I had given a chance to spend my holy week break in the mystic island of Siquijor together with some of my peers and I guess it was another wonderful experience notably. We had so much fun and did some exciting island hoping activities for the rest of our stays in the Island Province of Siquijor. The couple of years that I spent in Visayas propel me to decide of exploring the quiet and relaxing environment of one of the smallest Province in the country. This time I am lucky to be joined with some of my friends and workmates who were with me for a couple of days.
Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country next to Camiguin and Batanes provinces with only six component municipalities; Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan, Enrique Villanueva and Siquijor. It is belong to Central Visayas region (Region-7) situated at the western part of Negros Oriental and Southwest of Bohol and positioned at northern part of Mindanao. Siquijor, though occupied with very least number of population but so rich in natural resources that made the place its pride, from powdery white sand beaches, caves, waterfalls and other natural adventure that invites tourists in visiting the place.
Accordingly, Siquijor is a former sub-province of Negros Oriental which was previously named by the Spaniards as “Isla del Fuego” or Island of Fire but when converted as a separate province it got its name as Siquijor. To many, this province is very famous and negatively regarded as mystical island for some believed to have full of witches and other natural phenomena. However, none of it was true when I made some inquiries over the days that I stayed thereon. Perhaps (they relate that) it was just the experience of the oldest people in the place and for being the lone province with very limited population why some believed that Siquijor is full of wonder and unexplained phenomena.
When you approach the town of Siquijor you will be surprised with the preserved ambiance of the place which is quietly relaxing mode plus the white sand with crystal clear sea water. The very first thing that you will notice is the presence of one of the oldest church in Visayas, the Saint Francis of Asisi Parish Church fronting the port that calls the attention of all people entering the place coming out from the port.
In just 3 hours drive, you can be able to room around the entire island province of Siquijor. But with some significant referrals we decided to focus our adventure at the town of Maria being the famous host of well known attractions in the province. With much amazement we prioritize visiting the Salagdoong Beach, Mt. Bandilaa Nature Park and Cambugahay waterfalls among other things and tourist destinations that common in Siquijor.
One of the distinctive marine attractions in Siquijor particularly in the town of Maria is the Salagdoong beach. It is a unique and romantic hideaway with powdery white sand and clear-blue water that makes-up the island’s shoreline.
Mt. Bandilaan Nature Park is another thing that satisfied and fulfilled my adventure. It is said to be 557 feet tall and when you are on top you can view the entire island of Siquijor. Its position is in the highest part of the island so far that enables you to view the island circumference and the neighboring land provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Neg.Or.
Other attractions in this park is the presence of several caves and natural springs and the ceremonial way of the cross wherein 3 big crosses are built in the top of the mountain.
HOW TO GET THERE?
From Cebu, there are two options. First one is thru land travel via south Cebu. Ceres bus going to Liloan Port in Santander and 30 minutes fast craft ferry going to Sibulan, Dumaguete then Dumaguete port to Siquijot that can be travelled to usually an hour if regular boat and 30-45 minutes if fast craft.
Another option from Cebu is through Fast Craft Ocean Jet but this requires a very long sea travel time because the fast craft has to dock first in Tagbilaran and Dumaguete before directly going to Siquijor. It would take 5-6 hours in Fast Craft if through ocean Jet.
There is no other way than of via Dumaguete port when going to Siquijor. It might perhaps a stressful travel before you reach the place but all your tiresome travel experience will be compensated with so much amazing experience if you already get there.
This is my first documented province visit this year and im proud that I made it in visayas along with my work, interest and field of travel and relaxation. Thanks to Gerald, Joseph,Mithc, Russel, Vert, Che, Jao,and Jessan.