SIARGAO: On a remote island in the middle of The Philippine Sea where no broadband exists and electricity is intermittent, how on earth can you get cash!?
Getting cash on Siargao is the source of many foreigner’s nightmares. Ours included, until we realised there’s a VERY SIMPLE WAY!
There are three cash machines (ATMs) in Dapa (Siargao’s capital) but that is NOT how we got our cash. No siree, because none of these machines worked.
EastWest Rural bank accepts Filipino cards only.
DBP appears to work correctly but never actually gives cash.
Cantilan bank ATM never worked.
All of the banks have two armed guards and it is unlikely you’ll be allowed to enter.
Send cash to yourself on Siargao
After despairing with the cash machines (we weren’t the only foreigner looking bereft and scared next to the cash machines) we discovered Worldremit.
The internet on Siargao is pretty diabolical as it all comes from sim cards so I’d recommend downloading the app and creating an account prior to landing. Our internet was no strong enough to load the online page on our laptop but we were able to use the phone app with no problem.
How to collect the money
In order to collect the money you’ll require photo ID. We took a passport and a driving licence as well as the bank card we’d used for transferring (although we weren’t asked for it). Cash was available within 30 minutes to 24 hours. We actually did this twice whilst here.
Collection of the money can be from two different points in General Luna; M Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop.
We chose M Lhuillier because we thought it looked safer and we had NO PROBLEMS.
We didn’t get any money from Dapa so we can’t comment on collection points etc.
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