Saturday, August 23, 2008

Getting to Siquijor

I went back to Siquijor! This is how much I enjoyed my last trip there back in March 2008 :)

To get to Siquijor from Manila, you need to take a flight to Dumaguete first then take a ferry to Siquijor. The flight is only 40 minutes and the airport where it lands is only 15 minutes away from the port where you can take the ferry to Siquijor.

satellite view of the airport
There are tricycles and vans waiting outside the airport that can take you to the port. They charged me 100 pesos for the tricycle for myself, 2 other people and our luggage. I'm not sure whether this is the actual rate though. Bethel Guest House charges 200 pesos for a van to the airport. So it does sound reasonable.

Delta Fast ticketing counter

departure terminal
At the Dumaguete Port, there are two fast craft options: Delta Fast and Weesam. Unfortunately, the Weesam fast crafts are currently under maintenance for a month - so Delta Fast is your only option. I suggest you call ahead of time to reserve tickets because they do run out fast while Weesam is out of commission.

Ticket costs 160 pesos for one-way tickets. Unfortunately, the Delta Fast ticketing counter lacks a sign board so it's a bit hard to find. Tip: The Weesam ticketing counter is right beside one gate of the port while the Delta Fast ticketing counter is right beside the other gate.

Like an airport, you also need to pay for the terminal fee.

Tip: Watch-out for the porters! They can be annoying and persistent - especially when they swarm around you and rudely grab your bags in the pretence of assisting you. In fact, they're just trying to get ahead of their fellow porters. I had to say "No thank you!" several times to shoo them all away.

satellite view of the sea port
There's a huge billboard in the port warning against human trafficking. To display a huge billboard like this means that human trafficking is quite a problem. I talked to a Dutch anthropologist in Siquijor who works for a Dumaguete NGO providing legal services to abused women. As an anthropologist, she was studying and documenting the human trafficking and abuse of women - sometimes even by her fellow Westerners who are dirty old men. She actually looked at them with disdain and sees entire Western families as a more welcome sight in Dumaguate and Siquijor.
interior of Delta Fast

I was able to track the entire ferry journey using my GPS. It's roughly 30km away and the fast craft travels at approximately 30km/hour. The sea can get rough so take your bonamine if you are prone to motion sickness. The seats are perfect for the average Filipino height and weight while the entire cabin is sealed and air-conditioned.

Here's a screenshot of the journey from Dumaguete to Siquijor which was logged by my N82's Nokia Sports Tracker.
There is an airport in Siquijor but it's only for private planes. I was told you can charter a 5 passenger plane from Dumaguete to Siquijor for 3,500 pesos. The plane ride will only take you 7 minutes.

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