Located in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines, Siquijor is an island province bounded by Cebu and Negros to the northwest, Bohol to the northeast, Mindanao Island to the south across the Bohol Sea. It is the third smallest province in the country in terms of population and land area. Used to be known as Island of Fire or Isla del Fuego, Siquijor is enveloped by mystic traditions which the growing tourism industry is capitalizing on. The mystical island of Siquijor is known to have magic potions, shamans, witches and sorcerers and for many Filipinos it is never safe to wander at night.
Siquijor is just about an hour boat ride from Dumaguete City which provides the easiest and fastest access to the island. Other access points are Bohol and Cebu. The province is made up of 102 kilometer coastline of white sand beaches, making it a popular travel destination among local and foreign tourists alike. The island offers rich and vast coral reefs found in perfect scuba diving and snorkeling sites.
The island is defined by a hilly terrain with spectacular white rock formations that have been interestingly shaped by the changing winds. It has a total of six interesting caves, the most popular of which is the Cantabon Cave. This is a cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites, tiny waterfalls and pools. The island has rivers and springs surrounded by dense and thick mangroves and an unexploited lush tropical forest.
- Salagdoong Beach Resort. This is the perfect island getaway. The resort offers amenities and services including an island tour of the historical spots such a century old house and equally ancient cathedrals and convents, Mount Bandilaan Butterfly Sanctuary and Tree Park and the Cambugahay Falls in Lazi. Salagdoong Beach Resort is secretly tucked away in a cove a rewarding view of the shoreline.
- Siquijor Marine Reserve. Declared as a marine reserve in 1978, Siquijor is proud to have an untouched marine wildlife hidden beneath the sparkling blue waters. The crystal clear waters of Siquijor boast of a diver’s playground with a breathtaking rainbow of life – parrotfish, damselfish and lapu-lapu are just some of the many inhabitants of the reefs.
- The Old Cang-isok House. This is a celebrated treasure of the province of Siquijor due to the fact that it has been there for over a century and yet it has withstood the test of times. The old house is made from native and indigenous materials like bamboo and nipa sheets and good quality hardwood specifically tugas. It is an interesting piece of art showing detailed engineering solid construction. It has surprisingly stood firm against many storms in the region. The old house is located three kilometers from the Siquijor town and is probably the oldest house not only in Siquijor but in the entire region as it was built in the mid-1800s.
- St. Francis of Assisi Church and Bell Tower. The church was built in 1870. It was made up mostly of corals and the church is located in the town of Siquijor near the local pier or port. The church has its own watch tower or bell tower built to protect and forewarn the island folks of approaching pirates and other adversaries in the past.
- Cambugahay Waterfalls. Rumors and folktales have it that this is the only enchanted waterfalls in the province. This multi-tiered waterfall is a soothing and refreshing retreat where clear and warm water can soothe your nerves. A magnificent backdrop is provided by the lush trees.
Siquijor is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines that is rarely explored by the locals. This may be due to the myth encapsulated in the island paradise. But once you saw its beauty, all the myths told about the island will immediately fade for its unseen and undisturbed magnificence will surely melt anyone’s heart. Anyone who had been to the small island paradise can attest to its majestic presents.
You can rent a motorcycle, a tricycle or a multi-cab to wander around the island. Motorcycles are rented on a 24-hour basis which excludes the gasoline, while the tricycle and multi-cab are rented on a daily basis which includes the driver for the tricycle while you have the option to drive the multi-cab or hire a driver for it.
People inhabiting the island are friendly and are well-versed in both Filipino and English. There’s nothing to worry about language barrier and local being unaccommodating that’s why increasing number of Europeans is visiting the island all year round.
The Philippines offers a variety of scenery, activities and even culture. It has been one of the most visited countries around Southeast Asia wherein tourists would rather wander around different places with the limited time they have proving that the country offers nothing but good memories and experience to those who pay a visit.
How to Get to Suquijor
From Dumaguete City
Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental, is accessible from Manila via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. From Dumaguete Airport in Sibulan, ride a multican to take you to the downtown. The Port of Dumaguete is at the northern end of the Boulevard.
At the Port of Dumaguete, there are numerous departures of fast craft and ferry to Siquijor daily starting at 5:45 AM and as late as 7PM. Fast craft rate is P160 one-way, travel time is one hour. RoRo ferry rate is P115 one-way with almost two hours of voyage.
From Cebu City, Oslob, Tagbilaran and Iligan
The ports of Cebu, Tagbilaran and Iligan have direct links to Siquijor by ferry or boat. Meanwhile, Oslob in South Cebu, has a direct link to the town of Larena, Siquijor.