Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Must-Visit Places in Siquijor


I have a confession and a stupid one... just before I went to Siquijor, my limited knowledge of that place had been nothing more than an island where "barang," shamans, and love potions are everywhere.

It was no surprise that when I told my friends about my trip, I got a few rolling eyes and brows raised, as if asking me "Why Siquijor, of all places?" 

I was wrong, my friends were wrong, way too wrong. True to what I always say, one of the perks of traveling is learning -- age-old stereotypes and unfounded notions get to be corrected.

Having spent an amazing weekend there, exploring all its six municipalities, I was left baffled with how this small island could offer infinite fun and adventure. From white sand beaches, to charming seaside cliffs, to historical churches and bell towers, to clear and gentle cascades, and to eco-tourism destinations and enchanting trees.  They have it all. 

More than these beautiful sights, though, the thing that struck me was the warmth and kind smiles the people there. It would be ridiculous to avoid their gaze and smiles (having been warned not to look straight in the eyes of strangers to avoid trouble). I thought, those genuine kindness need to be reciprocated.

This one thing is true: Siquijor is as mystical as it is already known. It is raw, remote, and quite a revelation. An unspoiled and perfect destination for those gunning for some peace and quiet. 

This island is located in Central Visayas Region, about one hour ferry ride from Dumaguete. The most common means of transportation within the province are jeepneys and trikes. For those wanting to explore the whole island, trikes are available for hire. My friend and I, however, chose to rent a  motorcycle to drive around to our desired destinations. 

Here are my top 10 must-visit places in Siquijor:

1. Siquijor Port/Beach - I've seen a lot of ports but nothing compares to the panoramic view at Siquijor Port. Just adjacent to it is a wide stretch of white sand beach with clear blue water which is a perfect visual treat to visitors coming in to the island. 







2. Kagusuan Beach (Maria) - After passing through a thick forest, it was a pleasant surprise to see a beach securely hidden  to most tourists. Taking into consideration the seascape, fine sands and nice rock formations, Kagusuan made it to my favorite beaches in the country. I enjoyed swimming  there!






3. San Isidro Labrador Church (Lazi)- A national Cultural Treasure and one of the most outstanding cultural heritage churches in the country. 





San Isidro Labrador Convent (Lazi)- a historical landmark which is said to the one of the biggest and oldest convents in the Philippines.




4. St. Francis of Assisi Church (Siquijor) - another historical landmark in the island, this lovely church is made of stone rubble and cuciform. What's interesting is that a few meters from the church, in the middle of a plaza, stands the bell tower which suggests that it once served as a  watch tower to warn the people of Siquijor of approaching danger. 






5. Cambugahay Falls (Lazi) - From the base falls, we had to trek a bit to reach the second and third level of this tiered cascade. The sight from there was refreshing enough for me.






6. Enchanted and centuries-old Balite Tree (Lazi) - this 400 year-old tree in Lazi is believed to be enchanted because of its eerily hanging roots and vines. It also provides water to residents near the area. 





7. Salagdoong Beach (Maria) - a more developed beach compared to Kagusuan Beach. The place is ideal for picnics and family gatherings. There are concrete tables, a restaurant, rooms and a swimming pool available there. 





8. Larena Bell Tower - completed in 1889, this massive hexagonal bell tower was made of coral stones and rubles.





Larena Triad Coffee Shop - a coffee shop atop a hill seemed unimaginable at first but it's one of our best finds in the island. From the hill, we  got a good view of the seascape and landscape around. They also serve meals there. 






9. Guiwanon Spring Park (Siquijor) -  we had to walk along wooden bridges and pass by huts and mangroves. This place is a sanctuary for various marine species. 





10. San Juan Beaches -  It's no wonder that a lot of the best resorts in Siquijor are located in  the town of San Juan. It has a long stretch of white sand beaches, and in some areas, there are  cliffs and rock formations that can make good photography subjects. This place is perfect to catch sunsets!






St.  Agustin Church (San Juan) - one of the oldest churches in the island. 




Capilay Spring Park (San Juan) - This park with a natural spring-fed pool is located at the center of the town. It's a good place to simply relax.



Visit and Enjoy Siquijor! :)


30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. one of the few unspoiled places in the Philippines. one of my favorites now. :)

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  2. kaginalayon ng pics, kainurag mo talaga che makodak!, hehe.. mapaadal man daw inano mkaachieve ng alog kaan kagayon n photos,malalapa n camera ko dai p lamang nakaproduce ng pambihirang pic, hahaha;)

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    Replies
    1. Ann, tsamba ang kadaklan dyan sa pix. Magayon talaga kaya su lugar! :) praktis praktis sana. maski point and shoot na tira, payt sana.hehe :))

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  3. Replies
    1. Parang tawa ng witch! haha joke lang. :))

      Maj, di tayo nakapunta dun sa coffee shop,di tayo nakapasok sa convent at parang di tayo nag kagusuan beach... :{

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    2. ang eerie ng ambiance sa loob nung convent. pero nice kasi may museum sila dun. yung sa coffee shop naman, ganda ng view dun overlooking Larena. sayang namiss niyo kagusuan. ;)

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    3. ganyan ang tawa ko kapag kinikilig. hihi!hihi! =)

      yun nga yung sinasabi ko cha.parang dami nating na-miss. =(

      pwede pa namang bumalik eh. =))

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  4. Nice sunset. :-) I also like the shots sa Cambugahay Falls and Larena Bell Tower.

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  5. Ah, yes... through Ojos De Brujo trails.... beautiful and mystical island indeed. One may travel even deeper and further and keep exploring. :)

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    Replies
    1. Siquijor is a very interesting place to explore. Would love to go back someday! :)

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  6. im going there on june, how much does a motorcycle ride for the trip to those 12 beautiful places and can you suggest a nice but cheap place to stay there, thanks for the info.

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    Replies
    1. Hi! We stayed at Royal Cliff Resort in San Juan, about 30 mins trike ride from the port. It's really nice there and they have cheap comfortable cottages, too. :) They also offer a 12-hr motorbike rental for P300, gas on us. :) Enjoy your trip! :)

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  7. Replies
    1. You're much welcome, Katherine! Have fun in Siquijor! :)

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  8. Hi Ms. Che. Nakita ko lahat except the Cambugahay Falls and Larena Triad Coffee Shop. Out of the way po kasi. Thank you very much sa list.

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  9. Ganda ng mga picture and ang ganda ng mga beach!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chudi! Must-visit place talaga ang Siquijor. :)

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  10. I had the same 1st same impression when I went to Siquijor in 2008. And I admit I was very wrong. This island is really magnificent. :)

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  11. Where did you stay in Siquijor?

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    Replies
    1. I stayed at Royal Cliff in San Juan. I highly recommend the place. ;)

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  12. planning to go there this november. do you think the weather is okay during this month?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I was there October and surprisingly the weather was like summer. hehe I presume, November would be just as good. :)

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  13. Hi, so it's possible to visit these 10 places for like 3 days? :) And do you still have the contact number of Royal Cliff? I am planning to visit alone, is it safe for a lady like me? Thanks

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