The Enchanting Beauty of Siquijor

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Photo by: kathyfitts.blogspot.com

The Spaniards named this small island in the Visayas, Siquijor or Isla del Fuego. Stories told that the name was given due to the intensity of fireflies that lie some 22 km east of Southern Negros. It was said that Siquijor rose from the sea during one of the tremendous thunderstorms as evidenced by fossils and shells which can still be found in Mount Bandila-an, the highest point of Siquijor. The small island boasts of a white sand beach coastline and a mountainous interior.

Apart from the beauty of the island, Siquijor has become known for the existence of witches and the practice of witchcraft among some residents of the island. These are folk legends to some, but reality to others. It’s up to you to decide whether to believe or not. What is important is that when visitors come to Siquijor, they should always be polite and should always exercise caution and respect to the residents.

There are numerous places of interest to see in Siquijor, which include:

  • salagdoong resortSalagdoong Beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in the island. It is found 6 kms northeast of Maria. Its beachfront is separated by a small rocky hill or hummock which can be climbed to have and enjoy a better view of the entire beach. Among the local and international visitors, Salagdoong Beach is great for swimming and snorkeling. Tourists can enjoy good water slides and diving spots as well.

  • Kagusuan Beach. This beach is known for its picturesque seascape and rock formation, as it is situated below a cliff and accessible through a concrete staircase. This beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and overnight camping as it is uncrowded, and secluded.

  • Cambugahay Falls. It is located 2 km north of the town of Lazi and is one of the attractions in Siquijor. Defined by cascading multi-tiered waterfalls, with fresh and clean warm water coming from watersheds, natural springs, and small rain forests. Beautiful swimming lagoons are formed downstream where tourists can get a refreshing dip in the water.

  • capilay spring parkCapilay Spring Park. This is a natural spring-fed swimming pool located in the town of San Juan. It is a neat hang-out place of locals during weekends. It is well-maintained and very clean, with some nice-looking cottages where tourists can rest and relax.

  • Cantabon Cave. This is no ordinary cave. It has not been developed for commercial purposes which make people want to see and explore the caves. The cave is known for the impressive group of stalactites and stalagmites among the 45 other caves in the island, the trail to its very end can be difficult. Local guide is required.

  • siquijor butterfly sanctuaryButterfly Sanctuary. The 200-square meter enclosure houses 20 to 25 species of butterflies. It serves as a showcase of pupa, larva and live butterflies procreated from the owner’s butterfly garden in Cang-agong Siquijor.

  • San Isidro Labrador Convent. This is known as the biggest and one of the oldest convents in the Philippine constructed by the Spaniards in 1887 and was completed in 1894. The convent is declared as a historical landmark by the Philippine Historical Commission.

Siquijor boasts of really good diving sites around the island, especially in southern end of the island. Coral reefs offer the best diving opportunities for snorkelers and scuba divers. Siquijor was declared a marine reserve in 1978.

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