The Trip from Cebu City to Dumaguete City
It was a Saturday morning around 4:30AM when we left the city. We made few stops to gas up and add a little extra air for the tires as we will be travelling far and heavy. From Cebu city, we drove for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach the whale shark watching area in tan-awan, Oslob but we did not stop there. From there it only took us around 20minutes to get to lilo-an port in Santander, Cebu, the town next to Oslob.
We arrive at the port at around 7:05AM but unfortunately the boat (“barge”) going to sibulan that was scheduled to depart at 7:30AM was already fully booked. It is probably due to lots of travelers going to the provinces for the long weekend or holidays. While waiting for the next trip which was scheduled at 09:00AM, we grabbed breakfast just beside the port. There are few eateries/carenderia you can choose from or better yet move to the port for the fast craft just a kilometer away to eat sisig at their canteen.
At around 09:35AM we docked at Sibulan port. Our original plan was to meet with my wife’s parents at the Lee Super Plaza in Dumaguete but instead, we go directly to Plaza Maria Luisa to check-in and meet them there. Since there are now 10 of us plus 2 kids, we won’t fit in the car anymore so we rented a motorcycle.
The Trip to Bais City, Negros Oriental – How to get to Manjuyod sandbar
After we have settled for a bit we went out and head to Bais City but we stopped by at Amlan to have our lunch. From Dumaguete City going to the northern side, it will only take approximately 35 minutes of driving with no stops. You’ll be passing by few towns –Sibulan, Amlan, San Jose, Tanjay then Bais City. We arrived at Bais City around 2:45PM already. We then met with the boat owner that we contacted a day before the trip. From Bais city proper (BPI Bank was the landmark), we drove again for approximately 10 minutes going to Capiñahan Wharf. Though Manjuyod Sandbar is geographically located in the next town –Manjuyod, it is more accessible from Bais which would only take 15minutes boat ride from the Capiñahan Wharf.
The Adventures/things you can do in Manjuyod sandbar
The long stretch of white sand area of Manjuyod Sandbar reaches 7 plus hectares during low tide. Those visiting the place usually spend more time just walking around the sandbar and of course swimming in its turquoise blue waters. For those who wished to stay for the night at the sandbar, they have cottages there too. We even tried to do snorkeling there but there isn’t much to see though.
The Side trip to do snorkeling at the Coral Reef
After an hour plus of stay at the sandbar, we asked the boat men to take us to the coral reef. It was just few meters away from the sandbar, probably less than 5 minutes of boat ride and just on our way to the wharf. This time it was only me and Mark who snorkel there as most of us where tired of the trip and by the way, it was raining too. During that time, water deep ranges only from 4-5 feet so we were just standing there actually. There are lots of beautiful and colorful corals with lots of fishes of different colors, sizes and variations.
By the way, we are supposed to do dolphin watching in Bais City during this day but unfortunately, due to time constraints, (as we can no longer arrive at Bais City before 6am) we have to let it go and just do the Manjuyod sandbar and coral reef. According to the boat owner, Dolphins are more visible during early mornings.
Continue reading: Part 2: Apo Island Adventure in Dauin, Negros Oriental