Mystic Island — Siquijor

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sun­set at Charisma’s Resort

One of my favorite places in the Philip­pines is Siqui­jor. It is locat­ed in the Visayas. Oth­er­wise known as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire), it got the mon­ick­er because there used to be an abun­dance of fire­flies in the area, mak­ing the island look lit. Though the island is tru­ly cap­ti­vat­ing, it gained noto­ri­ety as the sorcerers’/witches’ island. There lay the attrac­tion for me. I miss Siqui­jor. I’ve always felt at home there. I’ll just let the pic­tures speak for them­selves.

Vitamin Sea

The best beach­es are at Coco Grove Beach Resort, Blue Wave Inn, Pali­ton Beach & Salag­doong Beach. If you want to splurge, go to Coco Grove. It’s the best in the island, trust me on this. The resort has big pools. I didn’t have many pic­tures of Coco Grove because I was too dazed & hap­py. Inter­net & mobile sig­nals suck, but if you’re on vaca­tion, ditch the gad­gets. The beach huts in Charisma’s Beach Resort are pret­ty & inex­pen­sive, but beach itself isn’t that great. Good thing they have a pool. Blue Wave Inn has a nice beach, strong wi-fi sig­nal & good food. It is the near­est to the pier too (around 10 min­utes?). The prices were rea­son­able, but the rooms need improve­ment. There are oth­er cheap accom­mo­da­tions but I’m only doing a review about the resorts I’ve been to.

 

Sunset Colors

 

Up & About

 

Why People  Are Really Here

When I first went there, the first thing I asked was where the witch­es & sor­cer­ers were. The usu­al reply would be there weren’t any or the sto­ries weren’t true. I kept going back to the island, and made friends with the locals. One time, when we were drink­ing, they told me all the juicy stuff. Most of them are in barangay San Anto­nio. The “scary” ones are in a place I will not say here, some­where deep in the moun­tains of Siqui­jor. Are the rumors true? Yes. Have I wit­nessed any Har­ry Pot­ter-like hap­pen­ings? Yes. Are there any aswangs? I don’t know. I hoped there was, I would have loved to meet one.

There are the sor­cer­ers for tourists, and there are the real ones. The lat­ter don’t real­ly go around announc­ing who they are. I was intro­duced to an extra­or­di­nary guy. He looked ordi­nary, I wouldn’t have guessed he was Volde­mort. Befriend locals, and they will point you to the right direc­tion. They are heal­ers too. If they can hex you, they can also reverse it.

I don’t want to say any­thing more, I might get into trou­ble (ooops, too late!). The peo­ple of the island are friend­ly. Just be respect­ful at all times when going to new place. You don’t want to go home with an extra appendage grow­ing on you, do you?

How to Get There

There are no flights to Siqui­jor. One has to go through Dumaguete first.

Mani­la-Dumaguete & Cebu-Dumaguete flights:

Philip­pine Air­lines

Cebu Pacif­ic

Cebu-Siqui­jor via Ocean­jet

This route is for lazy peo­ple like me. It makes short stopovers (15 min­utes) in Tag­bi­la­ran & Dumaguete, but you don’t have to dis­em­bark. The fare is about 1000+. Best time to leave is through the 6 am trip. You arrive in Siqui­jor around 2pm or 230 pm. You have the option to dis­em­bark in Dumaguete & ride the small­er boats instead. Ocean­jet fare would be around 950. I don’t rec­om­mend tak­ing the small­er boats if you eas­i­ly get sea sick or afraid. The seas can be rough when cross­ing to the island. It takes almost two hours to reach the island from Dumaguete.

Cebu- Dumaguete via Liloan, San­tander port

This is the cheap­est option, and short­er than the Ocean­jet route. Take a Ceres bus or van in Cebu South Ter­mi­nal. Bus trav­el is around 3.5 hours to Liloan port. Van is prob­a­bly less­er. Take the fer­ry for Sibu­lan port. The fare is around 40 I think. Trav­el time is 20–25 min­utes. Upon reach­ing Sibu­lan port, look for a tri­cy­cle to take you to Dumaguete City. Trav­el time is around 15–20 min­utes. Pay 100 if you are in a hur­ry and can’t wait for oth­er pas­sen­gers to fill the tri­cy­cle.

Best Time to Go

The best time to go is when Siqui­jor hosts the Heal­ing Fes­ti­val. It hap­pens dur­ing the Holy Week. Peo­ple flock to the island to well, get healed, that’s one, buy herbal con­coc­tions, mag­ic oils, tal­is­mans. The cen­ter of activ­i­ty is usu­al­ly at Bandi­laan Moun­tain View Park. Dur­ing the fes­ti­val, you will wit­ness how the herbs are gath­ered, cooked and pre­pared. If you think this would be the time they give away their secret ora­ciones (prayers, usu­al­ly in Latin) or ingre­di­ents, you will be disappointed—they don’t. Go there on a Holy Tues­day, or Holy Wednes­day at the lat­est. There is a surge of tourists dur­ing those times. But if you ask me, any time is the best time to go.

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