Dumaguete City is the capital of the province of Negros Oriental and is popular to foreign tourists because of easy access from Cebu City through a ferry ride. I don’t know if it’s just me but I think there’s really nothing much to see in the town proper of Dumaguete aside from the famous Silliman University. I checked some itineraries before and I saw that Apo Island and Manjuyod Sandbar are the primary reasons why travelers and tourists visit this province.
So we only had 3 whole days and 2 nights to spend in the ‘City of Gentle People.’ On our second day, we made sure to schedule it for Apo Island. We stayed at Harold’s Mansion and they offer Apo Island tour package for P1,200 which is inclusive of transportation (land and water), entrance fees and lunch. Pretty much everything. The only thing that really caught my attention was the lunch. I thought the pancit, bread, banana and some other foods on board were all just snacks but it turned out that that was our lunch. As a Filipino, it’s so unusual to eat pancit and bread for lunch so I was really expecting rice that time. LOL. Though I still find it very reasonable because I saw a DIY travel to Apo Island and the damage is roughly the same amount, higher actually. And we sure had a lot of time to snorkel and swim with the turtles. I appreciate that they weren’t rushing us to go back and just enjoy our time.
We went to three different snorkeling spots in Apo Island. Actually, we didn’t even set foot on land. We were in the water the entire time. The first spot is the main snorkeling area where you’ll find different kinds of fish and a number of sea turtles, which is exactly the reason why we went to this island. One of the boat crews even said, “If you don’t find a single turtle, then you can take a refund.” That’s how confident they are that you’ll find a sea turtle! They will help you chase down turtles if need be, because those lovely sea creatures swim in a very subtle way that they make it pretty challenging to spot them under the water. You can give your gopro to the ‘kuyas’ and they can take photos of you like it’s their profession! I’m so amazed by the shots they took! And I need to learn how to swim like them! Plus the cloud formations in this province are stunners! Geez.
Should I consider taking a freediving lesson? Coz I need to visit the life underwater more often. They say I’m a good swimmer but to be honest, I didn’t take any swimming lesson before.
What’s funny about the end of this trip is that we were too hungry and exhausted that we don’t feel like going outside to go and grab lunch. Thank goodness that Mcdo delivery is a thing here. LOL. After we had our super late lunch at around 4 in the afternoon, we agreed that we will get up after an hour to get ready and go out to look for dinner. So what really happened is that we slept the entire night until the next day for our Manjuyod Sandbar trip. Yaz!
- If you want a hassle-free trip to Apo Island, you may contact Harold’s Mansion for reservation at +63 917 302 4455.
- Bring snacks! I don’t want you to suffer like I did. Of all the food on board, I only had Pancit because that’s the only food I feel like eating. And please manage your expectations. LOL.
- If you have your own snorkeling gears, then bring yours. It’s kinda disgusting to know for a fact that someone else used it. Though they mentioned that it’s being sterilized thoroughly. (I am actually planning to buy one for me.)
- Be friends with the guides! Because they will help you take that perfect shot for Instagram/Twitter/Facebook! 😛
- Ditch the life vest, go swim underwater like you are one of the aquatic animals! You’ll be amazed of what you will see! But of course, that is only applicable if you know how to swim. So take a swimming lesson if not because you don’t wanna miss out a lot!