Siquijor + Apo Island Travelog

Saturday to Monday
August 12-14, 2017

To take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Khat and I took a vacation in the Visayas region, more specifically in Dumaguete and Siquijor. In this post, I’m going to break down our itinerary along with the budget we had. Let’s go!

Our tickets were actually booked a loooooong long time ago in one of Cebu Pacific’s seat sales. It was cheaper to fly to my hometown of Silay, and just transfer to Dumaguete via Bus. Plus, Khat got the chance to meet my family back home as well. We caught the first flight on Friday and spent the afternoon in Campuestohan Highlands Resort where we took some pictures of the place and also finished the rope obstacle course.

In the evening, we met up with my high school barkada and had a karaoke party up until it was time to go to the Ceres bus terminal in Bacolod. We waited for tickets to Dumaguete as well as the bus. It was well past midnight when we got our seats and we slept all the way to Dumaguete.

Happy birthday, Benjo! || Pic from Dani

It was early in the morning when we reached Dumaguete port. There were already a lot of people lining up to get tickets to Siquijor so we immediately fell in line too. After getting our tickets, we waited in the boarding area for our roro. In the meantime, we ate some Silvanas to pass the time. When the roro arrived, we took our seats and once again slept most of the way.

Finally, we arrived in Siquijor. We chartered a trike to take us to a resort. Initially, we had found one resort online, but the trike driver recommended a better resort and took us there. We booked a beachside room in The Bruce and settled in there. The room came with a kitchen so we decided to try and cook instead of eating out. But because there was a restaurant right in front of the resort, we decided to try the food in Siquijor anyway.

What’s a vacation without food?

After lunch, we decided to just stay in the resort and enjoy the view of the beach, this was also because it started raining heavily every now and then. We commissioned the trike driver to just pick us up the next day for the Siquijor tour.

Siquijor Daytour

The next day, our trike driver picked us up after our home-cooked breakfast and took us to the first destination, the 400 Year Old Balete Tree and Fish Spa. Along the way, he also dropped us at Capilay Spring Park and the Lazi Church and Convent to get some pictures and videos. At the roots of the Balete tree, we sat down and had the fishes nibble on our feet while enjoying the relaxing water of the natural spring.

 

Once our feet were cleaner than ever before, we returned to the trike and made our way to my favorite part of the trip, Cambugahay falls. We got one local to guide us as we climbed down concrete steps into the wonderful river of the waterfalls. What makes Cambugahay famous are the swings that one could use to drop into the falls. There were three swinging places separated into two parts of the falls. We swung from the shortest one and the highest one. It was a great time and we also explored some caves underneath the waterfalls. I could stay here all day, but we had more of the island to see. We walked back up to the highway and continued on.

Jumping off a layer of water at Cambugahay falls

It was a long ride to Salagdoong Beach, but it was well worth it. The clean and blue waters reminded me of the waters in Pescador Island.  And the man-made diving spot was very high up as well. I enjoyed jumping from it and the thrill made me come back a lot more times. There were also some locals and foreigners as well and we all had a good time.

All this traveling made us hungry so we asked our trike driver to take us to the Larena Triad Restaurant, one of the highest restaurants in Siquijor. Here, we ate lots of food while admiring the views of Cebu, Bohol, and Dumaguete from a distance. Island life is really a beautiful thing.

After this late lunch, we were already cutting it close to the last trip back to Dumaguete. We told our trike driver to take us back to the port as we had already visited most of the highlights in the island. This trip took us around the 80-kilometer highway that surrounded the perimeter of the island. It was amazing to think that such a small island has so many natural beauty hidden within.

We arrived at the port, got our tickets, waited for the seacraft and were on our way back to Negros island by nightfall. Back in Dumaguete, we walked just a bit and reached our stay for the night, Harold’s Mansion Hostel. They were also the ones who will organize our Apo Island tour the next day. So after getting a room, we walked along the boulevard in Dumaguete and Siliman University until we reached the Sans Rival store and ate lots of sweets before going back and sleeping for the night.

We started the Siquijor Daytour at around 08:00 and we were at the port by 16:00.

Apo Island Daytour

We woke up early the next day to get some free breakfast at Harold’s before moving to the scuba diving shop just next door. There, we signed up for the Apo Island tour and got our gear. The registration fee included the transpo from the place to Dauin, the boat, free lunch, and the snorkeling gear. Basically, everything. We boarded their multicabs and we were on our way to the beach!

From the beach, their boats took us to three diving spots. Here, our guide would lead our group along the very beautiful corals in the area. The first two spots were said to have sea turtles so we were on the look out for them. Sadly, we didn’t see one on the first spot. On the second dive however, our guide pointed to a sea turtle that was munching on coral directly below our group. It was very big and although I couldn’t dive down so close to it, I was still in awe.

Approaching the beautiful Apo island

The experience was amazing and we also saw two more, smaller turtles on that dive. It was amazing seeing these creatures in the wild, gliding through the water as if they were flying. We had a fun time chasing them.

The last dive was just through beautiful coral structures. Finally, we were on our way back to the beach. It was already 3pm and the people in charge took us back to Harold’s where we could rinse off. After we were properly changed, we took a trike to the bus terminal and rode a bus back to Bacolod. And so, our trip has finally ended. But what a trip that was!

The Apo Island tour at Harold’s started at 06:45 and ended at around 15:30 in the afternoon.


Cost Breakdown:

  • Bus (Bacolod to Dumaguete)
    • P380 per head, aircon bus
  • Roro (Dumaguete to Siquijor)
    • P120 per head, aircon seats
    • P15 per head, terminal fee
  • Tricycle to The Bruce Resort
    • P250
  • The Bruce Seaside Room
    • P2,000 per night, aircon room with kitchen
  • Siquijor Trike Tour
    • P1,200
  • 400 Year-Old Balete Tree & Fish Spa
    • P10 per head, entrance fee
  • Cambugahay Falls
    • P100, guide fee (no amount stated, up to your own discretion)
    • P20, parking fee for trike
  • Salagdoong Beach
    • P25 per head, entrance fee
    • P25, parking fee for trike
  • Larena Triad
    • P20, entrance fee for non-eating guests
  • Fastcraft (Siquijor to Dumaguete)
    • P130 per head, open seats
    • P14 per head, terminal fee
  • Harold’s Mansion
    • P1,000 per night, aircon room
    • 1,200 per head, Apo Island tour
  • Bus (Dumaguete to Bacolod)
    • P280 per head, non-aircon bus

Total Cost (For 2 pax): ~P4,600 per head excluding food
Safe budget: P6,000 per head


We made a short video summarizing our travel and our encounter with sea turtles below. Please take a look!

It was good to travel again and not be stuck at the office. This is an experience I will surely remember for the rest of my life. Thank you, Khat for the company and for organizing the itinerary. Thank you also to my family in Silay for hosting us and never letting us get hungry.

There are still so many places that we missed like Bais, Manjuyod, and lots of other waterfall adventures in Siquijor. If time permits, we will return and see what else the place has to offer.

Travel happy and safe!

-jgzn

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