Black magic. Potion. Mangkukulams. Barangs---
Siquijor has long been stereotyped as mystical. But after twenty four hours of "demystifying" this island, I learned that The Island of Fire is far from its typecast. If anything, it is bewitching (the fascinating kind.) Too bewitching that it makes tourists do crazy poses ;-)
HOW TO GO TO SIQUIJOR
Going to Siquijor from Dumaguete is easy. From the airport, you can take a tricycle to the pier. We took the 45-minute Delta fast ferry for 160 pesos (plus terminal fee of 15 pesos.) There are also fast crafts from Cebu.
1. LAZI CHURCH / ST. ISIDORE LABRADORE CHURCH
This 19th century church and convent is one of my favorite attractions in Siquijor. Built by the Spaniards in 1857 to 1884, this is now recognized as a national historical shrine. This piece of architecture is made from hard wood and corals.
The interiors is similar to all other Catholic churches; but compared to typical cemented floors, this one is made from wooden planks.
2. LAZI CONVENT / ST. ISIDORE LABRADORE CONVENT
Across the church is one of the largest convents in the country, the St. Isidore Labradore convent. This was built by the order of Augustinian Recollects, from 1887 to 1891, three years after the church was completed.
Bordering the gates of the convent are towering trees. The ambiance here makes you time travel to the olden days.
I'm a sucker for old school windows, hence, the innumerable crazy poses (again, forgive the old lady inside me.)
I hope that our authorities would help preserve this. Some parts were obviously renovated, without conserving its old state, while some parts already need immediate repair.
3. CAMBUGAHAY FALLS
This waterfalls has three tiers so you can try out chilling, layer by layer.
You can also try jumping off its topmost level:
4. SALOGDOONG BEACH
Siquijor takes pride of its 102 kilometers of white sand. We went to Salogdoong Beach to do more crazy poses right on its famous beach =D
I think that the resort's design doesn't jive well with Siquijor's overall ambiance. Sayang, they should have kept the place's natural beauty.
We also enjoyed the breathtaking sunset while swimming.
5. OLD ENCHANTED BALETE
This balete tree is one of country's oldest and tallest balete trees. They say that it's enchanted but I don't find this place creepy at all.
6. LARENA PORT
We fell in love with this place by accident. We missed our ferry ride going back to Dumaguete, so we had to kill a lot of time staying at the port. Nothing could go wrong with this lovely piece of white sand, right? Except us, abnormal tourists =D
7. KIWI DIVE RESORT
We stayed at Kiwi Dive Resort, located at Sandugan Beach, Larena, Siquijor. This resort is quite far (around 20 minutes by trike) from the port but I highly recommend this place. They have friendly staff plus free-wifi. They don't require downpayment for booking. Compared to touristy hotels at the town proper, the place is very quiet, homey and you can smell the sea from your room. We only paid 1400 pesos for the large cottage fan room.
We only spent 24 hours in Siquijor, and to fall in love with this place in just a short time is enough to say that this province is bewitching and doesn't deserve to be stereotyped as creepy, scary, enchanted, etc.
In case you wanna turn into abnormal posers, like us, you're safe to go to Siquijor.
Paradise-- yes. Black magic-- none.
For more information on Kiwi Dive Resort, visit their webpage http://kiwidiveresort.com/ or call them at +639088892283
You can rent a "jeep" for a whole day tour. Contact Nelson Inao +639264359955.
Follow me @fartherfurther