I can still recall the comments people were making when they learned that I would be going to Siquijor.
Well, growing up believing Siquijor is a mystical island maybe the reason. The mysteriousness it may have brought people with the likes of sorcerers, witchcraft, the “unknown”, the healers or “albularyo”. Now you understand what lies behind those commentaries of “Are you not scared?” and the rising of intonation when they say, “Really? Siquijor?” and to add to the tone, imagine how their eyes widened.
I have read a lot of blogs about this island and how its beauty mesmerizes the visitors. Of course, I have to be there to say the same.
Siquijor is an hour away by ferry from Dumaguete. Since the plan was to tour the island for a day only, getting up early was definitely a must.
We arrived the island around 7 am.
Having seen Biyahe ni Drew’s episode on Siquijor and Drew was impressed with the clear water of the island’s port area, made me check the water myself. But obviously, it wasn’t just me who has seen that episode because most of the visitors checked it as well.
You can rent motorbikes or book a tricycle for the day to tour you around. In our case, we opted for something cheaper, – motorbike. I was at the back ride of course, since I only know how to be a passenger.
Less than 5 minutes from the port area, stands St. Francis of Assisi Church. A famous one for tourists since this welcomes you to this beautiful island.
There are a lot of places to see in Siquijor. The most common are the beautiful beaches, old churches and waterfalls.
Old Enchanted Balete Tree
a 400 pus year old Balete tree, – with fish doctor!. Majority of us I guess grew up believing that Balete tree is a home of the supernatural, the tikbalang (half-horse, half-human) or the kapre (a giant smoking at the top of the tree). For those who grew up in Manila, the famous Balete Drive in New Manila where white lady walks at night makes everyone scared of passing the street during late night. It was called Balete drive because of balete trees along the street.
But of course, for somewhere known mystical, their Balete Tree wouldn’t escape the enchantment. But since it has been there for more than 400-years, old time stories that the locals were sharing definitely makes it enchanted. But for me, the enchanting part was the souvenir items being sold near the tree, why? Here’s the souvenir I bought
The Lazi Convent
Seeing the facade of the convent made me think like I was walking near a courthouse during the days of Emilio Aguinaldo!
Anyway, the Lazi Convent now serves as a museum of the church’s religious antiques.
Then, across the convent you’ll find the Lazi Church or San Isidro Labrador Parish Church.
Famous for it’s wooden floor. the feel of “oldness” was almost the same as how I felt with Baclayon Church of Bohol. from smell to the feel inside made it really old.
Then, we visited another church that I found very intriguing. The Sta. Maria Church and the Black Maria.
Might be wondering why intriguing?
It was my first time to learn about Saint Rita of Cascia, as per Wikipedia known as the patroness of abused wives and heartbroken women.
So from there you will definitely understand that Saint Rita of Cascia herself was a wife abused by her husband. Someone with strong faith, who didn’t leave her husband believing that he would change and be on the good side with her and the story goes on.
Siquijor is a small island, and you can definitely tour it in a day. Along the way, I was in awe of the beaches, surrounding the island. So blue, and definitely was very inviting.
But we spent beaching at Salagdoong Beach. Became famous because of the the cliff jump adventure.
A lot of tourists are visiting Siquijor. It may be because of how people describes their beaches as beautiful, so clear and with white sand of course. It may also be because of the waterfalls, this small island definitely houses a number of waterfalls. It may also be because they wanted to feel the mysteriousness of the island.
But whatever the reason may be, I definitely would say Siquijor is “enchantingly” and “mystically” beautiful. The locals may have accepted that people still see their island as mystical, home of witchcraft and sorcery because of their souvenirs from a somehow a doll, to potions, and etc. But the locals are getting used to tourists roaming around in motorcycles or stopping along the road to take some photo.
With the number of tourists I’ve seen that day from locals to foreigners, it proves that Siquijor has come a long way. And seriously, it has outgrown the impression of being a scary island and became mysteriously beautiful.