Siargao Solo Adventures: I celebrated my birthday with strangers! (PART ONE)

Okay, so I said in my previous post that I wanted to be alone for my birthday. Yeah that didn’t happen. But as you know, you meet people and plans change.

The Introduction

The first people I befriended were two brothers from the Netherlands. We rode on the same propeller plane. Matthias and Jonathan were seated together while I was in the same row, but at the other side of the aisle. Right after the captain turned off the seatbelt sign, Matthias stood up to get a jacket from the overhead bin, since this tiny aircraft was getting surprisingly cold. He had been wearing only a tank top and khaki shorts. This amused me, so I made a comment about the temperature. Our conversation started there and only stopped once we retreated to our respective resorts.

island hopping in siargao
This is what Matthias’ back looks like. lol. I unfortunately wasn’t able to take a pic of the brother

The second is a beautiful Irish lady, Rebecca, who also came as a solo traveler. She’s been traveling for two months, and will be done after her sixth. She was my roommate for the three nights I stayed in Siargao (did I forget to mention that I’m back in the city?). She was really nice to let me stick with her – from eating breakfast, to lazing under the sun, to napping on the beach sofas. For the outsider, it might have looked like we were bestfriends who came backpacking together from Ireland (or from Australia since that’s where Rebecca lived before travelling). Funnily enough, we also left Siargao on the same day!

IMG_3164

IMG_4586
Rebecca and I reading on the sofa-couch-bed

If only I didn’t look like such a local.

For other people, this would have been weird. But Rebecca seemed like such a sport about it; so did Marianne and Gerard, whom Rebecca and I met while we went island hopping. We were in a small pump boat that had 9 other people on it, including the local boatmen. And aside from those boatmen, Mariane, Gerard, and I were the only Filipinos there. We hit it off after I approaced them on the shore, telling them I wanted a way to take my bikini shots without feeling embarrassed. They were so nice to have offered to take my pictures. Gerard ended up instructing me how to pose, while taking my pictures.

Sunsets in Siargao
That’s Marianne taking a pic of Gerard. #FrienshipGoals

So nice of him!

Solo Adventures: Siargao for my birthday weekend.

The following is an excerpt from my personal travel journal

IMG_4348

Day One. Time is 9:37. Check in is at 14:00. Do I wait?

I am seated by the reception table, hunched over my phone, with a cold glass of lemonade in one hand. I am beginning to wonder if this was a good idea – coming here for my birthday weekend. Alone.

IMG_4347

I wanted to celebrate my birthday peacefully; away from those who are more eager to throw me a party than I am about having one. I’m sick of celebrating the fact that I am another year closer to a midlife crisis. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being surrounded by the people I love, but a birthday’s just another normal day for me.

There was just a strong desire to be by myself, really. Here, now, is that opportunity. But whom am I kidding? That particular need’s always been strong. I’ve had plenty of alone time even while I was in the city. It’s become a hobby. And yet, seeing all these strangers talking in groups and some couples seated together, I’m starting to doubt my decision. All of the sudden, I’ve shied away from the idea of a great travel opportunity, and now I’ve taken refuge in my phone.

IMG_4346

I did meet a couple of Dutch men on the plane coming here, though. I believe we’ve made plans to meet up. Still, they’re not staying in my resort, so at this moment I’m still by my lonesome.

I could go somewhere. I did already rent a scooter, for the day, for 250 pesos. The only problem is the thought of me driving it around. I am intimidated by it. As it turns out, the scooter isn’t as light as I thought it would be. But I’ll have to “just do it” eventually. Otherwise, what a waste of 250 would that be.