Siquijor: How to Get There By Boat

Since high school, I have always been known as the “girl from Siquijor.” Studying at the time when social media was still in its infancy, not many of my classmates have traveled to Siquijor and only knew of the place as scary or the island of mambabarangs (sorcerers). It used to offend me when people associate the island with black magic but I later realized that people make these kinds of judgment because they never had the opportunity to travel to the island and learn about the place. So, I started “educating” my classmates, my friends, and my acquaintances of the island by answering their questions and telling them stories.

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One of the questions I get asked a lot is — How do I get to Siquijor? I answered this in jest in one of my Instagram posts but thought I would answer it seriously in a blog post. The answer is — we do not travel to Siquijor riding brooms. We have several options.

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How to Go to Siquijor from Cebu by Boat

Cebu-Tagbilaran-Larena. One way is through boat. Lite Shipping has boats plying Cebu-Larena every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Satursdays. This is my preferred mode of transportation from Cebu to Larena, but not vice versa. A ticket for tourist (air-conditioned) accommodation is Php400. If it is not passenger season, you can have the luxury of choosing the bottom bunk. I love this mode of transportation because it is a relaxing trip and I can sleep, read or work aboard. I also love this because it has a 2-hour stopover in Tagbilaran City, which gives me enough time to order take-out dinner from The Buzz Cafe in Galleria Luisa. The down side of this mode of transportation is, it takes 12 hours (from 1PM in Cebu to 12 mid night in Larena) and you will arrive in Siquijor mid night, which means you have to have somebody fetch you because transportation in Siquijor is limited. This boat is a ro-ro (roll on-roll of boat), which means you can bring your car.

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Where to Buy Lite Shipping tickets in Cebu:

Lite Shipping Main Office
MJ Cuenco Ave.
Tel: 032-253-7776

Lite Shipping Ticketing Office
Pier 1
* Issues tickets at 11AM for trips to Larena on that day
* No advance booking here

Mail & More
Lower Ground Floor
SM City Cebu
* Add P50 for service charge
* Bring ID for the person traveling

Price of Lite Shipping tickets:

P385 for regular (not airconditioned) accommodation
P400 for tourist (airconditioned) accommodation

Cebu-Dumaguete-Siquijor. Another way by boat is via Dumaguete. You have two options — Cokaliong and George & Peter Lines (“GP”). These boats do not leave for Dumaguete on a daily basis, and you still have to ride another sea vessel (pumpboat, fastcraft, or ro-ro) to get to Siquijor. Also, both Cokaliong and GP arrive in Dumaguete in the wee hours of the morning, and you will spend hours waiting for the first trip to Siquijor in the Dumaguete port terminal. The Dumaguete port terminal though has benches (and you can sleep there when there are not too many passengers), and you can also take a shower in their toilets. The toilets are not clinically clean, just decently clean. I only use this route when I am pressed with time.

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Where to Buy Cokaliong tickets in Cebu:

Cokaliong Main Office
Pier 4
North Reclamation Area

Chester’s Enterprises
Borromeo St.

Skyliner Ticketing
Emall, 4th Floor
* Add P50 service charge
* Bring ID for traveling passenger

Price of Cokaliong tickets:

P310 for regular accommodation
P600 for tourist accommodation

George & Peter Cebu to Dumaguete Schedule:

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Where to Buy George & Peter Lines tickets in Cebu:

George & Peter Main Office
Pier 2
Tel: 032-255-8695

Skyliner Ticketing
Emall, 4th Floor
* Add P50 service charge
* Bring ID for traveling passenger

Prices of George & Peter tickets:

P320 for regular accommodation
P600 for tourist accommodation

Note 1 on Cokaliong: I prefer Cokaliong over GP boats because the bunk beds are cleaner. However, what I hate about Cokaliong, specifically their MV Dinagat boat (which is the boat usually plying the Cebu-Dumaguete route) is their toilets and wash sinks are is one level lower than the economy class and near the engine room. I find the stairs going to the toilets dangerous especially if the seas are rocky. Also, Cokaliong’s economy accommodation is hot and sleep may not be very comfortable. I prefer the tourist accommodation in Cokaliong. Meanwhile, I find GP’s boats more crowded and dirty. It’s a bit comfortable when it’s not passenger season.

Note 2 on Cokaliong and GP: When taking this option, you can be in Siquijor at around 7:30 in the morning.

How to Go to Siquijor from Cebu by Fastcraft

There is only one fast craft from Cebu to Siqujor, and that is Oceanjet Fast Craft. I learned, however, from my mother that they had to transfer to another vessel in Tagbilaran when they rode the Oceanjet last January, and she found it inconvenient because she was bringing with her three children. What the ticketing agent sold to my mother were two tickets: one ticket for one-way Cebu to Tagbilaran, and another ticket for one-way Tagbilaran to Siquijor. Oceanjet’s theme song was “Taking you there fast and easy” is easy no more.

Oceanjet Schedule Cebu-Tagbilaran (Daily):
6:00 AM – 8:00 AM
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
8:20 AM – 10:20 AM
9:20 AM – 11:20 AM
10:40 AM – 12:40 AM
11:40 AM – 1:40 PM
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
4:20 PM – 6:10 PM
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
6:35 PM – 8:35 PM

Ticket Price Oceanjet Cebu-Tagbilaran:
P800 for open air/tourist class
P1,000 for business class

Oceanjet Schedule Tagbilaran-Dumaguete (Daily):
6:00 AM- 8:00 AM
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Ticket Price Oceanjet Tagbilaran-Dumaguete:
P700 for open air/tourist class
P1,020 for business class

Oceanjet Schedule Dumaguete-Larena (Daily):
7:20 AM
1:00 PM
6:20 PM

Ticket Price Oceanjet Dumaguete-Siquijor:
P230 for open air/tourist class
P360 for business class

Note 1 on Oceanjet: Do not buy the business class, and if the ticketing agent sells you the business class, look for another way to go to the island. This is because I have never seen a business class in the Oceanjet vessel that goes to Siquijor. There was an unfortunate incident when a foreign couple complained between themselves that they could not find the “business class” accommodation and yet they paid for it.

Note 2 on Oceanjet: Prices of food they sell inside are more expensive, which, I think, is only normal. But, if you do not want to pay for the food (instant noodles, biscuits, soda, chips) in that price, you can bring your own food. Eating inside the vessel is not prohibited.

Note 3 on Oceanjet: The seats are not forgiving for people on the heavy side, or foreigners who are long-legged. Even I, who is small, feel the seats are too cramped. When you get your seat numbers, ask for seats with the letters A, B, I, or J. These are the window seats, and, hopefully you won’t feel too cramped. Or, ask for the seats with the number 1. These are the front seats so you will have a lot of leg room. Just note that people place their bags at the front, which can also occupy the space supposed to be for your leg room.

Note 4 on Oceanjet: I find it frustrating that they regularly change the schedule of the Dumaguete-Siquijor trips. I do understand that their schedule varies, depending on the passenger season, but I really, really hate having to play mouse-cat with them. At April 2, we took at 9:40 AM trip from Dumaguete to Larena.

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