Finally the trip materialized and completed. Just do some info sharing for anyone planning to go Dumaguete and the nearby areas for diving. Long summary but I've bold and underline so it's easy to just read what matters.
I shall leave the airline experience out except that, next time I fly to Philippines, I would consider flying other airlines or Philippines Airline itself, definitely bad experience with Cebu Pacific, 3rd world.
Place By Place Travel1. DumagueteGetting there
: From airport to resort, they provided transportation thus it's no hassle. Dive Operator / Resort
: Liquid Dumaguete
The operations is professionally run, nice resort too. Stayed in a fan room facing the sea, so it's actually nice going to bed and waking up to the sounds of waves. There is a 'underground hot spring' around the area, so their equipping area has a outdoor shower head that provides hot water, sulfur smelling though Dive Guide
Was taken care of by a local DM, Allan, for all my dives. He has a keen eye for macros, even at night, he could spot the tiny (soy bean size) squid. I was told, divers doesn't always tip the guides there (that part of Philippines) but I still did since it was such a pleasant experience.Dive Sites
Apo Island was much raved about but my 3 dives (single day) didn't seems to impress me thus I didn't go Apo again after 1 day.
I did all my dives along the Dauin Coast (including 1 night dive), all shore entry. Some sites were mostly sandy bottom, little corals, but I got to see the various types of frogfishes (including the tiny orange colored one which I haven't check out the name), among other macro creatures.
Water temperatures were mainly around 26 degree Celsius and dropped to 25 at night. Food
Their range of food doesn't quite impress me and resort food won't come cheap. Good thing, on Day 2, the DMTs wanted to head to town (Dumaguete town) for dinner, else who knows if I would wonder out myself.
We headed to Lantaw, a local restaurant popular with locals and tourist for nice food and attractively priced. If you go in a group, the average shared dinner will cost about 300php per person.
Heading to town on the yellow bus cost 17php (to bus terminal), tricycle to Lantaw cost 30-50php, and a tricycle ride back cost 200php.
Tried seafood at this restaurant called Duma Seafood, which I was told, was opened by a PRC. Honestly, that was my first, and last. Was told, many said it's good (not my style to rely on foreign recommendation but oh well, not my choice either) but I would rate the food as, forgettable and service is seriously, you need patience and can't be starving to begin with. Ok that's quite mean, but that my own experience.2. SiquijorGetting there
Took tricycle from Liquid to Dumaguete Pier, which was arranged by Liquid. Cost 350php.
Ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor on the fast ferry took about 1 hour.
Multicab from Siquijor pier to resort at 300php (since I was the last passenger, multicab driver went direct and I paid full charge. Tricycle cost 250php, so I don't bother saving the 50php).Dive Operator
: Last Frontier
The dive operator provided transport, so 1km isn't an issue. They are a little outfit but their equipments are in good condition (the most new and unbattered wetsuits I seen). The operations is owned by a middle aged Japanese named Ken. Nice friendly guy.Resort
: Palm Village Guesthouse (about 1km away)
Another seafront hut. This tiny setup only has 1 cottage with 2 airconditioned bedrooms, and another cottage with 2 split units (fan based). Both cottage comes with veranda. Dive Guide
Was taken care of by a local DM, Norman, for all my dives. The most memorable thing was, on our last dive, we went back down (after dive ended) and hunt for sea urchins. Those long black spike/spine types. They were tasty!Dive Sites
Did 2 Palition Wall (north and south), 1 Sunken Island, 2 Sanctuary (1 day 1 night) dives. To be honest, there were not much surprises. The night dive was better since we saw 2 different flat worms (1 was free swimming on its own), among a few other stuff including tiny squids.
Water temperatures were mainly around 26 degree Celsius and dropped to 25 on a day dive. Food
Out of the 4 nights there, I ate 3 nights along the road side just within about 300-400 meters from where I stayed. Both served BBQ meats, which was tasty and affordable (local pricing). On the last night, ate at a air ventilated restaurant called Baha Bar, which the prices were also affordable.Other Activities
Rented a scooter and headed to Salagdoong beach in between dive days. There are 2 cliff jumps (into the sea) at 8 and 10 meters. It was fun, though I only managed to do 1 jump (8m) due to the recovering injury on my shoulder. Don't look down from the edge else many would back out. I did and stepped back! But I didn't want to regret so I just took the leap immediately after.
There are 2 waterfalls in Siquijor if I'm not wrong. Went to Cambugahay Falls if I'm not mistaken, but went to the lower and not interesting fall, when the more interesting one is just another less than 1km motorbike ride up the road. Oh well... Another Noticeable Resort
I saw a new resort that is near completion, they are putting the final touches. There are 4 units, and a separate duplex will be constructed soon. This new resort (Fun-Ta-Sea) is next door to Sea Quest divers so it's very conveniently located. It is about 800m from the roadside BBQ place mentioned above.
They are just a few steps onto the sandy beach and overlooking the sunset (facing Dumaguete and Apo). The units comes with aircon, hot shower and a tiny kitchen and was told it would cost abt 2,500php a night. Quite an attractive pricing especially when it's new and clean.3. Back to Dumaguete (and day trip to Oslob)
Getting back, took the 10am ferry which took about 1.5hrs. I cannot remember the exact ticket price, but there will also be some smaller charges like ferry terminal fees.
Back at Dumaguete, took tricycle to the last hotel destination in Dumaguete Town (50php). Hotel
: Go Hotel (next to Robinson Mall)
Room price is about 800php with online hotel booking sites. Could be cheaper if book direct.
Decent hotel, with aircon, hot shower, LCD tv (cable channels) and 100m walk to Robinson Mall. Very attractive price I must say.Oslob
Took tricycle at 515am, from Go Hotel to Sibulan pier at 150php. Caught the 6am ferry and tricycle from ferry terminal to Oslob. Shared with 3 others, at 200php per tricycle.
Did 1 dive (3100php including park fees) at Oslob as I want to be away from the snorkeling crowd. Visibility wasn't so good, and I saw maybe the same 3 or 4 whalesharks. Ok, been there, done that.Back at Dumaguete
Nothing much to do on my final 2 days except taking it slow and resting. Watched 2 movies and it was funny how the Pinoys reacted in Jackie Chan's movie. I mean, they were very expressive during the movie. It could be their nature of loving a good laugh and being quite friendly and happy nature.
Had my last lunch in Robinson Mall's food court on level 2. There's a stall called Casa Ilonooa, that served decent local fares (akin to our economic rice or nasi champur stalls). The grilled fish fillet is yummy, among other dishes.
Tried several massage places, but the best was by visually impaired, at a corner in the food court above. Cost 80php for 30mins session but gave the person a decent tip for that good massage.