Fantastic Friday in Siquijor

By JoSeLLE - November 20, 2009

Thursday caught me in a funk. Work and more work sent me dreaming of places where I could spend the day just staring at the horizon instead of staring at the glare of a computer screen. So when my friend called to see if I felt like going for a daytrip to the island of fire, Isla del Fuego to those who want something fancier, I jumped at the chance.

Siquijor is a small island that is just 45 minutes from Dumaguete City by fast craft. It has a reputation as the home of local shamans, healers and witches, and you can even buy love potions from sari-sari stores if the urge hits you. You can learn more about the shamans and witches of the island by going here .

The island is small and is composed of six towns. It is also the home to a number of top resorts, Siquijor's white sand beaches the main reason why foreigners love to spend a day or a week there. We didn't have a resort in mind as we bought our tickets. Spontaneity was the theme for the day, so we figured the first resort that caught our eye, that would be it.

My friend and I caught the 9 am Delta fastcraft. Smaller boats are available but they head for the island much earlier at around 5 or 6 in the morning. Delta cost me around 150 pesos for the ride to the island, but it was clean and fast, and with the clouds building on the horizon, getting on something that was bigger than a matchstick made me feel more secure.
waiting at the Delta fastcraft terminal

waiting still...

camwhoring inside Delta

getting off--Hello Siquijor!

the Siquijor pier

The island looked exactly the way it did when I last saw it a good four or five years ago-- the concrete pier, clear, blue-green waters, the smell of petroleum mixed with the fresh smell of seaweed. Tricycle and habalhabal (motorcycle-for-hire) drivers were waiting at the gate, all pushing their services. We hopped on one tricycle and asked the driver about good places to stay. His top two recommendations were Dondeezco and Coco Grove.

I was hesitant about staying at Coco Grove, because I had read somewhere that day trippers to the resort were charged 600 bucks a person-- pretty expensive, especially for a day trip that is only half a day long. The driver shook his head and said no, day trips only cost 100 per person for the entrance and it was consumable. So we headed for Coco Grove. On the ride there I was thinking if my budget for the whole trip will hold up if it turns out that the driver had sweet-talked us into riding with him. Thankfully, when we arrived it turned out that there was no entrance, that we can stay at the restaurant, and that day trippers are not allowed to use the pool. Blah. I felt a bit disappointed since I was looking forward to taking a nap by the pool. However, the place looked so nice I knew I could find some other way to occupy my time.

the Coco Grove lobby

The restaurant was located a few steps down from the lobby, down a flight of concrete steps and past a few open-air cottages that faced the beach.

the Coco Grove restaurant

We arrived just before lunchtime so the first thing we did was order lunch, even though I wasn't feeling a bit hungry. The menu was extensive and everything looked delicious. I settled for baked macaroni , which was one of the least expensive dishes on the menu.

Food! Baked macaroni, iced tea, desserts...and lots of Cali!

The beach was made of white sand, and the water was calm, despite the threatening rain. We spent a few good hours exploring the place and taking pictures. Coco Grove is well-laid out, and the cottages are spaced a good distance from each other which gives their occupants a good deal of privacy. I think most guests like to come here because the place is quiet and very conducive for an afternoon nap by the pool or on a hammock by the beach.
the Coco Grove Pool

the beach
Coco Grove has a restaurant, a pool, a separate bar, and cottages for overnight guests, and open-air cottages for those who want to eat outside, just a few steps away from the water. Aside from that, they also have pretty waitresses who talked to us in English all the way, probably because they get so many foreigner guests there.

We stayed at the resort until 3 pm. By then it was time to head for the pier because the last trip goes at 4:30 pm. We walked for a few miles, listening to our iPods until a habal-habal passed us and we took the ride.

Riding the habal-habal...wheeeeee!

We reached the port, and because we still had a few minutes before the ride back home, we spent it taking goofy photos on the beach.

A day in Siquijor is enough to recharge anyone who's feeling burnt out. Long sweeping views of the ocean, green everywhere you look, good food, hospitable people, and nothing but the sound of the waves lapping on the shore-- there was nothing more I could ask for. I have crossed out going to Siquijor and blogging about it on my list, but I'm definitely coming back!

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  1. anyone looking for a quiet time away from the city would really love siquijor. i love the collages you made, most especially that third one to the last.

    selle, i hope you don't mind if i tag along the next time you visit siquijor, or any other place you have in mind next! it gets boring and i need more exciting photos!

  2. Thanks kat! Yeah, I'm still on the lovin-collages mode haha! Cgecge, great idea kat, we are thinking about Apo next, dunno when, hopefully ma push through.Basta if maka think napod laag I'll give you a PM or a text ha :)

  3. yes! thank you! haven't been to apo, i hope madayun! actually been dying to bask in panglao kay they seem to have beautiful white beaches! i hope naay barato promo cebupac. let's go nya!

  4. thanks selle! yey! im thinking also of panglao if maka chance ta promo sa airline. i hear nice mga white beach didto... hopefully affordable.. weekend getaway and basking in the sun!

  5. kat you read my mind! as in nahan na au ko madto bohol kay never been there! oi hopefully naay cheap flights to panglao! ingna unya ko kung makakita mo ha? kay murag ready jud au ko ana hehe

  6. nice selle, na miss nuon nako ang pinas when i read this post..murag makapauli man guro ko ani sau da hehe.
    Please post more like this... ty =)

  7. @ anonymous: Hehe thanks! Will post some more. Motuyo jud ko ug laag just so I can have something to post hehe. :) Dont worry makauli ra btaw ghapon ka :)

  8. weee good for you, and at least u got work and more work. LOL so u can fund teh trips to other places we can only dream about! yes? yes!
    anyhoo, thanks for letting me go on the trip with u and tata, albeit in my mind only. ;) cheered me up jud :D

  9. Good to know that the post cheered you up lurch! lageh, at least we have something to look forward to once in a while :)


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