Pinoy At Heart

Californian Traveler: "The warmth and openness of Filipinos stood out for me"


Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Mar 03, 2016
Californian Traveler:

About a week ago, Choose Philippines carried an awesome video from our Travel Insider Colin Sygiel. It showcased Siargao, a teardrop-shaped island in the province of Surigao del Norte, through aerial footages and captivating shots. The 28-year-old software engineer from San Francisco, California combined his short clip with copyrighted music from Eventide. As of writing, the post has already more than 4,700 views.

Colin Sygiel explores the Great Wall of China

Siargao has a multitude of sights to discover and adventures to experience such as the world-class barreling waves found in General Luna, the sandbars of Naked and Guyam Islands, and the astonishing formation of the Magpupungko Rock Cove and Lagoon. The island also boasts of fresh seafood that are not only abundant but also affordable.

Why did a travel addict and digital nomad choose Siargao and the Philippines?

Only one way to find out! Read on.


1) Tell us about yourself and your life as a traveler.

Ever since the time in college I went to study abroad in Hong Kong, I have been addicted to travel. Other than our life’s work, I believe travel is a healthy addiction. Since graduating college, I have traveled to more than 30 countries across several continents and my experiences from these places over the last few years have been incredibly transformative for myself. 

I have been fortunate enough to be able to perpetually travel the world due to my work in Software Development, as all I need is my laptop and a decent internet connection. I am what they call a “Digital Nomad”. This lifestyle also supports my other passion in life: filmmaking. As I travel around the world, I like to create short films inspired by my adventures. 

Siargao, Island | Beyond the Surf is my latest video. As a software engineer and lover of tech, I am combining my passions and currently working on building up “lush video” as a media network that produces original videos about the wonders of our world. My plan is to set up a space where filmmakers around the world can virtually collaborate with each other to create videos and short films that inspire viewers to travel and explore this wondrous planet. 


2) Which Philippine island was your first destination? 

The first time I traveled to the Philippines was during my study abroad period in Hong Kong. During one of our breaks, a group of friends and myself went to Puerto Galera for about a week. I remember the trip being an incredible experience. I particularly remember how amazing it was to see such turquoise, clear waters. I have never seen an ocean so beautiful. Also, the people. I had traveled around other Southeast Asian countries prior to the Philippines, but when I got to the Philippines, the warmth and the openness of the Filipinos really stood out for me.

The only other place I’ve explored in the Philippines has been Siargao Island and, of course, the beautiful places surrounding the island. Siargao is by far my favorite and is a place I’d love to return to, both for the surfing and for the chance to relax in such a beautiful, laid-back paradise.

Siargao, Surigao del Norte
(Screencap from Colin's video)


3) Why should people choose the Philippines? 

The Philippines is unique because it is a place that offers an incredible amount of diversity due to its divisions of so many islands, each with their own unique flavor of experience. Not only is there much to explore, but the country as a whole is not so impacted by tourism as places like Thailand, so you can still find a very local experience. Last, but not least, you should go to the Philippines for the people. Nowhere else have I come across people that are so open to talk to you and easy to joke around with. They really know how to enjoy the simple things in life, and the cool thing is that they jump at the opportunity to share it with you.

Another foreigner has fallen in love with the Philippines. Soon enough, the whole world will!

Watch Colin's Siargao adventure below: 



Colin Sygiel - Siargao

LOOK: Isn't Siargao amazing? Travel Insider Colin Sygiel of lush video filmed the beauty of this unique island with his drone, and it's just perfect! If you've never been to this wonderful place, now you can experience it firsthand. Watch the video below!For more cool stuff that show the true beauty of the Philippines, be sure to visit thanks to Colin Sygiel for sharing with us his video, with music from Eventide)

Posted by Choose Philippines on Monday, February 22, 2016


Other Foreigners Who Chose the Philippines:
1) Australian Guy Who's Been to 37 Countries Calls Philippines "The Most Beautiful"
(Photo courtesy of Alexander Sherack)
2) Spanish Guy Leaves Madrid, Finds Happiness in the Island Born of Fire
(Photo courtesy of Fermín Álvarez.)
3) Swedish Girl Finds Happiness in a Tear-Drop Shaped Island in the Philippines
(Photo courtesy of Sanne Sevig.)


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