When I arrived in Siargao back in March 13, little did I know that my five-day vacation would turn out to be a five-month long quarantine in this remote island. When they announced that Manila was about to go on lockdown, I scrambled to book a flight back but to no avail. Soon, they halted the operations at Sayak Airport and it finally dawned on me that I was going to be stranded here indefinitely. As an operations manager, I faced a lot of challenges in the following days. Between mobilizing my team to enable them to work from home and the transition to working remotely myself, I had to make a lot of adjustments which resulted in frequent migraine attacks due to lack of sleep. But I rallied and I was finally able to surmount these challenges. This is where Bravo Resort comes in. I knew I made the right decision in staying here as this is the only place in the island conducive to working remotely. Good internet connection, no blackouts, and a peaceful environment. The fact that they have a gorgeous beachfront is the cherry on top of this delectable cake called quarantine. I began to look at my situation as not being stranded, but rather a privilege to maintain a semblance of normalcy in my life despite the pandemic.
Here at Bravo, I found my home away from home. I made friends with all the staff, whom I now consider my island family. This is what Bravo and the island of Siargao instilled in me: everyone on the island is family. This is also the reason why I tried to contribute to the community by being an active volunteer at Hardin ng Pagbabago and assisted in leadership training for farmers.
Being quarantined in the island, I was able to maximize my free time and learn a myriad of skills. I learned how to ride a bicycle, drive a motorbike, skateboard, freediving, CrossFit, and at the moment I am on my first week of learning how to surf.
Getting stranded in this beautiful island paradise really enriched my life. And thanks to Bravo and its beautiful staff, I gained a new family and a place I like to call home.
Photos by: Chris Anne Batuyong Instagram: @binibining_anita