gate, there were personnel checking every person on how many hand-carry bags they have. If you have more than one like we were… you will be stopped and told to have it checked in. 

    Surprise surprise. Basically, 1 person is allowed to have 1 hand carry only (weighs 7 kgs). If you have more than that, you have no choice but to pay a minimum of Php1,500. By the way, this is for Cebu Pacific, it might differ with other airlines.

    Anyway, they allowed my 2 hand carry bags because 1) gadgets can’t be checked in 2) It was laptop and a drone. I can even recall that “ate” told me that I can carry my laptop (without the bag) just in case I was questioned. LOL. Well, it shouldn’t be a surprise, supposedly, because they were just implementing rules by the book now – not as lenient before the pandemic.

    siargao travel requirements 2021
    📍NAIA Terminal 3; with the bestie

    Boarding time.

    Our flight was on time, yehey! And so, after 2 hours of sleeping (and snoring, I guess!) on the flight, we landed in Siargao. So yes, it was really happening – an island life in Siargao Island. Note: You have to scan the QR via Traze App at the airport, line up for checking again this time all you need is a Valid ID. After that, wash your hands, pay the Environmental Fee of Php20.00 and you’re good to go (… oops, pick up your luggage, if you have)!

    Going to Tarzan's House, breakfast, and check-in.

    We didn’t book a transportation going to the town proper prior our trip however, it was not difficult to find one. There were vans waiting for passengers outside the airport – Fare: Php300.00 per person and they will drop you at your hotel.

    where to stay in siargao, general luna
    The Deck Restaurant; common area

    Where to Stay in Siargao, general luna
    Tarzan's House entrance; at the right is the souvenir shop

    Where to stay in Siargao General Luna
    outside Cheetah Room; our room

    We arrived at Tarzan House around 11:00AM and even though, our room was ready they won’t allow us to check-in early. We still had 3 hours to spare while waiting for 2PM check-in time but too tired to go outside and we wanted to freshen up first before going somewhere that’s why we waited and while waiting – we decided to order breakfast to kill the time.

    where to stay in Siargao, general luna
    a hearty breakfast meal; chicken breast with brown rice and eggs, comes with brewed coffee

    Tarzan House has a jungle vibe, very nature and aesthetically pleasing. Tarzan’s being tucked in the middle of the jungle was perfect for drone shot. The Sir Clayton’s Loft was the perfect room to do so but we were not allowed to see it unless we booked it and so, we planned to stay longer however, certain events happened afterwards.

    1) No guest is allowed. We invited our friend to come over for us to have breakfast however, they won’t allow him to enter. After some time of negotiation, that he’s a paying customer because we were going to order at their restaurant, the personnel had to ask the “boss” via text message and after 10 minutes or so, they allowed him but only at The Deck (restaurant).

    2) I needed to use a bathroom because it was a routine after having coffee, but they don’t have a common comfort room. I asked if I could use the bathroom of our room to my surprise, it was not allowed, I can use it after 2:00PM. I insisted because I needed to, but the personnel were so adamant and just recommended that there was a restaurant nearby, which is Harana, that I can go to (100-150 meters away). *sigh*

    where to stay in Siargao
    free water; empty water bottles outside our room for refill

    I booked Tarzan's House via Airbnb because Airbnb’s (click here to sign up) , aside from its aesthetically beautiful accommodation offerings, it is more of hospitality. I am an Airbnb Host as well and the least thing that I would do is to make my guest feel uncomfortable. We’re Filipinos after all, right?

    where to stay in Siargao, general luna
    the "i just woke up" look. 😊

    Finally, the clock ticked at 2:00PM. We can now go inside our room and use the bathroom. No pun intended. We freshen-up, turn-on the air-con at its full blast and sleep. We had a good and sound sleep that my friend and I woke up around 6:00PM, had a quick dinner in town proper and went back just in time for our work.

    P.S. I will definitely update the Siargao Travel Guide.

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