Siquijor Island could be one of the most intriguing islands in the Philippines because of the myths surrounding it. Many people have associated it with witchcraft and sorcery and that included the once young me. Though these stories have reached a thousand miles, there’s no stopping tourists to see its unique and unspoiled beauty. I admit, getting here was not an easy decision to make but what pushed me to do it anyway? Simple. Take a look at this:
Salagdoong Beach, Siquijor Island, Philippines
Take the myths and “urban legends” aside, Siquijor is one fine destination for travelers who appreciate the beauty of the beach, natural attractions and yes, culture and tradition. It’s situated at the heart of central Visayas with a land area of 132.6 sq miles and is touted as the smallest island in this region.
Greeted by the turquoise waters..
This just surprised me. Upon arrival, I have nothing going in my mind but the excitement to see the beaches of Siquijor. Look at the water, is this really seriously blue-green? From Dumaguete’s pantalan (this is different from Sibulan port going to Oslob), we took the Delta Express fast craft to Siquijor. 160Php is the fare per person and travel time is roughly 1 hour. You have to always check the schedule as trips bound to Siquijor may vary.
Map of Siquijor
Okay, I planned that we stay in Salagdoong Beach in the town of Maria as we just needed a pampering beach bumming experience for this trip. BUT, we were told that the town of Maria is around 40 minutes away from Siquijor Town (where the port is located) and it might cost us much more if we hire a tricycle to tour us around the island if we’re going to stay there. Since I made no reservations and contacts yet (which is a BRIGHT move btw #sarcasm), we just asked the people from the tourism center where’s the best place to stay. They provided choices but we ended up thinking of another plan. So I pulled out my phone, browsed the net and checked the blogs I read about Siquijor. Alas!, I found Joam’s number, the famous tour guide in Siquijor (yan brad ah, “famous” is the term.. lol).. Good thing he’s available at that time and he eagerly fetched us at the tourism office and helped us find a place to stay. Almost all budget-friendly accomms with aircon rooms are fully booked that time so we ended up here.
Backpacker’s Dorm in the town of San Juan
I remember one famous accommodation for backpackers, Norma’s (?) End of the world. But at the time, it was still under renovation.
Backpacker Dormitory for the backpacker wannabe’s..
Getting here will take you around 30 minutes from Siquijor Town. Rate is 350Php per head on a fan dormitory room, with 12 beds. For this rate, you have a towel, common bathroom and you can enjoy all the resort’s amenities including the swimming pool. Their aircon rooms are already fully booked so I guess making a reservation to any of the resorts here prior to your stay is a smarter way.
Backpacker’s Dorm Swimming Pool
The white sand beach of San Juan, Siquijor
Peace at the beach
Sunset in Siquijor
A picturesque sunset of this simple and modest town shall wrap up the very tiring day. On this side of the island, all beaches are on low tide so people can barely enjoy swimming. The seabed was so soft with stingless jellyfishes playing.
Stingless Jelly FIsh
So what can we see in Siquijor aside from its beautiful beaches? I’ll let Joam be our guide and I’ll let Siquijor surprise me. Let my photos tour you around.
1. Capilay Spring Park
Capilay Spring Park
Situated at the town of San Juan, this natural spring pool is open to the public with cottages to cater families who want spend a weekend to unwind and relax. What makes it even cooler (literally) is that the water comes from the mountains that’s why it’s clean and fresh.
2. Lola Conching – The Faith Healer
Lola Conching is a native of Siquijor who is famous for her healing practices. She has a mystical rock (stone) which she uses to cleanse and heal. A lot of people had undergone this kind of healing with her, from prominent politicians to popular celebrities. She is 88 years old.
Me having a “cleansing” time with Lola Conching
3. Old Balete Tree
Old Balete Tree
I think this is one of the oldest Balete trees in the Philippines as the oldest recorded was the one in Baler, Aurora.
A free fish spa treat
If you’re not fond of taking pictures under the Balete tree, you can just simply enjoy the company of this small fishes. Instant fish spa for free!
4. St. Isidore The Farmer Church
St. Isidore the farmer Church
This church is considered to be one of the oldest in Asia, built in the 1800′s.
5. Cambugahay Falls
Prior to seeing the falls, you will endure a 170+ step staircase. You need not worry about going down, it’s going up you have to worry. lols
But the view is worth it once you reach this falls that breathes turquoise waters. It’s inviting us to take a dip but I guess our guts aren’t that ripe yet. The water is clear and clean. You can see the rocks from the bottom.
6. Lazi Church
It houses the image of St. Rita of Cascia – the nun who’s holding a cross and a skull.
7. Salagdoong Beach
The main reason why I chose to see Siquijor. The picture can’t say enough. You have to see it in your own eyes to believe that nature is at its best in the Philippines!
Kids enjoying the crystal clear waters
Surreal and picturesque waters
I couldn’t contain that smile on my face! haha..
This place is perfect for family weekend getaways. You can have this beautiful beach for just 10Php per head as entrance fee. Getting here might take a little long from the port but you can book a room in their hotel should you plan to stay long.
Kids enjoy diving
Cliff diving is fun but I guess again, my guts weren’t working that time so at least I have something saved the next time I get here.
The oldest house in Siquijor which was built during the Spanish times but was torn by the typhoon Pablo.
9. Home-made pandecoco and live sea urchin experience
Well, this one’s not really in the typical tour list but Joam brought us to this side street store that serves home-made pandecoco and ensaymada which by the way were delicioso and allowed us to experience a different kind of cuisine – eating a live sea urchin.. Sad to say, there were no photos but the memories are just kept in our brain cells.
The whole island tour took about 6-7 hours and it was jam-packed! A lot of new things learned about this simple and modest island. So if you plan to visit Siquijor anytime soon or next summer, contact Joam.
There he is, wearing blue..
There is no airport yet in Siquijor but the nearest I can recommend is in Dumaguete.
By Air: Take flights from Manila-Dumaguete. Travel time is around 40-50 minutes. Airlines that operate this route include Cebu Pacific Air, Fly PAL Express and Philippine Airlines
By Sea: From Dumaguete Port, ride a fast craft to Siquijor. Travel time is 40 minutes to an hour. Ocean Jet and Delta Express operate Dumaguete-Siquijor trips.
- Tricycles are the primary mode of transportation around the island. Jeepneys/multicab vans are visible but very few. You can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) if you want to tour around the places on your own.
- There are 6 towns in Siquijor namely Siquijor Town, San Juan, Lazi, Maria, Enrique Villanueva and Larena.
- Tricycle tour starts normally in San Juan/Siquijor Town, so it’s best to choose your accommodation near the area and book a room at least a week ahead.
- Tricycle tour rates are fixed at 1,000Php.
To see the full set of photos, please check out my Flickr page.
Contact Number: 09276932095