| SIARGAO FACTS |

Congratulation you have found the Isle of Paradise, Siargao Island. The following useful information will help you save precious holiday time while getting around Siargao Island.

| Contents | (click below)

LocationLand AreaClimateLanguagePopulation & Municipalities -
CurrencyBanking ServicesCredit Cards/ATM MachinesBusiness Hours -
Travel & Ticketing ServicesDrinking WaterHazardsMedical -
News Papers & MagazinesPetsDressPost OfficesPublic Holidays & Events -
Radio & TVReligious ServicesInternet & TelecommunicationsGovernment Tax -
TransportationCar & Motorbike RentalsFerry ServicesAirlines -
Emergency Telephone Numbers

| More Information |

Location:
Siargao Island is situated at a coordinate of  9°52′N 126°03′E / 9.867°N 126.05°E – Siargao Island contains the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao, at Del Carmen. Long stretches of wetlands indicate a potential for commercial seaweed propagation. Siargao Island is greatly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait
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Land Area:
Siargao Island is composed of 48 islands and islets-politically divided into nine municipalities: Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, Pilar, San Benito, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro.
The size of Siargao Island is 452 square kilometers or 62,796 hectares The terrain in Siargao Island is predominately rolling to steep. The highest elevation is 291 meters above sea level located along the middle Bucas Grande Island. On the western and southern sides of the island are broad expanse of mangrove swamps and broad reef flats. The island is proximate to the Philippine Deep which is 10,700 meters below sea level and considered as the deepest part of the trench
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Climate:
Temperature ranges from a low 21°C in December/January to a high 32°C in June
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Language:
English is the official language, and communication is fairly easy around the islands. Islanders speak a local dialect called Siargaonan that routes in the Visayan language like Cebuano, Boholano. Some people speak also Tagalog which is the other main Philippine language that is spoken in Manila and the entire Luzon area.
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Population & Municipalities:
Approximately 150,000 – 9 municipalities of which Dapa is the largest with 25,000 Population – Dapa is also the main entry port if you travel by ferry from Surigao City. General Luna has a population of 15,000 and is the main tourist destination.
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Currency:
The Philippine Peso is the official currency. You can change most currencies at Patrick’s on the Beach – including US$ traveler checks.
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Banking Services:
There are NO major banks on Siargao Island. There is a WESTERN UNION SERVICE in Dapa to send and receive wire transfers. If you receive money you will be paid in Peso currency.
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Credit Cards/ATM Machines:
All Major Credit Cards are accepted on Siargao Island at Patrick’s on the Beach although there are no telephone land lines. There is an ATM machine in Dapa but can only be used with Philippine credit cards. The closest ATM machines are in Surigao City. A 2 to 3 hour boat ride. However at Patrick’s you can get cash advance on all Major Credit Cards.
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Business Hours:
Hours vary but you’ll find most businesses open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Many merchant stores open on Sundays. Supermarkets and convenience stores open earlier, close later and many are open on Sunday mornings and weekends.
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Travel & Ticketing Services:
Patrick’s on the Beach provides complete Services from re-confirmation – bookings & purchases of travel tickets with all Philippine Airlines and shipping Lines and Hotels. Patrick’s can also arrange personal travel assistance in Manila, Cebu and Surigao.
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Drinking Water:
Most water comes from wells. We recommend to use bottled water for drinking. At Patrick’s you can also get natural Island Spring Mineral Water.
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Hazards:
There are no extremely poisonous snakes or dangerous animals in and around Siargao Island. There are crocs deep in the mangroves far over on the western side. For those real adventure seekers, Patrick’s on the Beach offer a Day or Night Croc Adventure Tour. There is no Malaria around the Island but there have been cases in the past on the mainland. Like most Asian countries, keep your eyes open for any crazy looking rabies dogs.
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Medical:
There is a Hospital and a Dental Clinic in Dapa. Every municipality administers a clinic. For serious matters as well as modern diagnostic and treatment facilities you have to get to Surigao or Cebu. Several pharmacies offer prescription and over-the-counter services in Dapa.
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News Papers & Magazines:
There are no publications on Siargao Island but you can buy readily the national daily news papers such as the ENQUIRER and STAR.
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Pets:
Unless you have special needs (such as a Guide Dog etc…), leave your pets at home – just too much hassle to travel with.
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Dress:
Bathing suits and other beachwear are considered appropriate on the beaches, at the pool or on the boat. Topless bathing and nudity on the beach are frowned upon. In general, day and evening dress is casual. When you go to church dress conservatively.
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Post Offices:
Every Municipality has a Post Office. Dapa Post Office is the most complete.
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Public Holidays & Events:
Every municipality and larger Barangay’s celebrate a Fiesta once a year for three days. It’s basically a big food bonanza where friends and families meet. Visitors are always welcome to join in on the feast of plenty pork, fish & local dishes. Holy Week is a significant religious festival in the Philippines. In this predominantly Roman Catholic country, Beginning Holy Wednesday, businesses in the Philippines either shut down operations until Black Saturday or have later opening and earlier closing times. Holy Week, the final week of Lent, begins on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter (Predominately falls in March or April).
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Radio & TV:
There are NO local radio stations on Siargao. In Dapa and General Luna you can receive cable TV. Patrick’s on the Beach Resort provides cable TV in all cottages and rooms. At Patrick’s on Cloud 9 guests can opt for a small charge to have satellite TV in their room.
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Religious Services:
There are Catholic Churches throughout Siargao. Sunday mass in General Luna starts early at 6:30AM. There is an English Sunday Mass in Dapa at 5:00PM. Other Christian denominations are also represented; they include Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, as well as various Pentecostal Churches. Ask at the hotel’s front desk for worship times.
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Internet & Telecommunications:
Cellular telephone services are provided by SMART & GLOBE. There are also public call boxes at various locations in General Luna. Patrick’s can assist you to make any long distance or overseas calls thru cell phones or via skype / magic jack etc… Patrick’s provide an Internet Café and we have Free WiFi throughout the entire property in all cottages. Rent a lap top or bring your own!
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Government Tax:
Up to 12% government tax maybe added to your hotel bill, as well as a 5% hotel service charge. Additional tipping is optional. On all billings, Patrick’s only charge a 5% Tax and Service charge.
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Transportation:
Taxis &Vans are available at the airport & Dapa Pier. Many people ride with a Habal-habal that is an extended seat motorbike. Tricycles and Jeepneys  travel all over the islands. Often a rough ride packed with cargo and locals even on top of the roof. Outings by van and by boat are usually arranged by Patrick’s on the Beach Resort.
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Car & Motorbike Rentals:
Renting a motor bike, bicycle or car is both economical and convenient. Patrick’s on the beach offers vehicles at a very reasonable price for rental with and without a driver. A valid driver’s license from another country is accepted. You must carry your license and your passport when driving. Driving is on the right hand side of the road.
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Ferry Services:
Inter-island boat services to all the surrounding islands are available inexpensively and on short notice. There are regular daily trips to all the major islands and ports like to and from Dapa and Surigao City. There is also a daily service by banka ferry from and to Del Carmen and Surigao City. Departure and arrival times are available at the Patrick’s front desk.
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Airlines:
Since March of 2009 Cebu Pacific Air have been flying direct from Cebu to Siargao Island. There are also connecting flights from Manila via Cebu and Surigao. Several Ferry boats service Siargao from Surigao City – see our webpage GETTING HERE for detailed information.
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Emergency Telephone Numbers:
Only available thru cell phone services. There is a Police Station in General Luna, and a Fire Truck and an Ambulance in Dapa. The numbers of these services are not well known and change frequently. Always keep Patrick’s cell phone numbers with you. Please visit our CONTACT US web page for Patrick’s cell numbers and other important contact information. Feel free to call us if you encounter any difficulties.
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