Siquijor Island | Witchcraft and Wanderlust
With only six municipalities, Siquijor Island ranks among the smallest provinces in the Philippines. Yet, it has everything you dream about of a perfect island life as you sulk in your office hurrying the long weekend to come.
It is popular for amazing folklores & beguiling stories of witchcraft. But larger than its tales of faith & healing, it screams of beautiful beaches, waterfalls, forests & Spanish-time treasures too.
The Magic That is Siquijor Island
Mention Siquijor Island to anyone & it instantly casts a spell. Imagine witches with voodoo dolls, amulets & magical potions. Then there are the magico-religious faith healers as well as herbalists with their bizarre concoctions.
Whether it’s true or not & if you believe it or not, these stories have lived through time & still draw many curious travellers to the island. And yes, chances are you’d sail out with a bottle or two of potions for sickness, protection, unrequited love or impotence.
Beaches to Forget the Witches
While shamans mumble in their altered states of consciousness up in the mountain, down in the beach tourists hustle with the waves in their skimpy bikinis.
White sand beaches mostly fringe the island. From the shores of Dumanjug all the way to San Juan, this tropical allure is seemingly endless.
If you are looking forward to basking on the finest beachlines in Siquijor Island, stay in beachfront resorts.
Otherwise, their public beaches like Paliton & Kagusuan are pretty enough. Just burrow beer on the sand with a hashtag #beachlife to make it insta-perfect.
Daredevils love it at Salagdoong Beach jumping from a 40-feet cliff. It’s fun to watch but also reason enough to shoot your balls up your throat. If it isn’t your thing, you can just laze on the sand or sleep on a hammock.
If you want to live your tarzan dreams swinging by a rope & plunging on a waterfall, come to Siquijor Island!
There are quite a lot of waterfalls here but only 2 are popular: Cambugahay & Lugnason. Both are equally stunning & yes, both have waterfall rope jumps.
Cambugahay is a short multi-tier waterfall that cascades to cold shallow lagoons. Tourists love it here because it’s wide, bright & airy.
Lugnason, on the other side of the mountain is a bigger waterfall & covered by thick foliage. Around it are small drops that are perfect for quick dips.
Tales as Old as Time
Century-old churches & homes easily narrate the colonial story of Siquijor Island. In fact, the 18th century church of St. Francis de Assisi greets guests arriving at the capital town.
Around the bend in Lazi is San Isidro Labrador Church. Completed in the early 19th century, this Baroque church is made of thick coral blocks. Across it is the largest convent in Asia built after the Spanish-time bahay-na-bato.
In Sta. Maria is an 1880 church dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Providencia. It enshrines the image of Sta. Rita de Cascia in mourning black & holding an eerie skull.
Because the Hills are Alive
Aside from the fabled stories of mystical healing, the peak of Siquijor Island is also a wealth of attractions. There is Cantabon Cave, a kilometer long underground cave with cold wading pools.
Higher & deeper into the forest is Bandilaan Viewpoint that offers a 360 vista of the island. Around it in lower elevations are panoramic mountain resorts & cafes like Triad on the Larena side.
Kanheron, a Wild West themed ranch is also becoming a landmark on this side of the island.
Siquijor Island is so small that you can drive around in a little over an hour. But don’t rush because along the way are pretty spots that are worth stepping on the brakes.
Take Capilay Spring Park just by the roadside in San Juan. This unique public park has a huge pool of cold spring water.
Then there’s Guiwanon, a lush mangrove park in Luyang & Siquijor Boulevard, the town’s favorite sunset rendezvous. Get ready to be witches, bitches & fly on a broomstick at Hapitanan Café.
Another iconic landmark in Siquijor Island is Lazi’s 400-year old Balete tree riddled with many bewitching stories. But tourists also hole up here for fish spa & souvenir shopping.
Just when you think that the island beds you early, it actually has nightlife too. Although nothing really wild but parties in San Juan can be wicked too as rhum starts to kick in.
But if you want the local flair, ask any Siquihodnon & they’ll be glad to tag you along in their sort of locals-only party venues.
There are many reasons to believe that Siquijor, truly, is an island that heals. Its serenity clears the mind & mends the heart. Its abundance feeds the body & a rustic townscape charm that nurtures the spirit.
Siquijor Island is mysteriously beautiful. And so it let it be.
Hello, I am PotpotNumber of Entries : 388
Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more