TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Country > Philippines > Siquijor Island > San Juan
Date > 2023 > Jan
Activity > Traveling

Traveling
Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023

Siquijor: In Search of Resonance

Location Google Map: Cliff Garden Cottages, San Juan, Siquijor Island, Philippines

Siquijor!
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.

  1. PHP 649 - Lite Ferries through Barkota.com. 1:00 pm Cebu departure, layover in Tagbilaran 6:30-8:00 pm, arrive Larena Port, Siquijor at 11:00 pm
  2. PHP 180 - Grab Taxi from Fuente Osmena to Pier 1
  3. PHP 25 - terminal fee
  4. PHP 500 - tricycle ride from Larena Port to Cliff Garden at 2 am (can be as high as PHP 900). I only got this rate because the driver wanted to go home already and he lived in San Juan...I was along the way
  5. PHP 1355 - total cost one-way

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...

Siquijor: In Search of Resonance
beach-front coral reef at Cliff Garden

Snorkeling
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.

Ending Thoughts
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 Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



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(Jan 14-21, 2023) When I booked for 7 nights in an isolated resort in Maria, I prepared myself for the isolation. True enough, I was productive and covered much ground on my online work, plus being fit from all the cycling...more »»

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More on San Juan:

San Juan Info
  1. Resorts - San Juan is the district in Siquijor with most of the upscale resorts, and thus the most popular area. The coastline is lined-up with resorts that open up to the coral reef for snorkeling. Fine white sand beaches are rare along the San Juan coast.
  2. Transport - from Siquijor Poblacion, jeep, tricycle and motorcycle rides are available. There are local jeeps and tricycles that charge between PHP 20-40 until San Juan Poblacion. Tricycles and motorcycles can be contracted privately at higher fees.
  3. Capilay Spring - San Juan has a free, open-air and public bathing spring right along the highway. It could be cold but definitely refreshing.

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 -
  4. Lazi to Larena Port - 6am (daily) and 9 am (M-Th)
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Montenegro Lines - at Siquijor? Larena? Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle, 7:30am/10:00am/2:00pm/4:30pm/7:30pm
  2. Ocean Jet - 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)
  3. 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.

  1. Ocean Jet - 8:20am, at Siquijor Port,
    To Tagbilaran: P800/tourist & open air, P1200/business class
    To Cebu: P1600/tourist & open air, P2400/business class
  2. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port,
  3. -
  4. -
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
  • 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
  • Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
  • Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
  • 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
  • Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
  • Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
  • Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  • Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
  • Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
  • Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
  • Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010

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