After the drama earlier in the week, we were a little shocked that we actually arrived in the Philippines early on Saturday morning. We left Singapore at 1:30 am, had a short, painless layover in Manila, then continued on to Dumaguete. We were headed for the Visayas, a group of thousands of islands (seriously) that lie in the middle of the Philippines made of up of 15 or so provinces.

Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental (the Eastern province on Negros island). When we landed on Saturday morning we went straight to the pier and bought tickets for the 1:30 ferry to Siquijor (pronounced "siggy-hor" by everyone). I'd hoped to get to Siquijor much earlier than that, but the two earlier ferries were sold out, so we needed to wait.

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After an overnight flight and with luggage still in tow, we weren't up for much on Saturday morning, so we spent our morning at a restaurant on Dumaguete's ocean front, Rizal St, snacking and visiting with our seatmate on the flight, an Australian aid worker who was also headed to Siquijor.

By 1:30 we were fed, somewhat rested, and ready for the ferry. Our boat was equipped with what looked (and felt!) like rejected airline seats. The crossing was almost an hour. Toward the end, I started imaging how we'd all be stuck there if the ferry were to sink, unable to get out of our cramped seats and through the bolted shut windows. It wasn't my favorite 45 minutes of an already long trip.

We arrived in Siquijor at 2:30 pm, 13 hours after we left Singapore, 26 hours since we'd last slept. The port where we arrived in the ferry was absolutely stunning--white sand, turquoise waters, and one outrigger picturesquely situated in the shallows. Walking down the dock, Kyle perked up a bit at the sheer beauty, but I was too tired to fish the camera out at that point for a picture. Trust me when I say that view may have been the only thing that renewed Kyle's faith in my trip-planning skills.

Then it was into a tricycle (basically a two-seater side car for a motorbike) to our cottage at the northwest tip of the island. (That's our driver, Romeo, cell phone in hand.) 

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When we finally arrived, we were ready for showers and rest. We spent the afternoon taking it easy with a walk down the main road and then wandering along the beach and enjoying the sea breeze (Kyle's hair is really coming into its own)...

We had an early dinner as the sun set.

Not a quick trip at all, but the Philippines was looking awfully pretty, which was a nice welcome gesture.