Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Birthday Celebration - Day 5

Day 5 - 1 February  (Long Read)

It was drizzling a bit when we made our way to Sunset Restaurant where we decided to have breakfast. The ocean looked angry and it definitely looked like there was a typhoon hitting the island. So we thought it’s very possible that we might have to stay overnight again at the resort. At this point we were very happy to be stranded there. We didn’t want to worry about our expneses piling up as long as we’re enjoying. Better to be stranded in that beautiful island than in Dumaguete where we have to stay inside our hotel room and do nothing. At least in Siquijor, we can do nothing in front of the ocean.
Dark skies and big waves


It was super windy and cold we had to wear our sweaters

After breakfast, we explored the cove near the restaurant which is the other side of the beach.

And then we swam at the Olympic Size pool again. We passed by the front desk on the way to the pool and they told us that there’s still no advise from the coast guard regarding the ferries. There might be an advise by lunch time.

It was almost lunch time when we stopped swimming. And so I asked a resort staff if they could check if the coast guard has already given its clearance for the ferry but we were advised that no ferries yet. We were all still full from breakfast so we decided to hang around in the hammocks by the beach. It was here where a resort staff approached us that we can now leave the island.

We hurriedly bathed, dressed up and packed our things. We didn’t even have time to have lunch because the jeep going to the port was to leave around 1pm. We will just have enough time in Dumaguete to make it to our 4:45pm flight to Manila. The resort’s ariconditioned jeep took us to a different port (From the one we arrived at in Siquijor). I was a bit worried on the type of boat we will ride because when we arrived there was a small motor boat that can probably fit around 10-12 people. There were more people than that inside the jeep plus all our luggages so we definitely won’t fit. I was worried they might do it in batches and we won’t arrive in Dumaguete in time. Good thing there was a bigger boat – the one that the resort uses for their tour to Apo Island.

I got this photo from the resort's website
Apparently, the smaller motor boat will be used to transfer us from the port to the boat. And the port looks like a slab of cement road sticking out into the ocean. And they didn’t have those wooden kind of like ladder that you can walk on from the port to the boat. We had to go down from the port a few inches there’s a very small step about half a foot and then you jump to the small boat. I was scared out of my shit. I was so worried about Miya, she was asleep then while Joema was carrying her. When I got down to that half a foot slab of cement, I kept telling the manongs who helped us to take care of my baby while going down. I think Joema carried Miya all thoughout but the manongs were on guard.
This was at the port while waiting for the small boat to get us

Scared pero nagpapicture pa
To transfer from the small boat to the bigger boat was again an adventure. They didn’t even tie a rope to tie the two boats together. The manongs were just holding the railing of the bigger boat while they’re on the small boat. Some manongs on the bigger boat were hodling the railing of the smaller boat. My gosh!

Finally on board the boat that took us to Dumaguete
The resort’s customer service was top notch. They had cold water for us when we arrived at the big boat. And then they told us that vans will be waiting for us at the Dumaguete port to take us to the airport while some will be taken to their sister hotel in Dumaguete. Another couple was dropped off in our Dumaguete hotel – Hotel Essencia - even.  I think one of the passengers of the boat, who I earlier thought was just a guest like us, is the owner or manager of the resort because when we got to Dumaguete he helped with the luggages and everyone was calling him sir. The boat ride was uneventful aside from the old foreigner who got his finger cut when the door of the boat hit his hand. Good thing one of the guests who was with his family had a complete first aid kid and the old man’s wife was a nurse so she was able to apply first aid to his cut. But she mentioned they need to go to the hospital to have it stitched. Ouchie!

We finally got to Dumaguete Port maybe around 3:00. The resort’s van took us to the airport. We were dropped off together with a French couple. When we tried to check-in and showed the Cebu Pacific ground crew our certificate from the coast guard, they told us that all flights to Manila were fully booked and the next flight was Tuesday, 4 February. Patay! And on the way there Joema was asking me what our worst case scenario was, I told him that CebuPac will charge us with expensive booking charges. He told me what if there were no more flights, I told him that’s not possible. Well, how wrong was I! I asked the ground crew that we need to leave for Manila that day (We both had work on Monday). She told us we can go via Cebu. I said okay and asked for the flight times. I said the 9pm flight is okay with us, but she said that we might not have enough time. The ferry ride going to Cebu is only 30minutes but we needed to take a bus around 6 hour long to get to the airport. I’m like what?!?!? I remembered that the Cebu pier is in Cebu City which is only a few minutes from Mactan airport. We went there the last time we went to Cebu and took a ferry to Bohol. It turned out this pier near Dumaguete is in Oslob, Cebu! Ohmygosh! I asked regarding the buses, she mentioned that there are buses waiting at the port to bring passengers to the airport. We told her we’ll get the 12:30am flight instead. Around this time the French couple were also with us talking to the ground crew. They were more adamant in leaving for Manila because their flight to France was the next morning! After we picked our flight time, the ground crew rebooked our flight and gave us our new tickets – free of charge. Hallelujah! The French couple on the other hand didn’t have the  certificate from the coast guard. The husband had to go to the pier to get one. Okay there are two piers in Dumaguete, one is Dumaguete port the other one is Sibulan port. The husband first went to Sibulan port but didn’t get one there. Maybe because Siquijor is via Dumaguete port, so the husband had to go to Dumaguete port to get one.

By this time, we left the French woman on her own to wait for her husband. We were trying if we could reach Sibulan port by 4:00pm because based on the flyers that the French woman had, the ferry times were 4:00 and 6pm. Well, it turned out that the ferries leave the port every 30minutes. We got there before 4pm but we bought the tickets for 4:30pm boat because that was the bigger motor boat. Joema didn’t want us to ride the pumpboat. We had time to relax a bit and eat lunch at a roadside carinderia. We were famished! I ordered two orders of fried chicken and three rice. Miya was so hungry, she ate one full cup of rice. I ordered that extra rice for me hahaha! And then we bought donuts and those mini-donuts from Mister Donut. She finished one donut and two mini-donuts even before we set foot on the ferry. On the ferry she ate another donut.

When we got to Cebu, there was the bus! Apparently, every time a ferry arrives a new bus is there to take the passengers. But when we got on the bus, the passengers kept on asking me about my seat number. I’m like what?!?!? I don’t have a seat number. It turned out, when we got our ferry tickets, we should have been issued a seat number for the bus ride which is written at the back of the ticket. Oh my! WE had to change seats three times because people kept telling us to vacate their seats. I had to go down twice to ask the conductor if we need to pay for our seats and ask about the seat number. He told me there might be extra seats. Might be?!?! What if there were no extra seats? How will we go home??? Well, for our last seat transfer I chose the last seats at the back before the 6seats. Thankfully, no one bothered us anymore. When the conductor started handing out tickets, we asked him how long the ride is going to the airport. He told us around 3 hours but we still need to ride a taxi from the bus terminal going to the airport. He said it might take another 1 hour for the taxi ride. It was like Amazing Race, I tell ya!

I slept so deeply during the bus ride, Joema had to take Miya from me because she might fell off my lap. I didn’t care if my mouth was hanging open because I was so exhausted! Thankfully, when we got to the bus terminal there was a line for taxis. We experienced haggling with taxi drivers in Cebu before so even before we got in I told the driver we need to use his meter. Though, he still requested for an additional P50 but that was okay. I agreed after he told me that the ride will only take around 15minutes. Our taxi ride was only around P200++ anyway. I think the bus terminal is already in Cebu City, we passed by the port I thought we will land on, SM Ayala, the bridge connecting Cebu City to Mactan and then we were finally at the airport.

Thank God Cebu’s airport is very clean and very efficient. We checked in using the CebuPac kiosks inside the terminal. It was very easy to use, we just chose our seats and then it printed out our boarding passes. And then I lined up to have our luggage checked in. All the while, Miya and her Dad finished off the remaining donuts we bought. Joema bought me a cup noodle before we proceeded to the gate. When we entered the boarding area, there was a Zubochon lechon! Hurrah! We ate a decent meal there and got to buy a kilo of lechon for take home to Manila. That was our light at the end of the tunnel! We met up with the French at the boarding gate and they asked us why they didn’t see us at the ferry going to Cebu. I told them we stopped to eat and there we were eating again while talking to them hahaha! And I saw them eating just cup noodles too at the aiport. Oh well!

Selfie at Mactan Airport while waiting for Daddy to buy cup noodles

The light at the end of the tunnel - Cebu lechon! I posted this on my IG. After I took the photo, Joema irritatingly asked, "Pwede na ba kumain?" Ahahaha!
Since Miya got to sleep at the bus ride, she was wide awake at the airport. Joema was able to sleep while waiting for boarding while cranky-sleepy-me had to take care of Miya. It’s hard to be a parent to a three year old hahaha! We finally got home in the wee hours of the morning of 2 February. This trip was definitely one for the books!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Birthday Celebration - Day 4

Day 4 - 31 January – Our Supposed Last Day on the Island

Before I tell how you this day went, let me just get this out of the way first. It was supposed to be our last day in Siquijor but due to Typhoon Basyang which had the entire Visayas region under Signal #s 1-3, the coast guard cancelled all ferry schedules in the are. We were told about this by a resort staff when we were about to checkout saying that all ferries was cancelled for the day. Oh my! I was the front desk after dressing up (supposedly to leave) to ask them about our options. I wouldn’t budge until they gave me an alternative. They said they have a private plane which can take us to Dumaguete. Unfortunately, the plane will be coming from Cebu and it was so rainy in Cebu that the plane can’t take off. I was trying to see on Twitter if Cebu Pacific cancelled their flights but the wifi at the resort was down and the signal was not strong for 3G connection. So I asked them to call Cebu Pacific which turned out to be a wise move because they called the Cebu Pacific counter at the Dumaguete airport and not just the Cebu Pacific customer service hotline. They then told me that the flights were not cancelled. Haaay! It would have been better if the flights were cancelled because we can ask Cebu Pacific to rebook us without charge but since they didn’t cancel the flight, I didn’t know what to do then. I went back to Joema and told him that. After clearing my mind, I told Joema we can just rebook our flight and expect much higher plane fares and then ask the resort to let us stay for free hehe. So I went back to the front desk and asked them again if they could call Cebu Pacific so that we can cancel our flight for the day and seek advise when it is okay to rebook. They were then advised by the counter that no need to cancel or rebook our flight, we just need to present a certificate from the coast guard that ferries were cancelled and that we were trapped in Siquijor. It wasn’t clear to me then if Cebu Pacific will charge us extra when we get to the airport or not. So then the front desk asked me that they can request for the certificate from the coast guard, they just asked me for our plane ticket and they made a copy which they presented to the coast guard. As for the room, we were told we can still stay in our room because no new guests will come to the resort anyway. I asked if we can stay for free but they only managed to give it to us on a discounted rate – they only offered this to us and not to the foreigner guests who were also stranded, I know because the front desk lady took me aside and said she will speak in Filipino so that I can only understand.
So initially our agenda for the day was have breakfast, swim for a while and then get ready to leave the resort which is what we did.

We had breakfast again at Salamandas Restaurant
It was super low tide that morning

It wasn't raining but the skies were a bit gloomy that morning

Miya wanted a photo with this statue by the entrance of the restaurant. She calls this "hmp!" kasi parang galit with matching cross arms haha!

But as I’ve mentioned at the start of this post, we had to change our plans. After clearing everything out at the front desk, we decided to have lunch at Sunset Restaurant.


And then we changed back to resort wear (good thing I packed extra extra clothes for Miiya and I had a few extra clothes as well) and frolicked under the sun. It was suprising that Siquijor was under Signal #1 that day because it was really sunny and the water was pretty calm. We were grateful for the extra day because we were able to explore the whole beach.


Allow me to post this here. Natuwa lang ako dahil parang paparazzi shots, feeling Hollywood mom ako!

We also saw the most perfect sunset during our entire stay that day. I thought it was God’s assurance to us that everything will be fine. We wouldn’t have seen that sunset if we had left the island earlier that day.




These were taken by Sunset Restaurant (that’s when I realized that’s why it was named Sunset hehe, the sunsets were more beautiful in that area). Good thing we decided to have our dinner there. I asked Joema if we can eat there because I find that they have more choices to offer than in Salamandas. And their food is much more delicious than the other restaurant. When we left the restaurant it started to rain..

To be continued…

Friday, April 25, 2014


Taken 24 April 2014

Photo was actually taken by my daughter's teacher and then sent to me. This was in school yesterday. This week is their Music and Movement classes so the kids were asked to come in excercise attire. We are really happy with Miya's school now. We were supposed to transfer her to a different school (although we haven't really decided on which one) because of us moving houses but due to unavoidable circumstances we're staying put. But I'm happy we've decided to enroll her again at her school. She's really happy there and the teachers know her really well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our Birthday Celebration - Day 3

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3 - 30 January – Miya’s birthday

As with previous celebrations of MIiya’s birthday, even if we weren’t home we had a cake for her (the lava cake we got from Sans Rival) and let her blew her cake.

Sleepy heads
I love the look of wonder in her eyes

Happy birthday my wee darling!
We brought along our gifts for her to open.
That happy smile! We gave her small inexpensive gifts and one big gift, we like her to open several gifts at a time.
Our annual bagong gising family portrait on her birthday
After opening her gifts and some picture taking, we changed into our swimwear and then headed out for breakfast and then swimming. We had breakfast at the nearer Salamandas Restaurant.

We had breakfast at one of the huts outside the restaurant. Our view was the beach.
She brought one of our gifts which we read while waiting for our food
One of their favorite spots on the resort
Our room comes with free breakfast. It's a set meal but you can choose from a variety of choices from American to Filipino breakfast meal. It also comes with a juice, coffee and fruit for dessert.

We then headed out towards the beach in front of Sunset Restaurant for swimming.

I look pregnant here. I was! But only for a few weeks hehehe.
The sand is finer at this side of the beach

I love how clear the water is

I love this rashguard and bikini bottom I got at Cotton On Kids. The size is  18months but it fit Miya perfectly hahaha!
She loves getting sand by the beach and then throwing it to the water
By mid-morning, Miya got hungry (because she didn’t eat much of breakfast) so we ordered garlic bread at Sunset Restaurant. The resort staff are very friendly and most of them knew us by our names by this time. They would always ask us how we are and how we are enjoying our stay.

Then we transferred to the beach side pool after eating.

Joema decided to rent some snorkeling gear and fins so that he can explore the coral reefs at the resort – Tubod Marine Sanctuary. So Miya and I went ahead to our room to wash up for lunch after swimming.

The resort had a game of coconut husk and pins (sse at the right side of the photo) which we played with. Miya decided she wanted to hold the board with the instructions.
We passed by the fishermen's village going to our room so I asked Miya if she wanted to sit on the boat.

We had lunch at Salamandas Restaurant again.

Our little birthday girl

We ordered cake for dessert and told the staff to put a candle on it because it was Miya’s birthday. They sang the birthday song to Miya while giving us the cake. Yun lang, fail sa photo op yung pagblow ng cake. It was so windy so the staff had to put his hand around the candle.

I think we napped after lunch and then went to swim again before dinner.

Dinner was again at Salamandas Restaurant.

To be continued...

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