TheLoneRider
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Siquijor
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Country > Philippines > Siquijor Island > Maria
Date > 2023 > Jan
Activity > Traveling

Traveling
7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023

7 Days in Maria, Siquijor

Location Google Map: Genevieve Guest House, Maria (municipality), Siquijor Island, Philippines

Genevieve Guest House
When Agoda showed me a resort by the beach in Maria for P197/day for a bungalow accommodation, I booked it for 7 days. Tax and all, it came down to P1721 or about P250/day - not bad. It wasn't easy getting there. I had to pay a tricycle P400 for 22.4 km to get me there. From the main road, it veered off for another 2.8 km with the last km in rough road to an insulated and isolated part of Maria Municipality, Barangay Nabutay. There were no eating places within 5 km. The bungalow turned out to be a dorm room. Still, I was the only one in the dorm room and the owners were extra friendly and helpful.

Most of the structures were made with bamboo and the surroundings were green - not exactly the manicured garden of Cliff Garden, but it was still green and natural.

7 Days in Maria, Siquijor
my dorm bungalow

Lapac Beach
The beach was a good 220m walk down a steep precipice - not exactly what I was expecting. On the map, its name is Lapac Beach, but there was no one there. Going there was a little precarious given the precipice, and the beach itself was abandoned and dirty with a lot of garbage. There were a few old local boats that were drydocked, but it seemed the boats are also old and abandoned.

The beach however, is a diamond in the rough. Why? Because there was good fine white sand and a coral reef. The beach is engulfed by limestone cliff rocks on both ends, so the entire 200 meters of coastline is 'secured' - no one could just walk there unless they pass through the narrow precipice. Because the place is isolated, away from the tourist belt, because it's dirty and unkept, it probably will sell for a cheaper price. All you have to do is clean up the beach and develop a resort. Make it a getaway honeymoon resort so its isolation becomes its marketing pitch. I'm just saying.

However, one local told me that Lapac Beach is dirty because the current washes the garbage there. And once there, the garbage has no way out. He said the other nearby beaches have no garbage because the garbage gets carried out to Lapac Beach.

Biking Around
There are only 2 places to go by bike. North and it's the town center of Maria, 9 km away. South, and it's the livelier town of Lazi, 8 km away with steeper grades. Beyond that would be too much for a heavy folding bike. I biked in both directions and was pleasantly surprised that my bike could actually do it. Good workout for me too. If I should go further, I would ride my bike to Lazi and board the jeep there...sometimes, with my bike on board (I pay for my bike like another passenger).

The limitation about riding the jeep is that it's rare. There are about 3 jeeps plying the Lazi-Siquijor route and the last trip back is about 3pm. It means if I miss that last trip, I have to take the exhorbitantly-priced tricycle back to Lazi (from P70 to P500). Even if I catch that last trip, it also means I can't stay beyond 3pm. It was imperative for me to move closer to Siquijor. Lazi would be ideal.

Flat Tire
My worst nightmare happened on my 3rd night when I had a flat tire, 5km from my place. While I had some tools, it wasn't complete. I had to walk my bike in the dark. Because I couldn't see clearly, I missed my turn and had to walk much longer. Luckily, one local I asked for a possible vulcanizing shop, directed me to one about 2 km away. The wife of the repair guy happened to be there and even gave me a lift on her motorcycle, while I was lugging my heavy bike on one arm - 40 lbs at that.

When the guy looked at my inner tube, he found about 10 micro holes created by one tiny wire! He said that I ran flat which made the outer tube slide around the inner tube and created more punctures. His system was slow...gradually heating up the rubber patch until it melted on the puncture. Imagine 10 holes! We must have stayed there for 2 hours. We talked all the while and he told me his life story in Saudi Arabia as an all-around mechanic to an Arab boss who didn't pay him. He only charged me P100. I paid him P200 while profusely thanking him for being a god-sent.

I was able to ride my bike back through this unfamiliar terrain in pitch-black condition. I was guided only by my bike light and Google Map.

Lazi
I would often ride my bike to Lazi (10 km) and stay by the Boulevard at night and just bike my way back home - even though it meant going through pitch-black sections on the highway and more pitch-black sections into the interior of Nabutay.

The 1-month lodging I finally found was in Lazi - thank god! Of all places in Siquijor, Lazi was my first choice.

Elvis Presley in the Afternoon
Consistently, Elvis Presley music would be played in the afternoon. I'm not sure if it's the neighbor or my resort. But it was played loud. At first, I found it unusual, but after some time, I began to enjoy the music. I was rediscovering Elvis Presley in new light. More than the hip-swaying rock and rock beat, he was actually playing a lot of Blues music...but Blues with a tinge of Rock and Roll. It was a good substitute to me for Chiang Mai's nightly offering of live music.

Beaches in Maria
It's too bad that during my entire 1-week stay, I wasn't able to explore the other 'nicer' beaches in the area - Umpas Beach, Bacong Beach, Secret Beach, Monkey Beach and Kagusuan Beach. From Lazi going counter-clockwise on the circumferential road, these are already the nearest beaches. Unlike Lapac Beach which somehow ends up with all the garbage on the coast, these beaches remain clean on their own. Mind you, all these beaches are remote, obscure and unheard of.

I was so rushed and pressured the entire time looking for a monthly place to stay that all of Maria's offerings had to be put by the wayside.

Routine
Being so remote, I spent a great deal of my time on my front porch on my laptop - Youtube podcasts (BeerBicep, Johnny Harris), updating my blog, progressing with my reading/writing/practice of Hatha Yoga Pradipika. I kept in touch with some friends, Kris, being the most frequent. It wasn't a bad life since I'm not too much into the dive/beach anymore.

Tatay JuniorTatay Junior, the Shaman
I have a thing for shamans. Wherever I end up, I always look for 2 things - where to have tuba (fermented coconut sap) and the local shaman. Perhaps I am enamored by their special abilities.

The guest house handyman, Peter, told me about a shaman not too far away. He even offered to take me there. His name was Tatay Junior.

He was building a boat which was nearing completion - he said he will fish instead because fish has become expensive. I probed about the boat details. He said he can finish an 18-foot boat in 7 days. Cost? P7000 labor + P10,000 materials + P5000 for a 5-hp motor - P22,000 altogether you get a seaworthy boat for local transport and fishing.

Tatay Junior
Tatay Junior is one chill dude

His specialty is to give protection. He doesn't hurt anyone. He told me to bring him corn oil and he will do his ritual on it and fuse it with some mystical concoction which took him 7 years to gather. I should then take a table spoon in the morning and evening. Upon compliance, no evil witchcraft can ever befall me. To put this in context, this is Siquijor, the fabled laire of the sorcerrers. Just to be on the safe side, it's best to err on the side of safety.

He would not take money. Peter told me Tatay Junior likes 3-in-1 coffee, so I got a few bundles for him. Still, it took a lot of persuasion for him to take it.

Tatay Junior
fun moments with Peter and Tatay Junior

Shaman Chronicles


Last Hurrah for a Home
On my last full day, I spent the time visiting several lodging places - near Napoli Cafe in Maite (San Juan) but mostly in Lazi. The last place recommended to me by Kristine, where I usually eat, was just a kilometer away from the town proper. She even drove me there on her motorcycle with my bike on her sidecar. The house owner is Mrs. Dodang, her Auntie, who was the nicest person. After showing me around the house, I knew I had to stay there. Interestingly, this is the nicest place of them all, and also the cheapest at P2000/month. I confirmed my acceptance the following day and started packing for my move.

Moving to Lazi
I was prepared to load all my stuff onto my bike and just ride it all the way to Lazi...although it's a bit reckless - my 3 heavy bags cannot be properly secured to my bike and my brakes are not good. Luckily, Jenny suggested that I ask Peter to carry my stuff on his motorcycle while I simply ride my bike. Brilliant! That's exactly what happened.

Ending Thoughts
Many people have helped me along the way - Peter, Tatay Junior, and even the twins (Kathryn and Kristine) where I eat (who referred me to the house I was moving to). They're not just people to me. During my times of need, they were heaven-sent. I am always grateful to the Good Samaritans my benevolent universe send to look after me.

In the last 7 days of my stay, Genevieve Guest House became more than just a lodging place - it was a home for me. Jenny, the wife/co-owner, took care of my needs beyond the call of duty. Her husband, Klaus, even offered me his bicycle and an emergency pick-up if I find myself with a flat tire again. If not for its remoteness, I didn't mind staying there instead.

With the pressure off, I can leisurely visit this place again and enjoy the off-the-beaten-path beaches. I also see doing a few projects in the future with Peter - with his local know-how and his skills, we can make a great partnership.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



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Next Traveling story:

Lazi: A Monthly Stay Traveling

Lazi: A Monthly Stay

(Jan 21, 2023) After a frustrating 2-week search for a monthly stay in Siquijor Island, I finally found a suitable place in Lazi (my first choice) that was budget-friendly. Now, the pressure is gone, and I can finally resume a normal life and enjoy the offerings of Siquijor Island...more »»

Just use /philippines/siquijor/maria/maria_info.shtml

More on Maria:

More on Maria:

Maria Info

Maria is a sleepy municipality on the southeast of Siquijor Island. It has great beaches but largely unknown...perhaps not for long since a realty corporation purchased 24 hectares of prime coastal land spanning 2 barangays.

  1. Bibingka - Fidy's Bibingka (sweetened rice cake) is popular all over Siquijor. People make the trip to Sawang, Maria to buy this special bibingka (P30/piece).
  2. Resorts - like most of Siquijor, it also has its fair share of beaches, coral reefs and resorts - but not as many and not as popular as San Juan. Among its beaches are Sabas Beach (open to the public), Kasiguran Beach (closed under new ownership), Monkey Beach (still accessible by foot or motorbike through the .5 km forest trail from the main road to the beach head), Secret Beach and Lapac Beach.
  3. Transport - depends on who you talk to, there is one or two public jeeps plying Maria. At around 7:30 am, the jeep coming from Larena, going to Lazi, passes by Maria proper. This same jeep turns around at Lazi and leaves around 10:00 am for Larena, passing by Maria around 10:30. This is the only trip everyday.

More on Siquijor Island:

Siquijor Island Local Info

Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.

  1. Siquijor Port to Lazi - last trip leaves at 3pm from station near market
  2. Lazi to Siquijor Port - jeeps depart from the Lazi Port area. 5 jeeps, the last trip at 12:30 pm. Lazi to San Juan, P50.
  3. Larena Port to Lazi - jeeps are unpredictable. As of this writing, there is only 1 jeep plying the Larena-Lazi route. This jeep leaves Larena for Lazi at 9:50am. After that, no more jeep. You'll have to take a tricycle to Siquijor Pob for jeeps going to Lazi
  4. Lazi to Larena Port - 6am (daily) and 9 am (M-Th)

Food - these were suggested by a local to me

  1. Lechon manok & liempo - roasted pork belly and chicken at Joel's in Siquijor Poblacion. I've tried this myself...yummy, even if the chicken was no longer hot
  2. Bibingka - sweetened rice cake by Fidy's Bibingka (P30) in Sawang, Maria. I've come back for this and I buy for other people as well as 'pasalubong' - they love this
  3. Siopao - at the Rosita store near Thrifty (P25) in Siquijor Poblacion
  4. Peanut butter - by Rene. Just ask around in Siquijor Poblacion. It's popular
  5. Torta - sweet cakish bread at the Thrifty story in Siquijor Poblacion
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Montenegro Lines - at Siquijor Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle, 7:30am/10:00am/2:00pm/4:30pm

  2. Montenegro Lines, Siquijor to Dumaguete

  3. Aleson Shipping - at Siquijor Port, 6 am and 6 pm daily, 1:30 pm M-Sat, Regular P200.00/pax, Aircon P250.00/pax

  4. Aleson Shipping, Dumaguete to Siquijor

  5. Ocean Jet - 40 mins,at Siquijor Port, 0919.066.5964, www.oceanjet.net, marketing@ocenajet.net, 6:00am/6:00pm, P350/pax (tourist/open air), P580/pax (business class)

    Ocean Jet


Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)

En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.

  1. Ocean Jet - 2 hours, 8:20am, at Siquijor Port
    To Tagbilaran: P800/tourist & open air, P1200/business class
    To Cebu: ?
  2. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port,
    To Tagbilaran: T-Th-Sun, P475/standard, 7pm, 3 hours, PHP?
    To Cebu: T-Th-Sun, 7pm, 7 hours, PHP 650


Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, T-Th-Sun, 2:00 am, 5 hours, PHP?


Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip (as of Jan 2023)

There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.

Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.


Sugbo Urban

Sugbo Urban

Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island

These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat

  1. Bohol - Bohol is an island northeast Siquijor. Tourist attractions are Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Monkey, Loboc River Cruise, Beaches of Panglao, whale sharks (recent offering), freediving (recent offering)
  2. Cebu - Cebu City is the usual gateway into the Visayas. But in Cebu Island itself, there are many offerings - Whale Sharks of Oslob, sardine run at Moalboal,Thresher Shark of Malapascua
  3. Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
  4. Dumaguete - Dumaguete is a small charming progressive coastal town in Negros Oriental. Cafe and restaurants line the famous Boulevard Boardwalk. Tourist attractions include Japanese Shrine, Casaroro Falls, snorkeling along the southern coastline (Dauin, Masaplod Norte, etc), Balinsasayao Twin Lakes
  5. Plaridel (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.

Blogs

Siquijor Blogs
Siquijor Island
  1. January Chronicles: Bandilaan Meditation January 2024
  2. My January Yoga Practice: A Journal January 31, 2024
  3. Jan 2024: Squid, Balangawan, Margarita Pizza January 2024
  4. December Chronicles: Yuletide Season December 30, 2023
  5. December Snapshots: Bolo Bolo Dip, Christmas Lunch, Tuba Denizens, Friends Forever, Men Working, Cow / Crow December 1-30, 2023
  6. Eggplant Bulad Pizza December 20, 2023
  7. Canghaling Cave November 14, 2023
  8. Kings and Queens November 13, 2023
  9. Barangay Vote-Buying October 22, 2023
  10. Real Estate Mapping October 1, 2023
  11. Learning Cebuano: Oct October 1-31, 2023
  12. Oct Food Hack: Pizza, Kinilaw, Coconut Bread, Fish Okuy, Carrot Omelette,Lemon-Grass Tea October 2023
  13. Sep Snapshots: Fisherman, Granny, Pedicure, Big Fish, Garbage September 1-30, 2023
  14. Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread September 2023
  15. Together Forever Sep 11, 2023
  16. The Cigarette Talk Sep 1, 2023
  17. Siquijor Star Meditation Center Aug 31, 2023
  18. The Lost Dogs of Siquijor Aug 27, 2023
  19. Moving to a Bungalow! Aug 22, 2023
  20. Aug Chronicles: CDO produce August 31, 2023
  21. Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023
  22. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  23. July Chronicles July 31, 2023
  24. July Snapshots July 1-31, 2023
  25. Learning Cebuano: July July 1-31, 2023
  26. June Chronicles June 31, 2023
  27. June Snapshots June 1-31, 2023
  28. Learning Cebuano: June June 1-31, 2023
  29. May Chronicles May 31, 2023
  30. May Snapshots May 1-31, 2023
  31. Learning Cebuano May 1-31, 2023
  32. In Search of a Cool Climate May 25, 2023
  33. The 64 km Bike Ride May 16, 2023
  34. Lazi Fiesta May 15, 2023
  35. The Boulevard Opening May 5, 2023
  36. April Snapshots April 1-30, 2023
  37. Learning Cebuano...Again! April 1-30, 2023
  38. Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
  39. Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
  40. Siquijor Healing Festival April 5-8, 2023
  41. The Talk at United Church of Christ April 2, 2023
  42. Mar Snapshots Mar 1-31, 2023
  43. Vigil for the Ghost Ship of Siquijor March 31, 2023
  44. Judging an Essay on Gender Equality Mar 29, 2023
  45. The Thief, the Shaman, the Elves and the Police Mar 20, 2023
  46. Finally Acquiring the Motorbike Mar 18, 2023
  47. Bitcoin Blunder Mar 15, 2023
  48. Maria's Unsung Beaches Mar 11, 2023
  49. Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
  50. Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
  51. Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
  52. Reasons to Get a Wife March 1, 2023
  53. Feb Snapshots Feb 28, 2023
  54. Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
  55. Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
  56. Manifesting a Motorbike from Thin Air? Feb 18, 2023
  57. The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  58. Amazement from Drivers License Renewal in Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  59. Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
  60. Inguinal Hernia? Goodbye ABS! Feb 4, 2023
  61. Jan Snapshots January 31, 2023
  62. In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
  63. 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
  64. Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
  65. Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
  66. 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
  67. Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
  68. Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
  69. Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
  70. Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  71. Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
  72. Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
  73. Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
  74. Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010

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