Siargao may be known for its world-class surfing spot Cloud 9, wakeboarding, eco-friendly resorts, diverse culinary offerings and a growing yoga practice — but surfers, foodies and yogis are not the only ones who love to visit this gem in Mindanao.
Siargao also attracts skateboarders who can now be seen doing the ollie and the nollie at The Bravo Skate Bowl beside CEV: Ceviche & Kinilaw, a cevicheria that used to share space with Loose Keys Moto Culture on General Luna Road and has been operating at its new digs in Bravo Beach Resort since March.
The kidney-shaped indoor skateboarding bowl – originally constructed in December 2018 – now has a new life thanks to stockbroker-turned-island chef and CEV owner David Del Rosario. “While it’s been around for some time, the foot traffic was low, especially once the pandemic hit. I saw that as an opportunity because skateboarding is pretty much surfing on land to a certain extent,” he says.
Through CEV Del Rosario hopes to promote skateboarding culture in the surfing capital of the Philippines. “Siargao has a pretty decent-sized skateboarding community as surfers tend to pick up skateboarding quite quickly and vice versa. It’s a new community though, as there used to be no skate shops on the island,” Del Rosario adds.
Since CEV opened at Bravo Beach Resort in Siargao, the skateboarding bowl has been seeing more action daily. It attracts foreigners, locals and groms (under-16 kids who are into extreme sports) who hone their skills at the 11.5m-long skating pool, which dips as low as 1.4m. “We have skaters who come every day as use of the bowl is free of charge,” Del Rosario says.
It helps that CEV also offers skaters priced-down local beers at Php60. “It’s sort of their reward for skateboarding the bowl – except for the groms of course,” Del Rosario says. Cocktails and the craft beer brand Engkanto are also on the menu. The skating bowl opens at noon and closes at 7pm when CEV calls it a day.
Bravo Beach Resort has also decided to open the island’s only skate shop, for guests without a skateboard who want to brush up on their kickflip.
The past year has been tough for Siargao, which relies heavily on tourism. Fortunately, a good number of visitors from Visayas and Mindanao, as well as digital nomads from other parts of the country and abroad, keep the place busy.
While waiting for tourism to pick up, Del Rosario is spending his time concocting inventive cocktail drinks, as well as thinking of additions to its popular ceviche bowls. He is also formulating new recipes that will use cuttlefish, octopus and sea urchin. There will also be two new vegetarian dishes.
By the time Luzon and the rest of the world loosen their travel restrictions, there will be a whole new scene and cuisine waiting for them in Siargao.