Accommodations,  Hotels and Resorts,  Mindanao,  Philippines

Surprisingly affordable and Instagram-worthy AirBnB accommodation in Siargao!

If it’s a pretty fine resort or hotel accommodation, it’s expensive.
Or at least it’s what I have always thought? Before, I used to check into more than decent air-conditioned room accommodations because I would want to get a satisfying rest enough to get me ready for the adventures on the next day. But then I realized, I shouldn’t be spending that much for a place where I’d only stay for few hours of slumber. My perspectives have shifted after a year or two of traveling. I have gradually turned into a traveler-on-a-budget who usually checks in to room sharing, dormitory type of accommodation because these are way cheaper; hence, I could save some bucks that I can actually spend on food, tour fees or fare. Also, why resort to checking into a luxurious hotel when you are actually traveling to the place for its natural wonders? With this mindset, most of the time I end up sleeping  in a hammock, tent or  a basic fan room in the province where I travel to. I’m perfectly okay because they are decent enough to get me a good night sleep.
Until, Siargao 2019 happened.

I flew to Siargao with my Jeepsetters PH squad just a week ago and we stayed in pretty awesome AirBnB accommodations that are seriously budget-friendly. Staying a night or two in these grand-looking AirBnB may seem to be costing a fortune but it’s the other way around. The following are the accommodations where we have booked and the things that you may want and need to know before booking them:

Yay Lodge 

On my first day, I stayed at Yay Lodge. This is situated several meters from the main road on the street across Mama’s Grill. This AirbnB has a common bathroom with hot and cold shower that is shared by everyone who’s checking into it. There’s also a kitchen where everyone is free to cook or to have coffee. There are only few rooms and I chose to stay in a simple fan room. The fan room where I stayed has one full-sized bed with a pretty mosquito net, blanket, linen and safety deposit box. The room’s rate is at Php 950.00 per night for two persons (Split expenses with a person means paying for only Php 475.00 per night). Beside my room is a loft-type nipa. Below this loft is the common area that is open until 9:00 in the evening. There is an egg rattan chair, a hammock, a table and bench and a bed with a mattress where guests could comfortably hang out. There are also books displayed on the corner and there’s also Wi-Fi.
I love the simplicity of the place. It is just a basic accommodation but not as plain as nothing. I’ve always loved the grandeur in simplicity as it rather makes me appreciate the basic things in life like the elements, serenity and silence. 
This is some four to five minutes walk from the main driveway; thus, making it more peaceful than any other accommodations around General Luna. However, the road going to the lodge is really rough and it gets muddy on rainy days. There is a small local convenient store some ten meters away from it and the nearest restaurant is Mama’s Grill.

Tamara’s Coconut Home

Thinking about where to stay in Siargao for groups that is also budget-friendly? This is one of the ideal ones for me. Another AirBnB where I stayed is Tamara’s Coconut Home Bungalow that can accommodate up four persons. According to its caretaker, it was just recently opened and made available for booking. There were only two bungalows available. 
The room is spacious. There are two queen-sized mattresses in it – one on the floor and the other on top of a bed frame. There are enough pillows, blankets and towels for four people. What makes this a winner as well is that there are a lot of sockets enough for all the guests’ gadgets to be recharged. I love how minimalist the design of the room is. There are no other decorations but two abstract black and white paintings seated at the corner with a ladder for the soaked clothes and a woven mat locally called as banig. Near the sliding glass door is a cushioned chair and table with a pot of cactus on top. Walls are painted with nothing but white and its walls continuously take the shape of its gambrel with a gable top nipa leaves roofing. This style seemed to be a trend in the villas in Siargao as I have observed. Just outside the room are woven chairs overlooking at the fauna in front.
If the room itself is spacious, so is its bathroom. Hot and cold shower is also available in the villa.
The room’s rate is at Php 900.00 per night. Thus, if it is to be shared by four, rate is only at Php 225.00 a night. However, there is no free Wi-Fi in the area and it is also several meters away from the main road. Chances of getting a tricycle for your transfers is very low. You’d still have to walk for a minute of two. Unlike Yay Lodge, Tamara Coconut Home sits nearby a lot of restaurants and canteens. 

Bulan Villas

If you’re a traveler-on-a-budget standing outside this villa, perhaps you would be exclaiming the first line in this article. This resort is entrancingly seated beside the highway. Would you believe that a fan room in here costs around Php 2,000.00? I didn’t, too. Well, for a luxuriously-looking resort, a 40-dollar room good for two is not bad if you plan to just stay chill in it, get a good dip in their 4-feet swimming pool and then hit the beach at Cloud 9 for some fruit shake or beer while watching the spectacular bloody sunset at dusk.
The bungalow where the fan rooms are situated
The 40-dollar fan room is small, though. It has a full-sized bed, equipped with blanket, pillows and mosquito nets, an electric ceiling fan, a cabinet and a laundry bin. The fan rooms are in one bungalow building with nipa roofing and polished hardwood floors. There are two bathrooms and toilets to be shared by the guests in there. Hot and cold shower, towels, shampoo and shower gels are also available for guests’ use. It has a common area in its entrance and there’s free Wi-Fi. The swimming pool is its best attraction. It is picturesque with the two-story air-conditioned rooms with nipa roofing. 
The air-conditioned rooms of Bulan Villas
On days with good weather, guests can enjoy a breath taking sunrise at 6:00 AM at the balcony
There are air-conditioned rooms, too, which have its own veranda by the pool but it costs Php 6,000.00 for a night. Be reminded that Bulan Villas’ management requires a minimum of two nights when staying in it.
What I noticed about some of the establishments in Siargao is that, they are made with hardwood floors that are painstakingly polished. Thus, guests are required to take their foot wears off before entering. Same thing goes with the lobby of Bulan Villas. The management politely requests the guests to take their foot wear off, carry it and then just wear it again once they have gotten into the other side.
Also, electricity usually gets down in Siargao. The good thing about Bulan Villas is that they have their own generator.
Bulan has its in-house cafe and restaurant, too. Food price starts at Php 200.00.
At the balcony of the common area in Bungalow with fan room accommodations

The Verdict

Well, as I have previously mentioned I am a traveler who got used to basic accommodation so it’s perfectly fine with me. But if you are used to and after grandeur and the finer things in life, only Bulan Villas would honestly meet your expectations.

Why should you check into these accommodations then?

For starters, they are decent budget-friendly accommodations in Siargao and this needs no more explaining. Second, I see staying in those fan rooms more sustainable with great consideration of the ecological and social pillars. Ecologically speaking, we all know how the earth slowly warms up with these air-conditioners that largely contribute to  global warming and greenhouse effect. Also, the use of these cooling air-conditioners consumes too much power. on our stay in Siargao, electricity usually gets down for hours and only the big establishments are lit up because they have their own power generators. The houses of the locals were only faintly lit with the warm flames from their candles. Through consuming less power by staying in eco-friendly lodges, we are also showing how much we care for the locals who really own the island. The island of Siargao has been welcoming a surge of tourists and travelers from around the globe everyday due to its laid back vibe and visually arresting attractions and it has helped the locals at some point. However, their way of living has also been largely impacted in an unfavorable way. We could start alleviating it somehow through sustainable traveling.
These are among the places that should be in your lists of where to best stay in Siargao for me. Anyway, have you checked into any of these AirBnB accommodations already? Share your experience with us!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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