Hugotero sa Siargao

Summer it is! And for an island girl like me, it is always great to be in the island.

Thus for me and my friends out of town this year, we chose to go to Siargao Island.

Before I will detailed all our experiences, let us first know what and where is Siargao Island.

Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. It has a land area of approximately 437 square kilometres (169 sq mi). The east coast is relatively straight with one deep inlet, Port Pilar. The coastline is marked by a succession of reefs, small points and white, sandy beaches. The neighboring islands and islets have similar landforms.

The island is composed of municipalities of Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica and Socorro.[according to Wikipedia]

HOW TO GET THERE

There is a daily flight to Siargao Airport from Cebu and Manila. It is a little bit more expensive than going through Surigao City but it will definitely eliminate the hassle and the long travel time.

If going to Siargao directly through air is out of budget, then you may take a flight to Surigao City.

And if you were not able to purchase a cheaper ticket, then buy a ticket for Cokaliong Shipping Lines. They have a daily trip from Cebu that leaves at 7PM in Pier 1 and arrives at approximately 5-6AM the next day. Though it is a long ride but you can still have a good sleep in the ship and stock some energy.

    Us in Cokaliong Shipping Line ⛴
Upon arriving in Surigao City, proceed then to the port going to Dapa.

The tricycle that we hailed to take us from the Pier to the Port going to Dapa (yeah! It fits us 8!)


SCHEDULE OF FERRY FROM SURIGAO TO SIARGAO

  • 5:30 AM via M/V Dapa Express 2 and arrives at 8:00 AM
  • 6:00AM via M/V LQP Ferry and arrives at 8:00AM
  • 11:00AM via M/V Dapa Express 1 and arrives at 1:00PM
  • 12:00NN via Montenegro RORO and arrives at 2:30PM

SCHEDULE OF FERRY FROM SIARGAO TO SURIGAO

  • 5:30AM via M/V Dapa Express 1 and arrives at 8:00AM
  • 5:45AM via M/V Fortune Angel 2 and arrives at 8:00AM
  • 6:00AM via Montenegro RORO and arrives at 10:00AM
  • 10:30AM via M/V LQP and arrives at 1:30PM

 

If you arrive beyond this schedule, better charter a boat and negotiate for a good price.
In our case, we were able to arrive at the port at 6AM. Though the ferry did not depart yet but it was fullybooked. They told us that the next trip is at 10AM and will arrive at 1PM.

Having to wait for almost 4 hours is a big no-no for us because aside from the fact that the van we hired is waiting for us, it will also mean that the time we will spend touring the island will be wasted in waiting for the next trip.

Then a guy approached us and offer a deal to charter a boat. We negotiated with the boatman and came to a deal of Php4000 for the whole boat. The rate of a ferry is Php 300 each. Chartering a boat with this rate will cost us big time since we were just 8. Fortunately, there are other guests that arrived and we told them about it. When they agreed, we then informed the boatman. He was even hesitant with the rate and so our friend negotiated. Until he agreed! So the main point is never hesitate to negotiate. 😃

Then we proceeded to another port where his boat is docked. And we were expecting it to be big like the one used in island hopping here in Cebu. Though it is big enough for all of us (11passengers and 2boatmen).
The boat that we chartered! Just enough! 🙈


And the sailing started! 🛥⛴⛵️

After 3 hours, we then arrived at Dapa Port. We were met by Kuya Ayek (he is our driver for the land tour).

These were our activities during the 3-day vacation. And oh! Before I forgot.. You might be wondering why I titled this with Hugotero sa Siargao. It is because throughout the trip, we were exchanging hugots especially Jack. 😁

 

Day 1: Magpupungko Pool + Tayangban Cave + Cloud 9/Boardwalk

Day 2: 3-Island Hopping + Sugba Lagoon

How to get to CDO from Laguindingan Airport

Are you going to Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan or any part of Misamis Oriental? You may reach there by sea but the fastest way is by air.

Few years back, Cagayan de Oro’s Airport is in Lumbia. Just a few minutes away from the city proper.

But now, it is already located in Laguindingan. An hour away from the city. If we are used to hailing a taxi, this will surely cost you big.

A taxi fare from Laguindingan Airport to CDO City is approximately Php 450 to Php 500. That is metered! While going back to the airport will cost around Php 700. Not metered and considered special trip.

Can you imagine spending that amount everytime you visit the city? 

So for those who are on budget but still want a comfortable ride.. There are shuttle available outside the airport for only Php 199 each. Some will drop you off to your hotel while others have their own drop area.

One of these shuttles is the Magnum Express. What I love about this is the comfort and the assurance that you will not get late from your flight. Of course, aside from the safe trip.

This is their contact number and schedule of trips.

They also offer van for hire for those who will be visiting places like  Bukidnon.

So for your next trip, visit their terminal at Limketkai Mall if you are from CDO. Or approach their staff in the booth outside Laguindingan Airport.
Happy trip! 😃

Travel Apps

I have been traveling for a quite awhile now both for work and personal. And every time I travel or planning to travel, I make use of the apps on my phone. So maybe these could help you in your future travels. 😉💚

🔹Airline Apps

These are useful in looking for flights especially during promo. Booking your tickets here is so convenient as well.

So since I am from the Philippines and I usually travel within the country, these are what I need. Though, I think there is no app for PAL but you can always check it online.

I use Skyscanner to check available flights on the best rate both domestic and international. These include the airlines internationally.

🔹Hotel Accommodation Apps

After booking for your plane tickets, it is now the time to reserve for your accommodation. Be it in a luxurious hotel or to affordable inns. You can use these apps for traveling all over the world.

We have Agoda, Airbnb and Booking.com. Aside from these, there are other websites you can book to.

Of these three, I mostly used Agoda because of the Free Cancellation and Pay Later policy. It is also cheaper to book here.

For booking.com, some of the hotels will let you pay upon check in. And Airbnb is usually house or condo or other properties converted to Bed and Breakfast.

🔹Social Media Apps

Of course when we are traveling we want to stay connected to our family and friends left behind. We want also to let them be informed with our whereabouts and experiences. So how to do this especially if you are abroad? Through these ⬇⬇⬇

You can always post and chat with them through Facebook, post a photo or video through Instagram or tweet at Twitter.

But aside from these, you can also download apps like Viber, WhatsApp and the like to send free messages, Skype for video calls, etc.

With how the technology evolved these days, your connection with your loved-ones will always be constant. And you do not have to worry! 😃

 

🔹TripAdvisor

Before and after every travel, I make sure to drop by TripAdvisor.

Before the travel, this is where I check the reviews on the places I will go. Read feedback on the hotels I will stay, restaurants I will dine or the tourist destinations I will visit. It gives me idea on what I can expect there.

And after my trip, I visit this app again to post my comments and review on where I stayed, I ate and visited. In this way, I can help others decide on their future trips.

tripadvisor_logo

🔹WordPress

The last and one of the most useful apps installed in my phone is WordPress. This is where I write and post my blog. It is like my diary for all my travels. I find it very convenient especially I write blogs when I am just on the mood and my mind is working. 😝

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There are many websites and applications available online that you can use to make your travels easy, convenient and fun.

Remember it will always be your choice. Your choice to enjoy or not. Your choice to be happy or not. Your choice to do what you want. Whatever it is just make sure to live it the best. 😍💕👌

Taal Volcano Tour

Having a trip to Taal Volcano or planning for an adventure there? Check first what to prepare, to do and to expect before finalizing it.

You may refer on this post on what you can do and to know our Tagaytay Weekend Adventure  that includes Picnic Grove, People Park in the Sky, Sky Ranch and of course, a Taal Volcano Tour.

But for those who are taking the Taal Volcano Tour, these are the basic essentials you have to bring.

 

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  1. A hat or cap – to protect you from the heat of the sun. And if you want, you can also wear a sunglasses. Because it will surely be hot in getting to the top. And it will take you for about an hour.
  2. Mask – to protect you from the dusty road.
  3. Sunblock – to protect your skin from the UV Rays.
  4. Water – to rehydrate you after a long horseback ride or walk. You will surely need one. Though you can buy it once you arrive on the top, but expect that the price is expensive.
  5. Money – for all the fees you have to pay to the stuff you need to buy like water, hat, mask, etc. to the tip you will give to the guide (though it is optional but they deserve something after that very tiring tour).

 

Those are the basic essentials you need to have. Now, how you can get there. You need these:

  1. Boat – the boat will take you to the island where the trek or the horseback ride will start.12751746_10207434872221627_547772871_o
  2. Horse with the guide – though you can always walk but riding the horse in going up is a best choice. Aside from that dusty road, it’s hot and it will take you for about an hour to reach. There will be guide who will take you up. He/She will also be controlling the horse.

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So if you have everything ready! Then have fun and take care! 🙂

Ten Reasons Why you will NEVER want to go to SIQUIJOR (Or maybe you will LOVE to)

Siquijor Province is an island about 30 km southeast of Negros, south of Cebu and southwest of Bohol. During the Spanish colonial in the Philippines, the Spaniards called the island as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) because the island gave off an eerie glow, which came from the great swarms of fireflies that gathered in the numerous molave tress on the island.

For years, Siquijodnon (name to identify the residents) is being always judged when we said that we live in Siquijor. But, it is good to hear now positive things from tourists and seeing many people visiting the island.

If you are planning for a trip to the island, read this first! A collection of photos and experiences from my friends and my new-found friends in Facebook and Instagram. And a thought from a true-blooded Siquijodnon! 😉

TEN REASONS WHY YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO GO TO SIQUIJOR (or the opposite)

1Siquijor does not have an airport and no airplane is going there

In order to reach the island, you must take a ferry or a ship from Dumaguete City. It takes an hour for the ferry or two hours for the ship to arrive in Siquijor. You will experience sailing and if you’re lucky, you can see dolphins along your way. Upon arriving, this will greet you… 🙂

Siquijor Port

Siquijor Port

2. Siquijor does not have buses and coasters that will bring you to your destination

You will never see a bus like the Ceres Bus Liner waiting outside the port or a coaster that can take you to your resort or anywhere you want to go. But, there are lots of multicabs and tricycle waiting outside that can bring you to the resort safely. Also, if you know how to drive a motorcycle, you can rent a motorcycle for a couple of hours, a day or the length of your stay. Take note, you can explore the island on your own in a day. That sounds fun, right? 🙂

 

3. Siquijor does not have tall buildings or establishments

   Indeed! But you can find old churches, convents and bell towers that are still beautiful, & preserved. Upon exiting the port, a big “Welcome to Siquijor” will welcome you and behid that sign is one of the island’s century-old churches, St. Francis of Assissi Church, built from 1795 to 1831. Another one is the San Isidro Labrador Church at Lazi which was built on 1884 and was nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage. Across the church is the biggest convent in the country, the Lazi Convent. The convent is made up of stone and was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark. The third church was built on 1880, the Our Lady of Divine Providence Church located in the town of Maria. Another one is the San Agustin Parish Church in San Juan, Siquijor. It was established as a separate parish last 1863.

Welcome Sign

Siquijor Church

siquijor bell

Siquijor Bell Tower

Lazi Church

Lazi Church

Lazi Convent

Lazi Convent

Maria Church

Maria Church

San Juan Church

San Juan Church

 

4. Siquijor does not have a beach like Boracay

Despite of having white beaches that surround the island, Siquijor is much less crowded and more peaceful compared to Boracay. The beach resorts are perfect for a day just yourself, your friends or family and the nature. Some of the resorts like Salagdoong Beach sometimes have a live band but mostly all of the resorts have keep the serenity of the place which guests would love to experience. You can swim, dive, relax and have fun all day without worrying that it will become noisy, crowded and dirty. Aside from that, the island also have resorts that offer great views and perfect relaxation.

Paliton

Paliton Beach

Kagusuan

Kagusuan Beach

Salagdoong (2)

Salagdoong Beach

Salamangka

Salamangka Beach Resort and Dive Shop

Kalachuchi

Kalachuchi Beach Resort

Kawayan

Kawayan Holiday Resort

Coco Grove

Coco Grove Beach and Dive Resort

IMG_4080

Infinity Heights Resort

 

5. Siquijor does not have shopping mall and arcade center

While you are in the island, you will not see shopping malls like SM, Ayala or even Unitop. People buy groceries in small grocery stores, purchase clothes and shoes through the direct selling MSE or small stores and avail the latest cosmetic products via Avon. You won’t even see Timezone, World of Fun or Bibbo. But rather you will see kids playing in the basketball court,  the street or the playground. And for tourist like you, you should not worry about not having a mall or an arcade zone.

What is more fun than spending a day with Mother Nature, right?

6. Siqujor does not have Jollibee, Mcdo and other fastfood restaurants

If you live just by eating foods from the fastfood restaurant, then you should learn to eat real foods in Siquijor.  With a lot of choices, definitely you will not get hungry and leave the island losing your weight. And by the way, if you can drop by a public beach and see fishermen, you may also experience eating freshly catch fish by the beach with your bare hands. Exciting, isn’t it? 😀

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Triad Cafe

 

Baha Bar

Baha Bar

Kanheron2

Kanheron Ranch

Kanheron

Kanheron Ranch

Dagsa

Dagsa Restobar

7. Siquijor does not have Zipline, ATV, and other Extreme Activities

    Most of us now especially the young adults are always looking forward for an adventure when travelling. Maybe an extreme activity or something. In the island, there is not much extreme activities like Zipline, ATV or the like. But the activities you will find there are a must-try. One that is exciting and a good bonding with Mother Earth. You can try cliff diving at Salagdoong Beach, spelunking (for 2 hours) at Cantabon Cave and tarzan swing at Cambugahay Falls.

Cliff Diving

Cliff Diving

Cantabon

Tarzan Swing

Tarzan Swing

8. Siquijor does not have clubs or bars for your night life thing

As an island, Siquijodnons are used to sleeping early. Of course, exemption to this are the young ones and the tourists who would like to spend the night having fun. But having fun there does not mean going inside a bar or club (you know what I mean) because there is nothing like that there. However, you can spend a good night either by singing in the karaoke with a bottle of beer, playing or watching basketball game, dancing in the disco, stargazing or simply, talking with friends.

 

9. Siquijor is not an LTE-ready place

Sorry to those who live their lives with a phone and an internet. Because though you can definitely use your mobile data in the island, but there are some areas which you can’t. There are areas with limited in terms of mobile data and cellular signal. However, you should not be sad with that. Because the better communication you can develop in the island is interacting with the locals (who will be very willing to talk) and making new friends with other tourists. As they say, “There is no better communication than talking with each other.”

 

10. Lastly, Siquijor is a place you find it hard to leave

For the many things you can do, many places you can go, many foods you can eat, many people you can meet and many adventures and memories you can make, you’ve got one serious problem… Leaving the Island of Fire! How to leave the island if during your stay, you were able to relax, lived a simple life, a peaceful one, filled up your tummy, made friends with the people and fell in love with the province? You will surely feel that SEPARATION ANXIETY. But the moment you leave the island, treat it not as a goodbye but rather a see you again. Because when you go back, it is not just the big sign will greet you but everyone in the province will welcome you with open arms if not with open hearts! 😍

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Have fun in the island. Live each day like it’s home. Make the memories stay for a lifetime. 😊

Special thanks to Pinoy Adventurista for the inspiration in writing this blog thru his post. 😌

Thank you also to my friends and new-found friends in FB and IG who permitted me to repost their photos. 🙂
IG:
@moodthemode
@marloncostales
@megavoiceofficial (Salve Yllona Miraflor Guarino)
@katzilla (Katzilla Power)
@rhainnexoxo
@legendkiller2k4
@ggette
@yoko_on_the_go
@lala_songco
@sailaica
@philgmonte
@dinaaaaaaaah
@hans_seiter
@geloagi
@joyces_plural (Kristine Joyce)

FB:
Eulito Limbaga Novela
Niwre Ocitselop Angaram
Porcia Suico Jjerusalem
Mary Grace Marfito-Jerusalem
Ayeng de los Santos
Kaycee Pabonita-Llanto
Zhone Lenares-Jerusalem

To my photographer: Coleen Claire 🙂