Famous for its folk healing traditions, Siquijor is an exotic island-province that has been unfairly characterized as the land of witchcraft, mystery and sorcery. One of the most intriguing and enigmatic islands in the Philippines, Siquijor is also known as a home to diabolic supernatural creatures, such aswangs (vampires), agtas (giants), and engkantos (environmental spirits). But, as most modern Filipinos know, these stories are only classic myths fabricated a long time ago, to protect this island-province from the influx of intruders.
Despite its reputation of being an unearthly land, the island remains a thriving destination that lures local and foreign travelers alike. As a matter of fact, many travelers consider it as one of the country’s most underrated gems. Blessed with a wealth of natural wonders, the island is truly an unspoiled tropical sanctuary that would give you an unforgettable experience in the Philippines.
Planning on discovering this virgin territory? Here’s a list of things that you might want to do in Siquijor.
When it comes to beaches, you will be spoiled for choices in this enchanting island destination. Of course, all of its beaches are secluded, with only a handful of visitors stopping by. What’s more, these beaches have powdery white sands and crystal clear turquoise waters.
What are the best beaches to swing by in this tiny Filipino province? If you don’t have time to visit all the island’s beaches, take a soothing respite at the San Juan Beach, Siquijor Beach or Salagdoong Beach.
With its stunning waters and breathtaking scenery, it is easy to see why the Cambugahay Falls is often touted as the ultimate tourist attraction in Siquijor. While Cambugahay isn’t as tall as the other waterfalls in the country, it is still a spectacular natural wonder that will delight you in a variety of ways. Not only does it flaunt a beautiful natural backdrop, but it also has inviting and refreshing cool waters that would give you a great plunge.
By the way, there are vendors near the area that sell cool refreshments like mango-flavored ice-candies and fresh buko juice.
Head off to Lazi, and take a close look at the impressive and huge 400-year old balete tree. At the bottom of the tree, there is a cold clean pool where you can get a free fish spa.
The island serves as a home to over a dozen dive sites, including the Salagdoong, Tambisan, Tubod Marine Sanctuary, Tulapus Sanctuary, and a whole lot more. As a diver or snorkeler on this island, you get to catch a glimpse of the colorful and fascinating marine life in the Philippines.
Enjoy panoramic vistas of the province by the climbing the tower at the Mount Bandilaan National Park. A true spelunker’s delight, the island has a plethora of caves that are waiting to be explored, such as the Baljo Cave and Tagmanocan Cave. But in my book, the best and most popular cave in the province is the Cantabon Cave, a long cavern with clean pools and waters.
A word of advice, wear a pair of tactical pants, as it can be used to store your personal belongings, such as your mobile phone, camera and Swiss Army Knife. Also, don’t forget to bring gloves or gymnastic chalk, so you can get a good grip when spelunking.
For those who are fond of history, make sure to pay homage to its historic sacred sites, like the century-old Catholic churches of the province. A must-visit church here is the Church of Saint of Assisi, the most photographic historic edifice on the island. Then, there is the Lazi Church and Convent, one of the very few Baroque churches in the country.
One of the best ways to end a perfect day of exploration in Siquijor is to gaze on the majestic sunset of this beautiful modest island.
And when nighttime comes, take a leisurely stroll along the island’s streets, and gawk at the yellowish light orbs flickering near the lofty trees. These orbs are actually fireflies that look like twinkling gleaming stars.
The island’s mesmerizing charm certainly has nothing to do with mythical beings. As far as I’m concerned, the island’s spellbinding pristine beaches, picturesque sunsets, laid-back setting and unexplored caves are the things that make Siquijor an interesting place to visit.
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