Siquijor Province is an island about 30 km southeast of Negros, south of Cebu and southwest of Bohol. During the Spanish colonial in the Philippines, the Spaniards called the island as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) because the island gave off an eerie glow, which came from the great swarms of fireflies that gathered in the numerous molave tress on the island.
For years, Siquijodnon (name to identify the residents) is being always judged when we said that we live in Siquijor. But, it is good to hear now positive things from tourists and seeing many people visiting the island.
If you are planning for a trip to the island, read this first! A collection of photos and experiences from my friends and my new-found friends in Facebook and Instagram. And a thought from a true-blooded Siquijodnon! 😉
TEN REASONS WHY YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO GO TO SIQUIJOR (or the opposite)
1. Siquijor does not have an airport and no airplane is going there
In order to reach the island, you must take a ferry or a ship from Dumaguete City. It takes an hour for the ferry or two hours for the ship to arrive in Siquijor. You will experience sailing and if you’re lucky, you can see dolphins along your way. Upon arriving, this will greet you… 🙂
2. Siquijor does not have buses and coasters that will bring you to your destination
You will never see a bus like the Ceres Bus Liner waiting outside the port or a coaster that can take you to your resort or anywhere you want to go. But, there are lots of multicabs and tricycle waiting outside that can bring you to the resort safely. Also, if you know how to drive a motorcycle, you can rent a motorcycle for a couple of hours, a day or the length of your stay. Take note, you can explore the island on your own in a day. That sounds fun, right? 🙂
3. Siquijor does not have tall buildings or establishments
Indeed! But you can find old churches, convents and bell towers that are still beautiful, & preserved. Upon exiting the port, a big “Welcome to Siquijor” will welcome you and behid that sign is one of the island’s century-old churches, St. Francis of Assissi Church, built from 1795 to 1831. Another one is the San Isidro Labrador Church at Lazi which was built on 1884 and was nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage. Across the church is the biggest convent in the country, the Lazi Convent. The convent is made up of stone and was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark. The third church was built on 1880, the Our Lady of Divine Providence Church located in the town of Maria. Another one is the San Agustin Parish Church in San Juan, Siquijor. It was established as a separate parish last 1863.
4. Siquijor does not have a beach like Boracay
Despite of having white beaches that surround the island, Siquijor is much less crowded and more peaceful compared to Boracay. The beach resorts are perfect for a day just yourself, your friends or family and the nature. Some of the resorts like Salagdoong Beach sometimes have a live band but mostly all of the resorts have keep the serenity of the place which guests would love to experience. You can swim, dive, relax and have fun all day without worrying that it will become noisy, crowded and dirty. Aside from that, the island also have resorts that offer great views and perfect relaxation.
5. Siquijor does not have shopping mall and arcade center
While you are in the island, you will not see shopping malls like SM, Ayala or even Unitop. People buy groceries in small grocery stores, purchase clothes and shoes through the direct selling MSE or small stores and avail the latest cosmetic products via Avon. You won’t even see Timezone, World of Fun or Bibbo. But rather you will see kids playing in the basketball court, the street or the playground. And for tourist like you, you should not worry about not having a mall or an arcade zone.
What is more fun than spending a day with Mother Nature, right?
6. Siqujor does not have Jollibee, Mcdo and other fastfood restaurants
If you live just by eating foods from the fastfood restaurant, then you should learn to eat real foods in Siquijor. With a lot of choices, definitely you will not get hungry and leave the island losing your weight. And by the way, if you can drop by a public beach and see fishermen, you may also experience eating freshly catch fish by the beach with your bare hands. Exciting, isn’t it? 😀
7. Siquijor does not have Zipline, ATV, and other Extreme Activities
Most of us now especially the young adults are always looking forward for an adventure when travelling. Maybe an extreme activity or something. In the island, there is not much extreme activities like Zipline, ATV or the like. But the activities you will find there are a must-try. One that is exciting and a good bonding with Mother Earth. You can try cliff diving at Salagdoong Beach, spelunking (for 2 hours) at Cantabon Cave and tarzan swing at Cambugahay Falls.
8. Siquijor does not have clubs or bars for your night life thing
As an island, Siquijodnons are used to sleeping early. Of course, exemption to this are the young ones and the tourists who would like to spend the night having fun. But having fun there does not mean going inside a bar or club (you know what I mean) because there is nothing like that there. However, you can spend a good night either by singing in the karaoke with a bottle of beer, playing or watching basketball game, dancing in the disco, stargazing or simply, talking with friends.
9. Siquijor is not an LTE-ready place
Sorry to those who live their lives with a phone and an internet. Because though you can definitely use your mobile data in the island, but there are some areas which you can’t. There are areas with limited in terms of mobile data and cellular signal. However, you should not be sad with that. Because the better communication you can develop in the island is interacting with the locals (who will be very willing to talk) and making new friends with other tourists. As they say, “There is no better communication than talking with each other.”
10. Lastly, Siquijor is a place you find it hard to leave
For the many things you can do, many places you can go, many foods you can eat, many people you can meet and many adventures and memories you can make, you’ve got one serious problem… Leaving the Island of Fire! How to leave the island if during your stay, you were able to relax, lived a simple life, a peaceful one, filled up your tummy, made friends with the people and fell in love with the province? You will surely feel that SEPARATION ANXIETY. But the moment you leave the island, treat it not as a goodbye but rather a see you again. Because when you go back, it is not just the big sign will greet you but everyone in the province will welcome you with open arms if not with open hearts! 😍
Have fun in the island. Live each day like it’s home. Make the memories stay for a lifetime. 😊
Thank you also to my friends and new-found friends in FB and IG who permitted me to repost their photos. 🙂
@megavoiceofficial (Salve Yllona Miraflor Guarino)
@katzilla (Katzilla Power)
@joyces_plural (Kristine Joyce)
To my photographer: Coleen Claire 🙂