Thursday, April 19, 2012

Little Known Ways to Stay on the Cheap in Siquijor

You've heard of all the eerie stories about Siquijor, right?
I was busy distracting myself. To keep them from spoiling my vacation.

Lazi, Siquijor.

If there was one thing that was not a travel spoiler, it would be traveling CHEAP!
Traveling to Siquijor wasn't such a bad idea after all. Being the Scrooge-y that I am, I would say that Siquijor is topping the charts in terms of staying within the budget. Let me share how.

.stay in San Juan. 
The first thing that tricycle drivers will offer to take you when you get off the port is Villa Marmarine. That is because they pay a handsome commission to every referral (like in Siargao).

JJ's Backpackers Inn on the other hand, is not usually where they'll be happy to take you. First, because they don't receive a commission; secondly, it's 10km away from the port.

Should you decide to travel cheaply there, just walk a few meters to the market where a jeep bound for San Juan is parked. Jeep fare is P20/head.

It was fully booked when we arrived JJ's, but the owner John, gladly recommended us to a nearby lodge which offers rooms for P400 (private toilet and bath, very good water pressure for the shower!). End of the World (yeah, a very catchy name) is just after the bridge and is also a beach front. Their rooms are fully equipped with a stove, a mini dining area and utensils. Plus, owner Lorna is very friendly. 

We were booted out the following day because they were also fully booked. Good thing though that this time, JJ's had a vacancy. Cheap accommodation for this place this cozy, who couldn't resist? Add to that the delectable shakes they prepare. Click here to learn why.

JJ Backpacker's Inn

Downside, they can only accommodate a few guests: 1 fan double room, 4 bunk beds (in 1 dormitory room), 2 tents. Meals are Western and also pricey. Sandwich in a huge portion costs about P150++. Also, since the couple (John and Jessa) pretty much run the business themselves (including a few helpers)--meaning they are the ones who cook, clean, and do the laundry, service requests can take a while. That's why, on to my second tip...

.eat at a carinderia.
Just a hundred meters away from JJ's is a carinderia (local eatery) recommended by a driver where locals eat. They serve Filipino breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Right beside it is a sari-sari store. Since coffee is not included in the breakfast menu, we buy instant coffee from the store, so hot water is already provided. They also have Yakult (probiotic drink) which we take before breakfast and after meal sweets (candies and chocolates).

A full meal is only P50. Rice with ulam (a viand).

Although as a diner, you can help yourself to the pitcher of drinking water they put on your table, you can also refill your bottle with their mineral water. Read on.

.refill your water.
My mind was blown away when I saw this lean mean machine!

This automated machine dispenses 200 ml mineral water when you put in a one-peso (P1) coin. If you don't have a bottle, you can help yourself to a plastic bag provided. A similar machine may also be found in downtown Siquijor. On the other hand, if you're staying at JJ's, they have a normal dispenser, like the one you usually own at home, and they allow you to get as much as one (1) liter for P10.

water dispensing machine. Piso is all it takes.

.rent a motorbike. 
We may have not taken this option due to a previous accident travel partner and I had in Siargao. We did it nonetheless to save up. 

Travel cheap. Rent a motorbike.

Again, just a hundred meters away from JJ's is a motorcycle rental shop. Depending on the type of motor (automatic or manual), the charge ranges from P270 - P350/ day. If you think you won't be using it for 24 hours, you can opt to rent it per hour at P35/hr. 

At the time we visited, gasoline was priced at P60/liter. 

For the ride from San Juan to Maria and back, we only consumed 2 liters. This covers the route passing by the spots to see in the island-- Lazi Convent, Cambugahay Falls, and the Salagdoong Beach (known for its 5 and 7 meter dive boards).

Do the math. Chartered motorcycles charge P700 for the same route.

To travelers out there looking for ways to cut down costs, hope this post helps and encourage you to visit Siquijor.

Have any budget tips to share? Feel free to comment below.


  1. great post on how to travel cheap in siquijor. it's been almost 10 years since i last went to siquijor. would definitely go back here :)

  2. Ate Shawi! Congrats! WOW New domain ka na! You've done it na pala! Clap clap clap!!!

    Bongga na 'to ha... New template, new domain. Presko at bagong bihis. PAK!!!!!


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