Siquijor x Dumaguete

by Enzo Tacadao

Seven years strong.

Rose and I celebrated our seventh anniversary in Negros Oriental and Siquijor Island. Special occasion calls for special vacation. After being barraged by our day jobs in the past couple of weeks, that trip was what we needed the most — to reset our system.

Casaroro Falls + Jiujitsu

Day One. We arrived at Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport noon. We hailed a tricycle to our hotel, Optimum Pension House. After swiftly unpacking our stuff, we headed to Jo’s Chicken Inato for some authentic chicken goodness. Then, we went straight to Casaroro Falls in Valencia town. We rode a jeepney to Valencia, and then habal-habal. I thought the trip to the falls will be a quick one, but we were caught off guard as the stair-steps (about 300 steps, Rose made the count) were steep, and upon reaching the base level, we had to walk our way through slippery rocks. After a 30-minute challenging walk, we reached the falls. A tall one with a thin figure — like a sword with endless beam. It was worth the walk.

We hurled back to Dumaguete City for a quick bath. Weeks before our trip, I searched the web for Dumaguete jiujitsu gyms, but no luck. But, I found through reddit that there are white belts training in gi with no formal instructor. I contacted them, and we were invited to train with them at a rooftop overlooking the cityscape. There, we met Josh and Nate, two chill guys who love to train for fun. We enjoyed rolling with them and they even toured us after training. Day one was a so cool.

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Super Laid-Back Island. Super Chill Sights.

We were sold with the blog entries and photographs of Siquijor Island, and so we thought that there’s no place better to celebrate our anniversary in the ‘Island of Fire’. Later, we realized that Dumaguete-Siquijor is a perfect combination. The laid-back vibes of the ‘City of Gentle People’ were a prologue to a magnificent trip in Siquijor.

Enter Day Two. We checked out from our hotel around 6:00AM to catch the 07:30AM ferry to Siquijor. Alas, the line at the ticket office was already piling up. To make things a bit more stressful, there were passengers who paid ‘fixers’ to buy them tickets, resulting in longer lines. Around 09:00AM, we were able to buy our tickets for 10:30AM trip. Tired and sleepy, we boarded a ro-ro barge to Siquijor. After an hour and a half trip, we reached Siquijor Island. We were welcomed with crystal clear water on the pier (a rare sighting here in the Philippines).

We were greeted by our jolly tour guide and tricycle driver, Kuya Rollie, at the port. He had this placard with my name on it (using the classic WordArt font), signalling that a wonderful trip was ahead of us. Grabbed a quick bite at a busy eatery and went directly to our hotel, Isla Inn Siquijor. Swiftly unpacking our things, our tour started.

First day: Siquijor town, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Paliton Beach, Century-old Balete Tree, Capilay Spring Park, Lazi Church, Lazi Convent, Cambugahay Falls.

Second day: Kagusuan Beach, Salagdoong Beach, Cang-Isok House, Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya, Guiwanon Spring Park, Paliton Beach.

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Back to the City of Gentle People

After a two-day vacation in Siquijor, we went back to Dumaguete City. We visited some of the staple tourist sites in the city: Silliman University and Rizal Boulevard. Capping our trip with lunch at Lab-as Seafood Restaurant and bagging some boxes of Silvanas for pasalubong. Then, off we go to the airport.

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If you’re looking for a jolly and friendly tour guide in Siquijor, I highly recommend Kuya Rollie: 09065806033

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