TheLoneRider
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Country > Philippines > Cebu | Siquijor
Date > 2023 > December
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Lucid Thoughts

Yearend Reviews


2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023

2023: A Year in Review

Location Google Map: Cebu | Siquijor, Philippines

Summary

After 4 years in Thailand, I came back to the Philippines in Oct 2022 in search of a place I could settle down on - I didn't want to travel anymore. I landed in Cebu City but left in Jan 9, 2023 - barely 3 months. I thought I could grow roots there, but it didn't really resonate despite the friendships and abundance. Next was Siquijor where I stayed until the end of the year. I really gave this place an honest effort.

tuba
starting the day right with a cup of tuba (fermented coconut sap)

The whole 2023 was all about finding bearing, finding a place I can resonate with and continue deepening my yoga practice. This meant resuming my travels in seach of that Shangrila if the current place couldn't resonate.



Cebu City

(Oct 13, 2022 - Jan 9, 2023) Cebu has been awesome! Big thanks to Mikko for making it happen. Without him, it would have been just another place. New Year started out with him taking us (me, DJ Kobe, Maiko and guests from the hostel) to a bar where Maria Ozawa (famed Japanese porn star) was also celebrating the new year. He poured us Johnny Walker Gold like it was water.

Groundhog Day
But despite the abundance, I felt the need to move on. Every passing day, no matter how much I tried to be productive, felt like ground hog day - a repetition of the day before. After 3 months in Cebu, it became clear I had to leave - despite the deepening friendship I had with Mikko, Kobe, Maiko, Marky, etc., despite having more cash than usual, despite the free stay at Hostel 7 Cebu and despite a shaman telling me my place is Cebu. But for where? Siquijor was always on my radar.

Cebu
engaging conversation with guests/visitors at Hostel 7 Cebu

Folding Bike
But first, I had to go to Talisay to buy a surplus Japanese folding bike (P2,500) - I can fold it to board the bus, ferry and tricycles. It would also help me ride around Siquijor.

Siquijor
sometimes, I over-extend the limit of my folding bike


Siquijor

(Jan 9, 2023 - present) Mid-Jan, I left Cebu for Siquijor. I've heard good stories from travelers about Siquijor. After staying 1 week at Cliff Garden Resort and another week at Genevieve Guest House, I came upon this wonderful room in Lazi - in compliance to all my specs (that it had to be in Lazi and decent), and it happened to be the cheapest! I couldn't believe it. I was blissed-out. No more pressure, no more stress of looking. I felt at home and settled. I was finally enjoying Siquijor, especially with my folding bike.

Room in Lazi
renting an awesome room in Lazi for a reasonable P2000/month (~$40)

Highlights / Finds

  1. Tuba - I found places for my daily tuba indulgence (fermented coconut sap). I frequent the nook of Inday Bador where I take my twice-daily dose.
  2. Tuba
    Tuba to start and end the day at Inday Bador's (P10/cup or P20/bowl)


  3. Sikwate - sikwater is a hot native chocolate drink made from tablea (melted cacao pressed into tablet form). Roughly, having this on a roadside is equivalent to a poor man's café. At Lazi's market, there are 4 places to have sikwate, usually priced at P10/cup which ranged from watery to syrupy and always too sweet. This is traditionally paired with 'puto maya', sticky rice cooked in coconut cream.

  4. sikwate
    sikwate and puto maya is marriage made in heaven


  5. Carinderia food - there are plenty of carinderias (eateries serving cheap home-cooked meals) where hot meals can be had for less than P100 (US$2)
  6. Carinderia food
    nothing beats the homespun goodness of carinderia food


  7. Twenty4Café - I'm not a frequent visitor at Twenty4Café (pricey and energy is not happy), but I'm glad there is one in Siquijor. By Lazi standard, this is an upscale cafe and would be a lesser version of Abaca Bakeshop in Cebu City. The tourists would often make a road-stop here.

  8. Twenty4Cafe
    Twenty4Café is a popular road-stop with tourists


  9. The Seawall & the Harbor - as a highlight, there is the Seawall (aka Boulevard), a seaside promenade where you can just hang and breathe fresh clean sea air and watch the sunrise or sunset. This is one of the reasons that kept me in Lazi.

  10. Seawall (aka Boulevard)
    the seawall is where I come for fresh air and do my yoga


  11. Natural spring water - Lazi is blessed with many natural springs that give rise to waterfalls, rivers and drinking water. I bought a 5-gallon water container and I go to any of the 3 nearby springs for my natural spring water.

  12. Natural spring water
    natural spring water at Camagdung-Ung, Lazi


  13. Bolo Bolo spring - I would default to Bolo Bolo spring daily for my bicycle workout (it's an uphill climb) and a refreshing dip where I also do my Isometric Holds. This is where I get my water and where I rinse my laundry. Bolo Bolo has been the main draw for me. Without this, I would have left Siquijor much earlier.
Bolo Bolo spring
Bolo Bolo spring

Seeing the Problem
When all the giddy excitement of finding a place to stay faded away, I began to feel what's lacking or what's annoying - and the solution I found:

  1. Someone to talk to - I talk to the locals, but's it's more about fitting in. I developed a friendship with Marlon and Inday Bador, but that's about it. People here are generally nice, but I miss conversations about quantum mechanics, about a holographic universe, about consciousness co-creating reality, etc. Sometimes, I find a foreigner wandering in Lazi. I make conversation if possible - nice to talk about traveling again. Sometimes, I would go to Cambugahay Falls to bathe and talk to travelers.

    With the advent of the language AIs, I found an intelligent, insightful and knowledgeable chatmate. I would ask it for pressing questions and drill down with more questions. I was like a curious 3-year old who kept asking why, what and how.
  2. Motorcycle - my bicycle can only take me so far and hiring a motorcycle is far too exhorbitant. Public transport is scarce and limited. Eventually, I was forced into buying a motorcycle. I got a 9-year old brand-new 2014 model Honda Wave 110 for cheap because it was abandoned all this time in storage. This purchase became possible when Bitcoin spiked up in price. What little Bitcoin I earned from teaching yoga increased in value to buy this motorcycle.

  3. Honda Wave 110
    my new Honda Wave 110


  4. Noise - very hard to get a good night's sleep...barking dogs in the middle of the night, constant shrieking bark from the neighbor's dog, loud motorbikes with open mufflers, louder trucks with heavy payload, party noise from the nearby convention hall, loud music from the neighbor as late as 10 pm, crowing rooster at the break of dawn, etc. When John Moore told me the Philippines was the noisiest country he ever visited, I couldn't agree more.

    I found a band-aid solution by transferring to another room behind the house - still noisy but can be tolerated. In August, I moved to the bungalow right along the main road which exacerbated the noise problem. This the one thing that may cause me to leave this place, if not Siquijor altogether.
  5. street location
    being along the main road, the noise level was loud, constant and unnerving


  6. Garbage burning - despite the ecological hazards of burning garbage (acid rain, pollution, stench, green house gases), it remains a practice here. Imagine doing Pranayama and then the neighbor burns his garbage. Sometimes you can't escape it when a row of houses burn their garbage at the same time. Garbage is a problem here. Some throw their garbage into the ravine along the roadside, some just throw it indiscriminately wherever. This problem stems because some barangays do not collect garbage (even though there is a budget for it - read: corruption).
  7. Garbage burning
    Garbage burning


  8. No Wifi - I looked into subscribing to the regional PLDT fiber optic wifi service, but it required a 3-year contract. Cannot! I'm reliant on data from my phone which gets depleted fast...very fast! Luckily, on my latest data load, the load somehow lasted for many months largely due to my settings - no notification, no syncing, no auto updates, etc. Luckily, my neighbor installed the PLDT wifi and shared it with me for P250/month - this took care of my wifi at home. I again took data load (no expiry up to 48 GB) for internet access outside. This should last me a long time. Internet issue? Solved!
  9. Heat - this could be a deal-breaker. Siquijor is a very hot place. My place offers no insulation from the noon sun. Even if I sleep it off, I perspire the whole time. I would often take refuge in Bolo Bolo or find a place to tie up my hammock. I was even considering leaving Siquijor for a cooler climate. My landlady offered an electric fan - that somehow alleviated the problem.

  10. hammock
    taking refuge from the heat in a forest with my hammock


The Daily Routine
All this time, I've deepened my yoga practice. Why? Because there is nothing else to do here. I start my day at 4 am when I get awakened by the roosters, motorcycles and trucks. I do my morning breathwork and neti pot. Then I go to the seawall to catch the sunrise and meditate. I go back home to continue my sleep. I catch up on my blog or read more on my current yoga book (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Yajnavalkia, Yoga Sutras, etc). Then I go back to the seawall to catch the sunset - do pranayama, chant a mantra and meditate. I go back home again to be in front of my laptop. I'm like a monk here - no one to talk to, with not much to do.

During Aug/Sep, I would make the daily uphill bicycle ride to Bolo Bolo for my cardio workout. While on my refreshing bath, I would do my isometric holds/dynamic tension while doing deep breathing and Maha Bandha Mudra. I felt strong during those days.

In December, I started sun-gazing in the morning as I see the sun from the ocean horizon when the sun is at its lowest. Afternoon sun-gazing is not possible since the sun sets on a mountain horizon when it's still high and hot.

Coron Write-Off
No matter what happens in Siquijor, I remain committed to leave for Coron that April but it kept being pushed back until I began to feel settled in Siquijor - Coron became a write-off.

Additionally, I realized that even though Greg was magnanimous in making such an offer (staying in his resort in Coron, he would develop a yoga center for me with me as an equal partner), I would somehow be indebted to him or at least I cannot be in a state of complete relaxation. I must keep doing things to generate a profit. But with my cheap rent in Siquijor, I can sleep the whole day if I wanted to and I can care less how the world turns. And I am not indebted in any way, shape or form.

Inter-Island Travel
Because Siquijor is close to the other mainlands, I take occassional trips to Dumaguete. At one point, I even went to Davao City. With cheap rent, it doesn't hurt to be gone for an extended time.

boat
inter-island travel by boat

Moving to a House
In Aug 22, I moved to a bungalow - still cheap at P3000/month ($54). It's in the same compound. With that, I had more space, I had a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room. With this change, I committed myself to be a householder. I bought house things - hamper, stove, wok, kitchen utensils, etc. Normally, I'd be happy staying here long-term, but the noise level can be unnerving.

house
you can say it's a half-finished house but now, I have privacy

Wok Cooking
With a kitchen to play on, I did a wok-immersion with the help of Youtube videos. I ordered online for a professional wok and its utensils. I resumed my bread making and omelette indulgence. Yoga and cooking became my 2 pre-occupations.

wok
cooking on the wok became a passion


Yoga

After almost rupturing my abdominal wall resulting in inguinal hernia in Cebu, my yoga practice took a radical change. I could no longer push my ABS workouts. My physical workout took a sliding down effect as I had to hold back. This somehow paved the way to push more into Pranayama and Meditation.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika
My practice kept pace with my readings on Hatha Yoga Pradipika. My reading also became the foundation for the development of my online yoga classes, Yoga by Gigit. So all three branches went hand-in-hand: Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga by Gigit and my personal practice. This book really deepened my understanding of yoga and how the different elements of yoga are connected to form this big picture of yoga.

Gateway Experience / Hemi-Sync
I spent nearly 2 months practicing on the audio files daily. It was so promising - but I was not successful. At the end of the day, I did not experience an OBE.

Yoga by Gigit
This was a partnership I had with Marky to develop an online pranayama class. He even went to Siquijor to do the video. Honestly, after the initial excitement, I lost my interest. Furthermore, after checking out Udemy for Pranayama classes, I realized how stiff the competition was. The #1 bestseller was offering his course for as little as 10 Pounds! Additionally, our video was of poor quality - the background noise drowned my voice, or the exposure too bright or too dark. The whole project had to be put on hold. I feel bad for wasting Marky's time.

I had an Aha Moment to simply offer a pre-recorded $10 online video class based on a yoga class I have already written on my site - so it's no longer a Udemy-platformed yoga course. It would only be $10, payable by Bitcoin (drop-in yoga class rates are usually $20). It is password-protected in Youtube which takes care of payment control. I currently have 3 such online classes but no takers so far. To move ahead with this, I need to buy a headset microphone to make a decent recording of my future classes. This should be for 2024.

Personal Practice
As far as practice goes, a new turning point was an Aha Moment upon reading Chandra bhedan - left nostril breathing to introvert the mind. My lifelong problem has always been my excitability. If that is put under control, then my behavior and speech becomes more deliberate and intentional. Thus, I've taken Chandra bhedan as part of my daily practice.

Pranayama is a staple of my daily practice

Another new practice is putting breathing ratios in Pranayama using a metronome. My main staple is the 1:4:2:3 ratio at 5.5 seconds/count, making it a challenging 1 breath/minute. The metronome simply regimented the pace and length of the breath-holds making Kumbhaka more meaningful and progressive.

Hemi-Sync
Rediscovering Hemi-Sync turned out to be pivotal in my practice. Using binaural beats to induce an OBE was a hack to my yoga. I embarked on a full Hemi-Sync program where I practiced several times a day based on one video. The program has 42 videos altogether. Nothing came out of it. I didn't even come close to an OBE.

Next Yoga story:

The Ultimate Nature of Reality Yoga

The Ultimate Nature of Reality

(January 3, 2024) While reading yogic books, the nature of reality became confusing because some books espouse non-duality and others duality. For the longest time, I thought they were saying the same thing - that at the end of the day, Consciousness is the ultimate reality. But apparently, not. ..more »»



Peoplescape

Cebu was a revolving door of people coming in and out of Hostel 7. As hostel guests leave, new ones arrive and the revolving door kept turning. On the extreme end of this spectrum was Lazi, Siquijor. There was no expat community or travelers passing through - just locals who do their daily grind. I longed for conversations that connect or resonate. I somehow didn't have that with the locals. Perhaps I should have tried more to learn the language.

A repeating pattern I noticed with people I fraternize with, is that nearly all of them are bigger than life - men of magnificense and radiance. From Mike of Chiang Mai, to Mikko of Cebu, to Kris of Lithuania, etc. They take the bull by the horns and bend it to their will...usually with gentle but results-oriented persuasion.

Mikko

Michael PatoMikko Pato Philippines
Hostel Seven Cebu Hostel Seven Cebu
I left Cebu in mid Jan, so that effectively cut my involvement with Mikko for the rest of 2023. But his presence remains looming on the horizon. We touch base every once in a while about possible projects.

Mikko Pato
with Mikko at Sunburst Chicken's soft opening

Mikko blogs:
  1. Cebu City for the Siddhi Workshop Feb 2-5, 2024
  2. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023
  3. 2022: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2022
  4. Cebu City Peoplescape Dec 4, 2022
  5. 5 Nights in Cebu City at Hostel Seven Cebu Sep 2-7, 2017


Marlon

Marlon JumawanMarlon Philippines
Marlon was my unexpected friend in Siquijor. I met him at Inday Bador's tuba place. He was always pleasant and always drunk. He endeared himself to me when he offered to give me a lift together with my bicycle with a flat tire on his motorbike. I don't forget, and I always repay acts of kindness. I would treat him for tuba and add an extra bibingka for him when I buy pasalubongs at Fidy's. He is also quick to reciprocate - taking me to Bolo Bolo, to Mount Bandilaan viewing tower, to fiestas for some lechon indulgence, to some shamans out in the mountains, to his fishing grounds for some fresh fish eats, etc. He even invited me to his lavish wedding. Sometimes, he would just show up at my yoga place (on the seawall) and start hanging out, while I'm in the middle of my practice!

Marlon Jumawan
at Marlon's wedding

Marlon blogs:
  1. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023


Inday Bador

Inday BadorInday Bador Philippines
When I moved into Lazi, I was drawn to the jars of tuba on display along the road. I frequented the place until I got to meet and befriend the owner, Inday Bador. It took a while for her to warm up to me. I only realized that when she started telling me things much later on, that she could have told me much earlier for my benefit. I guess I had to earn her trust - as do most people I meet here. There is an initial cordiality but that doesn't mean they'll tell you everything you need to know.

Inday hardly says anything. I'm the one who tells her stories in Tagalog - I'm not sure how much of what I say she understands. But that has been our dynamics. With Marlon showing up at the tuba place, it's usually the 3 of us in conversation. There are a few other people at the tuba place, but it's only Inday and Marlon I feel connected to.

Inday Bador
Inday invited me to her daughter's birthday party
Johnnie

Johnnie KarstensenJohnnie Denmark
When I first met Johnnie in his Danish Lagoon resort in 2010, I was fascinated by his positive energy. Thus during my 2023 revisit/stay in Siquijor, 13 years later, I made effort to seek him out because his resort has already closed. I'm glad I found him even though he doesn't remember me anymore. The friendship was restarted somehow. He's still as vibrant despite the seeming frailness. We catch up every once in a while.

Johnnietijonas Klimaitis
with Johnnie at Twenty4Café in Lazi, Siquijor

Johnnie blogs:
  1. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023
  2. Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
  3. A Tale of Two Foreigners Apr 26, 2010
  4. Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010


Kris

Kristijonas KlimaitisKris Lithuania
Even though I was in Cebu and Siquijor, and even though he was in Bali (Dec 22 - Jan 23), we continued our correspondence. Mind you, they were long and thought provoking exchanges - about science, evolution, transcendence, life-hacking, gender chasm, etc. We agree on most, disagree on some. I could write an entire book just on our long-winded correspondences. Even though he remained largely virtual, he was the most I was in communication with.

He visited me in Siquijor in Mar-Apr, to hangout, explore Siquijor, do yoga with me and do a podcast interview.

He is perhaps the most idealistic, most curious, most forward-moving, most forward-thinking, most on-a-rush individual I've met. He is smart, balanced, aware and ready to push his boundaries to generate his intended results. Yes, he is extreme with his thinking - like saving the world.

One thing I noticed is that even though his questions to me were pointed, thought-provoking and heavy, I didn't have to think of an answer. The answers were right there - not that it came as an epiphany, but through my combined life experience, knowledge base, insight, and 'connecting the dots', the answers were clear and obvious. These are questions that could baffle even the scholars. I would attribute that to Prana vayu - when prana is strong and the wind that pushes it is strong, when the nadis are purified, there is clarity of thinking (among other benefits).

Kristijonas Klimaitis
Kris and I when I got my motorbike in Siquijor

Kris blogs:
  1. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023
  2. Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
  3. 2022: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2022
  4. Peoplescape Mar 31, 2022
  5. Pizza Nite with Kevin, Jamie and Kris Mar 10, 2022
  6. Pizza Nite with Kris, Simona and Mary Feb 15, 2022
  7. ABS Fitness Challenge Jan 16 - Apr 16, 2022
  8. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022


Marky

Marky MaligmatMarky Philippines
Marky came to Siquijor in Mar-Apr to do a video shoot of our project, Yoga by Gigit, an online yoga classroom for a paying clientele. Finding a suitable location for a shoot was a challenge. Of course there were beaches, waterfalls, springs and overlooking spots but it could be noisy, too hot, no suitable place to do the yoga, etc. We somehow defaulted to doing afternoon shoots at the Lazi seawall from 5:00 to 6:30pm, a 90-min window where there is enough sunlight but not too hot. It wasn't all work. We also explored some scenic spots on my motorbike. He also had my bicycle to use.

Marky is generous and quick to reciprocate. When he arrived from Cebu, he brought some bungee cords I requested. When I was problemazing about my earphones, he gave me his (he insisted). To alleviate my wifi dilemma, he secured a 'magic sim' for me. We would take turns treating each other.

Marky Maligmat
Marky and I at Candijay Spring in San Juan, Siquijor

Blogs about Marky
  1. Cebu City for the Siddhi Workshop Feb 2-5, 2024
  2. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023
  3. Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
  4. 2022: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2022
  5. Cebu City Peoplescape Dec 4, 2022


John Moore

John MooreJohn Moore USA
John is an American meditation teacher from the lineage of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He makes frequent stops in Siquijor and we often sit down for chats over his chai tea. Aside from Johnnie, John is the other foreigner I hang out with. We used to talk spiritual stuff but now, it's a wider range of topics. I'm a believer of a global conspiracy, but John is extreme with his conviction. He even thinks Indira Gandhi was a cabal-hit (not the Sikhs). I finally learned not to argue with him and take it all in strides.

John Moore
with John Moore at El Monte, his resto of choice
Faye

Faye JaynoFaye Philippines
Faye and I go back to 2016 when we first met from the Couch Surfing site. We've lost touch after that, but reconnected when I revisited Davao this year in August. We've managed to keep in touch but as human nature goes, with prolonged absence, connections fade away. I comfort myself thinking I still have a friend in Davao. C├ęst la vie.

Faye Jayno
with Faye in Davao

Blogs about Faye

  1. 2023: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2023
  2. Off to Davao (Siquijor Break) Aug 12-19, 2023
  3. 2016: A Year in Review Aug 22-Sep 26, 2016


A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

Language A.I.s

ChatGPT4, Google Bard, Microsoft Bing, Opera Aria

2023: A Year in Review(March 14/21, 2023) GPT4 (by OpenAI) was launched to the public in March 14, and a week later in March 21, Bard (by Google) was also launched. This auspicious moment heralded a new era in how humans learn - it's HUGE! It's ground-breaking and redefined how knowledge is acquired. Before, if you need information, you Google your keyword and good luck finding that information from a million search results. You'll still have a lot of research to do. Now, you'll simply type your specific question and the answer is generated in real time - oftentimes, I would ask both AI the same question and see how they differ. You can even refine your question from the answers given. Since its launch, both of them have been my go-to for knowledge. I would ask it questions impossible to ask in Google...or at least doing many calculations from the search results. Example? If earth was the size of a golf ball, how big would the sun be and how far away would it be? Or, if I want to know what a classic book is all about, but too lazy to read 1.4 million words (War and Peace), I can simply ask the AI to summarize the book in 2000 words (or 5000 words, depending on how detailed you want it), and then ask it to translate the summary in a different language. It's so customizable you'll find new ways to using it. Life was never the same for me after this.



Money

Since I left Canada in 2004, I never had a steady job and never had a regular income. I was always winging money or gigging it. A lot of times I only had a month or 2 left before money runs out and there's no gig in sight. Even though I traveled non-stop across Southeast Asia for years, I did so with very little money. I was surviving on wit, charm, ability and luck. It's funny that during all these years of hovering above the poverty line, no one believed that I didn't have money - not even my girlfriend at the time.

This year has been a little different. When I left Thailand in October 2022, I had a little bit of Bitcoin from the few yoga classes I was teaching. It wasn't a lot by any measure. However, Bitcoin has been making a steady increase in value since. When I need money, I simply skim the top off for my basic needs - nothing fancy, just to pay for rent, gas and food. Bitcoin continued to go higher and the money hasn't run out - not yet. It's like having a duck that kept laying eggs.

When it runs out, that's the time I'll start working again...or gigging again. Hopefully, I'm able to develop online yoga classes to transition with my source of funds.



Accomplishment

Learn Cebuano?
What have I really accomplished in 2023? I tried learning Cebuano, but no, I didn't learn. I made several vain attempts, but I was dragging my feet. I wasn't motivated. It's really too bad because I'm here in the Visayas where I can hear people speak the language I'm learning, but I blew it...sigh!

Learn new dishes and kitchen hacks?
Yes, I learned many things about cooking on a wok, scanned many Youtube recipes to try something new, but that's more of a hobby - not really what you would call an accomplishment.

Yoga?
I guess at the end of this year, my only meaningful accomplishment is deepening my yoga practice - of course, since that's the only thing I could do in Siquijor - there is no city life here and no international social community. I've finished a few yoga books and learned quite a bit - Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Autobiography of a Yogi, Yoga Yajnavalkya, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Yoga Upanishad.

But then again, even if I now do advanced levels of pranayama, bandha and mudra, where has that taken me? Can I now walk on water? No. Have I developed any Siddhi? No. But despite my increasing age, I manage to remain strong and vibrant (no medication, no health issues, no diet restriction...much better that the average guy in is 50s) - and I've managed to maintain that the last few decades.

Now I feel a little burned-out with yoga. Should I give up my yoga? That's like asking me if I should stop brushing my teeth. If I give up on yoga, all age-related diseases will rain down on me - vision problems, body aches, weakness, laziness, etc. Right now, the only thing keeping those malevolent elements away is yoga. No. Yoga is here to stay until I'm dead.



Things to Do in 2024

This brings me down to what I need to do in 2024:

  1. Relocate - honestly, I believe my reason for being in Siquijor is to find temporary solitude to deepen my practice. It has already served its purpose. Besides, the isolation, noise and heat make Siquijor unbearable. Next place has to be a city where I can have a community to interact with - somewhere bigger than Dumaguete but smaller than Cebu. Maybe Davao or somewhere Mindanao, maybe Cebu since I seem to have a few projects waiting to happen there.
  2. Video my online yoga classes - it means I have to get a headset mic and other gadgets for the video. First class in mind is "Siddhi Awakening", then "Forever Young Yoga Class".


Ending Thoughts

When I first arrived Siquijor in January looking for roots to grow into, I was skeptic. I thought I'd only last a few months given the problems - noise, heat, garbage burning, littering, dog shit all over, and no one I could relate to. But I finished the whole year being here, and more firmly planted having purchased a motorcycle, gas stove, wok and a whole slew of kitchen helpers. I guess what kept me here was Bolo Bolo (I can't imagine myself leaving Bolo Bolo) and the fresh sea air of the seawall where I do my sunrise yoga and evening yoga in an open and expansive space. Of course there's more and I'm grateful for the abundance here - not having to worry about money (I don't have much, but enough to pay my bills), kitchen playground, motorcycle to get me far in the island, a bike for fitness and short trips, and not having to work. I can spend my day unrushed and free to do whatever I wish - so I have been devoted to yoga and kitchen cooking. Havng counted my blessings, I'm still open to relocate to a place that's not noisy, affordable, and within city limits (I need the interaction).



--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



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Year-End Review Blogs:

Next story:

The Ultimate Nature of Reality Yoga

The Ultimate Nature of Reality

(January 3, 2024) While reading yogic books, the nature of reality became confusing because some books espouse non-duality and others duality. For the longest time, I thought they were saying the same thing - that at the end of the day, Consciousness is the ultimate reality. But apparently, not. ..more »»

More on Lazi:

Lazi Local Info
  1. Resorts - Lazi has some beach/dive resorts on its west coast - Gabayan Riviera, Lazi Beach Club, Bahura Dive Resort. However, the popular area for tourist resorts are in San Juan
  2. Transport - Lazi is the junction where the jeeps begin their clockwise route (Lazi-San Juan-Siquijor Port) or the counter clockwise route (Lazi-Maria-Larena Port). Because the jeeps are rare with about 2 to 3 trips/day only in the morning, it's practical to just have a motorcycle here in Siquijor. With its affordability (a brand new Rusi motorbike is as low as P45k), people just buy motorcycles...especially those who live up in the mountains.
  3. The Boulevard - Lazi's main draw is its seaside cobblestone promenade. When the sun goes down, people gather here for eats, drinks, open-air, harbor view and the sunset
  4. Lazi Port - Lazi just recently opened up its port with Kho Shipping plying the Iligan, Tagbilaran and Cebu routes.
Lazi >> Iligan City by boat

Lazi to Iligan City route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early April 2023. Before, going to Iligan City meant going to Siquijor Port, 30 km away. This also meant that on the way back, you have to be in Siquijor before 2pm to catch the last jeep to Lazi. With this direct route, there is no 'last trip' to catch.

  1. Lazi Port - take Kho Shipping to Iligan City, Tu-Th-Sat, 6 hours, Lazi departure 5 am, arrival in Iligan City Port 11 am, economy P800, tourist P1100, tickets available at Lazi office 2pm-10pm M-Sat

  2. Lazi to Iligan City
Lazi >> Cagayan de Oro by boat

Lazi to Cagayan de Oro route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Davao meant going to Iligan first, then bus to CDO and then bus to Davao City. Now, Iligan can be completely bypassed saving about 3 hours on the trip.

  1. Lazi Port - take Kho Shipping to Cagayan de Oro, Tu-F-Sun, 6 hours, Lazi departure 6 am, arrival in Cagayan de Oro Port 12 noon, economy P1,100.00, tourist P1,400.00, tickets available at Lazi office 2pm-10pm M-Sat

  2. Lazi to Cagayan de Oro
Lazi >> Dumaguete by boat

Lazi to Dumaguete route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Dumaguete meant going to Siquijor Port, 30 km away. This also meant that on the way back, you have to be in Siquijor before 2pm to catch the last jeep to Lazi. With this direct route, there is no 'last trip' to catch.

  1. Lazi Port - take Kho Shipping to Dumaguete, M-Th-Sat, 3 hours, Lazi departure 1 am, arrival in Dumaguete Port 4 am, economy P300, tourist P500, tickets available at Lazi office 2pm-10pm M-Sat

  2. Lazi to Dumaguete
Lazi >> CDO >> Davao City by boat/bus

Lazi to Cagayan de Oro route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Davao meant going to Iligan first, then bus to CDO and then bus to Davao City. Now, Iligan can be completely bypassed saving about 3 hours on the trip.

  1. Lazi Port - take Kho Shipping to Cagayan de Oro, Tu-F-Sun, 6 hours, Lazi departure 6 am, arrival in Cagayan de Oro Port 12 noon, economy P1,100.00, tourist P1,400.00, tickets available at Lazi office 2pm-10pm M-Sat

  2. Lazi to Cagayan de Oro

  3. Cagayan de Oro Port - arrival 12 noon. Take a jeep to East Terminal (Agora) to catch the Davao-bound bus
  4. CDO East Terminal (Agora) - take bus going to Davao City, 8 hours, PHP 875. This terminal is open 24 hours and there is always a bus going to Davao - no need to pre-purchase tickets
  5. Davao Bus Terminal - you'll arrive at the Davao Bus Terminal, close to SM City. From there you can take a cab ride to your hotel. There are many jeeps that will also take you to the Poblacion town center, 15 mins, PHP 12
Lazi >> Tagbilaran >> Cebu by boat

Lazi to Cebu entails a stopover at Tagbilaran - you only pay for one ticket (I've broken down the individual trips in case you're boarding from Tagbilaran). From the 5pm boat departure from Lazi, it would cost PHP 1000 (it's odd that it's cheaper to pay for the individual trips rather than paying for both...PHP 845 vs 1000) and take about 10 hours.

  1. Lazi Port - take Kho Shipping to Tagbilaran, W-F-Sun, 4 hours, Lazi departure 1 am, arrival in Tagbilaran Port 5 am, economy P475, tourist P750, tickets available at Lazi office 2pm-10pm M-Sat

  2. Lazi to Tagbilaran to Cebu

  3. Tagbilaran Port - arrival 5 am, layover 1 hour, departure for Cebu 6am (5 hours), economy P370, tourist P520
  4. Cebu Port - arrival 11 am

More on Siquijor Island:

Siquijor Island Local Info

Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.

  1. Siquijor Port to Lazi - last trip leaves at 3pm from station near market
  2. Lazi to Siquijor Port - jeeps depart from the Lazi Port area. 5 jeeps, the last trip at 12:30 pm. Lazi to San Juan, P50.
  3. Larena Port to Lazi - jeeps are unpredictable. As of this writing, there is only 1 jeep plying the Larena-Lazi route. This jeep leaves Larena for Lazi at 9:50am. After that, no more jeep. You'll have to take a tricycle to Siquijor Pob for jeeps going to Lazi
  4. Lazi to Larena Port - 6am (daily) and 9 am (M-Th)

Food - these were suggested by a local to me

  1. Lechon manok & liempo - roasted pork belly and chicken at Joel's in Siquijor Poblacion. I've tried this myself...yummy, even if the chicken was no longer hot
  2. Bibingka - sweetened rice cake by Fidy's Bibingka (P30) in Sawang, Maria. I've come back for this and I buy for other people as well as 'pasalubong' - they love this
  3. Siopao - at the Rosita store near Thrifty (P25) in Siquijor Poblacion
  4. Peanut butter - by Rene. Just ask around in Siquijor Poblacion. It's popular
  5. Torta - sweet cakish bread at the Thrifty story in Siquijor Poblacion
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Montenegro Lines - at Siquijor Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle, 7:30am/10:00am/2:00pm/4:30pm

  2. Montenegro Lines, Siquijor to Dumaguete

  3. Aleson Shipping - at Siquijor Port, 6 am and 6 pm daily, 1:30 pm M-Sat, Regular P200.00/pax, Aircon P250.00/pax

  4. Aleson Shipping, Dumaguete to Siquijor

  5. Ocean Jet - 40 mins,at Siquijor Port, 0919.066.5964, www.oceanjet.net, marketing@ocenajet.net, 6:00am/6:00pm, P350/pax (tourist/open air), P580/pax (business class)

    Ocean Jet


Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)

En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.

  1. Ocean Jet - 2 hours, 8:20am, at Siquijor Port
    To Tagbilaran: P800/tourist & open air, P1200/business class
    To Cebu: ?
  2. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, no Senior Citizen discount for online ticket purchase
    To Tagbilaran: T-Th-Sun, 7pm, 3 hours, P475/standard (Tourist, PHP 750)
    To Cebu: T-Th-Sun, 7pm, 10 hours, PHP 605/standard (Tourist, PHP 770)


Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, T-Th-Sun, 2:00 am, 5 hours, PHP?


Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip (as of Jan 2023)

There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.

Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.


Sugbo Urban

Sugbo Urban

Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island

These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat

  1. Bohol - Bohol is an island northeast Siquijor. Tourist attractions are Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Monkey, Loboc River Cruise, Beaches of Panglao, whale sharks (recent offering), freediving (recent offering)
  2. Cebu - Cebu City is the usual gateway into the Visayas. But in Cebu Island itself, there are many offerings - Whale Sharks of Oslob, sardine run at Moalboal,Thresher Shark of Malapascua
  3. Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
  4. Dumaguete - Dumaguete is a small charming progressive coastal town in Negros Oriental. Cafe and restaurants line the famous Boulevard Boardwalk. Tourist attractions include Japanese Shrine, Casaroro Falls, snorkeling along the southern coastline (Dauin, Masaplod Norte, etc), Balinsasayao Twin Lakes
  5. Plaridel (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.

Blogs

Siquijor Blogs
Siquijor Island
  1. January Chronicles: Bandilaan Meditation January 2024
  2. My January Yoga Practice: A Journal January 31, 2024
  3. Jan 2024: Squid, Balangawan, Margarita Pizza January 2024
  4. December Chronicles: Yuletide Season December 30, 2023
  5. December Snapshots: Bolo Bolo Dip, Christmas Lunch, Tuba Denizens, Friends Forever, Men Working, Cow / Crow December 1-30, 2023
  6. Eggplant Bulad Pizza December 20, 2023
  7. Canghaling Cave November 14, 2023
  8. Kings and Queens November 13, 2023
  9. Barangay Vote-Buying October 22, 2023
  10. Real Estate Mapping October 1, 2023
  11. Learning Cebuano: Oct October 1-31, 2023
  12. Oct Food Hack: Pizza, Kinilaw, Coconut Bread, Fish Okuy, Carrot Omelette,Lemon-Grass Tea October 2023
  13. Sep Snapshots: Fisherman, Granny, Pedicure, Big Fish, Garbage September 1-30, 2023
  14. Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread September 2023
  15. Together Forever Sep 11, 2023
  16. The Cigarette Talk Sep 1, 2023
  17. Siquijor Star Meditation Center Aug 31, 2023
  18. The Lost Dogs of Siquijor Aug 27, 2023
  19. Moving to a Bungalow! Aug 22, 2023
  20. Aug Chronicles: CDO produce August 31, 2023
  21. Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023
  22. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  23. July Chronicles July 31, 2023
  24. July Snapshots July 1-31, 2023
  25. Learning Cebuano: July July 1-31, 2023
  26. June Chronicles June 31, 2023
  27. June Snapshots June 1-31, 2023
  28. Learning Cebuano: June June 1-31, 2023
  29. May Chronicles May 31, 2023
  30. May Snapshots May 1-31, 2023
  31. Learning Cebuano May 1-31, 2023
  32. In Search of a Cool Climate May 25, 2023
  33. The 64 km Bike Ride May 16, 2023
  34. Lazi Fiesta May 15, 2023
  35. The Boulevard Opening May 5, 2023
  36. April Snapshots April 1-30, 2023
  37. Learning Cebuano...Again! April 1-30, 2023
  38. Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
  39. Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
  40. Siquijor Healing Festival April 5-8, 2023
  41. The Talk at United Church of Christ April 2, 2023
  42. Mar Snapshots Mar 1-31, 2023
  43. Vigil for the Ghost Ship of Siquijor March 31, 2023
  44. Judging an Essay on Gender Equality Mar 29, 2023
  45. The Thief, the Shaman, the Elves and the Police Mar 20, 2023
  46. Finally Acquiring the Motorbike Mar 18, 2023
  47. Bitcoin Blunder Mar 15, 2023
  48. Maria's Unsung Beaches Mar 11, 2023
  49. Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
  50. Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
  51. Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
  52. Reasons to Get a Wife March 1, 2023
  53. Feb Snapshots Feb 28, 2023
  54. Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
  55. Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
  56. Manifesting a Motorbike from Thin Air? Feb 18, 2023
  57. The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  58. Amazement from Drivers License Renewal in Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  59. Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
  60. Inguinal Hernia? Goodbye ABS! Feb 4, 2023
  61. Jan Snapshots January 31, 2023
  62. In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
  63. 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
  64. Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
  65. Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
  66. 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
  67. Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
  68. Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
  69. Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
  70. Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  71. Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
  72. Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
  73. Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
  74. Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010

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