Siquijor Island and Dumaguete City Itinerary

“The clear blue water is amazing that it bring content and everlasting happy vibe”

I am committed to travelling and enjoying my life. When PISO fare game is on, I make sure to get the most value in getting a flight anywhere in the country. So, after my Hong Kong trip. I was able to use my GetGo points, book a roundtrip ticket to Dumaguete city and wait for almost 7 months to make this trip possible.

I already change in preparing for my trip. I became more out-of-the-box than seccuring all the details of my hotel check-ins, transpo and budget cuts. I book the tricycle tour in Siquijor, check the are for hotels and pack my bags with my partner to Dumaguete City. We have an early flight at 0500, morning flights are very exhausting. The airport is full and almost full lobby seating. We arrive early at KFC and wait for boarding.

We boards on time but the plane delayed flight for 15 minutes. We arrive at Dumaguete Airport passed 0630. We will not make it to the 0700 Ferry ride to Siquijor Island. We rode in thr tricycle to the Port. We are able to booked the Ferry ticket at 0800 trip. Have some coffee and piyaya while waiting. The trip to Siquijor is almost 2 hours.

SIQUIJOR ISLAND

Then, our hired tour guide Kuya Jun Mark fetch us at Siquijor Island to check in and start the Tour. We check-in to Replica Manor for 1 night only, get dress and start our tour in Siquijor. The place reminds me of Siargao but quite and it is Majestic. It like there is hidden secret and it will be always remains a mystery.

Here: are the place included on our Tricycle Tour. It was comfy and most road are already fix. Very good sunny day to bask under the blue sky.

> St Francis of Assisi Church

> Paliton Beach. Free entrance as of now. Good place to start the trip.

>Capilay Spring Park. Free entrance, the spring is dry when we went it there so we just took a couple of minutes.

>Enchanted Old Balete with Fish Spa. Entrance fee is Php 20.00. Fish spa and you can buy souvenir here.

> Broom Shot. Donation only.

> Cambugahay Falls. No entrance fee but guide is mandatory. Swing fee for unlimited time is Php 20/pax. We gave Php 200.00 to our guide for the 2 of us.

> Molave Man-Made Forest. Free picture Taking.

> Salagdoong Beach. Entrance is Php 30/pax. You can cliff dive and swim.

> Cang Isok Old House. Oldest house in Siquijor since the Spanish Era.

> Mangrove

> Pan Bisaya. Famous bakery that bakes using old charcoal oven. Sarap ng food!

> Dagsa Restaurant. Good resto but the mosquitoes are annoying AF.

After we ate at Dagsa, we finsih our road trip in Siquijor and catch some rest in the inn. It was a very good day to start.

Siquijor Budget:

> Airpot Tricycle to Port: Php 150.00
> Ferry Ride: Php 130/pax
> Terminal Fee: Php 15/pax
> Tricycle Tour Fee: Php 900.00
> Food and Entrance Fees: Php 400 – 1000.00 (Php 300.00 without food budget)

TIPS:

* Ride the Montenegro RORO ride for comfort ferry trip to Siquijor. The in-between ferry rides are very uncomfortable and hot.
* Eat in Karinderias if you want to buy cheap meals. Hotel and restaurant are like very Manila rate in pricing.
* Prepare for a long ride and get energized for the whole ride.

DUMAGUETE CITY

 

We woke up very early in Replica Manor to get ready. Back to Dumaguete for our Apo Island and Manjuyod trip. We have breakfast and coffee. We pack our bags and our guide send us off to the port. This time we are able to ride the Montenegros RORO which make a big from the ferry ride yesterday. Arriving to Dumaguete City, we went to Harold’s Mansion to check in for the rest of the days of our stay in Negros.

We are not into city tours so we decide to chill and relax for the rest of the day. We ate at Jo’s and Sans Rival for lunch. Booked our Apo Island Trip for tomorrow and relax at the Sea Port Boulevard. Lots of balot and street food vendor are here. We just sit and look around people around us.

Budget:

> Breakfast at Replica: Php 120.00 Silog and coffee
> Tryke to Port: Php Php 100.00
> Ferry Siquijor to Dumaguete: Php 130.00/pax
> Terminal Fee: Php 15/pax
> Tryke to Harold’s: Php 50.00
> Harold’s Mansion: Php 1000/night, we paid Php 3000 for 3 nights stay
> Jo’s Inasal: Price start at Php 99.00 2 rice na!
> Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries: Cakes, Sansrival and coffee. Price starts @ Php 30.00.
> Tryke around Dumaguete city: Php 8.00/pax per ride.

APO ISLAND

This is best of our entire tour. I always wanted to go here and enjoy snorkelling activity. We woke up early to start the day, call time is 0700. We went to the diving shop to pay for the tour and get our gears. The tour includes coffee, sandwich, bananas, lunch (pansit and egg), roundtrip open van transfer and snorkelling gear. Good thing we are check-in in Harold’s so its easier for us. Point to point transfer only.

TIPS:

* You dont need to extra clothes because there is no bath time. So just bring money, some snacks and your swimming attire.
* Water is available in the boat
* Secure your gadget, especially water cameras and phone as the diving spots are really deep.
* Listen to the guides and be responsible when the turtles are around. Just take picture.

Budget:

> Harold’s Snorkelling Fee: Php 1200.00
> Dinner at KRI: Price start at Php 400.00 for dinner plates.

The experience with the turtles is very heart warming and I feel like I need to take care of the environment more than before. It was like the last frontier, it was an experience I cannot forget.

MANJUYOD ISLAND

This is our last day in Negros, we are excited for our last trip. We woke up at 0300 to catch a 0430 ride to Bais City for our Manjuyod Sand Bar trip. We arrive in Bais City at 0630, ride a tryke to Manjuyod Port, ride a small boat and go to the sandbar. The Dolphin watching and mangrove forest tour were cancelled but we were not informed and paid full price.

The sandbar is over-rated but very photogenic. The photos will entice you to go here but it was beautiful to shoot the island. We bask under the cloudy turn sunny sky all morning. Ate fresh oysters and sea urchin for Php 20.00 each. Cancel dolphin watching tour due to bad weather and mangrove forest is close due to recent accident.

Budget

> Tryke Bus Terminal: Php 25.00
> Bus to Bais City: Php 80.00/pax per ride
> RT Tryke to Manjyod Port : Php 200.00
> Boat Rent Shared: Php 750/pax

Tips:

* Wear you swimming gear before going to the port. CR is small and paid.
* Do not sleep at bus ride so you can see the Hacienda’s and Azucareras of Negros.
* Best to go there straight to hire a boatman, pricing is the same. November is off peak season so its ok to go there without boat hired in advance.
* Pack snacks, water is available in the boat. Boat have restrooms.
* Apply sunscreen as it gets too hot around 1000 onwards.
* Buy to local sellers, they are all around to support them.

SUMMING UP DUMAGUETE

We did not stay long in Bais City and went back to Dumaguete to get our souvenirs. This is one of the chill vacation I have, I am not exhausted unlike my other trip where I don’t get much sleep. This place is for eating, swimming, relaxing and having your own time. Our stay is only 4 nights and 5 days but it feels like a long vacation.

Budget

> Snacks at Tarbush: Php 100.00 for a big Shawarma wrap.
> Tryke around: Php 8/ride per pax
> Souvenir: Php 300.00 (magnet, key chains, pouches and coin purse)

I recommend to get to places without being in a hurry. Enjoy all rides and do not force your self to meet all place at a time. There is always time to go back to beaten path you did not pursue. I am Jei signing off now. See you next time Pirate!

Day 5: The Grand Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan Enchanted River

“Start the day with breathing life in and exhaling all the worries away”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Tinuy-An Falls, Bislig City, Hinatuan, Enchanted River, Habal-habal Tour, Surigao del Sur

I woke up heaving with excitement for my 5th day here in Mindanao. Everything I do here makes me feel the utmost freedom I wanted in life. The day will be as amazing as the previous days. I continuously fall in love with this place. After having my breakfast, I called my guide to start my day in Tinuy-An Falls. I read from other blogs that you need to go there early in the morning to catch the rainbow so I decide to go there around 0600. Bislig air is refreshing as Siargao Island. It’s a quiet place and very peaceful.

My guide fetch me at 0615, we started the trip to Tinuy-An Falls. From the main road going to the falls will be a rough drive. It will be a 30 minutes bumpy ride. Road blocks, mud and stone path will welcome you. We arrived around 0700, I am the first tourist of the day. I guess I was too early. I paid the entrance fee for Php 20.00. You can explore the place, swim if you like and get all the pictures you want. My first impression, I was overwhelmed by the grand falls in front of me. Pictures don’t give justice to the beautiful fall in front me. The Tinuy-An falls is very high and the curtains of water gives refreshing treat to the guest.

So at this point of time, Pryde (my camera) decides to kill its manual mode. HAHAHA : ( It was busted for some reason so I decide to get my pictures using my ipad and action camera. Still hopes high and enough cameras to cover my trips, I proceed in exploring the falls area. The Manobo tribes are the land lords so they will your guide if you want to check out the upper curtains of the falls. My guide is as quiet as I am as we go further up. There is a man-made stairs that will help you climb. Kuya guide is very kind to help me when we reach the slippery area. The cold splashes from the falls give me the refreshing feeling.

I reached the upper part of the falls, then swim in the ice cold water. The view was as fascinating as you view it below. Getting into high places relieve my addiction to adrenaline. It seems like all the issues in my life wash away by any scenic landscape in front of me. The love for adventure will definitely continue for as long as I can climb and hike and travel and walk and love this life. Tinuy-An Falls is a beauty you cannot see from its photos. It speaks more glamour in real life than check it out from the photos. It’s too dreamy to capture. To pretty to catch. Too real to get. These are my feelings as I view the wonders of the area. Really cool! Returning back to the main road after the trip, you need to ride into the Tribal Habal-habal which is actually part of the ordinance set in Bislig since they are the landlords of the area.

I made new colleagues all the way from Siargao Island. Upon embarking my way to Enchanted River, Jel’s friend from the DIY is also in Bislig for the same tour. I was just too early and unable to check that she messaged me several times for us to cut the cost of the habal-habal. Sometimes being too early can missed cheap opportunities. So, we fetch Grace from her inn and proceed to Hinatuan. We manage to cut the cost from Php 1000.00 to Php 700.00 which is still a good price. The motorcycle ride to Hinatuan is not a joke; another butt numbing trip for 45 minutes on a endless highway starts again.

We arrived at Enchanted River around 1000, registration fee Php 50.00 and you can explore the entire area which currently manage by the local government. At first glance, I am not as fascinated towards the River. It’s way different from the pictures shown in the internet. The turquoise color is gone and the deep blue abyss is not there. A bit disappointed but our guide said it’s currently not good to look because its high tide. Even the water taste a little bit salty. Since its high tide, river water meets the sea which is the reason why it’s a bit salty. Going here made me sweaty so I take the opportunity to dip into the cold relaxing water.

My high school friend Nilo was here when he globetrot Philippines for his work. I saw several of his photos from here so this made me decide to include Enchanted River as part of my Mindanao backpacking trip. I am a good swimmer but never a good diving. Taking my underwater photos gave me a hard time. This is part of the disadvantage of backpacking alone. No one will take your damn pictures. Good thing someone invented a timer for cameras. Whoever you are, thank you.

We waited for the fish feeding program in Hinatuan which starts at 1200. Grace got a really good spot at the upper portion and I got one on the lower portion. The staff feed the fishes for the next 15 minutes with background music. After the gig, we decide to go back to Bislig for Grace to take her Tinuy-an Falls trip and me to ready my pack. It was a quick day tour for both Tinuy-An Falls and Hinatuan. I cleaned up back to the hotel and ready my bags to Davao City. I ate roasted chicken for lunch which cost me Php 120.00 with drinks and rice.

I waited for Grace and we hopped into Bachelor Bus bound to Davao City, fare cost Php 300.00 for ordinary bus. The February wind is like a lullaby as we begin our journey. The road trip started around 1700, as we view Banana Plantation and endless greens of Mindanao. This time of my life really change my perspective about travelling this beautiful country. Its broaden my mind and views as we passed by the town after town. There are several bus stops for break and dinner time. As the night time crossed the sky line, I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in Davao Ecoland Terminal. The entire transfer took us 7 hours and it’s worthy. We catch a tricycle to My Hotel to check in but they are fully booked. They refer us to Daylight Inn, we got our double bed fan room for Php 300.00. Same pricing to surrounding inns in Davao, our is near the famous Bankeruhan and other establishment.

Finally, I was able to set foot in the one of the safest place in the world. Tomorrow will be the time to explore Davao City. For now I need to take a rest and have the best sleep.

Touch Down PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Day 4: A Long Run Around in Mindanao

“A trip so long is a journey to patience”

– Fakir

My 8 days and 7 nights Solo Backpacking in Mindanao

Features: Sea and Land Transfer from Siargao Island to Mangagoy, Bislig Surigao del Sur, Travel time, Tinuy-an Falls, Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Bislig and finding a hostel

I am leaving Siargao Island with a little bit of a heavy heart. The life in this island is like a dream I never thought of. I share my life with people I met here and have the waves of desires in our lives. To travel the world and to live in peace. I will never forget the experience Siargao had given me. It was 0400 when I woke up, I barely sleep because I want to stay longer here but I need to move on to my next destination. I clean my locker in Paglaom Hostel, closed my pack and hopped to my habal-habal. The habal-habal rental cost Php 200.00, one of the nearby hostel guest don’t have a ride to we share. Indeed, I am a lucky bastard.

Within 15 minutes we arrived at Dapa Port, the port area is busy with hundreds of tourists and locals line up to get the ferry tickets. I bought a Mabuhay ticket for Php 260.00 and terminal fee for Php 15.00. Economy and business tickets are sold out. The fare is a bit expensive but when I hopped into it, I changed my mind. The Mabuhay class have air-condition, comfortable seat and airplane seat feel. I still wonder why I did hop to a small boat going to Siargao Island. The tricycle driver from Surigao City seems to drop me to a different port. No wonder, all passengers are mostly locals at that time.

I fell asleep as we sail out to the vast sea. The travel time is less than 2 hours since this is a huge vessel. I arrived in Surigao City really drowsy, my head is starting to ached and I need to find my way to the Terminal. I take a jeep to the terminal for Php7.00. I was about to take a bus to Butuan, then another bus/van going to Mangagoy. When I reach the terminal, I learned that vans bound to Davao City are available in Surigao City. I hopped into the crowded van, paid Php300.00 going to San Fran Integrated Terminal. The van route to Butuan City then bound to Surigar del Sur. The entire stop/go routine lasted for another 6 hours of my life before arriving to San Fran. I was tired and weary; I barely slept in the van because the view is just to awesome.

From San Fran, I need to take another ride to Mangagoy, Bislig for my Tinuy-An Falls and Enchanted River escapade for the next day. I decide to take Bachelor Bus to Mangagoy paying Php150.00 fare. Van transfer fare is cheaper for Php 80.00 – 100.00. Take the van instead if you want to have a cheaper rate. The travel time from San Fran to Bislig is another 2 – 3 hours butt numbing trip. I met local ladies who are kind enough to give me shelter for the night. I was tired when I got in Bislig, the drivers are hauling around me. I cannot decide because I am starving and headache is around the corner. The local ladies pulled me from the haggling drivers and decide to check me in their houses. I am too grateful for their offer but I decide to say no. I am a bit uncomfortable staying in to someone else’s house rather than taking an inn. They helped me get an air-conditioned room instead in Star Dormitel for Php 300.00 instead of paying Php 550.00 in which I am very thankful.

I was gasping for food when I reached my room. I am tired and really starving so I decide to complete my stocks again and went to Gaisano Mall to purchase some stuff. Bislig City is pretty quiet place to live, its warm and peaceful compare to nearby cities. After getting my food, I ate in my room and search for my habal-habal to fetch me for tomorrow’s adventure. I stayed outside and eat Balut to my heart’s content. I cannot find any available driver so I decide to contact Jel to get her contact instead which she provide immediately (Such an angel to have bumped into). I was able to contact the guide and settle for Php 1000.00 for the entire Tinuy-An and Hinatuan River tour. Everything is settled, I got the food and things I need for the next day activities. I conclude my 10 hours transfer from Siargao Island to Mangagoy, Bislig a huge success with a butt numbing ride to the far flung of Surigao.

Let’s do this PIRATES!!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Bolinao Pangasinan Backpacking Itinerary 2 Days / 1 Night

JeiManlalayag Edition

 

Day 1

0300 Call Time

0400 ETD Home

0430 ETA Five Star Teminal

0445 ETD Bus bound to DAU Pampanga

0600 ETA DAU Terminal

0605 Meet up with PNJ

0630 ETD Dau Terminal: Catch the bus bound to Alaminos

1100 ETA Alaminos City

1130 Early Lunch at Alaminos Food Court

1230 ETD Alaminos City

1330 Bolinao

1400 Hire Tricycle for Bolinao Day Tour

1430 Complete Supplies in Flee Market or Bolinao Market

1500 Start Bolinao Day Tour

1515 Enchanted Cave

1545 Wonderful Cave

1630 Bolinao Rock Formation

1700 Bolinao Lighthouse

1730 ETA Patar Beach

1800 Rent Cottage and Set up Tents

1830 Prepare Dinner

1900 Dinner / Socials

2200 Lights Out

 

 

Day 2

0500 Call Time

0530 Prepare Breakfast (Boodle Fight)

0600 Breakfast

0700 Explore Patar Beach / Swimming

0900 Wash up / Purchase Souvenir / Prepare for Bolinao Falls Tour

0930 ETD Patar Beach

1100 ETA Bolinao Falls

1115 Register and Pay Entrance Fee

1130 Explore Bolinao Falls

1300 ETD Bolinao Falls

1330 ETA Bolinao Poblacion

1345 Purchase Dry Goods

1400 Late Lunch at Adora’s

1500 ETD Bolinao (We missed the Bolinao – Manila Bus)

1600 ETA Alaminos City

1700 ETD Alaminos via Five Star Bus

2100 ETA Marquee Mall Bus Terminal

2200 SM Pampanga

2300 Home in Pampanga: Return trip to Manila the next day

PS: You can take the Bus bound to Cubao if your residing in Manila

ETA from Alaminos to Cubao is 5-6 hours. Add 1 hour from Bolinao. 24 hour in 1-2 hours bus interval are available in Alaminos City.

1700 ETA Alaminos

1200 ETA Five Star Terminal

 

See you later PIRATES!!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Patar Beach and Bolinao Falls: Friendship Goals

 

“Treasure the friends you have since you were young. As they are the most precious people that can insult and love you at the same time”

  • Fakir

Features: Patar Beach, Bolinao Falls, Bolinao Market, Adora’s and Bolinao Town

 

The cold December breeze put me to sleep inside my sleeping bag and the tent I borrowed. I can hear the waves of the sea that seems to sing lullaby. I woke up early in the morning, early riser as ever. I sleep well and the cold air welcomes my morning. I start to deal with our breakfast meal, cooking rice, preparing the left overs from last night dinner and staring to the vast shoreline across our cottage. My friend Nilo joined me afterwards and we start to cook our food. We decide to put up a boodle fight breakfast for our OFW friend Pher and his girlfriend Lee.

 

 We cooked scrambled eggs, tuyo (dried fish), corned beef and pre-heat our left over sinigang. Served with hot chocolate and coffee. We are in happy land us we are all woke up and dig in our morning. The sun rise after the cloudy yesterday to our satisfaction. After we ate, we decide to explore the white pebbled sand of Patar Beach. The shoreline stretch in the Northern part of the Philippines. The water is crystal clear and waves are bit rush since there still storm rummaging the South. The sand of Patar is very pretty, its not as fine as Panglao nor Boracay but it does have its own glory.

 

We goofed around the beach, swim and take endless pictures until battery life had gone. Our service tricycle is already waiting for our next stop. BOLINAO FALLS. After dipping to the cold blue water and experience the sun. We decide to wash up to go to our next adventure. Showering in Patar public bath house cost Php 15 – 20.00 with unlimited water source. HEHE. As we dress up for our next adventure, we settle our bill and purchase our souvenirs at the entrance. Shirts cost from Php 120.00 – 350.00 in which you can haggle, I purchase my batik (dyed) shirt and refrigerator magnets.

 

We rented our tricycle service for Bolinao Falls for Php 800.00. We started to hit the road around 0930, the sun beaming happily and the journey just started. From Patar Beach going to Bolinao Falls road experience is bumpy and long. It will take at least 1 hour ride. Since it rained yesterday, the road to the falls is mud dirt. Concrete roads are not yet fixed and we need to take off the tricycle several times and push the tricycle out of the mud. We missed the Bolinao sign-age so we got lost that actually prolong the ride. We back track the mud-fill road. Until we finally we can go down and stretched our legs and backs.

 

We trail down for 1-2 minutes, paid for entrance fee which is Php 50.00. Cottages are for free, I failed to asked if they are free if its peak season. Most of the fee we had are deducted because its off peak. Few tourist are roaming around. According to the locals during the summer which is from April to June. The entire place is jammed with tourists like a market sale. I appreciate less people, quiet places and abundant with good food.

 

Upon reaching the falls, I am in 100% awe but it was a stunning place to view. The water is cold and refreshing while the endless 4 – 5 layer falls is heavily pouring down on its creek. You can jump the cliff off if your daredevil enough but I learn my lesson. I attempted a cliff jump before and I was pulled down by water which leave a traumatic experience. I can do it again for as long guide will be there to pull me out of the water or if it just a simple cliff diving.

 

We take pictures and videos all over the falls. I tried to jump off from a tree going to the deep creek part which is exhilarating. The adventures seems to be endless. If your going here its best to bring PICNIC LUNCH or SNACKS that can be enjoyed with your family, love ones and friends. After getting all the pictures we needed. We head back to Bolinao Town that took us at least 30 minutes to reach. We purchased our dried fish and fish sauces.

 

We supposed to go back to Alaminos to have the HUNDRED ISLAND tour because gale warning is already lifted. But due to emergency back home, we need to go back early. So we scratch the deal and just take our lunch at ADORA’S. Famous restaurant in Bolinao which serves cooked local cuisine, snacks, halo-halo and all types of pancit (noodles). After our heavy lunch, we head out to the bus station and we missed the afternoon Bolinao – Cubao bus. HEHE. There is only one available ATM in Bolinao which will cut your money from Php 30-50.00. Better be prepared and ready your cash before going to Bolinao depending on your budget and number.

 

We hopped in to a van going to Alaminos to catch another bus bound to Manila that took us another 1 hour of travel time. Reaching Alaminos we catched the bus bound to Cubao, settle for another 3-4 hours bus ride to home. We paid Php for the fare to Marquee Mall in Dau Pampanga to head back home I am still on leave at work and will take weekend with my family so I decide to join them back home. Traffic is heavy in Tarlac because of ongoing road repairs. We reached Pampanga around 2100, left Alaminos at 1700.

 

We took another jeep to SM Pampanga via NLEX then take another jeep to Sta Ana Pampanga to head back home. Due to the recent rain, our area is severely flooded, my friend and his girlfriend cannot make it home. So its another pajama night for the 3 of us. We end up our Stormy Trip to North happily regardless if we when home wet. We still think we are wild and over the decade of friendship, this is how we celebrate! Travel with friends if you have time and thank them for staying beside you even if you are crazy and doom.

 

LET FRIENDSHIP LAST PIRATES! SEE YOU AGAIN!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.