I love traveling. I always try to go to different trips in a year but when it comes to planning the details of the trip, I now try to be chill. I no longer want to cover every possible tourist spot in a particular destination. I just pick what I want to see and I am happy with just that. For the Dumaguete, Siquior and Cebu trip, I just want to go Manjuyod sandbar in Negros Oriental, Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor and Osmena Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu.
I got what I wanted and more.
We were able to tour around Silliman University in Dumaguete.
We met our friend May and her family.
We ate at pretty cafes and restaurants in Dumaguete.
I flew on a broom in Siquijor.
We went to a flower farm in Dalaguete.
We were able to visit the Sto Nino Basilica in Cebu.
I came home safe and sound.
All these pretty photos were reminders of a memorable trip.
However, there were more stories behind our trip and I felt I needed to immortalize them in this blog post.
This is the part where I start to tell you everything that went wrong.
It was one fine Saturday of August 18 when we took a 655 AM flight from Butuan going to Cebu. We were 5 happy travelers.
It was an uneventful flight which I hoped that all my flights should be. We arrived at around 8 am in Cebu. Our goal then was to reach the Cebu South Terminal since we would be traveling south to reach Dumaguete. There were 5 of us so we won’t be able to fit in one taxi.
I learned through Googling that we could take a myBus from the airport and drop at Parkmall where we could then take a jeep to the terminal. Four of us were in seats that face the rear of the bus and only one friend was facing front. And so we missed the Parkmall stop. And we realized this when we saw SM, the end point of the trip. We thought the driver would inform passengers of the stops.
We resolved to take two taxis to South Terminal.
Upon arrival, we had to decide which bus to take. We had two options: 1. Take a bus to the Lilo-an port in Santander and take the ferry to Sibulan in Negros which is just 15 minutes from Dumaguete or 2. Take the Ceres bus that will take us directly to Dumaguete through a barge in Bato, Cebu. Option 1 is a shorter trip if you don’t miss the ferry ride after. It was already almost 10 am and we figured that it might be difficult to take lunch on the road so we decided to eat first before traveling. Elizabeth mall was near so we just walked.
All was well but as soon as we were almost done eating, it rained. Real hard. We waited for the rain to stop and decided to just take the taxi as soon as it was starting to let up.
After a few minutes of pondering, we decided to take option 1: bus to the port. We were led to a line at the back of the terminal. A long winding line. All the while we thought that the waiting area was in the front of the terminal.
This was our line. And we still had to go through that line at the back.
Good thing that there were chairs. We just had to hop from one chair to another. Why the long lines? All those who would go to South of Cebu ride the same bus route. Whether you go to Carcar, Argao, Dalaguete or Oslob, you take the same bus. That is why everyone “sits” on the same line. Plus, it was the start of a long weekend.
It was already 1 PM when we got on the bus.
A few minutes after the bus left the terminal, the bus made a U-turn and returned to the terminal. The driver felt there was something wrong with the bus. We had to move to another bus. The transfer was organized. We were instructed to sit in the same seat on the replacement bus.
It was a good thing that the driver noticed something wrong with the bus while we were still near the terminal. Imagine the hassle if it happened halfway through the trip. That was a relief until we got stuck in traffic in Carcar. There was an accident. Someone was hit by a truck. There was no alternate route. All vehicles had to wait until the area was cleared.
If only we knew how long we had to wait we could have gone to buy chicharon from these stalls. hehehe
We arrived at the Liloan Port at around 630 PM and we were in luck this time. We caught the boat that was about to leave for the Sibulan. That was a quick 15-min boat ride.
As soon as we landed in the Sibulan port, our friend, May, fetched us. We were all happy to see her and we thought that our string of bad luck was over.
May drove us to The Flying Fish Hostel where we booked a 6-bed dorm room through Airbnb. Much to our surprise, we were led to a 10-bed mixed dorm room. We panicked. Five of the beds were already occupied. We wanted a room all to ourselves. So we decided to have the booking refunded.
On the bright side, we had May still waiting for us outside who immediately got in touch with the alumni hall of Silliman. We were told there was an available room for 5.
May also ordered a feast for us at Sans Rival, that famous restaurant in Dumaguete. We ate our worries away and just indulged every bite. After all that we’ve been through, we were famished.
This was our dorm room in the Silliman Alumni Hall. Not bad for 1,400 a night!
I was so tired. I immediately changed into my sleepwear and called it a night.
The first full day in Dumaguete was a lot of fun. All those bad luck were wiped out from our consciousness.
Or so we thought.
The next day was our trip to Siquijor.
Remember that we just wanted to be chill about the trip? We planned to take the 8 AM boat to Siquijor.
We arrived at the pier at 745 AM. Ha! The tickets have sold out so we bought tickets for the 9 AM trip. On the bright side, we now have time for breakfast. We had breakfast at the Silliman canteen.
It took us an hour to reach Siquijor by boat. Because we learned our lesson earlier, we agreed to immediately buy tickets for the afternoon trip back to Dumaguete. When we learned that tickets would be sold only by 11 AM, our multicab driver arranged for somebody to buy the 4:20 PM trip tickets for us.
Off we went on our tour. We enjoyed our time in the Cambugahay falls. Who wouldn’t?
We enjoyed it so much that we had to cut short our trip to the Salagdoong beach because we no longer had enough time. Our driver had to drive fast for us to make it to the 4:20 PM trip.
As soon as we arrived at the terminal, our tickets were handed to me. We were walking fast towards the terminal area even more so when the person manning the gate already told us that the boat was about to leave. Boarding already started. My friends went ahead of me so that they could at least inform the crew that we were already coming. I was left a little behind because I still had to pay the terminal fees.
I saw my friends whose faces showed relief that they reached the boat just in time. And then one friend realized, ” Why are we in a RORO (roll-on roll-off) boat? Aren’t we supposed to ride a fast craft?” Then we saw a fast craft leaving the dock. That was our boat. We missed our boat by a few minutes.
The crew in the RORO were kind enough to help us on what to do next. They assured us that they would wait for us to secure a refund and buy new tickets. I walked so fast towards the gate to get the refund and buy the tickets.
This is us in the boat. Can you see the beads of sweat on my cheek?
Our ordeal was not over because two of us in the group got diarrhea. Somebody in Siquijor might have put a spell on us. Ha!
The bright side? We got to see dolphins and this lovely sunset.
By the 4th day of our trip, we had become veterans of misery. Ha! We were still amused at the series of unfortunate events that befell us. I kept telling my friends that this was just a test. And that Murphy’s Law was in effect: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. So be it!
It was now time to travel to Cebu. We planned to drop by Dalaguete and visit Osmena Peak. We took the Ceres bus this time. We had lunch at the pier where the barge was. The barge would carry the bus to the pier in Bago, Cebu. For the two of us who had diarrhea, lunch was patatas, a local square biscuits. We failed to notice that only our group was left eating. The bus conductor came to tell us that they were waiting for us. The bus was already on the barge. When we reached the bus, we saw that one friend was not with us. We decided to call her and we saw her from a distance panicking outside not knowing where to go. She did not realize that the bus would be loaded onto the barge. She finally saw where we were. All is well that ends well.
We dropped at Dalaguete for Osmena Peak. We were lucky this time because we were able to hire a multicab going to the foot of the mountain instead of riding at the back of a motorcycle. We even minimized our misery by hiring a guide and renting a trekking pole.
We enjoyed both the peak and the flower farm that was suggested to us by our guide. By the time we got back to the Dalaguete highway, we were starving so we enjoyed a bowl of batchoy at a local eatery.
Our tummies were full so we were ready to travel to Cebu. We were waiting at the bus stop along with other passengers. Remember that there was only one line in the south terminal because the route would only drop passengers along the way? Oh well, we were waiting for a bus to Cebu at the end of a holiday. All the buses we tried to hail were full. There were passengers standing on the aisle. I could hear one of my friends asking if there were vans for hire or anything for hire. There weren’t. We were advised to go to another bus stop because there were more passengers alighting there. We hired a tricycle to get us there. We met a passenger who told us that she had been waiting 3 hours for a bus. I guess she was not willing to stand on the bus aisle. We were.
When the next bus arrived, we saw that there were passengers alighting but the seats were still occupied. We asked the conductor if there would be passengers disembarking. He told us that we could stand in the aisle near the rear of the bus because there would be 3 passengers disembarking in the next town. True enough, we only have to stand for a less than an hour and we all got seats. With this, our string of back luck ended.
We arrived safely at our hotel in Cebu. We were able to visit Sto. Nino Basilica the next day. We dropped by SM before we headed for the airport.
It was a memorable trip. I have to give props to my friends for staying positive all throughout our journey.
Traveling indeed is a test of faith, character and even friendship. I am sure to be keeping these friends I have.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain