Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
Rate for this crossing from Panglao peninsula to Siquijor island : 1 200 pesos (18 €). Besides my little person, there is Sarah, a young German girl, and Sunny, her Filipino boyfriend, as well as the captain of the boat and another guy who is there to help with the manoeuvres.
The weather is nice. Blue sky and calm sea, the crossing looks good. I think I would have hesitated to do it if there had been waves.
Because a ride in bancaIt is very nice, but especially if the sea is flat. Once, in Sogod Bay (Leyte)During a return from a dive, the weather turned and we were quite shaken. The banca was fortunately quite comfortable, large and well equipped for divers, but this kind of boat is still limited when there is a swell.
On our way to Siquijor (pronounced "Siki-hor") a stop snorkeling (or PMT in good French, that is to say palmes-masque-tuba) is planned at the island of Balicasag, in front of Panglao. A rather small island, with cute white sandy beach, located about three-quarters of an hour / one hour from Alona.
At the edge of the coral reef, there is an impressive concentration of bancas: diving boats, boats transporting tourists snorkelers (swimmers with palms-mask-snorkel) like us, small boats of fishermen reconverted in floating shops of rent of fins, masks and snorkels ...
I am amused to see the guys rowing frantically towards a big boat that has just arrived, loaded with Koreans (probably), recognizable by the fact that they all wear a visible orange life jacket. In Thailand, these tourists who do not know how to swim are similarly recognizable...
I was the first one to go in the water with fins, mask and snorkel (which took the water), lent by Jeril, so I didn't have to unpack my diving gear. Between the beach and the edge of the drop-off, the corals are quite damaged. The underwater life is concentrated below our bancawhere the superb coral wall descends to the blue depths.
We stay a few moments to dabble, then we head for good on Siquijor.
Offshore, we have the chance to see, from far too far, unfortunately, a dark mass which disappears quickly between two waves. "A whale! », Jeril says. A whale? Or a whale-shark? We scan the waves, where the shadow has disappeared, in vain.
A little later, twice, we also spot dolphins, which leap gaily over the surface. Again, the show is too far away and too short for our cameras.
Sandugan Beach, Siquijor
An hour and a half later, our banca arrives at Siquijor, on the beach Sandugan.
There, a very simple but cute bungalow, placed on the beach, next to some other bamboo bungalows, is waiting for me... Two old ladies on the terrace. They look happy to see me.
Yes, the bungalow is free, they tell me. For 600 pesos a night (about 10 €). In Panglao, depending on the category of accommodation, prices ranged from 800 to 1,500 pesos on Alona Beach, or even 3,000 pesos for a room in a European-standard resort with a pool... 😱
This bungalow I found in Siquijor is a real treat. The place is called Islanders Paradise and is aptly named. Plus, there's a little dive center right next door, Kiwi Dive.
In a siestal mood, delighted to have found a quiet place, I start by testing the hammock of the terrace. No other noise, here, than the murmur of the waves and the shiver of the coconut palms...