Hello there! This is my entry for my recent trip to the Philippines. I was home last 24 January to 31 January 2017 but I stayed most of my vacation in the beautiful places of Visayas. It was July 2016 when I was informed that CebuPacific Airlines will be having their promotion, so to cut the long story, I was able to buy multi city round trip ticket for only Php 1,383.00! Entry point was in Dumaguete and exit point was Cebu.
Backtrack to 24 January 2017, I flew from Singapore to Manila via Singapore Airlines and had a quick trip back home to Pasay before I left for my first flight bound for Dumaguete. It was a quick 1 hour 15 min-flight to the City of Gentle People
Our plan was to take the earliest ferry trip possible to Siquijor, so we haggled for the cheapest trike fare to Dumaguete port and we got it for Php150.00. We arrived minutes before 7am (1st trip) but unfortunately, the shipping company didn’t allow us to board as they were fully booked (only Montenegro shipping lines is available that time, small ferries were not allowed because of the storm. geez). I took a shot of the fare and ferry schedule as shown below for your reference.
The next trip was at 10:30am so we decided to tour around Dumaguete City. The city itself is small that you can roam around some of its famous spots just by walking. By the way, my companions were (L-R) ate Pat, Anje, (me), Ponch and Lorraine)
Silliman University is the oldest American University in Asia. It is located in the heart of Dumaguete City, and is walking distance from Dumaguete port and Rizal Boulevard.
Just 10mins walk away from the port, you’ll be able to see the famous Sans Rival Restaurant. Known for their Filipino dessert Sans Rival and Silvanas, this is definitely a must when you visit the City of Gentle People.
Along the way to look for a place to eat breakfast is the long stretch of Rizal Boulevard. It is named after our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It’s been said that he had made a brief visit and stroll here before departing to the island of Dipolog, where he was exiled for years during the Spanish colonization.
We also had a short visit to the Belfry tower, one of the must visit places in the city. no pictures though.
We were able to secure tickets to Siquijor despite of the long queue because of the limited trips available. It costs Php 130.00 and Php 15.00 for terminal fee.
It was more than an hour of cruising and we finally set foot on the majestic island of Siquijor.
There are many folk legends in this mystique island, many of these are scary folk tales of paranormal nature. My friends were hesitant at first if they wanted to spend an overnight, but I insisted. Curiosity was slowly killing me months before this trip. haha!
Months prior to our trip, I made a draft itinerary of the must-see places in our backpacking trip. We only had a contact person in this Siquijor trip, kuya Loloy (thanks to Backpackers of the Philippines Facebook page for sharing itinerary/contact persons) and the rest were all bahala na si batman mode. Kuya Loloy was waiting for us when we arrived in the port and he helped us look for a hotel to stay. We were able to find a cozy family villa, The Bruce, which is located in San Juan for Php 2,000.00 good for 5pax. It has a very cozy ambiance, beach front location and has kitchen too, we just needed to buy ingredients for cooking. Tipid mode on! 😀
We went to the supermarket to buy food for lunch and dinner that day, and breakfast and snacks for the following day. We decided to relax in the beach during our first day because we arrived past lunchtime but need to pay the transportation for the whole day if we decided to push through the activities. We were uncertain if we can maximize the time because I listed down quite a few activities. So ayun, ang ending, relax muna then kinabukasan mala-iron man na ang activities. 😀
Beach bumming in San Juan, Siquijor.
After a month of dieting and working out prior to this trip, I felt like rewarding myself for my discipline and focus, so I bought beers and celebrate with my travel buddies. haha!
26 January 2017 – Thursday
We had an unfortunate experience in the middle of the night, around past 4:00am that made us come to our senses despite lacking of sleep. haha! di ko na ikikwento dito 😀
Our call time was 4:00am as we need to start the activity by 6:00am for us to catch the 4:00pm ferry to Dumaguete. We haggled for the whole trip (transpo + entrance fee) for Php 1,800.00/5 pax and first in our itinerary was spelunking in Cantabon Cave.
It was a rough 30min uphill drive
It was difficult to get a decent picture/video once inside as it is too dark. Too bad my action cam didn’t give justice on what we saw/experienced that time 😦
After an hour and a half, we survived the spelunking!
By the way, we paid a total of Php 1,000.00 for 5 pax inclusive of tour guide, environmental fee, helmet and flashlight rental, and tips for the 2 guide.
Enchanted Balete tree in the town of Lazi was our next destination. This is said to be 400-500 years old which has a small pool in front with lots of fish in it. For a couple of minutes, we dipped our restless feet and fishes swarmed around, biting our dead skins off. Instant foot spa! Admission is free to this tourist spot. They just have a donation box near it and Php 25.00 parking fee.
Still located in the town of Lazi is one of the oldest church in Siquijor Island. It is also called San Isidro Labrador Parish Church and was built on 1884 in which, until now, still holds mass.
Another tourist destination in the town of Lazi is Cambugahay Falls, just 10min drive from the church. The falls is easy to find with signage from the National Highway. You need to descent for more than a hundred steps to reach the stunning clear blue falls.
There is no entrance fee here, you can enjoy unlimited cliff jumping, and the tarzan-like vine swing as long as you want. Luckily, there isn’t much tourists at the time we were there, so one-to-sawa swing kami. 🙂
View at the upper falls
After the tiring cliff jumping & vine swinging, we finally had lunch at a local cafeteria near the Cambugahay falls. Nothing beats pinoy food! Masarap na mura pa. I don’t have pictures though 😦
Next on our list was the famous Salagdoong beach. Located in the town of Maria, it is famous for its cliff jumping site with breathtaking view. There are 2 cliffs and a slide but unfortunately, they closed the access to slide during the time.
For our last stop, we visited a famous bakery in the island, Lilibeth Pan Bisaya. Located in Brgy. Binoongan, it is just 10-15mins away from Salagdoong beach.
As seen in the above photo, she was holding Asia travel magazine, which she was featured on. She was famous for her delicious “Torta” and other breads like ensaymada, bukayo and pandesal. Travel host Drew Arellano also paid her a visit on one of his “Byahe ni Drew” episodes where he featured the whole island’s attractions.
The breads costs from Php 6.00 to Php 15.00. Barato na na! We bought loads of breads of different kinds, as you can see in the above photos. panic buying lang. huehue
Before heading to the port to catch the last boat trip to Dumaguete, we didn’t miss the chance to have a photo here
Para ba proof na nakapunta talaga ng Siquijor, kelangan me picture dito. haha
I also had a photo with our cool tour guide, kuya Loloy. You can haggle for a better price for the tour package, but I believe he is one of the few who offers cheap tour but will definitely give you the best service. You can contact him at (+63) 0935 362 3541.
We we’re just right on time for our trip to Dumaguete. lagi kaming buzzer beater 😀
Expenses for 1st day Dumaguete-Siquijor: Php 150.00 Dumaguete Airport to Port Php 725.00 Ferry trip from Dumaguete to Siquijor Php 300.00 - trike from port to hotel Php 2,000.00 - 1 night hotel accommodation Php 60.00 - trike from hotel to grocery store Php 1,244.00 - grocery for late lunch, dinner and breakfast the following day Php 60.00 - trike from grocery store to Hotel Total for Day 1 : Php 4,539.00 / 5pax Php 907.80 per pax Expenses for 2nd day Siquijor trip Php 1,000.00 - Cantabon cave package (including environmental fee,gear rental and tips) Php 100.00 - Cambugahay falls tip Php 30.00 - Cambugahay falls parking fee Php 50.00 - Balete tree parking fee Php 565.00 - Lunch (including tour guide and driver's) Php 175.00 - Salagdoong Beach entrance Php 448.00 - breads from Lilibeth Pan Bisaya (panic buying diba? haha) Php 2,355 - whole day tour including tips for the driver and guide (originally Php 1,800 yung package) Php 725.00 - boat fare with terminal fee Total for Day 2: Php 5,448.00 / 5 pax Php 1,089.60 per pax Total for 2D1N Dumaguete-Siquijor-Dumaguete tour - Php 1,997.40/pax
Please see my next post for the continuation of my backpacking adventure. Ciao!