27 Oct Dumaguete & Cebu, The Philippines
I was so excited getting on the plane to Cebu from Puerto Princesa. After two and a half months away from home, I was finally getting to see my brother. Although, initially the plan was for him and his girlfriend to join us. Life sometimes has a different plan! Instead he came along with us alone, and we had the best time.
In order to get to Dumaguete, or anywhere along the south region of Cebu, you take a Ceres bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal. We booked our entire trip, including the boat across to Negros which meant once we reached the southern port in Cebu, we hopped on a roll on roll off boat and then hopped back on the bus to continue our journey to Dumaguete. From Cebu, it is a four hour bus ride from Cebu South Bus Terminal to the port at Liloan, Santander. From there it is about a one hour boat ride, followed by another hour or so bus to Dumaguete city.
Things To Do
First on our list of things to do in Dumaguete, was to visit Manjuyod Sandbar. Known locally as the “Small Maldives”, this spot is a haven just a short journey from the main town of Dumaguete. We chose to stay in Dumaguete for two nights, however after being here, I would recommend basing yourself on the mainland of Cebu and travelling across for a day trip. Our hotel sorted out our daytrip to the sandbar which was accompanied by a dolphin watching trip – one of the most amazing things I have ever done. (FYI – there is nowhere to get food on the sandbar. There is a small boat that goes around selling drinks however!)
Places To Eat
We ate in two really good restaurants during our time in Dumaguete and would highly recommend them to anyone visiting. They are K.R.I and Adamo.
As there is so much to do and see in Cebu and the surrounding islands, after Dumaguete we decided to base ourselves in one location. I would highly recommend doing this! We chose the Down South 118 Resort in Oslob. This beautiful hotel is one of the nicest places we found in the southern region and was reasonably priced too. Luckily enough the hotel were able to organise all of our activities taking away the hassle of doing it ourselves. The only downside to staying in Oslob is that there are not many places to eat and we ended up having all of our meals at the hotel. The food was really good, but it would have been nice to have a bit of variety.
Things To Do
Whale Shark Watching
Seeing whale sharks has always been on my bucket list. Finally, I was able to swim with these beautiful creatures in Oslob. I was a little upset however, as the boats the bring you out actually feed the whale sharks to keep them around. So, although it was amazing getting to see them, I was upset that the tourism industry has destroyed the lives of these animals by feeding them in the wild and upsetting the ecosystem that they belong to.
We arrived at the Down South 118 Resort in the early morning. On arrival we decided to head straight away to Badian, where we went canyoneering. This involves climbing to the top of a mountain and making our way back down through waterfalls, cliff jumps and some swimming. Your trip finishes at the base of Kawasan Falls. It was amazing! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip so far. One thing to be careful of is your ears however. Both my brother and I ended up getting water caught in our ears and having to go to the doctor to get drops – not ideal!
Visit Sumilon Island
Just 20 minutes boat ride from Oslob is Sumilon Island. This small island has so many things to offer and is a great day trip. We spent 4 hours or so here laying on the beach, snorkelling and just wandering around.
The sea around the Cebu is calm pretty much all of the time. This is because it is sheltered by the other surrounding islands. Our hotel had two paddle boards so one afternoon we took them and went along the coast line surrounding our hotel. It was such a nice way to spend the afternoon and getting to the Oslob coastline!
After exploring Cebu, it was on to Bohol Island. You can read all about that here.