Jan 9-14, 2023
Siquijor: In Search of Resonance
Location : Cliff Garden Cottages, San Juan, Siquijor Island, Philippines
After 3 months in Cebu City, despite the Shaman who advised me to settle in Cebu, I felt the need to move on in search of a place that resonates. Next stop? Siquijor!
Getting There from Cebu City
There were a few ways to get to Siquijor from Cebu City - Ceres bus to Liloan Port, Santander then ferry to Siquijor, Ocean Jet via Tagbilaran in 5 hours (PHP 1600), or Lite Ferries via Tagbilaran in 10 hours. With my 3 heavy bags and a heavier folding bike, I took the easiest, longest and cheapest way (PHP 649) - Lite Ferries through barkota.com booking (reliable and cheap) - but you have to print your ticket instead of showing your phone!
There was a delay in Tagbilaran. I arrived at Larena Port at 1:30 am instead of 11:00 pm. It was so late, the tricycle drivers wanted as high as PHP 900 for that 22-km ride. I was tempted to load my 3 packs on my bike and ride at that time, but the drizzle was a deal-breaker - I had to take a tricycle. Finally, I found a driver for PHP 500 - he was going home to San Juan, so I was along the way.
I crawled into my bunk bed at Cliff Garden, thankful that my travel ordeal is now over.
Cliff Garden Cottages
Agoda's online booking showed me the cheapest lodging at P313/night - Cliff Garden Cottages. I booked 2 nights, followed by another 2 nights, and a yoga student paid for my 5th night. Although still in San Juan, it was on the border to Lazi - a good 22.2 km from Larena Port where I disembarked (thus the PHP 500 tricycle ride at 2 am). Or, it's a good 5 km from the main drag in San Juan. Jeeps are rare and most people rent motorcycles or ride habal-habal (riding on the back of a motorcycle driver). Even with my heavy folding bike, the commute was challenging.
For what you get, this place is reasonably priced. Attention was given to details in an artistic way - manicured garden, hand-painted murals, garden-style open-air showers, etc. They have a house-reef, just in front of the resort - there is no beach. From the coral rock face, it's a drop into 4 feet of water - the rest is a coral reef for snorkeling.
It has an alfresco in-house cafe/resto with 2 helpful staff - Irene and Jelou. It would also be my working space facing the ocean. The looping elevator music is mind-numbing after a few days.
In Search of a Monthly Space
For most of my 5 nights, I spent it looking for a monthly rental space preferably in Siquijor Poblacion where there is still life when the sun sets. For my meager 4k budget, the places I've seen were either too dilapidated or too secluded. The decent ones commanded at least 6k.
Yoga with Thomas
For my 5 nights, the only other guest was a German traveler - Thomas. We talked at length and even did a yoga class - he said thank you by paying one night for me at the resort. Like most people I'd been meeting, he was also in search of...
I only snorkeled once and briefly at that. Going down the water was challenging - their rope ladder was destroyed so it was a vertical descent by about 5 feet onto the coral step where you jump to about 4 feet of water and into the reef system. Until they re-install that rope ladder, it's dangerous getting down there.
The reef was decent. There were grassy and coral patches. There is also a drop-off that offers more diversity of coral terrain and marine fauna - but you have to go deeper. The water was choppy but there was no current.
After 5 nights at Cliff Garden with nothing substantial towards my search for a monthly stay, I found a 'bungalow' by the beach at less than PHP 200/night. I booked a 7-day stay which started a new chapter in Siquijor - from San Juan to Maria.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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More on San Juan:
San Juan Info
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.
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
- Atlantis / Yohan Express - P250/pax, 9:45am (arrive 2:45pm)
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.
Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island
These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat
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