Siquijor or Isla del Fuego in the Philippines

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Asia » Philippines » Siquijor
August 8th 2014
Published: August 9th 2014
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Going to Siguijor from Dumaguete is really easy by ferry. There is a slow ferry that takes about 1hr and a half and the fast ferry about 45min. The fast is 140PHP per person and the slow 100PHP. We took the fast ferry on the way there and the slow on the way back. The last ferry to return to the island is at 5:30 but its never on time.

Tourist would rent a bike and go around for the day. They island has hikes, waterfalls and white sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise water.

Bill and Ivy rented a bike for 500P to go see her dad for her birthday and they sent me in another bike to go explore Tabut Sanctuary of Coco Grove Resort which is a high end Dive Resort that cators to Europeans and rooms start at $72 dollars a night. My bike ride to get there was 250P but we broght the price down to 150P. The scenec road is curvy and a hilly with nice views of the white sandy beaches. On the way there I saw guesthouses and other resorts that I didn’t find in google when I was doing my research. There was a nice local restaurant next to Coco Grove very full of locals eating. I asked the lady if it was a guest house. She said no we are just a restaurant but if you are looking for a place to stay go up the road to the backpackers. A bike will take you there for 10p so I decided to explore. There are two backpackers up the road: “Isla de Paz” 1200P at night I didn’t go in but it looked nice and “Toris backpackers” for 450P for the room and a dorm room for 4 people at 350P per person. The location is beautiful and the rooms are just fine. No AC, a bed a toilet and a shower. Please look at my phots if you are curious. Then we went to “Riverside” on the other side of Coco View its private only a few rooms that rent for long term 18000P a month and a couple with kitchen and electric is separate. All of this to say that there are other options besides Coco Grove Dive Resort if you don’t want a less expensive option.

My bike driver heard me asking about diving and said that there was a dive shop up the road. He took me there. The dive shop doesn’t have a sign only a bit up flag that had lost the dive colors and if you don’t know what you are looking for you will never find it. It is located right on maite’s point where the mandarins are and they would let me dive with my own equipment and without a guide just renting the tanks because I am a DM. The shop is called “Last Frontier Dive “ and the manager name is Garnet, she is super nice and also handles their facebook page. Im glad I took a photo of the flier because later on I lost it.

The only issue is that mandarins only come out at sunset and if we do the dive we have to find a place to stay for me that is 2 days. The day of the dive to haul all the gear there and then the next day to go back…so I probably wont do that. As much as I love mandarins It might not be worth it…I would do it if I am at place that Im doing more dives at….

Then I took a ride back to the restaurant and had a delish fish filet with mango salad and a mango juice for P205 then I headed to Coco Grove resort to check it out. It is very pretty but it doesn’t justify the prices they charge. The proof is that it wasn’t busy. I had to sign in at the reception and I told them I was going to the Dive shop. The dive shop is also very pretty and it is a very nice set up and design. When I got there all the DM’s were dry sitting and talking…first thing I asked: Did anyone get wet today? They were laughing…but I knew right then and then that It was a bad sign. I was tired from not sleeping the night before so I sat with Nixon one of the DMs. I told him I just wanted to snorkel and that I had my gear. I already knew I only had to pay P50 for the sanctuary fee but I tried to talk him into letting me rent a tank and just go dive with Bill and no guide. But the resort doesn’t let anyone dive without a guide and it is a set price of 1100P per diver no equipment rental. We looked at Id books. He showed me photos of special findings and I was really not impressed. He showed me a couple of cleaner shrimp, marble shrimp, nudis that I have already seen. I knew by then that either he didn’t have the eyes I was looking for or the site was not mucky. I geared up and I jumped in the water to check out for myself. It was almost low tide and a little windy. Their entrance is full of sea urchins right at the shore and then lots of coral that come all the way up the the surface. They have carved a couple of ways out to get through behind the coral. That is were the water break is…then it drops to about 15ft and it forms a ledge underneath that it drops to 60+ foot. I freedove the edge of the ledge and filmed it. It is very pretty there is lots of life. It reminded me the keys. Shallow, surgie, colorful fish but not mucky. I went from side to side slowly zigzagging around and basically stretching my legs and my lungs going up and down not to deep to about 15-18 ft. Then I headed back. I was just rinsing off and Ivy and Bill showed up to pick me up. Right on time. We took some photos and headed back. They put me in the motorcycle in the middle of them. Of course I filmed the 3 of us riding in the motorcycle. Then we headed for the ferry. We had a beer while we waited. It was 1 hr late. They were waiting for big fuel trucks to load. I thought it was so dangerous to do that. The sunset was gorgeous and I hope the pics came out. Ivy and I felt asleep.

Additional photos below
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12th August 2014

You look beautiful ....!
Very relaxing Isla... That is a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing Siguijor Isla with us!

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