First recorded sighting by Europeans of Siargao Island was by Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torreon board of the carrack San Juan de Letrán in 1543, when attempting to return from Sarangani to New Spain. It was charted as Isla de las Palmas (Palm Island in Spanish).
One of the best known surfing waves on Siargao and the Philippines, with a worldwide reputation for thick, hollow tubes is “Cloud 9”. This right-breaking reef wave is the site of the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte.
The wave was discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980s. It was named after a chocolate bar of same name, and was featured by American photographer John S. Callahan in the United States- based Surfer magazine in March 1993. Cloud 9 also has a reputation for being a relatively cheap destination for surfers with many cheap accommodations and restaurants and bars to choose from.
There are several other quality waves on Siargao and nearby islands, but Cloud 9 has received more publicity than any other surf spot in the Philippines. It is the only wave easily accessible without a boat, leading to overcrowding and the nickname of “Crowd 9” among surfers. Eager foreign and locally owned accommodation and tourist facilities have profited from the magazine publicity and the influx of visitors drawn by the annual Siargao Cup competition in September.
Siargao is well known as “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines” with a reputation among surfers within the Philippines and the International scene.
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