Philippine destinations are on a roll this year, with Siargao earning the latest international praise from luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler, which named it eighth among 20 best holiday destinations for 2020.

Described as a tiny Philippine island giving Bali a run for its money, Condé Nast Traveler hailed the teardrop-shaped tropical island for “its gnarly surf breaks, including the legendary Cloud 9 barreling wave.”

“Siargao is fringed with pristine beaches, tree frog-green mangrove forests, and sweeping groves of coconut palms, and its little wonder tourism here is gathering pace,” CNT writers Lizzie Pook and Tabitha Joyce said.

“Less than a 10th of the size of Bali, the island feels the way the Indonesian hotspot did three decades ago: scooters with surfboard racks ferry people about the streets, convenience stores pour petrol from glass Coca Cola bottles and farmers sell rice – dried on tarpaulins at the side of the main road –at the local market,” they added.

Siargao was also praised for the variety of activities it offers aside from surfing, such as island-hopping to the nearby white sand-ringed islets of Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island.

“And here at Condé Nast Traveler, we always have one eye on the surf scene (where boarders flock, eco-entrepreneurs, independent hotels, and small businesses tend to follow), and we’re predicting that during the next year, a tiny Philippine island will be stealing a cool crowd (whether they surf or not) from Bali,” the CNT editorial wrote.

Siargao bested Kyoto, Japan at rank 20 and Paris, France which was ninth on the list.

In 2018, Condé Nast Traveler also named the island as the 2018 Top Island in Asia. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA)