White Sand Beaches in Punta Ballo, Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Monday, July 2, 2012

Date of Travel: April 3, 2012

I am a kind of person who would prefer a kind of thing that is out of the mainstream. When it comes to travel, I prefer a not-so-crowded place. Here in the Philippines, several common and already commercialized destinations for tourists are Baguio, Bohol, Cebu, Palawan and Boracay.  Only few of them knew that there are other outstanding places to explore in the Philippines. As they try to have a perfect getaway from their busy lives from where they came from, they can try exploring the beautiful city of Sipalay in the province of Negros Occidental. One of the best beaches available in Sipalay can be found at Brgy. IV, the Punta Ballo beach coast. 

More photos...

HOW TO GET THERE (from Cebu City on a budget):
There are several ways to get to Sipalay from Cebu City. I suggest you get a map and study the route based on where you would be coming from.

1.) Take any CERES buses going to Santander, Cebu (the southernmost town). These buses have trips available 24 hrs. Fare: ~ P167
2.) Once you get to Santander, there would be several wharfs where you can ride a ferry / barge crossing the Negros Island.
  • Liloan Port will take you to Sibulan wharf (closest to Dumaguete) Fare: ~P58
  • Mattiao Wharf will take you to Tampi-Amlan seaport (farthest from Dumaguete) Fare: ~P70Note: 
For Filipino students and senior-citizens, always ask for your discounts for a cheaper fare.

Map3.) Bus, jeepneys, and cabs Dumaguete-bound are everywhere. Your next point of destination is Dumaguete city bus terminal. Don't worry about finding a meal, you can just eat at the bus terminal where there are food stores serving meals.
Jeepney ~P8
Bus ~P30

4.) From Dumaguete bus terminal, you have two options to take:

OPTION 1 -- Northbound route: At the Ceres Bus Terminal, busses run every 60 minutes to Kabankalan. There you have to change for a bus marked with "Hinoba-an" or "Bayawan". The journey from Dumaguete to Sipalay via northbound route takes approx. 5 hours. Get off the bus in Montilla or Sipalay City. 
Number of cutting trips: 2

OPTION 2 -- Southbound route: At the Ceres Bus Terminal, buses run every 60 minutes to Bayawan. There you have to change for a bus marked with "Hinobaan". In Hinobaan, take a jeepney or a bus to Sipalay City. The journey from Dumaguete to Sipalay takes approx. 6 - 7 hours.
 Number of cutting trips: 3


Sipalay City is a 4th class city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of only 67,403 people. Sipalay City is provided with three levels of water service. Level 1 and 2 systems are mostly derived from shallow and deep wells, supplemented by a few natural springs. The urban barangays are served by a Level 3 system managed by the Local Water District. 

my host family for the day: Leo and Lola Azucena of Brgy. II, Sipalay
 Although Sipalay has been promoted as a 4th class city, I would still see Sipalay as a municipality. Well, it's only my opinion. Even the poblacion area which is mostly composed of Brgy I and Brgy. II still has no good source of potable water. Most residents rely on deep-well. Access to drinking water is rather difficult for many because of the absence of piped water systems and the fluctuating supply particularly during the summer months in some barangays. There are also concerns about the potability and safety of water sources as the possibility of contamination may not be farfetched due to mining operations and mine tailing activities in the area.

The Punta Ballo coast is composed of white sandy beach approximately stretching to almost a kilometer long. This white sand coast is a home for several resorts just erected one next to the other. The place is also suitable for diving and snorkeling due to its very rich marine environment. This is one of the main reason why some of the best diving resorts in the country are situated in Sipalay. Among the popular diving resorts are: Artistic Diving and Beach Resort and Easy Diving Resort.

Sipalay has phone signals for SMART and GLOBE. But has weak signals for SUN CELLULAR. For people who rely much on Internet, they do have it and most resorts have now Wi-fi. However, in the city proper there is only one Internet cafe I found. And also, you do not expect Sipalay to really look like a city because, again, for me the environment is much more like an ordinary Filipino town to me. The market is small and there is no definite bus and transportation terminal. Buses and other means of transportation are just waiting outside the streets.

former Brgy. IV captain Miss Cordova - 09198088584

Sipalay resident / highschool students who do tours around the area:
Note: These kids do not have any means of transpo, you  will need to pay for them.
Shane Bayot - 09302043616

Grace Bayot - 09302566246
Leo Sescia - 09123474595

Shane, my guide for the day



interviewing Lola Ising

with former Brgy IV captain Miss Cordova

my travel phone and travel journal

pool of Nataasan Resort

receptionist (these are working students) at Nataasan

cleaning efforts by Barangay IV


ibos and rice coffee

Artistic Diving Resort pool

massage over a rock house


Phioxee February 4, 2013 at 11:20 PM  

wow! i can't wait to be here soon.

galen nikolaidis April 1, 2013 at 10:35 PM  

This is a wonderful place. It's just like in ambassador in paradise boracay but this is a more peaceful place than in boracay though.

Unknown January 1, 2017 at 12:06 PM  

Hi. Interesting article. I was planning my holidays on Sugar Beach - until I did my proper research about the mines around Sipalay and the disaster - earth and sea contamination and poisoning. There is plenty to read about it if Googled. Basically, almost every big island of Philippines, including Palawan, Mindanao, Luzon, Bohol, Marinduque etc. has mines that contaminated the islands and sea with mercury, lead, cadmium, zinc, cyanide.. Terrible crimes of mining companies on Philippino people!

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