Salagdoong Beach in the Town of Maria, Siquijor
Salagdoong Beach in the Town of Maria, Siquijor

Exploring the Rustic Charm of Siquijor: A DIY Travel Guide

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When I was a kid, all I heard about Siquijor were tales of sorcery and witchcraft. Thus, even though we were almost a stone-throw away from the island and despite having close relatives residing in one of its growing communities, I never asked my parents to pay a visit.

When the child’s mind has become mature and the adventurous genes are getting dominant, those stories have become a weaker hindrance. Just recently, I visited Siquijor all by myself.

The beach near Siquijor Port
The beach near Siquijor Port

Siquijor bestows an exquisite charm. Despite being a popular destination, the island retains the rustic ambiance and the tranquil milieu. The gorgeous beaches that dot its shorelines, the stunning greens that cover the hills, the beautiful water wonders, and the antiquated churches will never get you weary on your stay.

So, if you are planning to see Siquijor soon, the guide below might help you.

How to Commute to Siquijor

Via Dumaguete City

The closest airport with frequent commercial flights to Siquijor is the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport. Philippine Airlines flies from Manila multiple times daily, while Cebu Pacific flies from Manila, Cebu, and Davao. From Dumaguete City’s seaport, you can choose either to take a RoRo or a fast craft to the municipalities of Siquijor or Larena. Fare starts from ₱150 up to ₱250 depending on the vessel type.

Via Cebu City

There is a Cebu-Dumaguete direct bus from Cebu City’s south terminal. The earliest schedule is around 7:00 AM and leaves every 1 hour & 30 minutes until 1:00 PM. If you won’t be able to catch this trip, take a bus that travels to Liloan or Bato. There are RoRo and fast crafts from both Liloan and Bato port to Negros Oriental. The port of arrival is either Tampi or Sibulan where you can easily wait for a bus or multicab along the highway to Dumaguete City. From Dumaguete City, follow the instructions above.

Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Siquijor, Siquijor
Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Siquijor, Siquijor

Maayo Shipping offers a direct trip from Liloan Port in Santander to Larena Siquijor. The ferry leaves Liloan Port at 10 AM. The return trip leaves Larena at 05:00 PM. Note that this route is sometimes canceled. Make sure that you contact Maayo Shipping (+63 917 710 7080) in advance to check if there are sailing cancellations or not.

The faster option from Cebu is to hop on a plane. AirJuan flies to Siquijor from Mactan-Cebu International Airport multiple times a week. For more information, see the airline’s website. Chartered (non-scheduled air taxi) flight from the General Aviation Terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Siquijor. This is offered by Midsea Express using BN 2A-21 Islander plane. The fare can be divided between 8 passengers (max). You can contact Midsea Express via: (032) 512 4241, (032) 495 6976, or +63 949 894 1129.

Capila'y Spring Park
Get a chilly dip at Capila’y Spring Park

Where to Stay in Siquijor

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If you visit Siquijor during summer, I advise you to book your accommodations in advance. Top hotels in Siquijor like Coco Grove Beach Resort, Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort, Blue Wave Inn, Casa de la Playa Beach Resort, Princesa Bulakna, etc. are available for booking in Agoda.

If you visit on a regular non-peak day, you can always hire a trike to look for a good place to stay.

When I visited Siquijor, I stayed at Princesa Bulakna Resort and Tori’s Backpackers Paradise Inn.

Princesa Bulakna Resort
Rates: *As of January 2015

  • Polynesian Cottages ( Standard Room )
    ₱950 w/o breakfast
    ₱1,250 with breakfast
  • Polynesian Cottages ( Family Room )
    ₱2,000 w/o breakfast
    ₱2,300 with breakfast
  • Princesa Kiram Suite ( Superior Room )
    ₱2,600 w/o breakfast
    ₱2,900 with breakfast
  • Extra Mattress
    ₱250 / pax
  • Day Tour Package
    ₱3,000 for a group of 5-15-pax
  • Evening Swimming (inclusive of dinner and use of amenities)
  • Van Service Pick Up/Send Off

Tori’s Backpackers Paradise
Address: Maite, San Juan 6227, Siquijor Island, Philippines
Contact Number: +63 907 132 6666
Rates: Couple room starts at ₱450

Things to do in the Island

Cambugahay Falls

Sway yourself across the pools created by the majestic cascades of Cambugahay. The three-tier waterfalls create natural pools that are perfect for you to vent out the summer heat.

Salagdoong Beach and the mand-made Molave Forest

The man-made forest is 60 years in the making and stretches nearly two kilometers. The forest offers comforting shades and exhibits a relaxing ambiance to all beachgoers.

Salagdoong Beach in the Town of Maria, Siquijor
Salagdoong Beach in the Town of Maria, Siquijor

The other end of the woodland is Salagdoong Beach, which offers cliff diving platforms to satiate your thirst for adventure.

Capilay’s Spring Park

You don’t need to spend a lot of effort to enjoy the summer. Capilay’s Spring is smack at the town proper wherein you don’t need to hike for hours, walk long distances, or battle with unpaved roads.

Old Enchanted Balete Tree and Fish Spa

Believed to be 400 years old, the enchanting balete or banyan provides a good shade to visitors who have their feet cleaned by the tiny swimmers.

Cantabon Cave

Conquer your claustrophobia and prepare to get wet, dirty, and sweaty as you traverse the dark caverns of Cantabon. To explore the cave, you must register at the Barangay Hall. With the 500-peso caving fee for three persons, you will have your own guide with free use of a helmet and flashlight.

Lazi Church and Convent

Lazi Church, also known as San Isidro Labrador Parish, is one of the oldest churches in Siquijor. It seats next to an equally old and silent convent. Both are testaments to the island’s long history and traditions.

Mount Bandilaan National Park

During Holy Week, healers and shamans from surrounding villages converge at the mountain top. With them are herbs they collected the whole year. They prepare a special mixture and perform their rituals. Guests may try their services and experience what Siquijor is really known for.

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

As diving and snorkeling heaven, expect to see a school of barracudas, turtles, a couple of reef sharks, giant clams, various species of fish, and verdant corals.

Unang nilathala noong Marso 2015

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