My First Solo Travel – Siargao Island, Philippines

My First Solo Travel – Siargao, Philippines

I always find it in my heart to go out with a group or at least with someone whom I know that’s the kind of traveler I was until I met a swiss solo traveler named Sarah Gysler. She inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and stop being so afraid of everything. I’m a worrier I admit plus I guess it’s in the Filipino culture where we travel in packs. As I peruse the web for beautiful destinations where I can undertake my first solo travel, I came across this island named Siargao in the province of Surigao del Norte. This little island is known to be the surfing capital of the Philippines! As passionate as I am at traveling, surfing is one of the activities I always want to learn and dream of doing. Hence, I got my bags pack and began my endeavor.

First time traveling alone, I really felt a whole lot mixed emotions. Being on an island with nothing but your bag of necessities and smartphone with the updated map of the location is an exciting and awesome adventure! However, I can’t help feeling a bit of fear: scared of being alone, scared of how the people will treat me when I get there, etc. Then I thought to myself, “How are you going to know if you won’t try. And if other’s can do it, why can’t you?” With that mindset, I pushed myself to think happy thoughts until… touchdown Siargao Island! When I got off the plane and took my first steps on the island, all my emotions suddenly started jumping wild, then I started walking and found a van for hire going to my destination The Footprints Hostel in General Luna. Inside, I get acquainted with some group of people and couples. And yeah, when my fellow countrymen knew that I was just on my own they were amazed! And that boost my spirit all the more. I was just there enjoying the ride and the island view.

There were no skyscraper, no traffic and not crowded then it got me thinking I must’ve been in a paradise. Well, it’s at least my version of paradise. After an hour ride, I finally arrived to my humble, friendly, and all good vibes – FootPrints Hostel.

Footprints Hostel ground

As I got there, I met the owners David and Apple who are very accommodating and friendly and off course a whole lot of diverse, interesting people and wait bunch of solo travelers.

Footprints second floor

And to my luck, two of them became my travel companions to my Siargao escapade!

Footprints surf boards

Hanna, a beautiful, friendly, and young German that aspires to be a great surfer one day, is one of them. Oh, I just love Hanna’s spirit, she’s young and smart and talented and we both love dogs. The other one is Keilah, a gorgeous Aussie that can get along easily with pretty much everyone. And trust me when I say this, Keilah, just shines through and inspires people, she got this sense of great positivity, quite an influential beautiful woman. And also Ketoy, a local who has been really friendly and kind in letting us use his surf boards for free and even taught us the basics of surfing.

Siargao Babes
Hanna and I actually arrived the same day in the island and so we started our afternoon finding the best place to feed our starving stomach. The next day after we started navigating through the island, it was simply amazing; nothing sort of what I have expected. Although we got lost during our traverse, we were able to figure out the way with the help of locals.Well, getting lost is just part of the adventure and it seemed like I didn’t have to worry about anything at all, after all. The people were wonderful, warm, and welcoming. When we got to Alegria beach, we got invited to a birthday party by the locals. Imagine that! First time on the island and was already invited to a wonderful occasion. Alegria beach, although it’s not well-known, but it’s calming and peaceful and you can basically fall asleep under the shades of the beautiful palm trees.

We planned to go to Magpupungko rock pool, unfortunately, it was already late and we were informed that we won’t see the actual pool at the moment since it was already high tide. We passed by Pacifico beach on our way to the hostel.

First time surfing, I was pretty excited. And to my surprise, I caught a wave on my first attempt (I must be a genius when it comes to surfing! haha). Yey Me! Hanna’s way better than me though haha, catching a wave is a whole lot new experience to me, and totally a different kind of fun. The feeling of floating while you were standing on your board on water and trying to glide with the waves just would wanna keep you riding some more. Being in the moment, I ended up surfing 2 more times the following day which beat my body to death! I was so exhausted and my arms couldn’t move at all. I even had to ask my surf instructor to pull me to the deep waters again and again for I still want some more waves however my body can’t handle paddling anymore haha. But that was an experience I would never, ever, ever forget. I certainly wanna do it over again. With just a few hours of rest, Hanna and I were on our way again to our next adventure, you basically can’t afford to waste any second while on this island. At night, we went out together with the rest of our new found friends from the hostel and visited some bars and restaurants. There were a lot of them that we visited, I forgot some of their names. But here are some highly notable spots:
Chillout Siargao at Fatlips
Buddha’s Surf Resort Restaurant
Jungle Bar
Bravo
Viento Del Mar Siargao  check their website: www.vientodelmar.com

This might be my own preferences, and I highly recommend that you guys pay a visit too.

Anyway, after this exhilarating night, slept just for a couple of hours ‘til morning, and it’s back to the beach for more surfing that day.
On the last few days of my stay on this beautiful island, Keilah arrived. The next day we went on an island hopping together, first stop was Naked Island, second was Daku Island, and lastly was Guyam Island. For people who like adventures, I highly suggest going to Guyam Island since it is surrounded by a wondrous coral rock formation.

It’s an island which the coconuts grow in the middle part and the rest are pure white sands and crystalline waters.
For a relaxing mood, Daku and Naked Island are the ideal spots. The only difference between the two is that Naked Island, as the name suggests, only consists of powdery white sands and crystal-clear water surrounding it. Now Daku Island is my ideal spot, coconut trees sprouting everywhere just to make a relaxing ambiance.

Even though it is one of the most popular islands of Siargao, it isn’t actually crowded. You can practically doze off on the pearly white sands and wake up at night since you’d be sleeping like a log due to the environment. And to end our island hopping, we delve into a good spa and massage, completing my stay here on the wonderful island of Siargao.
Traveling by myself for the first time, I get to experience a lot of things. I was able to meet a whole lot of other people, both local and foreign, compared to being in a group. Thus, it gives me a whole lot of new perspective, courage, self-awareness and strength. And I get to meet my alter-ego, the other side of me that is more fun and adventurous. Although my stay was short, Siargao Island is the travel destination I will surely remember and revisit.

Bye for now, the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao. I left my soul still surfing in your beautiful beach.

Thanks for reading everyone, till my next adventure.

Lists of Important Stuff to Bring as a Female Solo Traveler

For a first-time solo travel, any woman would feel anxious, especially if they didn’t pack the right things. Indeed, you can bring along as many things as you want, but excess luggage can increase your travel expenses, from the airport to the travel destination itself. And packing less isn’t a good idea, either. You might stay in a place for a week or two and haven’t considered that your clothes are all used and you don’t have any extra ones left.

Truly, this dilemma has haunted almost all experienced and first-time travelers.

Whether you plan to travel abroad or domestically, there are things you should always have. From safety necessities to making your travel fun, here’s what you should bring:

Travel Documents

The last thing you want to happen is to be stranded in an unfamiliar place without any of your important information. Make copies of documents – your license, passport, your visa, travel insurance, hotel reservations, and anything else you’re bringing with you.

First Aid Kit

While traveling, you will get to experience a lot of local activities, and most of the time, you’ll get injured. Well, it probably will only be some minor cuts, but to be safe, it is best to bring along a customized first aid kit. Stock up things like aspirin, Lactaid, Imodium, antibiotic cream, and other things depending on where you’re going.

Emergency Contact Card

No matter you’re going, you should always have an emergency contact card inside your wallet. Include contact information for someone back home. It can either be a close friend or your parents. In addition, be sure to add relevant information about your health, like allergies or other conditions.

Maps

A map of the place you’re traveling to is vital for you to survive. It is a great tool for navigation. But if you find it too uncomfortable to use, you can always use Google map. Just search down your travel destination beforehand and pin it down so you can get access to it even without the internet. In addition, if you are like most that can’t spot south with the use of the Southern Star, you will probably need to bring along a compass to help you out.

Spare Clothes

When it comes to traveling, there is no question in the importance of bringing spare clothes. However, be sure to pack comfortable and decent clothes. The last thing you want is to attract unwanted attention because of the clothes you wear. Pack a few shirts and pants or dress that you can easily match and mix.

Pair of Shoes

When it comes to traveling, you will be walking around, a lot! Packing two or three pairs of shoes is ideal. If you plan to enjoy the nightlife of the city you’re in with some high heels and a beautiful dress, you can definitely do so. However, don’t wear them for touring or traveling since you’ll be doing a lot of trekking; sneakers are better suited.

Cash and Credit Cards

Traveling means you will need to spend, so bring some cash and a credit card. Credit cards are mainly used to pay for large amounts, like for your hotel accommodation. However, make sure that your card is still usable and won’t be denied when swiped. Not only is it problematic, it can also be quite embarrassing. For some native delicacies or riding a taxi, of course, you will need to pay cash. But be warned, don’t keep your cash and credit card in the same bag for safety purposes.

Safety Whistle or Alarm

Traveling solo means there’s no one to look after you, so you’ll want to keep something on you that can help you in case of emergencies. Sometimes pepper sprays aren’t allowed, and you definitely bring a mace on a place. But one option that will surely help you in case of emergency is a safety whistle or alarm. It can attract attention and deter any attackers.

A Book (Several)

Being in an unfamiliar place can be stressful and you may need something to get your mind off things. Talking to the locals is a great idea, but if you’re looking for that “solo girl” time, reading a book or two can definitely help. Moreover, it’s something to do, but it’s also something that will make you look busy if you’re worried about strangers approaching you.

A Journal

When you’re traveling, you’re experiencing new things and making new memories. And as a lady, you might be inclined to write down your experiences for you to keep them forever. Take a journal with you. At the end of the day, write down all the amazing things you saw, people you meet, and you felt during that day. Plus, if your friends or family asks about how was your trip, you’ve got all the info you need in your journal.

These are just important stuff to bring for your first solo travel. But with these alone, you can make your travel experience more enjoyable and worry-free.

Travel Tips

Travel Tips

If there is one thing that should be on everyone’s bucket list, it’s domestic or international travel! Whether you go out of town or fly halfway around the world, there is so much for you to see, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out!

Traveling can change your life. It can open your eyes to many different, yet beautiful and amazing things that you won’t see if you won’t venture around your own country or others.

Yes, it’s scary to become a stranger in an unfamiliar city or country, but with the right preparation, you can rest easy knowing everything (Well, mostly) will be alright!

Nine out of ten, you’ll probably pack stuff that won’t even see the light off day. Avoid over packing and bring only the important stuff for your travel.

Your Passport

No matter you where go, it is important to have IDs, and most of the time, the passport is the best identification to bring. A passport is your most prized possession when traveling. Sure, it can give you amenities and all those privileges but it is vital to let others know you are a tourist. Knowing this, the number thing you should prepare is your passport, and your goal should be to keep this little book safe and ready to go.

Traveling domestically doesn’t really mean you need a passport, however, you may need to board a plane to get to a certain area. Some airline companies would prefer a passport rather than a driver’s license. Hence, having a passport can act as your identification that will help you along the way.

If you need a new passport, it is important to plan it well in advance. When applying for a passport, know that I can take at least six weeks before you can procure one, but it’s better to give yourself as much time as possible.

Your Clothes

Touring another city or country can take days or even weeks. We know what that means, right? Spare clothes! Depending on the number of days you’ll be visiting a place, you may need to bring more than three spare clothes.

Moreover, be sure that it blends in with the place. Some clothes might seem okay for others, while others might find it offensive. For this reason, be sure to do a thorough research on your travel destination.

Your Cash and Cards

Being a tourist, cash is vital! Of course, you need to consider and prepare this beforehand. Make sure to that your budget can sustain your stay. You can also bring credit cards, however, be sure to keep your cash and cards in separate bags or different places in your body for safety.

Your Accommodation

You may have wondered, “Why is there no toothbrush or bath gels in the essentials” Good question! Touring a place for days may give you a certain smell. But don’t worry! Accommodating a place will give you the privilege of using room service. So you can rest easy knowing a toothbrush, soap, and shampoo is there to take care of that smell.

Knowing how important an accommodation is, be sure to thoroughly search for affordable places to stay in your travel destination. And have a copy of their address as well. This will make things easier for a taxi driver to find the place.

Your Itinerary

When it is time for you to visit travel spots, you may find it difficult to reach that place without even knowing about them in the first place, right? For this reason, it is important to bring along an itinerary which shows spots for your travel.

Apart from preparing your belongings for your travel, it is also crucial to prepare your emotional state for this endeavor.

Your Fears

The world is a fascinating place — so don’t let your fears of safety, thoughts of being alone, or other concerns hinder you from discovering the wonders of planet Earth! Traveling is all about breaking out of your comfort zone and going beyond your own boundaries. So as a simple tip, go even if you’re not sure.

Your Confidence

When you have fears, it can be difficult to bring out some confidence. But don’t worry! Wear a secure and open posture when you go out exploring.

You’ll look more approachable to the right people, and not an easy target for the wrong ones. As a simple tip, the best way to bring out confidence is to smile. Smiling goes a long way and can even lead to a good conversation.

Your Anxiety

For most travelers, their anxiety would often heighten up due to over thinking on what can happen to them. But that’s what preparation is all about. To take care of this problem, it is important to let someone know that you are traveling. It can be your friend, but it is often preferred to be a close relative.

Being in an unfamiliar place can be stressful at times. However, do yourself a favor and try to loosen up. You’re already there! Take your time and, slowly but bravely, take one step at a time and enjoy the vastness of the world.

Alcoy, Tingko 2 Cebu

Alcoy is a very beautiful town in southern part of Cebu, where you can enjoy the nice white sand beach and people. It is a few kilometers away from Cebu City proper. It takes 3 hours land trip if you are commuting in a bus and if you are using a private vehicle depending on how fast you drive more likely you’ll reach the place in 2 hours time. We took the bus trip for 130 pesos only in an air-conditioned Ceries line bus, they also have regular bus where you could get a 20 pesos less than the actual air-conditioned bus fare. They also have fish sanctuary and their famous of their blue coral reefs. The locals in the area are very friendly and accommodating as well as very helpful.

Check out the beachfront..

Beautiful white sand at Alcoy Beach
just enjoy the sand and the beach

There are tables and chairs for rent for a day for 300 pesos. The rooms are quite expensive too from 1200-2500 although I like their room accommodation so far compared to moalboal. It’s clean and much bigger plus the beach does not have much rock in it. So we just had somebody watch over our stuff in the area his name was Jun-jun haha all thanks to him we give him 100 to watch for our stuff for roughly an hour or two. Because we headed to the fish sanctuary and the blue coral reefs area and tried to catch some fish as we brought some fishing rod and other fishing materials that day to try and catch a fish.. Unfortunately, we failed to catch one. We rented a pumpboat for 400 pesos.

Look! Let me introduce you to Manong Bedong.

Manong Bedong!

He is very thoughtful and he makes sure that we are safe and that we’d enjoy our adventure.

Let her enjoy her candy on the beach.

 

After the snorkeling and failed fishing activity my friend Sarah gave the fishing equipment to Manong Bedong in return. I love the place it’s warm, refreshing and relaxing..

 

Here’s some rock formation in the area with not some hard rock punks..lol thats gerry and dudz btw..

Alcoy Boys

I hope you enjoyed reading this, until my next travel adventure.

Danao Adventure Park

Danao Adventure Park’s getting famous in Bohol for its affordable breathtaking fun activities, it’s a 3-4 hours land trip from ICM Mall Tagbilaran. We took a v-hire from ICM Terminal going to Danao Poblacion for 165 pesos. Then from Poblacion we took a motorcycle ride (habal2x) for 50 pesos which took us about 15-20 minutes to reach Danao Advanture Park. We started our first Danao adventure with SuiSlide Zipline worth 350 pesos per person. It was fun and exciting it took us a minute or two to reach the other side of the cliff and another minute going back.

who’s up for fun air ride?
age doesn’t matter at all!

Our next adventure was River Kayaking worth 350 pesos per person. It was like 3-4 km away from the Danao Adventure Park Center to the Wahig River starting point. It’s a 1.5 km long river kayak where me and my friends get to enjoy.

who’s excited?? haha
i thought this would just be easy.. haha it’s such a great sport!
oh, i’m just a thrill seeker..

We headed back to the Adventure Park Center to have lunch.  There food is okay, I ordered pancit guisado for 180 pesos and 1 liter bottle for 40 pesos. We rested for half an hour and went to our last Adventure trip which was the Extreme Caving worth 350 pesos per person. It took us 2 hours to finish our spelunking adventure. Such a bummer I didn’t brought power bank and emptied my gadgets battery. You guys, 1 must have in your adventures is a power bank. It was indeed an extreme cave adventure, we did rappelling, crawling,crossing 4ft deep water inside the cave, climbing ughhh was so much fun… You guys, have to do it some time soon. I don’t suggest this activity though to a claustrophobic or people with asthma. The cave is alive and it’s got so many living creatures inside it. It’s got so many wonderful stalactites and stalagmites formation and there’s so many bats plus our tour guide mention that there’s a snake – a python one that would sometimes swim along with you guys.. Of course, we didn’t experience it thank God we didn’t.lol

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try Bungee Jumping, Skyride and rootclimb for it was damage due to the earthquake. But no worries ya all, it’s under reconstruction they said. Hopefully, it’s all back up next year.  We finished it all by 4 pm. We left the Center by 4:45 pm and took motorcycle whom fetch us to the last bus trip and paid them 100 per person. And our bus fare going back to tagbilaran city was 120 pesos. Then we rode another motorcycle (habal2x) on our way back to the Ashiyana Resort at Alona Beach for 75 pesos per person.

My overall expense:  1780 pesos although my adventure rides was a treat from my beautiful friend Sarah, bunch of thanks ( merci beaucoup, Sarah! )

V-hire fare    – 165 php
Motorcycle     – 50  php
SuiSlide       – 350 php
River Kayaking – 350 php
Pancit Guisado – 180 php
Water        – 40  php
Spelunking     – 350 php
Motorcycle     – 100 php
Bus Fare       – 120 php
Motorcycle     – 75  php

Thanks for reading, till my next adventure…

Things To Do in Camotes Island

“The Untouched Island” is what they call it, a beautiful small island found in the northern part of Cebu Province. It’s composed of a three major islands and a minor islet. Pacijan Island has sole municipality of San Francisco; Poro Island, which has two municipalities namely Poro and Tudela; Ponson Island has sole municipality of Pilar; and the Tulang Island which is an islet that is still a part of San Francisco. It’s main transportation is motorcycle or habal2x, there’s just a few multicab jeepneys in the area. The island is small that you can tour it for a day using a motorcycle or a car.

Things to do:

  • Soak in the beach at Santiago Beach
  • Set a camping tent in Santiago Beach
  • Visit Lake Danao
  • Spelunking in a few famous caves such as Holy Crystal Cave, Timubo Cave and many more.
  • Cliff Jumping / Diving in Buho Rock Resort
  • Dine at Baywalk and eat delicious barbecues.
  • Meet friendly locals in the fisherman`s village

It took us 3 hours to reach the wonderful pristine beach of Barangay Santiago in Camotes Island.

Santiago beach shore line

From Cebu we took a jeepney bound for Danao Port, it was about 2hours from Mandaue City Cebu to reach Danao Port which cost us 30 pesos per head. From Danao port,it would take approximately an hour to reach to Consuelo Port for 180 pesos then the terminal fee which is 5 pesos. Then we embark at Consuelo port at 3:30pm luckily these friendly locals Ramil and Carlo offered us a free ride since they’re also heading our way which is to Santiago Beach so we’ve save 50 pesos plus we get to meet and talk to locals. It would cost you 50 pesos for a habal2x to fetch you to Santiago Beach, no worries as there’s a lot of habal2x waiting just outside the port of Consuelo that you can charter. Or you can also rent a motorcycle for 500 pesos good for 24hours. In our case, Ramil knows someone in Santiago that also rents scooters for only 300 pesos. His  name is Miguel and his contact number is 09975895235. We rented a tent for 2 nights too at 300 pesos a night in Reeses Resort the first resort on the right side in the area.  I would definitely go back to Camotes, the people here are nice and wonderful. They’re friendly and very accomodating. Miguel even offered to fetch us to the Consuelo port for free on our departure date, so very nice of him to do that. I’m grateful to this people with their kind and big heart. Gracias!

Our first day since we arrive a little late already, we just head straight to Baywalk, San Francisco to enjoy our sumptous dinner a very good chicken barbecue that we couldn’t get enough of it that the following night we went back and enjoyed the same order in that same food stall plus some beer ughh so delicious. lol.. you guys should try it.

she’s loving it so much

In the morning, we just ordered breakfast meal from the resort we’re we camped our tent and enjoyed the beach until 12 noon. Then started our day tour around the area. Ofcourse we have to refuel our motorcycle and there’s just a few gasoline station, Petron was in Barangay Danao and there’s another one Gasoline station in Barangay Consuelo too. Not to worries though because there are small stores that sells gasoline in liters along the way. So we first visited Lake Danao, did some picnic and get lost in the woods. You can also rent the paddle boat for 50 pesos in 30 minutes or visit the Lake Danao islet in a speedy boat for also 50 pesos a ride.

Live the moment, be a child again.
Get lost in the woods

Then we went to do some spelunking, Holy Crystal Cave was the nearest one to Lake Danao. It’s got really beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. It’s got 3 bats hehe just 3 of them.

beautiful stalactite formations at Holy Crystal Cave
Beautiful Stalagmite formation at Holy Crystal Cave
You be the judge!

Then we also went to Timubo Cave. There’s not much of stalactite and stalagmite formation in that cave since it has already been commercialized. You can just enjoy the cold water inside, it is where locals used to wash there clothes too. lol

Timubo Cave has a huge place where you can swim but there’s not much stalactits or stalagmite formation as this cave is pretty much commercialized!
Tulang Island, an Islet in San Francisco just a view from afar.

Then we went to Buho Rock Resort and enjoyed cliff jumping…                                     Cliff jumping area, has 20 ft and 50 ft zones

Such a relaxing place

Also please see this link for my camotes island escapade miniclip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk0dSvzo1KY&t=6s

 

Until our next travel adventure…

Canyoneering in Kanlaob River Cebu

Canyoneering is an exhilarating sport involving fun waterfall jumping, ecstatic rappelling, challenging rock climbing, thrilling crawls and slides. I’ve had a momentous experience with my friends we embarked in an amazing canyoneering trip in Kanlaob River, Alegria and landed to Kawasan Falls. The deafening laugh, happy screams that turn to squeals and a victorious adventure made it history to our team. Moreover, this adventure taught our team teamwork and coherence.

Who wants to go next???
Who wants to go next???
Obviously, a genuine sight of happiness.
Obviously, a genuine sight of happiness.

We departed from Cebu South Bus terminal at 5:00am and arrived at Alegria Canyoneering a few hours later for a  briefing at 9:30 am. We chose an air-conditioned bus and slept the trip out and had forgotten the bus trip and woke with an energy boost for the adventure. Breakfast is an important meal, thus, we had our breakfast at Mario’s Eatery that serves sumptuous  meals at affordable costs. Their mung bean soup(monggo) costs 15 pesos per serving and  it’s definitely palatable. If you’re a rice eater, expect a very heavy rice consumption as they serve a cup of rice for merely 5 pesos.  They also serve a variety of dishes mostly asian cuisine. Three  shanghai lumpia rolls only costs 15 pesos. The food stop is an attraction leaving you wonder if you’ve tasted all the dishes. A lot is served in a blink of an eye, and I am certain I won’t be able to finish all dishes in a day.

We’ve had a 5-minute canyoneering briefing session at the Alegria tourism center for our safety and started the fun by chartering 6 motorcycles(habal2x) to bring us to the canyoneering drop off zone. The rendezvous point also offer pleasantries to soothe your needs like coconut juice that’s freshly picked from tall and resilient trees from the neighborhood.

We did it, so can you...<br /> #It's more fun in the Philippines
We did it, so can you…
#It’s more fun in the Philippines

From Kanlaob River starting point going to Kawasan Falls was a 14 km distance. Yeah it’s such a great sport where you can enjoy the wondrous nature God created for us to enjoy and explore.

Our first jump was about 15 ft high I was calm and my heartbeats just perfectly fine. But my sweat was over dripping,  when I saw the height of the first jump there I realize I was nervous. haha. Then I jumped and not hesitated to shake it off. I loved the feeling when you’re in the air as if your flying except the fact that you’re falling too fast. It’s like it took all my fears away, my cares, the feeling of your soul is coming out of your body like you wanna just grab it back to your physique but you can’t, and I sort of just stop thinking when I was at mid-air I can’t really explain the feeling but I sure do love it. It was just exactly what I needed and it’s for you to experience too haha.

Our brave 1st jumper, Jenny!
Our brave 1st jumper, Jenny!

We left Kawasan Falls past 4 o’clock in the afternoon and figured that all the buses were full so we decided to take a multicab bound for Lebranon terminal for only 10 pesos as someone told us that we’d have better chances of riding a bus there going back to the city. Alright, so here we are stuck at Lebranon with no available bus. bummer! A motorcycle-sidecar from Lebranon then told us that we can’t ride a bus from there as it will be full already or simply saying that ” hey, you fools! there’s no way you can ride a bus from here! Let me fetch you to moalboal. ” haha. So, we took a ride from Lebranon heading to Moaboal Terminal for 15 pesos each. Such a crazy experience waiting and finding a bus to ride going back to Cebu in a peak hours.  Imagine us running back and forth for the buses that would arrive to the terminal only to find out that they would not travel back to Cebu. It took us like 3 Bus Running marathon with our bags and tired body from the canyoneering. There were like atleast 50-70 people atleast who were waiting for the bus as well and there were 12 of us who’s like competing for the bus of our life. haha. It was crazy exhausting fun adventure experience overall. I loved it and I would certainly do it over again. Can’t get enough of it.. oh, not the bus running thingy, but the canyoneering.. 😉

40 ft high jumping area! wohohoo
40 ft high jumping area! wohohoo
50 ft jumping area.
50 ft jumping area.

 

Until our next travel adventure you all…

Siquijor Island, Philippines

Behold the mystique island paradise of the Southern Visayas region—Siquijor. An island full of nature’s pristine bounty and beauty, captivating marine treasures and serene views. This island garnered and still wears its title being the “Isla del Fuego” or the Island of Fire dubbed by the Spanish explorers dating back 1565 during Miguel Lopez de Legaspi’s expidition. The island was observed by the Spaniards to have noticeable orb-like glow from fireflies from its virgin forest trees thus, they tagged it the island of fire. Despite its magnificence, few local tourists reached this island due to local folk tales about superstitions and eerie mysteries about supernatural beings guarding the island. Good news is the island offers absolute and quality virgin landscapes since a few tourists reached the island and overcrowding is never an issue.

To get to Siquijor, our team departed from Cebu City to Lilo-an, Santander Port via bus and waited for a ferry to transport the bus were riding on to Dumaguete. Along the way, you also witness scenic views of the southern part of Cebu before bidding a momentous goodbye to the metro. From Dumaguete, an hour of ferry ride needs to be taken to reach the destination and while waiting, you can take a brief stroll at Dumaguete’s Boardwalk as it is near the port. From a distance, you can easily spot the island because of its lush green forest, glimmering blue waters and enthralling white sands. The route we took was longer but it is the easiest and cheapest way of getting there. In addition, you can also catch a ferry ride direct from Cebu to Larena, Siquijor thru Lite Ferries, However, the ship departs 01:00 PM every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and arrives at 11:30 PM same day.

St. Francis de Assisi Church

After leaving the port, one of the oldest churches greet you, not only that, you can also dine at a few dining establishments nearby or charter a motorbike to get you to destinations you can stop by while staying in the island.

The team cruised along scenic views and stopped at a few spots along the road which runs beside the islands coastline. The road trip alone is enough to invite you to take a dip in the white sand beaches. There are a lot of resorts and inns in the island which you can easily spot and the team decided to pick The Sylvia as our hideaway. The Sylvia is offering a cozy, comfortable and affordable quality accommodation. In addition, this place allows you to play billiards indoor and a great array of delectable meals. No wonder it received an average of 4.8 rating in google reviews.

In San Juan, Siquijor, lies a majestic waterfall where you can spend a few hours bathing at the waterfall’s basin-like pool. The Lugnason Fall’s water is clear even if it is a rainy day and you can enjoy the spot as it is somehow hidden from the main road by trees and greeneries.

The team decided to relax and have a pleasant fish spa treatment after a soothing waterfall bathe at The Century Old Balete Tree in Lazi, Siquijor. It is noticeable that many tourists from all over the world visit this place as it is one of the most visited destination in the island. The tree is more than 400 years old to date and has a spring the seems to plume from the base of its roots to the man-made pool where the friendly fishes reside. There are a variety of fishes in the pool and all you must do is to sit and dip your feet in the pool and these little creatures will do the tickling spa treatment you deserve. The treatment is said to help exfoliate dead skin cells in your feet and stimulate nerves in your feet while the fishes enjoy a snack.

The Old Balete tree

 Then the team drove a few kilometers to the municipality of Lazi where we travelled back in time by visiting the San Isidro Labrador Church which first opened in 1884. The church has been well preserved and from the outside you will feel being a time traveler and imagine how the early church-goers look like and what they might be wearing that time. It is also noticeable to see the stones used as walls of the church and the old wooden windows and doors that are still functional. Inside the church, you’ll see a high ceiling common in neoclassical architecture. The floor is made of hard wood specifically and meticulously tiled and have been kept in good condition throughout the years.

Lazi Church

Another destination you shouldn’t miss is Cambugahay Falls, which is in the mountainous side of Lazi, Siquijor. Unlike the first waterfall, this waterfall offer a flawless swimming pool wider than Lugnason Falls it is impeccably cleaner and bluer. It is also hidden from the main highway by a thick rainforest-like foliage and trees. To get to the site, you need to walk down a slightly steep hill. It is also safe to traverse the hill as it has sturdy stairs made from stone and concrete. The destination garnered an average 4.5 stars rating from those who swam and enjoyed the destination.

Cambugahay Falls

Salagdoong Forest Reserve in Maria, Siquijor is a 202.15 hectare wide, man-made forest showcasing tall Molave trees and other varieties not only giving shade to the area but also a new home for animal species in the island. It would be a long trail if you decide to walk across the forest to the shoreline but you won’t feel the distance as the place is cool and serene. A quick fact, Salagdoong is believed to have originated from the line Salag sa Doong which means Nest of the Doong bird.

Salagdoong Forest
Salagdoong Forest

Time to hit the beach after being enthralled by the thick man-made forest, thus, we reached Salagdoong Beach Resort & Hotel Agripino. This is a beach that you shouldn’t dare miss when visiting Siquijor as it offers a rich marine and forest views. You get a blooming view of the forests, Cliffs with diving boards and benches for sight-seeing, white sand beach and a crystal-clear water imbued with rich marine life that’s perfect for snorkeling. This beach resort is usually crowded during day time thus, if you need to eat at their local restaurant you need to order ahead of time as they have a huge number of diners. If you wish to stay in the resort you can stay at Hotel Agripino just a few steps away from the shore. This hotel doesn’t offer much but if you are already in the place you would really use the room as a safety box for your belongings while you spend the day in the beach.

Salagdoong Beach

There are a lot more to see in Siquijor, like the Cantabon Cave and several resorts with varying amenities and services. Moreover, a day or two in the island invites you to stay and leave all your worries behind and simply be thankful about nature’s beauty and bounty.

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