3 months ago, my friends & I went on a last-minute weekend trip to Siquijor. I consider it a last-minute trip because we booked the tickets a month before (which I normally don’t do) & we made the itinerary few days before our flight.
Siquijor is a small province island located southeast of Negros Island & south of Cebu. People normally refer to the island as the island of sorcery & witchcraft. They say (but I haven’t seen any proof) many locals practice sorcery & folk medicine in the island. I know for a fact the most provinces here in the Philippines have people who practice this, so I don’t see any reason why Siquijor be labeled as such.
Siquijor’s famous Cambugahay Falls
One of the purposes of this post is to debunk that myth & to show to my readers that there’s more in Siquijor than witchcraft & sorcery. Siquijor is starting to gain attention from foreign & local tourists because of its beautiful landscapes & very accommodating people. I’ve heard amazing stories from my friends who’ve been there so I was happy I was able to experience what they experienced.
Siquijor squad : (L-R) JE, Geof & myself 😎
Another purpose of this trip was to reconnect with our friend JE who is now based in Dumaguete for work. It’s been years since we last saw him so we took advantage of this trip to visit him & spend the weekend in the chill island of Siquijor.
I will layout to you in this post how we went to Siquijor, where we stayed & what places we visited & how much I spent for this trip.
Screenshot of my ticket to Dumaguete ✈️
30 days before the trip, Geof & I booked a round-trip air ticket to Dumaguete for only ₱2,013. That airfare is already cheap considering our trip falls on a weekend (Saturday morning to Monday afternoon) & the trip is 30 days away. We’ve planning to go to Dumaguete for quite sometime, so it was nice to finally push through with the plan.
How We Went To Siquijor
There are a few ways to go to Siquijor from Manila – you can fly to either Dumaguete, Cebu or Tagbilaran then take a ferry / fast craft ride to the island. Given we only had the weekend, we took the easiest option. We flew to Dumaguete in the morning, went straight to Dumaguete Port & took the earliest available ferry to Siquijor.
We initially planned to take OceanJet‘s fast craft service but the units used in the Dumaguete-Siquijor route were under maintenance that weekend. We had no choice but to take the 9:30 am Montenegro Ferry to the island. Upon arrival in the island, we took a motorcycle ride to the Larena Port (the other port) to meet our friend JE, who came from a work trip in Tagbilaran.
Our ride from Siquijor Port to Larena Port; Geof tried to vlog while on the road 😂
The Bruce Resort
Our plan was to spend the 3 days & 2 nights in Siquijor but JE had to go back to go Dumaguete on Sunday night for following day work commitments. We agreed to just stay there for 2 days & 1 night. My friend JE recommended that we stay in Bruce Resort in San Juan.
Our triple room in Bruce Resort
We got ourselves a triple fan room for ₱1,200 per night (without breakfast). The room is a few meters from the beach. It comes with 1 double & 1 single bed with private toilet (with towels & toiletries). Guests can also refill their water bottles for free. This resort is strategically located in San Juan, it’s in the middle of all the major tourist spots. The resort also had a swimming pool which we were not able to use.
Bruce Resort’s beach 😍
Accommodation choices in Siquijor vary; you can find luxury & budget resorts, hostels & homestays in the island. Make sure to choose the type of accommodation that suits you. If you are looking for a budget & nice place to stay, I’ll recommend The Bruce Resort in San Juan, Siquijor.
Siquijor Coastal Tour
Siquijor is only a small island. If you are coming from Dumaguete or South of Cebu, you can actually go there in the morning, explore for the day & go back in the afternoon. The island’s most popular tour is the coastal tour. The most convenient way for small groups to take this tour is to rent a tricycle for a day for ₱1,000. The rate is directed by the local tourism office, so expect that all tricycles will offer the same price. We arrived late on our first day so we decided to split up the coastal tour into 2 days, also to have more time in each place. We went to the following places:
St. Francis of Assisi Church
The St. Francis of Assisi Church, commonly known as the Siquijor Church, is the very first landmark you’ll see upon stepping out of the Siquijor Port. The parish was established in February 1, 1973. Just like any other church made during the Spanish colonial era, this was also made of stone.
Larena Triad Coffee Shop & Restaurant
View from the restaurant 😍
This coffee shop & restaurant was the place we had lunch after meeting up with JE. Situated on the top of a hill, this place offers a panoramic view of the coasts & the sea. From the view deck, you can see the islands of Cebu, Negros & of course, Siqujor. Food was unexpectedly good & was reasonably priced.
Guiwahon Mangrove Park
This mangrove park has a man-made wooden track / bridge between mangroves. They also have cottages for rent if tourists decide to stay for a few hours. I forgot to ask for the cottage rental rates (sorry). Guests are required to register & pay ₱10 entrance fee.
Enchanted Balete Tree
The enchanted balete tree is a 400-year old tree located along the national road in Lazi. A visit to the tree premises is free; but the place also offers a fish spa for only ₱10 per person.
San Isidro Labrador Church
The San Isidro Labrador Church or Lazi Church is the largest & oldest Church in Siquijor. It was built in 1884 using stone & wood.
Inside Lazi Church ⛪
San Isidro Labrador Convent
The San Isidro Labrador Convent is situated in front of the Lazi Church. This is a museum of historical artifacts & antiques. Unfortunately, the museum was closed when we were there.
Cambugahay Falls is a three-tiered cascading falls with clear water coming from natural springs & rainwater. The falls is 100+ steps down from the main road. The highlight of visiting this place is trying their Tarzan swings – hanging in the man-made vine & jumping into the water. There are 3 swings (with different heights); each swing costs ₱40 but you get unlimited tries. We stayed for more than 2 hours in this place & had more jumps than we expected – definitely our favorite in this trip.
Tip: Best to hire a guide that will take you around the falls. The guide will also serve as your photographer when you jump into the falls. They don’t have a prescribed rate; but I think it’s best to give them ₱100-₱200.
Salagdoong Beach is located in the small town of Maria, Siquijor. Located a few downhill minutes from the main road, this place is famous for its cliff diving spot, rock formations & a nice white sand beach. The resort has a restaurant where you can have your lunch. They also have cottages for rent & rooms for overnight accommodation. Entrance fee to the resort is ₱25 per person. Make sure to conquer your fear & try cliff diving. I tried it twice & it was hell of fun!
View from the cliff diving spot 😍
Tip: Do not go here on a weekend, especially on a Sunday. Locals usually go here for Sunday family excursions. We were there on a Sunday & the place was crowded.
Two other tourist spots we missed out (due to time constraints) in the coastal tour are Calipay Spring Park, a public natural spring made by the local government for the locals & visitors, & Paliton Beach, one of the nice beaches in the island.
After enjoying a nice late lunch & afternoon in Salagdoong Beach, we went back to Siquijor Port to buy tickets for the last ferry trip to Dumaguete. Upon arrival in the port, we found out that Ocean Jet still doesn’t have trips & all the other trips were fully booked. It was a blessing in disguise we were with JE – he knew another way of going back to Dumaguete, via Liloan in Cebu.
View from the ferry en route to Liloan, Cebu
We immediately went to the other port in Larena & got tickets for the 5:00 pm ferry trip to Liloan, Cebu. The slow ferry ride took us about 2 hours. Upon arrival in Liloan Port, we took the tricycle to the fast craft terminal to Sibulan. Thank God we made it to the last trip for the day at 7:30 pm. The trip to Sibulan Port (located in the town beside Dumaguete City) took us 30-40 minutes. We were back in Dumaguete before 9:00 pm.
Dumaguete City Side Trip
We only had 1 night & 1 morning in Dumaguete so we weren’t able to go to the nearby attractions like Manjuyod Sand Bar, Casaroro Falls & Apo Island. We only stayed in the city in our short stay. Upon arrival in the city, we headed to the Sans Rival Bistro to have dinner.
Dinner with the boys at Sans Rival Bistro
After dinner, JE took us around the city. He showed us the church, the boulevard (like Manila’s Baywalk), the city church & bell tower, the city & provincial halls, the malls (haha) & other notable establishments. Then, we went to Golden Gate Suites to check in, leave our stuff & freshen up. We went out for coffee at midnight before we finally dozed off.
Our room in Golden Gate Suites, Dumaguete City
The following morning, we went out for breakfast at Cafe Mamia & dropped by Sans Rival Bistro to buy some treats for families & friends back home. We went back to the hotel & spent the rest of the morning there before heading to the airport for our flight to Manila.
A trip to Dumaguete will never be complete w/o buying the famous silvanas! 😋
Summary of Expenses
Everything might last-minute for this trip, but let’s have a look at how much I spent for the entire trip.
Spending ₱6,836 for a Siquijor weekend getaway (airfare included) is not bad. The airfare was definitely a bargain, considering it was booked 30 days before the trip. We obviously spent more on food but it was all good. We didn’t have enough time to explore more of Dumaguete but I look forward to visiting the city again soon.
Until our next trip! 😊
Have you been to Siquijor? How was your visit to the beautiful island? Are you planning to go there soon? I think you should! Feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. You can also send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me a message on Facebook, drop a comment on Instagram or send me a tweet on Twitter.