Last year, I felt like I wanted to visit Siquijor so bad I asked my friends to join me in a trip. It's been a long while since I had a trip to Visayas, and Neil, Matt, Angel, joined me without thinking twice. :)
Originally, our plan was to have an overnight trip to Siquijor first then check out Dumaguete after. But due to some unexpected circumstances, we ended up exploring Siquijor more than Dumaguete. Siquijor is an island province in the Philippines located in central Visayas region. One can visit Siquijor from Dumaguete or Cebu via ferry or fastcraft. Since we came from Manila, we had to take a plane to Dumaguete then take a fastcraft to Siquijor.
Arrival in Dumaguete Airport
Upon arrival, tricycles, taxis, rental cars are the most common transportation found from airport. We choose the cheapest which was taking a tricycle. For Php 150 (is this expensive?), he drove all the way to Dumaguete port.
As soon as we arrived in Dumaguete port, the morning schedule to Siquijor was already full. We signed up for the 4:30pm of Delta ferry because the 2pm schedule is no longer available and that's the earliest schedule available we can get.
Little did we know, a foreign guy with his other half (a Filipina) were arguing with the ticket sale system. Apparently, someone from outside the port was selling the 2pm schedule. Yes, the so called 'fixer' and of course, it was so unfair. Being concerned citizens, we called the ferry line's 'helpdesk' to report the issue. The woman we spoke with told us they'll fix it. During this time, medyo naniwala naman kami.
Sta. Monica Beach Club in Dumaguete
Clueless on where to go, we decided to have our lunch first, so we can have a place where we can rest while we have all our bags with us. Neil asked the tricycle if there's a beach or pool resort somewhere because he felt like we needed it! The tricycle driver then brought us to this lovely Sta. Monica Beach Club Resort. He only charged us Php50 and now we realized that the trike driver from the airport is too expensive! Feeling namin, mas malayo pa yung byahe namin from port to Sta. Monica kaysa airport to port.
Sta. Monica Resort in Dumaguete City
The crew from Sta. Monica greeted us warmly. Since we didn't have plans of staying in a room, (we just wanted to eat and find a relaxing place while waiting for our scheduled ferry to Siquijor) we availed the Php 250/head consumable in the resort.
We felt like we're the only people in Sta. Monica and while waiting for our sumptuous meal (wala nang pic gutom na kami lol) we took this chance to dip into their inviting pool.
I walked around and found out a fishing village beside the resort, I saw some kids playing their kites. :)
more time for swimming
neil posing for me
halo-halo version in Sta. Monica Resort
At around 3:15-3:30pm, we decided to go back to Dumaguete Port. Entering the port's terminal was a breeze. My concern was calling for the ferry schedule not so clear, so I asked personally if we could get in the check in area of the ferry line (there's a floating place for Delta ferry only). We were just waiting when around 4:00pm, someone is calling out a lot of names in a yellowpad sheet. They're calling it one by one so loud and they were giving a different number. I asked what's that for and no one was telling me an answer, what I only knew is that they're giving a number. I asked thrice! Even the passenger crew in charge won't answer me. Even some foreigners asked me what's happening and I didn't know what to tell them.
Me: "Kuya para san ba yan?"
Another passenger: "number daw."
I took a peek at the yellowpad and didn't see our names. As soon as the names were called, I asked again, that's the time he told me that those who have been called were the only people allowed to get into the fastcraft/ferry. We were so furious, the ferry just came in and all the people, CALLED or NOT, went hurriedly to the fastcraft.
Overbook. Why didn't they told us that we will not be able to board. That was the last ferry schedule for the day and we don't have any chance of getting another ferry schedule in other lines. Iyong ang tagal mo dun tapos hindi mo sila makausap ng maayos. Iyong kung hindi ka pa magtanong hindi ka sasagutin! Sana may magtranslate din sa tagalog at english kasi pasahero din po kami! Kawawa naman ang mga foreigners! (sorry that's my thought that time because I felt like, if I'm a tourist in a different country I don't want to feel clueless or lost).
The fastcraft was bombarded with passengers and commotions were all over. We don't want to take the risk of riding the fastcraft because of it was so full.
Everyone was so damned frustrated. We again called the 'helpdesk' and that's when we learned that the helpdesk was in here and part of this messy situation.
eksena! badtrip kaming lahat! Did I say I cried? Haha. And just so you know, we're in the fifth sheet of that yellow paper.
Because some people reported this incident to the coastguard, in the end the Coast Guard did not allow them to sail that moment. The Delta ferry lines told us later that we can refund or take their earliest schedule to Siquijor the next day. We chose the latter.
All the drama and brouhaha became a laughing stock after. That's the fun of having such great friends right? Despite the negativity, you know it's part of the experience we can talk about over and over again.
Neil and Angel posing in Dumaguete boulevard
What's next? We took another tricycle that will bring us somewhere with cheap accommodation. He brought us to Grand Pension. We paid around Php 1200 for the four of us (I'll post our expenses after the series), Php 300 each, not bad. It was small air-conditioned room but we're good with it as we only want a place to sleep.
We went out to have our sumptuous dinner at Kamalig, then make the most of the night at a bar in Dumaguete. Don't expect you'll get a good sleep when Neil is around. :)
Matthew nagdadaydream ka ba? :p
do you have any suggestions where to hang out in Dumaguete?
Up Next: Off to Siquijor the next day!
Check my Siquijor Travel Series!