Friday, August 21, 2009

Siquijor: Coco Grove

Do not let common belief scare you. While Siquijor is surrounded by stories of mangkukulams and arbolarios, it should not stop you from exploring the island. In fact, it should encourage you to visit it. Folklore as rich and as widely believed says a lot about the place.

Macky the Macaw, Coco Grove, Siquijor

But we did not come to Siquijor for that. I guess we were too scared to go looking for it. Besides, we figured the little island in the southern part of the Visayan archipelago has something more to offer. And it has.

But first things first, how do you get to Siquijor? Really easy. Take a plane to nearby Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental. From there, take a tricycle to the city's port area. Fare is eight pesos a person and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. At the port, get on the next ferry to Siquijor and that's it. If the Oceanjet ferry is available, get on it. If not, the Delta liner will do.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

In Siquijor, we stayed at Coco Grove resort. This I maintain, had the place been a little more manicured, I would've declared it to be the poshiest resort I had been in. Notwithstanding, I think it is the poshiest resort I've been in. It's the kind where foreigners (by that, I mean Europeans) go in search of peace in the tropics. In fact, our group (all Pinoys) felt like we were the foreigners there. They're very friendly, though. So no worries.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

The beach at Coco Grove is something to be desired. The strip of soft sand under the beach water is quite narrow. After that, it's rocks and coral. Good for snorkeling, yes. But for swimming, not so much. Fortunately, the resort has two great pools. One even has a poolside bar. See? It's very poshy.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

But, if you do want to take a dip at the beach, I advice that you bathe early in the morning. The tide is higher, so the strip of water before the rocks and coral is wider. And hey, the water is more inviting in the morning. You'll see.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

Something has to be said about the food at the resort. The place has two restaurants. We were only able to eat at one, of which I was not able to take any pictures. But hey, the other restaurant's prettier anyway. In both places, though, I have to say the food's pricy. Not ritzy or poshy pricy. But definitely not-for-budget-travelers pricy. They serve all kinds of food--from Pinoy to American to Continental. Do you get value for money, though? Well, so-so.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

Since this post has turned into somewhat a resort review already, let's just go ahead with it. Customer service in the resort is exceptional. The staff members treat you like important guests. And they should, because you are. But it's something to be said anyway. They're friendly, too. They take note of your names and answer your questions with a smile. We even chatted them up about Siquijor's esoteric aspects. They told us that's it's nothing, really. Kuwento ng matatanda. Maybe that's why few Filipinos come to the island. Too bad, really. Siquijor is definitely more than that.

Coco Grove, Siquijor

By late afternoon, I was definitely beat. I had been up for about 24 hours by then. (I'm a night shifter. Don't ask.) Good thing, though, the beach faces west. So we had a beautiful sunset to cap off the day.

Coco Grove, Siquijor


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