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Sanne Sevig: The Bearer of Hope in Siargao

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“I wanted to create a place wherein amazing people could connect.” Sanne Sevig, a Sweden-born 29 year-old woman, was living a life others would have only dreamt of— back in Stockholm, she owned both a pair of houses and a pair of cars, as well as managing a clothing company, but felt like’s she was missing on something else until she set foot on a tear-shaped island in the Philippines.

Sanne had a change of heart when she visited Siargao in Surigao del Norte where she instantly fell in love with the place.

“I didn’t expected that as soon as I landed at Sayak Airport, I knew that this is my new home. I was amazed by the endless coconuts fields, the carabaos, and the smiling kids playing along the road. I took the decision right there and then, this is where I will live from now on,” said Sanne.

After abandoning her life in Sweden, she built a backpacker’s hostel called “Paglaom” (a Siarganon word for hope), where budget travelers and surfers can stay at the lowest rates.

She also instituted a charity organization called “Nature Kids of Siargao” which aims to educate kids and young adults the importance of taking care of our local environment through recycling programs, due to the lack of such education here at Siargao.

When asked why she chose the Philippines, she simply answered: “Your country showed me a place where I can shine from inside and out and where I can give back to people who accept my help. I never expected to fall in love with a country the way I have with the Philippines.”

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