Siquijor Island is located in the Central Visayas region of The Philippines. It lies south of Negros Island and is the third smallest province. It is also dubbed as the Land of Fire. Siquijor is probably one of the islands that’s never been visited frequently by Filipinos because of the old terrifying tales that surround the island.
Rumor has it that Siquijor is the land of black magic, infamous for its sorcerers whose practice of dark magic is really terrifying. Up to this day, Filipinos still believe that Siquijor shelters these powerful dark sorcerers that’s why only few attempts to visit the island and discover its beauty.
I grew up listening to those rumors about Siquijor but that doesn’t stop me from believing that there’s a silver lining behind those terrifying stories. So, I’ve decided to explore the island on my own and discover the allure of Siquijor.
How to get there
- If you’re coming from Manila, book a flight going to Dumaguete. At Dumaguete Port, there are ferries and fast crafts bound for Siquijor and Larena Port. The travel time is approximately 1 hour.
- From Cebu or Bohol, there are ferries bound for Siquijor and Larena Port.
Where to stay
I stayed at Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise. It is located in San Juan, Siquijor and is one of the cheapest hotels dedicated to backpackers like me. Tori’s is just a few walks away from the beach. Though the beach is not a fine white sand, it is one of the best spots for sunset watching in the area.
The hotel has a bar and restaurant that offers different food varieties from Filipino to Western. I ordered Chicken Tinola and I have to admit that theirs is an unusual version because of so much vegetables and pepper in it. It tastes good, though. Chicken Tinola is a ginger and onion based soup with chicken as the main ingredient and is an authentic Filipino main dish.
The room I got was a double-bed bedroom with fan and a shared shower that costs Php 650.00 per night. Reasonably priced considering that the room was good and invigorating.
I love the room because it was refreshing and made me feel that I was really on a vacation.
Tori’s has a very strict rule on checking in and out. The check-out time is at exactly 12:00 nn and the check-in time is at exactly 2:00 p.m. I arrived at 11:30 a.m. and had to wait in their garden terrace until 2:00 p.m. before checking-in to my room. There’s a wifi in the garden terrace area so you won’t get bored at all while waiting. Here’s the problem: when I was about to check-in to my room, I found out that they haven’t cleaned it yet. I can’t believe them imposing strict rules but forgot to clean the room within 2 hours! So much to my dismay, I’ve waited again in the garden terrace area until they finish cleaning the room. It was almost 3:00 p.m. when I finally checked-in.
Before the sun sets, I’ve decided to have a walk along the beach.
After just about a couple of minutes, heavy rainfalls started to pour. Because of this, I didn’t get a chance to watch the beautiful sunset.
The tour around the island
The following day, the weather was still bad but that didn’t stop me to have a tour around the island. I booked a tour with Siquijor Tourist Transport for Php 700.00 using a Habal-Habal or single motorcycle. Our first stop was the Enchanted Balete Tree.
Enchanted Balete Tree
The 400-year old enchanted Balete Tree in Lazi, Siquijor is claimed to have healing powers. The most unusual about the tree is the spring from under its roots that flows directly into a man-made pool with doctor fish in it. For an entrance fee of Php 10.00, you can enjoy a fish spa under a huge Balete tree.
San Isidro Labrador Church
Built from marine corals in 1884, the San Isidro Labrador Church in Lazi is the oldest church in Siquijor.
I wanted to go inside the church to see the architectures but unfortunately, it was closed.
One of the main attractions in Siquijor is the Cambugahay Falls. It is a majestic 3-level cascading waterfalls that has a clear blue green water and is famous for the “Tarzan” jump.
After a series of steps going down the falls and even though the weather was bad, I was in awe when I first glanced the waterfalls. I was very lucky to own the place all to myself because I started my tour very early aside from the fact that I braved the heavy downpour.
Since it was raining, the color of the water turned from blue green to emerald green. In the upper level of the waterfalls, there is a rope tied to one of the trees that you can use to jump directly into the water like Tarzan, thus, the “Tarzan” jump. The water is also deep-enough for cliff jumping.
Cambugahay Falls is an evidence that Siquijor is really enchanted because who would’ve ever wanted to leave this beautiful place?
One of the best beaches in Siquijor is the Salagdoong Beach in the town of Maria. On the way going to the beach, you’ll pass by a road within a lush green man-made forest of Molave trees.
Salagdoong Beach is not a fine white sand beach but it’s water is still clear blue amidst the bad weather.
One of the things that you’ll surely love about the beach is cliff jumping if you are not afraid of heights.
My tour guide jumped 35ft into paradise.
As far as I know, you can jump off the cliff as much as you like but remember that there are no lifeguards on duty along the beach.
Dubbed as the “Little Boracay” of Siquijor, Paliton Beach is a fine white sand beach that can be really compared to Boracay Island. It is a private stretch of white sand beach that’s part of Coco Grove Resort (the most beautiful resort in Siquijor).
Capilay’s Spring Park
Capilay’s Spring Park is a public park in San Juan, Siquijor that has a natural cold spring pool. The natural spring park is right in the middle of the town plaza and is free for everyone who wants to take a plunge into the clean and refreshing spring waters.
There’s also a playground and booths around the park which are perfect for families who want to spend quality time.
Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya
On the way going to Salagdoong Beach, my tour guide brought me to a small bakery to have a taste of “Pan Bisaya” or bisaya bread. Bisaya is the local dialect of Siquijor.
We completed the tour for about 5 hours and I have to admit that there are other places that I haven’t visited like the marine sanctuaries, butterfly sanctuaries and other beaches. Siquijor is also home to a lot of fireflies. There are resorts that offer the firefly watching tour like Villa Marmarine.
Budget and Itinerary
Since it is just a part of my 4D3N Negros Oriental-Siquijor solo backpacking, I spent just an overnight stay at Siquijor. Here’s my estimated budget and sample itinerary:
|10:00 AM||ETD Dumaguete Port|
|11:00 AM||ETA Siquijor Port|
|11:20 AM||ETA Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise|
|4:30 PM||Walk along the beach|
|8:00 PM||Lights out|
|6:30 AM||Start of Tour|
|Enchanted Balete Tree|
|San Isidro Labrador Church and Lazi Convent|
|Capilay’s Spring Park|
|11:30 AM||End of Tour|
|1:00 PM||ETD Siquijor Port|
|GL Lines Fast Craft Ferry From Dumaguete to Siquijor||160|
|Tricycle to Tori’s Backpackers’ Paradise from Siquijor Port||150|
|Tori’s Backpackers’ Paradise Room||650|
|Enchanted Balete Tree Parking and Entrance Fee||15|
|Cambugahay Falls Parking Fee||15|
|Salagdoong Beach Entrance (20 each including the Guide) and Parking Fee||45|
|Tricycle from Tori’s Backpackers’ to Siquijor Port||100|
|Fast Craft Ferry going back to Dumaguete||150|
|Total Damage||2, 315|
- From Siquijor Port, you will be welcomed by a group of tricycle drivers that will offer to bring you to your choice of hotel for Php 250.00 since it is a special trip. Note: There are public tricycles near the market outside the port and it will just cost you Php 25.00. In my case, my tour guide fetched me at the port without asking me first. Since he was already there, I have no choice but to ride on his tricycle which costs me Php 150.00. He also fetched me from the resort going to the Port the following day for Php 100.00.
- For ferry schedules from Dumaguete to Siquijor please click here.
- For the list of resorts in Siquijor, check out this blog.
- You may contact Siquijor Tourist Transport via their facebook page.
- Bring a lot of water and snacks on the tour.
- Globe doesn’t have a signal at Tori’s.