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Philippines Travel Guide

Philippines Travel Guide seeks to share the vibe of an authentic experience through our idea of adventure travel for explorers and memory seekers in the Philippines.

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Southern Visayas Island of Negros Adventure Tours

We spent 51 days on a planned and organized Philippines Travel tour adventure in 2017. We created the Philippines Travel Guide website to give travelers authentic insights about this archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, comprising almost 7,600 islands divided into three major island groups — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Travel Diary for Day 7-8:

After the four days of our Philippine travel adventure (Day 3-6) to the stunning beaches of Bantayan Island, and in the beautiful city of Cebu, the next two days (Day 7-8) were the continuation of our Cebu Island adventure and the start of our exciting journey to the Island of Negros in the Visayas area, Philippines.

Day 7: How do we Visit the Whale Shark Watching Spot in Oslob?

27 February:

On this day of our Philippine Travel Guide Adventure (Day 7), we left our accommodation in Cebu City at 6:30 a.m. by a public bus, to reach the whale shark watching spot in Oslob, located in the Southern part of Cebu Province. At 7:30 a.m., we were already taking a satisfying dip in the cool waters of Oslob. I (Dani) was tongue-tied to see the whale sharks and enjoyed swimming with these stunning creatures. Unfortunately, the place at that time was crowded with local tourists.

Known as the biggest fish on the planet, whale sharks, also called butanding, are friendly sea giants that are not supposed to stay in one place. But feeding them makes them attracted to stick at Oslob.

While swimming with the whales in Oslob, one of these “Gentle Giants” almost swallowed Zak. For some unknown reason, Zak did not notice it coming and ended up right in front of one’s mouth, in which he would have easily fit. Although whale watching in Oslob is very controversial, our close encounter with the whales was great and worth sharing.

How do we get from Oslob to Apo Island?

After returning to Luzmin BH Resort in Oslob, we waited along the road and caught a public bus going to Liloan Port, located in the Southern area of Cebu island. We walked a bit until we reached the Liloan Port where we took a ferry to transfer to the Sibulan Port, our entry point to Negros Island, our next adventure destination in the Visayas area.

It took us about 20 minutes to reach Sibulan by ferry. It is located at the northern part of Dumaguete, the capital city of the province of Negros Oriental. From Sibulan Port, we took a public transport to reach Dumaguete, and then rode a private van to Malatapay Wharf.

The wharf is located at Zamboanga, Negros Oriental. It took us less than an hour of travel towards the jump-off points of Apo Island. To transfer from the Malatapay Wharf to Apo Island, we took a private Banka (PH-Boat) for a 45-minute rough ride.

At this point, you might be wondering what makes Apo Island an interesting place to visit? Aside from the beautiful corals and colorful fishes, there are two different types of turtles around this marine sanctuary, the Hawksbill and the Green turtle . Known as the island of turtles, it is approximately 30 kilometers off the coast of Dumaguete, Negros’s province.

How do we Snorkel on Apo Island with Giant Sea Turtles?

Looking forward to a mind-blowing experience in the Philippines? Try snorkeling. We went snorkeling in the approximately 1-kilometer marine conservation Apo Island in the Negros province, and saw about 8 turtles.

Splashing around with these creatures was fascinating. But, you have to hire a guide to go snorkeling in the sanctuary, to ensure safety. Also, make sure to observe precautionary measures to preserve its rich marine life.

There on the island, we met Kinkin. He is a local of the island who owns a small restaurant, simply named after him. It’s right on the beach, where the turtle sanctuary is located. The restaurant offers authentic Filipino foods at an affordable price. He is such a cool guy who supports the local government of Negros Island in protecting the Apo Island Turtle sanctuary from mass tourism. To do so, they limit tourists from visiting the island.

How do we get from Apo Island to Dumaguete City?

From Apo Island back to Malatapay Wharf, we took a small Banca. The banca trip lasted for almost 45 minutes. Then, we took another 24 kilometer-ride by a minivan to head back to Dumaguete City, Negros province. The weather was rough, and the entire transfer was quite challenging. It was such a relief for all of us to finally arrive in Dumaguete.

NOTE : The Philippines has a year-round tropical climate, with only two seasons: wet and dry. However, the weather in the archipelago is unpredictable and can change without due notice.

Google My Maps Southern Visayas Island of Negros Adventures: Day 7-8

If you plan a trip to Southern Visayas Island of Negros, check out the Google My Maps below to experience activities and adventures, and get to know different routes and directions, accommodations to stay, attractions to visit, and restaurants to dine in. Visit the Southern Visayas Island of Negros travel Google My Map to learn more about our Philippines Travel routes and adventures.

What are the Best Accommodations in the Central Visayas Region?

You have no reason to worry when it comes to finding cozy and affordable accommodation when you travel to the Central Visayas Region. The rapid growth of Central Visayas tourism in the past decade has brought a great leap in infrastructure and public transportation. Because of the influx of foreign visitors in the region, municipalities and cities have established a wide array of accommodations to ensure a comfortable visit for local and foreign guests.

What is the average cost of backpacker hostels in Southern Visayas?

You can consider Southern Visayas, especially Dumaguete, as a travel hub. A lot of backpackers stop by the city for a short stay before exploring more destinations in the central and southern areas.

You’ll certainly be amazed to know that the backpacker hostels in Central Visayas cost approximately PHP 250 or USD 5 per night per person. If you are traveling with a small group of friends, choose a dorm-style room with bunk beds. As long as you don’t mind sharing a room with fellow backpackers, this is the most economical option to choose.

What is the average cost of budget hotels in Southern Visayas?

As mentioned above, there is a wide range of affordable yet cozy budget hotels in Central Visayas. Imagine, you can book a comfortable room for as low as around PHP 1,000 or USD 20 per night. So, why drain your wallet when you can save without compromising comfort?

Within the budget range of PHP 1,000 to PHP 1,500 or USD 20 to USD 30 per night, you can already stay in an air-conditioned room with WiFi and a private bath. You can get an even better deal if you book in advance and avail of some promos coming up at certain months of the year.

What are the best luxurious hotels in Southern Visayas?

You won’t be disappointed if you are looking for luxurious hotels in Central Visayas. There are a handful of 3 to 5-star accommodations to opt for. You can book luxury hotels in the city center or those adjacent to the surrounding beaches.

How is Airbnb in Southern Visayas?

Looking forward to an extended stay in the Southern or Central Visayas area? You might want to check out Airbnb in Central Visayas. A lot of travelers who experienced staying in Airbnb properties said that this accommodation option gave them the flexibility and privacy they needed.

Here’s another great news, though! There are lots of private locations and property types in the Philippines that you can book for a pleasant stay. Whether you want a bed and breakfast type of accommodation by the seaside or an entire bungalow for yourself near the city, you’ll surely find different options that perfectly meet your specific preferences.

Day 8: How do we Explore the Manjuyod White Sandbar in Negros?

28 February:

After our Apo Island adventure in Dumaguete, Negros Province, on (Day 8) we took a Ceres liner public bus from Dumaguete City to Manjuyod White Sandbar at 5 a.m. Manjuyod is located in Bais City in the province of Negros Oriental, which is about 2 hours north of Dumaguete City, the capital city.

Called by locals as “The Maldives of the Philippines”, Manjuyod Sandbar is a 7-kilometer stretch of white sandbank that is revealed only during low tide. During high tide, the sandbar’s clear blue waters bordered the cottages that were built in the middle of the ocean on high columns. But, powdery-white sands surround these tourist huts when the tide is low.

Before we left for Manjuyod Sandbar, with the small Banca, we got ourselves some snacks from the local Sari-Sari store (a small Filipino retail shop that is usually integrated into a private household selling a variety of products). The Sari-Sari Store is a notable symbol of Filipino culture.

We got to the sandbank early and were able to see how the approaching high tide flooded it. Unfortunately, the weather was not at its best , and was pretty windy, which shortened the duration of our stay on this white gem.

It was quite disappointing not to be able to visit the dolphin-viewing spots in the area because of unfavorable weather. I wouldn’t really call it the “Maldives of the Philippines.” The area is relatively small and has only one sandbank, but it is captivating.

NOTE : It is very important to support the local communities instead of large convenience store chains. Buying from Sari-Sari stores is exactly the right way to support the Philippines' local commerce.

How do we Get from Bais City to Dumaguete by Public Bus?

As we decided to cut our trip short, we took the same banca again to go back to the pier in Bais, North of Dumaguete as it was a roundtrip island adventure. From there, we rode a public bus from Bais City to head back to Dumaguete City. The bus trip lasted for almost 2 hours and was around 37 km. This is the most affordable option to travel from Bais City to Dumaguete City.

On the local and provincial buses in the Philippines, you usually find signs of their destination in the front window (right side of the windshield) next to the entrance door.

When we finally arrived, I ran into the next bar because I really had to use the restroom. Of course, we ended up spending some time in restaurant Allegre, enjoying some good drinks. The restaurant is located on Dumaguete’s beachfront, near Rizal Boulevard. Ultimately, we stayed there for dinner and had delicious and affordable pizza and chicken wings.

NOTE : Comfort rooms or restrooms are commonly called “CR'' in the Philippines. Most public bathrooms in the Philippines are equipped with very basic sanitary facilities. Bring your own hand sanitizer and not cloggable toilet paper.

What are the Top Things to do in Negros Province?

Are you wondering why tourists keep on coming back to Central Visayas? There are a lot of activities, places to visit, and foods to try will keep you busy during your stay in Negros Province. Here are some of the top things to see and do in the province’s capital, Dumaguete:

Rizal Boulevard is one of the most popular spots for locals and tourists alike. Facing the sea, it is buzzing with striplined street vendors, restaurants, and bars throughout the day.

The boulevard is also home to several festivals throughout the year, where concerts, parades, live music, and barbeque parties are available for everyone to enjoy.

Interested to see artifacts of ancient Filipino culture? Silliman University is a must-visit. Established in 1901, it is the oldest American university in the Philippines and Asia. It was founded by the Presbyterian Church missionaries from the United States to be used mainly for private research.

Silliman University is a significant landmark in the heart of Dumaguete City. Be sure to check out the Anthropology museum on campus.

If hiking is your thing, Mount Kanlaon is perfect. It is the highest point in Negros and the whole Visayas, with an elevation of almost 2,435 meters above sea level. It is an active stratovolcano with a recorded eruption count of 28, with 2016 as the most recent.

Most climbers spend 3 days and 2 nights hiking to the peak of Mount Kanlaon. Pack up to enjoy the beautiful view, get up close with wildlife, and take a dip in the hot springs. Mt. Kanlaon is one of the highest mountain climbs in the Philippines that are worth-exploring.

One of the must-visit religious spots in Dumaguete is the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Negros Island’s oldest stone church. It was built in 1776 and reconstructed in the years 1885 and 1936.

Just beside the cathedral, you will find an old belfry tower also called the “Campanario de Dumaguete.” It was built in 1811 and is the oldest surviving structure in the city. These two were built by the Spaniards. Locals often visit the belfry tower to light candles and offer prayers. Around 81% of the country's citizens are Roman Catholic. Religion in the Philippines has an interesting history and background.

A Dumaguete visit can never be complete without tasting Silvanas and Sans rival from Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries. Silvanas are meringue wafers with buttery cream fillings rolled in cookie crumbs that melt in your mouth. On the other hand, Sans rival is made of meringue and cashew nut mixture layers, held together by creamy butter mousseline and sprinkled with chopped cashew nuts on top.

Sans rival means ‘without rival,’ and the pastry shop lives up to its name until today. People travel all the way to Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries’ flagship store in Dumaguete just to get their hands on some.

Google My Maps Philippines Travel Diary: Day 1 to Day 51

Check out the Google Maps below, to have an overview of the entire 51 days of Philippines travel adventure including exciting attractions and activities we did, destinations we explored, and travel directions in the Philippines.

Philippines Adventure Tours from Day 1 to Day 51

Adventures and fun times are unlimited when you visit the Philippines. Our encounters with the country’s attractive scenery and people were unforgettable. Here is a complete overview of the Philippines Travel Diary experience for our 51 Days trip to the different destinations in the Philippines in 2017:

Why do we Create the Philippines Travel Guide?

Zak and Dani created the Philippines Travel Guide while on 51 days Philippines travel adventure in 2017. Focused on the idea to explore travel routes and documenting location information by using the Google Maps application in the Philippines.

We created a detailed Philippines travel diary each day about our Philippines eco-adventure traveling experiences, including the production of pictures and videos of our trip through the Philippine archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is passionate about helping other self-minded adventure travel lovers, to make the best out of the trip to the Philippines by providing real information that passionate travelers and enthusiasts need to know about the archipelago.

Philippines Travel Guide is an ongoing process to work out public shared and detailed Google MyMaps of the entire Philippines to provide easy navigation for travelers.

This website also contains a collection of interesting authentic insights and travel tips and tricks and destinations in the Philippines.

SUMMARY: Southern Visayas Island of Negros Adventures

The Southern Visayas area is home to a variety of breathtaking views and marine sanctuaries. The island of Negros offers spectacular and unspoiled beaches, and interesting sites to see. No wonder why it is one of the top destinations in the Western Visayas area.

As the “City of Gentle People”, Dumaguete is the capital city of the province of Negros. It is the gateway to Southern and Central Visayas travel adventures and the start point to explore Negros Province.

This long adventure started in the Southern part of Cebu, where we saw the whale sharks, rode public buses, bancas and ferries, and swam with sea turtles in Apo Island. From Dumaguete City, we went to Manjuyod Sandbar in Negros Province.

Check out our Southern Visayan Island of Negros travel guide blog to get more extensive insider tips and must-visit destinations in Negros Island.

Moving on to our next destination (Day 9-11), we will visit the mystical island of Siquijor for the next few days of this Philippine adventure.


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Join our Facebook Group and connect with other travelers and adventurers! 

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