SIQUIJOR is a splendid island province 45 minutes away from Dumaguete. According to my updated sources, the island province can only be reached through a boat ride from Dumaguete by three shipping lines: Delta (PHP180), Jaylan (PHP100), and Ocean Jet (PHP500) which travel at 9am & 10.30am, 10.15am, and 6:45pm respectively.
I rushed Daniel and Moses for a trip on Thursday night. There was really nothing much to prepare since our plan didn't include an overnight stay. I just asked them to bring a large bottle of water, a towel, a camera, and at least PHP1,000. The next day, I took care of the tickets and the food. I went to Chowking to buy our lunch, then headed to the pier for the 10.15am trip.
Yep, those are life jackets. Jaylan instructs their passengers to put on life jackets on departure. It's actually my first time to witness such security measure since I only get to see how-to-wear-it demonstration videos on board.
At the gates of the Siquijor pier, several pedicab drivers will then ask you to take their ride for PHP1,000, which they say is the standard tourism rate set for a whole-day trip around the island. Some drivers offer cheap rates. People in Siquijor have this weird accent that is quite funny to hear. So by the time we arrived at 11am, all we could hear around seemed out-of-this-world semantics trying to buy us the best roundabout tour.
From there, we fortunately picked Manong Roel who offered us PHP900 for a tour around the island. He was definitely very nice to us throughout the trip. He dropped us off some resorts for sightseeing, and he guided us through the dive shop where we borrowed snorkeling gears. Plus, I had myself overloaded with information after he fed me with too much about the island while I was at the backseat. And he invited us to a fiesta on May 3 too!! The kindness of strangers. ^_^
There are quite a number of beach resorts in the island province. Most of it are in the capital municipality, Siquijor.
The first one of the three beach resorts Manong Roel brought us to was the Danish Lagoon.
First impression: dull and dry. The only thing that's good for an impression was the view deck.
The beach is like a hundred steps away from the chalets and is dominantly coated with algae!
The chalets looked good and cozy so far. Room rates range from 2,500 for 1-3 days to 2,900 for 7 days and above. I was wondering how come the promotional photos in their website are so nice and unlikely as to how I saw it. :P
Next, we stopped over at the Coral Cay Beach Resort. The fine white sand, the algae-free water, the tall palm trees, and the pool were great. When we got there, it felt like we owned the place since there weren't really that much of a crowd that time. Room rates range from PHP1,300 to PHP2,700. Since we weren't bound to stay there long and our return boat was to depart at 4.30, we just took some time to take photos of the place. This is also the place where I got the header of this blog.
We traveled for almost an hour to Cambugahay Falls in the municipality of Lazi. We had our lunch at the place and enjoyed the water for a while.
Manong Roel told us about the Butterfly Sanctuary and the Cave that are located afar. He suggested to us to stay for the night if we wanted to see the place, but we couldn't. Also, we skipped to drop by at the Capilay Spring Park and missed the 400 year old gigantic balete tree which were 2 of the stop overs during my last visit.
We headed straight to Salagdoong Beach Resort for a plunge. Salagdoong is a government-owned beach resort. The accommodations and commodities are cheap. Entrance fee for non-overnight stayers is PHP15. The place is clean but isn't that as wide as Coral Cay. It usually gets crowded most of the days. The cheapest accommodation is at PHP800 for a standard room while the highest rate for a superior deluxe is at PHP1500. The area was actually on renovation when we visited: slides were being constructed and a few portions of the area were being cleaned.
At 4.30pm, we rode Delta @ PHP180 back to Dumaguete. Overall, we spent PHP650 each excluding the food since we just took out meals from Chowking, Dumaguete.
Also called the Island of Fire, Siquijor is believed to contain Philippines' richest sources of supernatural phenomena. The media hasn't helped much of its promotion, and instead attempted to destroy the beauty of the island when the movie "Siquijor" was produced. Actually, records about sorcerers and quack doctors are found in the island province, but the people living in the island don't worry much about it since they are really harmless if not for their safety.
Siquijor is definitely one of the most relaxing islands set away from the stresses of the urban. It is immensely rich in underwater resources for being considered by many divers a great site to invest. The beaches are great and the rates are fair enough for vacationers. Other than that, the people are very kind and welcoming too.
If you are planning to visit Siquijor, I would consider you for a tour around Dumaguete and a few days stay at my place if you want depending on my schedule.
BTW, motorbikes for rent can be availed in Siquijor at PHP25 per hour and PHP300 for a day. You can choose between PHP1000 pedicab tour around the island or the go-alone tour at PHP25/hour motorbike. Hindi pa kasali ang gas diyan, at mahal ang gas nila don. Yun lang ^^