Siquijor is the most beautiful place I have ever seen yet.
|Arlet featuring Siquijor :)) aka vanity shot, HAHAHA|
Its beauty makes me wonder how the witchcraft and other spooky rumors about Siquijor originated. However, I must agree that the island is mystique. The way the trees grow, the stars shine, the sun sets and rises, the caves form, the waves hit the shore, the fireflies dance... in Siquijor, the way nature presents itself is magical, so magical it makes you believe in magic. HAHAHA ang gulo ko.
I went to Siquijor last Holy Week solely to witness the Healing Festival, but I ended up witnessing and enjoying more than that.
1. Getting there
From Manila, I took a plane to Dumaguete, and then a ferry to Siquijor. Unfortunately, no ferry trips are scheduled on Good Friday so I had to pass the night at Dumaguete. I didn't have anything to do in Dumaguete so I ended up just walking around the Boulevard, and eating at nearby restaurants.
Tip: Once in Dumaguete, walk outside the airport premises before riding a tricycle. The normal tricycle ride should only cost around 8php -15php, but if you get a tricycle inside the airport, they'll ask you to pay 150php. BTW, make sure to try the sylvannas at Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries in Rizal Boulevard!
|Off to Siquijor, reminds me of the episode when Gon leaves the island to take part in the Hunter x Hunter exam :))|
2. Getting around
Once in Siquijor, you can travel the island via renting out a motorcycle or commuting via habal habal or tricycle; there are also occasional jeepneys to and from Siquijor port. I wanted to travel by myself to save on expense and to be more in control of my time, unfortunately, I don't know how to ride a motorcycle, let alone have a license to drive it. Heck, I do not even know how to ride a bike :| Someone teach me? HAHAHA
3. Itinerary: Lenten Festival of Herbal Preparation
Every Holy Week, the healers of San Antonio gather at Mt. Bandilaan to prepare a potion that is said to cure all ailments. Moreover, they also offer their (a) ready made products such as health potion, success potion, love potion, curse-cancelling herbs, etc and (b) services such as fortune-telling, hilot (massage?), etc.
|Potions for sale|
|Foreigners watching the cooking of medicine aka "Pagluluto"|
4. Itinerary: Bolo-bolo
Bolo-bolo is a local practice among faith healers to cure illness. It is done by blowing through a glass with water and black stone, while hovering the glass to the patient's body. If the water turns dirty, it means that the person has some kind of illness. The healer shall repeat the process until the water does not turn dirty anymore. Did that make sense?
5. Itinerary: Cantabon Cave
This is perhaps my favorite cave to date, because of all the caves I've been to, this is the only one that presents variety in a sense that you'll walk, crawl, climb, leap, get wet, etc.
6. Itinerary: Cambugahay Falls
The falls look cropped, but it took me quite some courage (and cheering from the anonymous crowd below, HAHAHA) to jump over and over again. I am scared of jumping or being tossed around because it gives me no control. Refreshing dip though!
7. Itinerary: Diving (at Flora's Dive & Resort)
Underwater, everything seems so fragile, yet so romantic.
Is it me or is the sea hypnotic? It makes you question what you're doing with your life. Life is really too short to be sad for a long time, and neglect to see what the world has to offer. I think that everyone owes it to himself or herself to live and see the world firsthand.
9. The Stars and the Fireflies
I've never seen so many stars in my whole life that it made me weep. And the fireflies reflecting in the water... BRB crying. HAHAHA I kid you not. This is the most wonderful thing I've seen in my entire life (other than human kindness LOLwhut)
10. The Siquijodnons
Here's a trick: smile or wave at someone, and they'll instantaneously smile and wave back at you. Mirroring at its finest! I'll definitely go back here!
Other Itineraries - 400 yr old Balete tree, Black Mary, Snorkeling, Triad Restaurant, Cang-isok Old House, Firefly watching at Hambilica Resort, and Lugnason Falls.
It's great to be alive!
Look! My Siquijor post got published in The Daily Roar: http://thedailyroar.com/culture/beyond-witchcraft-and-sorcery-in-siquijor-philippines/.