TBJ Travels Dumaguete-Siquijor Travel Guide 1: Welcome to the island of fire + Itinerary + Budget + Vlog

2017 ended with a bang for me as Philippine Airlines took me to Dumaguete and Siquijor for an unforgettable island experience. These places have been on my must visit list for the longest time now and last year, I was able to tick them off the list!

Here's what went down in my 4-day 5-night trip to the island of fire and the city of gentle people, plus i'll be sharing my expenses and itinerary breakdown, all made from scratch!

It's been a while since I flew with PAL for a local flight. Normally, when you fly budget, you get cramped seats and tiny leg room; not that appealing for someone who's considered pretty tall for a Filipina. PAL's planes have spacious leg room; look, I can comfortably extend my legs and I was even able to slip my back pack underneath to boot!

Another thing to love is free food! Coffee is refillable too!

That back pack contained all the makeup and skin care products I needed for the trip; I had to bring them into the plane because I didn't have time to do my makeup before hitting the airport. This is my waterproof makeup look. Wanna check out the tutorial? See video below:

After an hour or so, we reached Dumaguete, the city of gentle people!

Dumaguete is located in Negros Oriental; just across Siquijor and an hour after Oslob. It is home to the tallest peak in Visayas, Mt. Kanlaon, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines, the 100-ft. Casaroro Falls, and the pristine Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao. Dumaguete is also the jump off point for visitors of Apo Island. It is a shame that I did not plan any nature- related activity for my visit to this city, but at least there's another reason to go back!

Dumaguete is also the jump off point for visitors bound for Siquijor so my husband and I designed our trip to be efficient by visiting Siquijor first then spending the last two days in Dumaguete before departing for Manila. That said, first thing we did when we got to the city proper is we headed to Port of Dumaguete to purchase ferry tickets for Siquijor. There are various ferry operators and no need to reserve prior your visit.

TBJ TRAVELS TIP: There are two ways to get to Siquijor: barge and fast craft. The barge is more affordable, but slower with a travel time of around 2 hours and the fast craft is more affordable, but faster with a travel time of 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Go for the faster way because time is also money. ;)

Siliman Hall, the most photographed portion of the university

We had a hearty lunch at Sansrival Cafe (more about that in a food- related post!) and purchased the latest ferry ticket to Siquijor; we felt we needed a breather. After lunch we visited Siliman University, one of the oldest and best universities in the Philippines.

Church inside the university

Siliman reminded me very much of my alma mater, UP Diliman; the place is abundant in nature and based on experience, it is very conducive to studying and creativity. The university is welcoming to tourists who would want to kill time before departing either for Siquijor or to another destination.

One way to spend time in Siliman is to visit the anthropology museum at Hibbard Hall. Entrance is P50 only and you can leave your luggage at the reception area. At the museum, you'll learn all about the rich history of the Philippines and also, of Dumaguete and Siquijor. With a bit of reading, you'll learn that Dumaguete and Siquijor are known for legends of sorcery and witchcraft; at the university's museum, you'll learn all about these interesting facts!

Rizal boulevard

Did you know that Dapitan is already visible from Siquijor? Yes, it's quite near that you can reach it via ferry in just 3 hours. Maybe that's why they called this famous boulevard in Dumaguete after our national hero.

 By 6:00 P.M., we reached Siquijor. There was an island- wide blackout that lasted for 3 hours.

TBJ TRAVEL TIP: There are two ports in Siquijor: Siquijor Port and Larena Port. Before your trip and purchasing ferry tickets, research which port is nearest to your hotel to save time on travel.

We were famished! We read that Ba'ha Bar is the top rated restaurant in Siquijor and good thing our first hotel is literally just 3 minutes from it. Love the warm, homey ambiance of this restaurant!

Ba'ha Bar offers mainly Filipino dishes, but with continental options for tourists with different palates. My favorite is Hawaiian Pork Chop!

The next day, we moved to Coco Grove, a premium resort in Siquijor. It was Christmas so we decided that a premium stay was the perfect gift for ourselves. There are other premium resorts in the island, but we chose Coco Grove because a lot of reviews said that it has the better beach front (Siquijor doesn't have powdery sand and shallow water is not as clear and swimmable as Boracay as it's more of a diving and snorkeling place) and has its own marine sanctuary, Tubod.

This is Macky, a Macaw who loves dancing and cawing whenever visitors would pass by. According to staff, Macky was rescued from Cartimar and brought to the island where he's now spending his life in his natural habitat. Unfortunately, Macky can't fly anymore because his wings were clipped when he was captured while young, which affected his ability to fly. How can people be so cruel??? :( But at least, he's now in a loving home.

Here's a standard room. Per night is around P5k+ for this room. We stayed here for 3 days and 2 nights. The room is pretty clean.

Our veranda. Our air conditioning broke down and Coco Grove staff tried to fix it, but to no avail. They were quick to respond to the problem by replacing the actual unit! Now that's what you call amazing service!

Coco Grove is HUGE! This is one of the pools in the resort. There's one with a poolside bar with seats submerged in water; it's a great place to chill after a hearty lunch.

This is the famous Salamandas Restaurant where day visitors love having lunch because it offers an amazing, unobstructed view of the beach; it's like staring at an endless blue horizon and it's so calming.

When we got there, a new cafe has just opened called Sunset Bar; it also has that nice view offered by Salamandas, but I like this one better because it's in a quieter part of the resort.

TBJ TRAVEL TIP: You can visit Coco Grove on a day tour basis. Have lunch at Salamandas and spend the day snorkeling at Tubod marine sanctuary (for a fee), if you have no time and budget for Apo Island.
Aaaaand rest! Tomorrow, we'll start the day with a breathtaking tour of the island of fire.

Here's a break down of my leisure expenses for the entire trip.

**Cost is based on one person only.
**Cost doesn't include airfare, lodging, food, shopping, and miscellaneous expenses.
**Cost per activity may change depending on your time of visit.

Don't forget to check out the first part of my Dumaguete-Siquijor vlog!

Check out my other Dumaguete-Siquijor travel guides:

Philippine Airlines flies directly to Dumaguete and flies at least 14 times in a week. Visit PHILIPPINE AIRLINES on Facebook for more details.

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10 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Hi Ms Martha!
    Thanks for the informative post.
    Just wanted to clarify your post. Did you mean the fast craft was pricier but in a faster pace?
    Dami din pala pwede puntahan sa Siquijor. :)

  2. I do my make up on any transportation vehicle on the way to my destination, because I'm always late. Hehe. Anyway, i Never knew Siquijor could be this amazing! Hope I could visit the place someday.

  3. Cant wait for your food spot post hehe

  4. Wow.. havnt Been There but reading tour blog Ms. martha Im looking forward to Visit One of this Days...

  5. Would love to visit Dumaguete! But I wouldn't have the courage to jump that 20feet cliff, nope, as I've said I'm gonna pass out before hitting the water HAHA!

  6. Nice Vlog/blog Ms. Martha! ganda nman dyan sa siquijor. travel goals! 😍😍😍

  7. Marami talagang magaganda na puntahan sa pilipinas 😍😘 more travels to come ❤❤❤

  8. Fiona Aileen ValleMarch 6, 2018 at 9:58 PM

    My officemates would always joke around that they wanted to go sa Siquior and worth it naman pala talaga girl! Probinsiya feels pero para kang nasa paradise. Excited na po ako for the blog tomorrow. πŸ’

  9. Dahil sa mga folklore natatakot mga tao sa Siquijor but hindi nila alam marami ng foreigners naninirahan doon!

  10. Sometimes it nice to explore a place without anything planned on where to go. Our provinces has really something wonderful to offer. That Coco Grove has great amenities ang view!


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