When you want to travel to Cebu, one of the easiest ways is to take the bus. There are several ways to do this with a combination of Ferries, buses, and small vans called V-hires. For convenience, there is the bus that leaves Dumaguete Ceres Liner Terminal and actually drives aboard the ferry, then crossing to Cebu. There is no changing buses except you have to get off the bus when it goes on the barge. They charge you three times, Cebu bus fare, barge fare, and Negros bus fare. It takes up to 5 + hours.
The fastest way, is to take a bus or Easy Ride (very small bus like vehicle) to Sibulan port which is about 15 minutes North of Dumaguete. From there take a pump boat (large native style outrigger with a motor) to Liloan, and catch a bus to Cebu. You will save an hour or two over the above method.
Riding a V-hire from Liloan to Cebu can save you more time than taking the Ceres. These are converted 8-12 passenger vans . Try to get the front seat of a V-Hire if you are claustrophobic or over 6' tall. They typically pack 15 to 20 people in these things with carry on bags and personal items. On the return from Cebu to Dumaguete, I would recommend leaving Cebu no later than 1-2 PM to avoid missing the last pump boat at Liloan or traveling at night.
I Went to Cebu Yesterday. Going there I took fast craft from Sibulan to Liloan which docks at a different pier than the pump boat. “Fast craft” is just a local name for a more modern style cabin ferry. It is a 15 minute ride and costs 47 P. Upon arrival there was an air conditioned Ceres bus waiting at pier, the bus left almost immediately, and the cost was 149 Pesos. I made it from Sibulan port in Negros to Cebu South Terminal in just over three hours. This is the best time for me so far.
If you take the pump boat from Sibulan to the pump boat landing in Liloan you have to hire a motorcycle to transport you to the Ceres at end of the road costing 20 Pesos. However V-hires are available very near the pump boat dock.
When I returned to Dumaguete later the same day, I took the Ceres liner that drives on to a barge or “Ro Ro” ferry. Here is the way they break down the fare.
South terminal Cebu to Batu Maayo Shipping terminal 168 P
Batu dock to Tampi (Amlan) Maayo shipping terminal 60 P ferry fee in addition to the bus fare.
Tampi to Ceres terminal Dumaguete(or any where you want along way) 22 Pesos.
This trip took 4.5 hours again on the faster side of average, we were lucky with connections to the ferry, traffic, etc.
As an aside for those unfamiliar with Philippine etiquette, THERE IS NONE when it comes to getting on a bus. They do not pre sell seated tickets. One simply fights their way to a seat, and pays the fare after the bus gets underway. Be fully prepared for aggressive bumping to ensure a seat. This was accentuated as it was the last trip on day before a holiday. Normally it is not as bad as this.
I was ready to calmly but firmly get on the bus as usual, but as seasoned travellers know, everyone rushes the bus door before it opens to let out the disembarking passengers. In this case, the conductor yells and screams to get back, no one responds. Door opens people don't wait for one person to get off and try to push by immediately. My girl and I did get our seats, and everyone went back to being polite.