In Siquijor we stayed in a dorm where we met Ally who was from Canada. Previously in the day Ally had met a Filipino called Sarah who was with her whole family, who we later got introduced to at dinner. They invited all of us to their home in Kabankalan which was one bus from Dumaguete, another island over. This didn’t sound too difficult, with three of us going and the family seeming so kind and caring what were we waiting for? These are the moments why we came travelling with no plan so we could do spontaneous things and at the moment we have nothing but time so I said to Olly yes let’s go! Filipino people are the nicest people I have ever met and we wanted to learn more about these amazing people and their country.
The next day we got the ferry from Siquijor to Dumaguete with no problems, even though the last time we were in Dumaguete we were glad to see the back of it after the ferry troubles getting to Siquijor. We found the bus and all jumped on it but it was already packed. These busses normally stop every 10 minutes so we assumed people would get off and we could sit down. An hour into the journey we are still standing in the isle and now there is a man walking up and down the isle selling dried fruit and other things in a huge bag of his head and we are looking at each other like..is this guy for real?! Of course numpty Oliver wants something from him which leaves me bent over the poor lady sat next to me while he is getting the money out of the bags as the isle fits a Filipino standing up, not us!! Anyways we get to the stop and call Sarah to let her know we have arrived and we realise every single person is looking at us. People have stopped in their cars, people are crossing the road to see us and it dawns on us that in this small town they do not get westerners and evidently by everyone’s reaction they had never seen one in real life!
Sarah takes us to her lovely house and we see all the kids again and drop our things off and we all jump on the back of mopeds to their restaurant to meet her husband and have dinner. Sarah’s husband wasn’t in Siquijor so she came home from the trip with her sisters and children and told him “ we have three guests coming tomorrow” poor guy didn’t even have a chance!!
We tried some lovely local foods and jumped back onto the bikes and headed to Mag Aso Falls but it was pretty dark so we headed back but not before stopping on the side of the road next to all the trucks and asking them to try some sugar canes straight from the fields. Kabankalan is the biggest sugar cane producer in the whole of the Philippines and it is everywhere being harvested!!
After that we headed to a local restaurant and all sat around some tables and chairs outside on the street, picked our meats and they chucked it all on a bbq. Me and Olly went for fish but we were useless at picking the bones out so Sarah got her hands on it and within 10 seconds she had deboned the whole thing, handing me the edible fish. Me, Olly, Sarah and Mary chatted for hours about everything from marriage and kids to mental health in the Philippines. It was a fantastic experience to learn from locals what they actually think about certain topics and for them to share an insight into the Filipino lifestyle was incredible.
The next day we had accommodation booked in Sipalay, a town 2 hours away which had lots of hotels as we didn’t want to burden Sarah and her family anymore. Sarahs brother had driven us around the whole trip and they didn’t let us pay for anything! Before we headed off to Sipalay Sarah took us to a market where again they had never seen white or black people by the looks of things and we walked around the markets as I was after an avocado and Sarah needed things for the restaurant. We became celebrities, they all wanted photos with us. Even though they asked to use my phone to take the photo meaning they would never see the photo again !! It was an experience haha.
Sarahs brother took us all onto Sipilay where we stopped on the way to see her friends and Olly had stupidly mentioned he wanted to climb a coconut tree so they brought us to one he could climb. Obviously he couldn’t do it and a local showed him right up haha! But I was left amused as PUPPIES ran out from the house straight to my feet. OMG THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!! I didn’t want to leave haha.
After all of this we jumped back on the road and not long after we arrived at our accommodation in Sipalay. Bless Sarah and Andrea they didn’t want to leave us there. The main town was a 15 ride away and they even offered to leave their brother with us so we had the car to use and they would get the bus the whole way back!!!! Honestly the kindness of these people blew our minds. They were so lovely!!! After an eventful few days we were exhausted and had showers and fell straight to sleep. The next day we were headed to Bohol which meant we had to get 3 more public busses back to Dumagette which took roughly 4/5 hours but we made it. We arrived and knew instantly we did not want to get the ferry to Bohol then and there so we booked into the Flying Fish Hostel which was amazing (pictured below). Apart from the stupid staff, the hostel its self were just what we needed to relax after our travel day. Next stop Bohol!