The Other Side of Siquijor

After our coastal tour, it was already past 7 in the evening as my friend enjoyed the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and explored the waters. My tour guide and I and the rest of the sanctuary’s guardian waited for my friend and her diving guides. If you want a tour, you can also contact our driver:

He took us back to our resort but told him to drop us at a nearby restaurant called Ayans Local Food. It is the restaurant that serves Siquijor dishes and breakfast meals and Filipino dishes for lunch and dinner.
After dinner, we went back to our resort. Unluckily we turned on a different path going to our resort. We end up with private houses along the pavement that was too dark because there were no lights. We get back to where Ayan’s food was and walked going to the correct way going to our resort which was the next walkway with no lights again going to La Villa Alta.

It was really scary when we were walking on the dark pavement. It is due to the fact that there is another side of Siquijor that is known for witches and healers. Siquijor uses the traditional way of healing. People also visit the island because of the mysterious effect of their healing of different illnesses. Siquijor celebrates “The Healing Festival” during holy week.

The special location for the festival is Mt. Bandilaan where the healers would gather after getting the ingredients, to make their traditional rituals in the blessing of the ingredients.
Since we had a limited time exploring Siquijor we couldn’t avail of the next tour which is the Mountain Tour. The mountain tour includes the tour in Mt. Bandilaan and Cantabon Cave.
After the day tour, we enjoyed the rest of the night in the resort. The following morning we took a swim in Sandugan Beach which was in high tide.

Our tour guide from the start fetches us to go back to Siquijor Port. But before that, we went to St. Francis of Assisi Parish. The parish was founded in1783 but the church built with coral stones was finished in 1831.
While waiting for the time of our departure for the ferry going back to Dumaguete., we enjoyed the sandbar at the Siquijor Pier Beach. The sandbar is visible during low tide. The beach is a beautiful scenery of turquoise water and glistening white sand under the scorching sun.

Coastal Tour in Siquijor

We hired the tricycle driver who dropped us in La Villa Alta. We chose the Coastal Tour over the Mountain Tour. We started at 8 am.

Siquijor, Siquijor

We went to the municipality of Siquijor in the famous restaurant called Joel’s Lechon Manok for our brunch. We also check the nearby Bell Tower which was being renovated. We bought foods and drinks in the Public Market.

Paliton Beach

Paliton Beach is located in San Juan. It has become famous and is also called  Little Boracay. The beach is lined up with coconut trees. The beach is also overlooking Apo Island in a distance.
San Juan is a municipality with the most visitors because of the number of resorts, guesthouses and restaurants. It is also a place to hang out for nightlife for bars.

Century-Old Tree

The third place to visit for our coastal tour is the Century-Old Tree in Lazi. It is a 400-year-old Balete tree. A small spring is at the base where you can also enjoy a foot spa with small fishes.
Beside the tree are souvenir shops and a restaurant. The souvenir shops are famous for Love potions, amulets and some handcrafted voodoo dolls.

Lazi Church and Convent

The San Isidro Labrador Church also known as Lazi Church is a Roman Catholic church. It was declared as a National Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. The Baroque church is a neoclassical style built from sea stones and wood.

Across the street is the San Isidro Labrador Convent which was turned into a museum.

Cambugahay Falls

From the Church, going up to a steep road will lead to the entrance going to Cambugahay Falls. It is one of the famous falls in Siquijor with three-level waterfalls. It is also a popular spot on the island for rope jumping.
We had our lunch after along the Circumferential Road of Siquijor in the municipality of Maria called La Guerta Kuzina which offers Filipino dishes.

Salagdoong Beach and Cliff Jump

In the municipality of Maria, a secluded beach called Salagdoong Beach Resort is located. Upon entering the beach, you will enjoy the trees in the Salagdoong Forest. It is a public beach The resort has two platforms for cliff jumping. It has two coves great for swimming and snorkeling.

We also bought the famous Torta, a local bread in Siquijor in Lilibeth Pan de Bisaya before going to our last stop for the tour.

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

It is the oldest marine sanctuary in Siquijor. The sanctuary is the best place for finding abundant marine life including barracudas, blacktip reef sharks, sea turtles, jackfishes and so many more.

Enchanting Siquijor

Siquijor is a small island in Central Visayas near Dumaguete City, at the tip of the Southern Cebu and Bohol. It is also known as “Isla del Fuego” because of the mystical fireflies, pristine beaches with tropical marine life and a mountainous area. Siquijor is also has been widely known for black magic.
There are 5 major municipalities in Siqujor. These are Siquijor, San Juan, Larena, Lazi and Maria, Enrique Villanueva.

How to get there

The best way to Siquijor is in from Dumaguete City Sea Port. There are different schedules of the ferry going to Siquijor. There are two ports in Siquijor, one from Siquijor and one from Larena.

From the municipalities, you can ride a tricycle, but take note that some tricycles are exclusive to the municipalities. There are tricycles used for touring the island. There are some tours like the Coastal Tour and the Mountain Tour.

First Night in Siquijor

We arrived late in the afternoon in Siquijor Port after a 1 hour and a half from Dumaguete City. My friend booked us in Larena. We found a tricycle to take us there which took us about 40 minutes to see our resort. You can also see the beautiful Larena Bay along the road until we reach the center of the Larena which is near the Larena port.

La Villa Alta

Villa Alta is in the outskirts of the municipality of Larena where you can see from afar the island of Bohol. It has a restaurant, a bar, a garden and a private beach area.

Our bungalow is overlooking Sandugan Beach. There are so many other resorts in the nearby area.

Sandugan Beach

It was already low tide when we explored Sandugan Beach. We explored the mudflats and waited for the sun to set while enjoying the beach.