Planning a trip is crucial to make sure everything runs smoothly. It also makes everything very predictable—in other words, BORING. For my twenty something birthday celebration this year (thank God for another year of paghahasik ng rainbow, confetti with glow-in-the-dark glitters at kabaklaan in this planet pak pak ganern!), I thought of going on an adventure GANERNDERLUST style—which is simply adopting a spontaneous, fearless, and I-don’t-give-a-damn-as-long-as-I-am-happy attitude!
Well, true enough my Dumaguete-Siquijor-Apo Island Trip was more fun and exciting than what I thought it would be (especially after losing a thumbnail on my toe during my first day)! So let me tell you my birthday adventure while giving you tips and itinerary all at the same time!
SIQUIJOR ITINERARY, TRAVEL TIPS and EXPENSES
|DAY 1||DESCRIPTION||AMOUNT SPENT|
|8AM||Arrival in Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport||(Php 815.00 for a two-way ticket via Cebu Pacific)|
|8am-9am||Ate breakfast in a karinderya just in front of the airport. There were also restaurants available but my friends and I thought it would be better to start our morning with a sunny side up egg swimming in oil with wrinkled hotdog, and hot pandesal! That and the fact that we were on a tight budget haha)||Php 50.00|
|9am-12noon||Chartered a tricycle from the airport to the pier||Php 150.00 (divided by three since I was with my two friends, Anna and Haifa)|
|Ferry schedules to Siquijor are: 7:00 AM, 11:15 AM, 5:00 PM, 7:40 PM. You can book in advance via oceanjet (http://www.oceanjet.net/dumaguete-siquijor) or you may also want to check out other ferry schedules here . Travel time is about an hour and a half. Once you arrive in Siquijor Island, you may ride a tricycle or jeep going to your accommodation. Siquijor has a published rate for vehicle fare and rentals. In our case, we had to pay Php250.00 because our hostel is around 30 minutes away from the port.||Php 150.00 (ferry) + Php15.00 (environmental fee) +Php250.00 (divided by three)|
|1pm-2pm||For the trip, we chose to stay in San Juan, Siquijor since most of the “happenings” are in that area. It is also close to tourist spots so it would be easier to go around. We stayed in Tori Backpacker’s Paradise– a budget accommodation with the nicest staff! The place was clean, and they have their own bar and restaurant with a generous amount of food servings. There’s also a picturesque garden, and the beach is right in front of it with an amazing sunset view! That doesn’t sound bad for a 350php per person per night, hey? Check out their rates here. We decided to chill for a while while grooving to an Aegis song in the background, while thinking of what we’d do next. Ironic enough to this post, we didn’t have a plan at all! Haha! Eventually we couldn’t stand the playlist in the bar so we just decided to get ready for our tour.||Php 700.00 EACH (350.00php times 2 for two nights) + meal at Php125.00|
|2:30pm – 5:30pm||There are three options to go around Siquijor Island–rent a motorbike (200-400php), a tricycle with a tour guide (1k for a whole day trip), or a car (around 3k for a whole day). I thought it would be better to rent a tricycle so the three of us could comfortable stay inside the vehicle and talk about life and socio-economic related issues while on tour but my evil friends decided to get a motorbike so we could see the entire place and just explore the island on our own pace. So here’s the thing: I have never driven a motorbike in my entire life but I do know how to ride a bicycle. We wanted to have a relaxed afternoon so we decided to just visit three places; the old Balete tree, the fish spa and the Cambugahay Falls. I am not a fan of any spa involving animals, sea creatures, or what-have-you’s so I just soaked my water in the man-made pool and took photos.||Php 20.00 (fish spa donation) + Php 20.00 (motorbike parking fee in Cambugahay)|
|Just before we left the fish spa area, I lost control over the gas of the motorbike and went straight to two parked motorbikes and fell off. I did not notice I was injured until a local screamed when she noticed blood on my foot. If it weren’t for the helpful and kind locals of Siquijor who immediately gave me first aid help, I might not have enjoyed the trip! So yeah, put those negative perceptions and misconceptions on the people of Siquijor, out of the window. HINDI PO SILA MGA ASWANG AT WALANG MAMBABARANG, okay?||first aid by the locals = FREE|
|5:30 onwards||We headed back to our accommodation and watched the sun set in front of our room with beer in our hands and this cabbage pizza (thankfully it had ample amount of cheese on it).||Php 180.00 (each for beer and pizza)|
|Total spending:||PHP 2,080.00|
|DAY 2||DESCRIPTION||AMOUNT SPENT|
|6:30 – 7:30AM||Woke up at around 6am (pretty much normal for me) and went to the market nearby for some cheap breakfast.||Php 50.00 – breakfast|
|8am-6pm||This time, we opted to rent a tricycle due to my foot injury. Our dear manong tricycle driver suggested an itinerary for us but we wanted to be spontaneous and just go wherever our mood takes us. To bless our day with another meaningful adventure, we decided to visit the 150-year old St. Isidro de Labrador Church and the Lazi convent.||NO ENTRANCE FEE|
|We went straight to Salagdoong beach where we spent almost half of the day lazing on the beach, drinking beer, diving, swimming, and repeatedly cliff diving (which was bravely conquered by Anna). Bringing food inside the resort is allowed if you also want to stay longer and chill. I suggest you bring a beach blanket if you want to save from renting a cottage.||Php 15.00 (entrance fee for each person) + Php 120.00 (each for 2 bottles of beer) + P50.00 (chips)|
|You might have not noticed but I have always loved the sea. We wanted to stay longer but still wanted to check out other spots in Siquijor so we went straight to Guiwanon Spring Park. The place is hidden within mangroves and wooden bridges but it is an amazing spot to witness the spectacular Siquijor sunset.||Php 10.00 (entrance for each person)|
|Our tour guide wanted us to explore more spots but our mood told us to call it a day and eat a proper meal. We headed to a local eatery along the baywalk (upon manong’s recommendation) and had roasted chicken, isaw, and barbecue which tasted heavenly right at that moment.||Php 80.00 (each for dinner)|
|Total spending:||PHP 325.00|
We met a couple of foreign backpackers that night and suggested them other places to visit in the Philippines. Much as we want to hang out longer, we had to rest early for we need to leave the island at 4:30am the following day to catch the 5:30am ferry back to Dumaguete for our next adventure.
Siquijor is definitely one of my favourite islands because of its magical beauty, awesome landscapes, historic spots, and mesmerizing nature. I wish I could have spent more time there. On the bright side, I can always go back since our generous airlines won’t go out of seat sales any time soon! We weren’t able to visit everything in Siquijor but we’ll be back for more. Here’s a list of places I recommend when you visit the island yourself:
San Isidro Labrado Church (Lazi) – the 150-year old church. One of the most outstanding cultural heritage churches in the country.
Cambugahay Falls – The TARZAN JUMP spot. It consists of multi-tiered waterfalls, with fresh and clean warm water run-offs coming from natural springs, watersheds and small rain forests of the higher mountains.
Old Enchanted Balete Tree – fish spa area
Salagdoong Beach – It has pristine white sands, turquoise waters and lush greenery. There are also interesting rocky outcrops that surround it and has cliff diving spots.
Guiwanon Spring Park – It is surrounded by mangroves and antique huts
St. Agustin Church – one of the oldest churches in the Philippines
San Juan Beach – the beach right in front of our accommodation. witnessed the best Siquijor sunset in this area.
Capilay Spring Park – Twin swimming pools made from natural springs flowing from under a wall of rocky limestone cliff
Kagusuan Beach – a hidden beach in Maria, Siquijor
Cantabon Cave – A site for some spelunking activities
Bandilaan National Park – 632 masl. This is where the local healers get their herbs and do their rituals
Lugnason Falls – waterfalls in San Juan area
Siquijor port/beach – wide stretch of white sand and crystal clear water
That’s just about our itinerary in Siquijor. Find out more about our Dumaguete-Apo Island-Siquijor adventure on the next blog—Dumaguete and Apo Island Travel Tips