Coco Grove Beach and Dive Resort, Siquijor
+6335 225 5490
Once upon a time, there was a woman known as Maria. She hailed from Cebu, but uprooted herself and transferred to Siquijor where she started her healing practice and became known as the best healer in town. Her fame spread beyond the town, and soon she became so famous that the doctors around the region, becoming jealous, started a nasty rumor that she isn’t in fact a healer, but someone who has otherworldly powers. This did not stop her believers from coming to her, including, at one point, a certain First Lady of the Philippines (can you guess who?) who wanted healing of her scaly, snake-like skin condition. Her reputation, however, and that of Siquijor’s, was already tarnished. Forever.
I woke up from a restorative nap to this narrative from my mother, who apparently was able to chat with a vacationing elderly Dumaguete local whom she asked about – gasp! – the truth about Siquijor’s aswangs! I would’ve liked to challenge the story, but it was hard to be immersed in it when my eyes and mind were engrossed in all this beauty:
I had just spent the past three hours swimming and eating halo-halo, after which I fell asleep. Buhay baboy. And so, stories of mystics could not be farther from my mind. I just really wanted a breather, and Coco Grove, which for the past 26 years has been the go-to resort in Siquijor, was a good choice.
Sitting on an 8-hectare property, it has 91 cottages & villas, 3 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, a dive center, and a souvenir shop; all coexisting with countless trees – a tropical garden, they like to call it – and fronted by an 800-meter beach.
We stayed in one of the stand-alone cottages with a veranda.
The room isn’t huge, but it’s enough for two people. It is air-conditioned, has TV with cable, cabinet, hot&cold shower, toiletries, two bottles of mineral water, and a mini-bar. They also provide beach towels aside from the regular ones.
I love the rest of the resort, and the room was okay, but I have some complaints:
– Lights are dim yellow. Nice for photos but not for anything else
– I got a few bedbug bites when I woke up
– Water supply was not very strong, but they said it was a specific case of something being fixed that weekend
– No slippers provided
As for the restaurants, we tried both the Sunset Restaurant – right on the beach with beautiful view, serving Filipino and European cuisine; and the Salamandas Restaurant closer to the center of the resort, serving seafood and international cuisine. I liked both equally, but my mom liked Salamandas better.
The resort also has a game room – billiards, foosball and darts. There are also bars by the pool if you fancy a nightcap.
Water activities are also available – kayaking (free), hobie cat sailing, paraw, glass bottom boats, surf skiing, snorkeling, wind surfing, speed boat riding, and banana boat rides.
We didn’t have enough time to explore Siquijor and its towns, but there are many other beaches, falls, churches, etc to see. Just hire a tricycle for the day. We saw St. Francis de Assisi Church, Siquijor’s oldest, on the way back to the port to Dumaguete. It’s beautiful. I truly wish I’d get the chance to explore more of Siquijor next time, aswang stories notwithstanding.
HOW TO GO TO SIQUIJOR FROM DUMAGUETE
– There are several ferries going to Siquijor at the Dumaguete Passenger New Terminal, travel time ranges from 45mins (fast craft) to 1.5hrs, Php120-150