If you have read my previous articles, you might be aware that I am a frugal traveller and I love Do-It-Yourself (DIY) travelling. So here’s a new budget-friendly guide in exploring Southern Visayas, itinerary, expenses and contact numbers are at the bottom. ^_^
“Hi we’re here at Badian, Cebu, just checked out from our hotel and it’s past the hour of 4 PM.” Wait what? IT’S ALREADY 4PM? and we need to catch our 11PM flight (whew!), “get in the bus quickly”.
Two hours have passed and we still haven’t reached Cebu terminal, Cebu Pacific’s web check-in does not work (nooooo!) and Cebu’s traffic is very unpredictable, will we make it?
How did we end up here you may ask, 3 days ago…
A typhoon is about to enter Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and might land in the Visayas region along with the news reports that Abu Sayaf Group has entered Cebu City, but hey, there’s no stopping us.
As early as 7 AM we arrived at Dumaguete airport, hired a tricycle to Dumaguete port and after 15 minutes we were already buying fast craft tickets. Another hour has passed until we reached Siquijor port, upon arrival at Siquijor we immediately checked-in at Replica Manor and proceeded to our island tour.
If you’re into beach parties and night life, you may not get used with the relaxed vibe of Siquijor, the town gets quiet as soon as the night creeps in. It was only 8 in the evening but it feels like we’re the only people in the town (quite creepy but we’re the only guests at the resort anyway). Capping off our night is a dose of horror stories, what an excellent way to end the night right? I am not sure if everyone had a good sleep that night (haha).
Hello Dumaguete! Padaan Lang
Dumaguete is the gateway to Siquijor and the hometown of the beautiful Silliman University and Sans Rival-the most famous restaurant in Dumaguete (you must try their sans rival for only 30 pesos per slice).
Silliman university is one of the top tourist spots in Dumaguete, anyone is free to explore the school grounds or visit their Anthropology Museum for 50 pesos.
Doing city tour could be easily done by foot since the landmarks are only few blocks away. If you have spare time, you may go to Apo Island (one of the most-visited island in Negros Oriental) and take a selfie with the turtles (say hi to Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael for me) or visit Manjuyod sandbar.
Oslob One more Time
We did not stay long at Dumaguete because my friends wanted to see the whale shark the next day, instead we checked-in at Chateau de Tan-awan, a homestay in Oslob with cheap but homey rooms (350/night for fan room).
A sad story: While my friends we’re relaxing at our rooms, I was in the backyard checking for a good spot to photograph the night sky when I accidentally hit format SD then boom, data gone! (*cue music.. “Kung wala ka ng maintindihan, kung wala ka ng malapitan, kapit ka sa akin kumapit ka sa akin hindi kita iiwanan…”).
The next day, the boys got up early and went to Whale shark watching center which is just a few meters away while we’re preparing ourselves for our next stop – Canyoneering.
Canyoneering was suspended when I first visited Cebu a few months back but finally the suspension was over and now we’re gonna try it, I just can’t contain my excitement.
“Ma’am di po pwede magcanyoneering, umulan po kasi magdamag.”
Oops. Not again! This was the saddest news I’ve heard (sadder than the formatted SD story), on a lighter note, at least we know that they are serious on imposing the rules for the safety of the tourists (kudos to that!).
Because we have nothing to do for the rest of the day, we availed kuya Raymund’s Pescador Tour and decided to postpone canyoning until the next day.
Since this was my second time at Moalboal, I already know what to expect but seeing dolphins was never part of it (the dolphins were quite timid on my first visit) and it was just amazing to see them in their natural habitat. The rich marine life of Moalboal eased all our disappointments.
I’m back at the same place with the same activities but this is definitely more fun than the first, this tour is super “sulit” and highly recommended.
We’re craving for night life so we end the day by singing our hearts out at Lambug beach (oh Filipinos love to sing).
Our last day in Cebu
When I woke up at 6 AM, the first thing I did was to check if it rained (HAHA) but gladly there were no signs of bad weather. This is it!
A little background: before the suspension of canyoneering, the usual jump-off was in the town of Alegria going down to Kawasan Falls in Badian. Ever since the suspension halted, the two towns have separated and can only accommodate 150 guests per day.
Ralph and Kevin, our makukulit guide from Raymund Sande’s Canyoneering Adventure took care of us during the entire event.
Aside from cliff jumping and swimming, there’s also a tarzan jump and food along the way to fuel you up. At the end-point, Kawasan falls is waiting to massage your tired body, consider this a reward for being brave.
It usually takes four hours but we finished it on a record-breaking 6 hours (can’t believe it took us that long, guess we enjoyed it that much). Details on our canyoneering adventure will be discussed on our next post.
So, did we make it to our flight?
We left Badian at 4PM and we need to check-in at Mactan Airport two hours before our 11PM flight that means five hours clearance (sometimes web check-in does not work when you most need it. Sigh). Two and half hours have passed and we’re still far from Cebu City, I had to get up and ask the driver if they can make it faster (worst case scenario we need to pay more than 3k for our return trip).
10 minutes past 7 we finally arrived at Cebu City, we still have time to buy pasalubong (relieved) at Taboan Market (this is important, bribe to kay Boss). So we end up arriving at Mactan airport at around 9PM, success!
Goodbye again Cebu, you never fail to impress me!
This is not our actual itinerary, however, If I were to do it again, I will follow this set up.
Here’s our budget for four days, three nights in three provinces:
We spent 4687 pesos (food and airfare excluded) for all those activities and every peso is worth it.
For Siquijor – Dennis Caspes (09477898337 | 09361107863)
For Pescador Island Hopping and Canyoneering – Raymund Sande (09151392249)
Replica Manor(63 929 840-1358)(recommended)
Fan room – 650/2 pax
AC room – 850/2 pax
Casa Miranda (09179106995)
Small room 250
Casa Solmar – 1000/night AC room for 2 pax
Chateau de tan-awan 09179127783 (recommended)
350/person fan room
450/person AC room
If you happen to pass by Tan-awan, Oslob don’t foget to eat at Big J’s, all their dishes are scrumptious and hefty.
Skypark Pensionne (book here) – 800/night AC room for 2 pax
Here’s a link to my other article Backpacking South Cebu for the Budgetarian with Cebu city itinerary and budget.