It is not my first time in Dumaguete and Siquijor, I traveled to these islands back in 2018 and I blogged about my experience back in 2020. I am back after almost 4 years and although there were some similarities, the experience is way way different this time around. I also blogged separately about the restaurants we visited – you can read about that here.
Ok, I checked multiple sources (including the Dumaguete City website, CebuPac website and Facebook page, and a Dumaguete Facebook group) and it is consistent that you need a valid ID, vaccination certificate, and a photocopy of these documents. We were pretty busy leading up to the flight (maybe I will tell this story one day LOL) so I wasn’t able to do this. When we got to Sibulan Airport, we entered the arrivals area and then, exited. There was nobody at the arrival area so nobody checked any requirements.
However, we ended up doing this at the Dumaguete Port on the way to Siquijor. That is more convenient because there is a photocopy machine at a store right next to the ticketing office. So, I didn’t mind that. I do believe it is convenient to have a photocopy of your ID and vaccination card/certificate anyway, so you don’t need to whip it out of your bag each time you need to present it. This proved to be useful when Kevin bought his ticket to Bohol at the OceanJet ticketing office at Siquijor Port. They asked for his ID so instead of him rummaging through his bag to get his ID, I gave the photocopy to the lady and that was enough.
Kevin really wanted to visit Siquijor, and of course, the best way to get to Siquijor is via Dumaguete. We decided to stay a few days in Dumaguete before taking the ferry to Siquijor. We booked our flight to Dumaguete through CebuPacific, and there are 4 flights daily. AirAsia only has one, I think, and it’s not everyday. I know this because I checked both websites when I was booking my flight back and AirAsia didn’t have any flights on May 19th.
I don’t really like the schedule of CebuPacific’s flight either because it doesn’t fit my schedule. They’re either too early in the morning or too late in the afternoon. I don’t know why they schedule it this way, 2 consecutive flights in the morning and in the afternoon. Why not scatter them a little bit? Have one in the late morning and another one in the late afternoon. But I digress.
Our flight was at 4:45pm, so I was really anxious about getting to the boarding area at 4pm. Kevin and I went separately, he went to the airport before me. But lo and behold, the flight was delayed. I think we left the airport at around 6:30pm and we arrived at around 7:45pm. That is almost a 2-hour delay. Crazy!
From the airport, we walked to the entrance of the airport where we found a tricycle terminal. We paid PHP150 from Sibulan Airport to Luis Miguel’s Place on Hibbard Avenue.
Tricycle and our feet. LOL. We definitely walked a lot in Dumaguete, especially on our first full day in the city. There was a lot of walking the entire day before renting a scooter for our Valencia tour the next day. We rented a scooter at this scooter rental place called Dudz Motorcycle Scooter Rental. It is located near Ok Pensionne, so just try finding Ok Pensionne, and you will see the scooter rental place for sure. The rental fee for 24 hours is PHP450, and then you need to pay PHP50 for an extra helmet. You need two helmets if there are two of you because they have strict rules in Dumaguete. If you do not want to get fined, wear your helmet. And then of course, you also need to pay for gas.
ACCOMMODATION: Luis Miguel’s Place
Ok, I really love this place and I’m so glad I chose this. Kevin told me to choose what I like for Dumaguete, then we can look at Siquijor accommodations together. I was choosing from a few different places on Agoda and Booking.com, but I’m so glad that I went back to this listing and booked it. We booked here for 3 nights, and our total price was ₱ 2,925.
We booked the budget double room, but we were surprised because we were given the deluxe suite. I know this because I checked out their Facebook page so I know how each room looks like. (They don’t have specific photos when you book the room on booking.com, but they have links to their Airbnb page on Facebook.) I brought this up with the lady at Pitchina’s Kitchen Cafe the next day and they are definitely aware. We were thinking that we got switched with another group, but until we checked out, nobody complained that they were in the wrong room. So, we stayed in the deluxe suite for our entire stay in Dumaguete.
The deluxe suite can accommodate 6 people, has a living room, kitchen, dining area, two toilets and 1 bath, a balcony facing Hibbard Avenue, and a dressing room (LOL, this is attached to the bathroom that basically has a closet/shelf where you can hang your clothes). The bedroom has two beds, and since it was just the two of us, we each had our own bed. I had to work the first night so we used separate beds. I eventually went out to the living room, to not wake Kevin up with the sound of my keyboard and the light from my laptop screen.
The AC only covers the bedroom, but the living room has a ceiling fan, and there is another fan that you can use in the kitchen and dining area. They have WiFi access – I was worried about this in the beginning because the email confirmation indicated that there is no internet access, but it does, they probably just have not updated the listing. It works really well – like I said, I worked for one night here and I had no issues with the WiFi.
There is a security guard at night, he is actually the one who helped us check in since we arrived at 8pm. There is a restaurant downstairs called Pitchina’s Kitchen Cafe, where you can have your meals, if you’d like to. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to try their food. The location is perfect though, it is on Hibbard Avenue, there are so many restaurants on this street and it is walking distance to most places.
I totally recommend this place. Even if we got the room that we actually booked, I would have liked it just the same.
DUMAGUETE CITY ATTRACTIONS:
We spent our first full day just in Dumaguete. The activities were: grocery shopping at City Mall in the morning, tried thrifting in that area (but didn’t buy anything) and then spent the afternoon in the city proper. We walked all day, I finished 18k steps on this day!
Sidlakang Negros Village
I had to check Google Maps to make sure if this is the right village because I saw some photos on different blogs and we definitely didn’t see those things. Maybe we should have explored more, but we really didn’t know where to go. When we went inside, there was an art gallery, we looked around but after that, we didn’t think there was anything else to see so we left. Based on what I have read online, it used to look beautiful, but the tourism office didn’t really maintain it. That’s too bad.
Unfortunately, Silliman University is not open for tourists due to COVID-19. Only faculty members and students are allowed inside. Maybe on my third time in Dumaguete, I will be able to go? LOL.
Campanario de Dumaguete
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church
The messages about the elections, though!!!
We spent a few hours here in the afternoon when it was too hot. Seriously, at that point, we were so sweaty. Kevin’s shirt was so drenched that he took it off to hang it on the bench to dry it a bit. They have illuminations at night. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a good sunset from Rizal Boulevard. It was really cloudy on both days.
I’m ecstatic we got to do this! It actually rained on our second day so we had to wait for it to let up before we could go out. I was the navigator and Kevin was the driver. On the way, we passed by this farm with rows of coconut trees. We had to stop and take photos. (We did this a lot. LOL.)
Tierra Alta Residential Resort
Entrance: 50 Pesos
Entrance & Pool use: 300 Pesos
This was our first stop, and since I did the itinerary this way, we decided to just pay for the entrance fee and take photos, because I don’t think I’d want to be drenched the entire day of this tour. Although, I wish we went swimming here instead of Forest Camp, but more on that later. LOL.
The Tierra Alta Residential Resort is located inside a private subdivision, so upon entrance, you will need to leave your ID at the guard house. The houses here are huge and luxurious. Aside from us, there were only a few other guests who were spending time at the pool, so we were free to roam around and take pictures without any other people. It is truly so pretty, so I suggest paying for the pool and spending a few hours here.
On the way to Pulangbato Falls, we saw this small house by the river, so we stopped to take photos. Ahh, that is truly perfect! It is my dream to live near the water, but this is not good if there is a typhoon.
Mag-Aso Volcanic Steam Spring
Entrance: 100 Pesos
It’s my second time here and last time, the bridge was still being constructed. Pulangbato Falls is definitely more accessible because you can just park and walk in, no hiking involved. Upon entry, you will see tables and chairs, you can order from the restaurant. We got here at around noon and we were hungry, so we had our lunch here. We ordered grilled fish and meat so that took a while because they do the grilling as you order. There is also another restaurant located upstairs, but we didn’t go there.
A bridge has been built going to the falls if you would like to take your pics from the left side, but the stairs going to the right side is also still there. There is a mini falls on the right side of the place, where you can go swimming. Kevin said it was too cold, so we didn’t do any swimming here. Pulangbato Falls will always be super beautiful to me. Those red rocks surrounding the falls are just amazing to look at!
Entrance fee: 20 pesos
Guide fee: 200 pesos
At the entrance, the staff suggested we get a guide because it rained and they said that the water was quite high. Kevin was against getting a guide, but I insisted we get one for 1) our safety and 2) I really don’t mind paying a small amount of money for someone’s livelihood. Our guide was pretty helpful because he helped us with our things and he did truly help me in crossing the river – the current was pretty strong! I’m sure that Kevin would have been able to assist me just the same, but seeing that the girl from the other group without a guide fell and lost her shoes, I’d say we made a good decision to get a guide.
Also, the trail going to falls is a literal rainforest. Sure, in the beginning, there are stairs but once you’ve gone through all of that, you really have no clue where to go next so I would definitely suggest getting a guide (if you have the budget for it).
Casaroro Falls is indeed very beautiful. It is difficult and tiring to get to but it is worth it. It could be dangerous though I think, because you can definitely get lost here There is also a warning about venturing into the plunging torrent, you could literally die so please be careful. And this is why I suggest getting a guide – so someone will stop you from doing foolish things. LOL.
Entrance and pool access fee: 180 pesos
I’m just a little bit disappointed with this one. I’ve seen photos on Facebook and blogs and I thought, wow, this place is beautiful. I thought of saving it as a our last stop so we can spend the rest of our day here swimming. I was looking for these “kawa” in the pool – didn’t find them. However, they do have hot kawa bath now, so maybe they moved those from the pool. We did those and that was kind of fun. But our photos were terrible because of the shade. LOL. The slide in the adult pool was closed. We found a small pool on the other side, but it was definitely not clean. You can feel how slippery the floor is with your feet, which makes me wonder when the last time they drained the water to clean the pool floor was. LOL.
Forest Camp is huge, they even have a river in the vicinity, but I feel like they should do better with the maintenance. I mean, the entrance fee is not cheap, so I feel like they should put some of that money towards maintenance. This is why we wish we paid for pool access at Tierra Alta instead.
We also had coffee here and I didn’t even like my iced coffee. LOL. It is really hard to screw up coffee, and I don’t think I’m picky when it comes to coffee.
Our next destination was Siquijor so we left at around 10am on our last day in Dumaguete to go to the Dumaguete Port to buy our tickets. We opted for the 2pm trip via Montenegro. You can only buy your ticket on the same day, except for Oceanjet, but they only have two trips: 7:20am and 7:10pm, both times do not fit our schedule. After getting our tickets, we had lunch and hung out at Gabby’s Bistro until around noon before walking back to the port to check in.
I also went back here from Siquijor a week later for my flight back to Manila. I was too early because Kevin and I left our last accommodation in Siquijor at the same time. He went to Bohol after our week in Siquijor and the OceanJet trip to Tagbilaran was at 8:20am. He suggested I stay at the hotel, but what was I really going to do there by myself? I just went to Dumaguete early and killed time at different restaurants before hailing a trike to take me to Sibulan Airport. I was on Hibbard Avenue near Silliman University, so I just paid PHP150 again for my trike fare. Luckily, the flight back to Manila was on time this time around. ^^
I did a mini vlog, which I posted on Tiktok so posting this here as well. LOL.