Philippines · Siquijor · Travel Tales

A long day tour of Siquijor (part two), and more musings on solo travel

Part One of my day tour of Siquijor can be found here.

My next pit stop after Cantabon Cave was a viewdeck on Mt. Bandilaan, where I had an expansive view of Siquijor.

The viewdeck
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I liked that these bare trees likened the crucifixes in the picture below this one.

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Afterwards, we went south to the town of Lazi, where we first went to Cambugahay Falls. It has three tiers and light-blue waters, and to get there, I had to go down several stone steps. (Going back up the road was obviously a chore!) I was alone among locals and a family of foreigners, but I couldn’t resist a swim!

Cambugahay Falls in Lazi, Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls in Lazi, Siquijor

I asked to be dropped off to the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Lazi. I snapped a few pictures of it and the convent across—the whole complex is part of a tentative list to be included in the Baroque churches of the Philippines, an entry to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Lazi convent
The Lazi convent
San Isidro Labrador Parish, Lazi, Siquijor
San Isidro Labrador Parish, Lazi, Siquijor
Lazi church belfry
Lazi church belfry

The church was empty save for some kids practicing a song and dance number. Afternoon light spilled through the windows. I took a moment to thank God I was there safe.

An inscription on the walls of the church. The walls are made of coral stone.
An inscription on the walls of the church. The walls are made of coral stone.

Next stop was the century-old balete tree. It would’ve been slightly creepy if not for the people who sold snacks around (and asked me the now-usual questions of why I was alone). I gave a donation here for its upkeep.

The century-old balete tree
The century-old balete tree
A nice view from the circumferential road
A nice view from the circumferential road

I asked the driver to stop at Sta. Maria Church, or the Church of the Divine Providence. Compared to the church in Lazi, this one looked modest, though it’s also more than a century old. One can find here a statue of Santa Rita de Cascia  holding a skull. I missed it by a few minutes, though, because it was taken for a procession. Local folklore states that the statue herself goes around town on her own and would return to the church with feet stained with grass and dirt.

Church of the Divine Providence
Church of the Divine Providence

Next was a public beach: the Salagdoong Beach Resort (entrance fee: P30). Pretty, although it could do away with the trash littered by the visitors.

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Salagdoong Beach Resort

There were families and barkadas who were there already, swimming, barbecuing and drinking. I was met with stares—some of the men were staring too long, and I resisted the urge to stare back as per warnings of my friends from Manila. And suddenly, I was hit with a wave of loneliness. I remember thinking that if my barkada were with me, we’d be the funniest bunch there, and there’d be someone taking account of our expenses, keeping our money, chatting amiably with the locals, planning the next impromptu stop, taking pictures and videos, dancing for everyone’s entertainment, and singing with me in the tricycle.

There'd be someone daring me to jump to that pool below.
There’d be someone daring me to jump to that pool below, and I would.

I was really tired by this time that I didn’t even bother to get out of the tricycle to take pictures of the Cang-Isok House, the oldest standing house in Siquijor (still standing in spite of the recent typhoon), and the mangroves in the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary. Anyway, it was getting dark.

Cang-Isok House
Cang-Isok House
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Mangroves

I got back to Villa Marmarine with a little daylight left for a quick dip. Then, I lay in a hammock by the sea while I read my book until it got too dark. I was tired, but my head was abuzz. I was wondering how I could still enjoy my little trip — and I did enjoy it, immensely — even though I missed my friends badly.

Here’s what I thought then and could better articulate now:

  1. When I traveled alone, I was the master of my own time and itinerary. If I wanted to go spelunking, I would, without anyone hanging back due to worries regarding safety and expenses.
  2. That said, every mistake was blamable only on myself.
  3. When I traveled alone, I realized things about myself. I realized that I was, after all, shy (!!!); and I had to overcome my shyness to be able to talk to strangers instead of letting someone do it.
  4. When I traveled alone, I learned trust. I put my life in the hands of total strangers and came out alive and exhilarated.
  5. When I traveled alone, I had moments of total peace on a wide white beach, lying in a hammock, book in hand, the lazy sea waves the only sound I could hear.
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11 thoughts on “A long day tour of Siquijor (part two), and more musings on solo travel

  1. Hello, I am planning to go on a solo Dumaguete-Siquijor-Apo Island tour this year and I found your blog very helpful 🙂 Can I ask you how much money should I prepare for the entire trip? I would really appreciate it if you can give me even the rough estimate…

    Salamat!

    1. Hi Anne! I spent something like 11k for the trip 😦 but that’s because I spent P2500 for introductory diving and P2000 for a day tour of Siquijor. I have an Excel file with me, you might want me to email it to you 🙂

  2. hi. you’re such a courageous woman! nkkbilib!
    anyway, we’re also planning to go to mario’s in apo island.
    you paid P300 boat ride going to apo, how about going back to mainland? how can i take the cheapest boat ride?

    1. Hi EJ! Thank you! 🙂

      I had to charter a boat ride since there were no boats back to the mainland the day after — I think there was an event that day. The boat was quite small and I paid something like P500

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