I had always wanted to visit Siquijor island and I recently had the chance to spend enough time in this amazing island of fire. Unlike to its neighboring island, which is pretty close to visitors, Siquijor is one of the welcoming and hospitable islands in the Visayas. It is an interesting place with a unique culture.
Me and my friend took a bus ride from South Bus Terminal to Santander Port. Our itinerary is jaunt around the island and try their food delicacies and to dine at their famous restaurants.
Our journey began at Dumaguete Port, by the time we were there, the sun was already out in its full glory and a good weather-climb loomed ahead as evidenced by the clear blue sky.
We took another 1 hour and 30 minutes of a boat ride via Montenegro Shipping Lines. Upon arrival at the Siquijor Port, we quickly rented a motorbike that we can use that’s good for 2 days. The motorbike will cost you 350 PHP per day. After paying the motorbike rental fee, We quickly headed to Royal Cliff Resort where we stayed for 2 nights and 3 days. We enjoyed our first day by doing the Coastal tour on the island.
And here are the top things to do and see in the island of Siquijor
CAPILAY SPRING PARK
This spring park is open to public which is situated at the heart of San Juan, Siquijor. Also, this park is just right in the middle of the town plaza. This park has a playground, kiosk and booths which is perfect for family and friends who wants to have a picnic.
BALETE TREE AND FISH SPA
Aside from the mystical tree. My main itinerary is to dip my feet into a small pool that they called “FISH SPA”. It was indulging. The water is so clear and cool.
LAZI CHURCH- San Isidro Labrador Parish Church
The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de San Isidro Labrador), commonly known as Lazi Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Lazi, Siquijor, Philippines within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Dumaguete. It became an independent parish in 1857 under the advocacy of Saint Isidore the Laborer
The church, also known for its huge convent, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. It is also nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2006 under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension) together with the churches of Boljoon, Guiuan, Loboc and Tumauini.
The U-shaped bahay na bato convent is one of the largest convents built during the Spanish colonial era. On its first floor are stonewalls while wood panels can be found on the second floor.Its dimension is 42 meters (138 ft) by 38 meters (125 ft).It is funded by donations from parishes and missions of the Recollects.Partitions of the convent were removed but the original structure was maintained. It now houses the Siquijor Heritage Museum which has collections of important church relics and paraphernalia
After dipping into the crystal greenish-blue and cold as ice waters of Cambuhagay Falls, we quickly headed to Salagdoong Beach. The resort is well-known in the island because of its Cliff that’s best for cliff -jumping. I don’t have the pictures to show because I was very disappointed by that time. Disappointed not because of the place but to the people slash tourists who doesn’t have the proper travel etiquette.
Few minutes after, we decided to get back to the resort where we stayed and I drove for almost 1 hour from Salagdoong Beach going back to the hotel.
MT. BANDILAAN NATURAL PARK
Towering above the plains of Siquijor is the majestic Mount Bandilaan, the highest peak in the province which can be found in its midst. Rising up to 557 feet above sea level totaling 1394 feet high, Mount Bandilaan provides many opportunities of exploration such as cave spelunking, nature trekking and mountain climbing.
Viola, here we are! The weather was cooperative that day. The weather that morning is a bit gloomy, yet there’s no sign of heavy rainfall. Mt. Bandilaan is a forest sanctuary. I bet there’s a mossy part somewhere. Camp Bandilaan. When you’re at the top of the metal tower, you will see a full view of Siquijor.
LARENA TRIAD COFFEE SHOP AND RESTAURANT
The view from Larena Triad is just spectacular. It offers a vantage view of the triad of the other islands namely Negros, Cebu and Bohol. To be honest, we came all the way here just for the view and it’s really beautiful. Although the sun was piping hot during our lunch visit, the breath of fresh air gave a relaxing feeling.
One of the amazing view of Larena Triad Coffee Shop in Siquijor island, Philippines
CHASING THE SUNSET
During my first visit on the island, I was not able top chase the spectacular color of the sun that fades away. On my second visit, voila! I had the opportunity to see and chase for it.
Chasing the sunset is my favorite part when I am traveling. It will complete me and makes me feel good.
FOOD TRIP AT BAHA BAR AND RESTAURANT
Baha Ba’r has a “loungey” informal laid-back atmosphere that welcomes overseas visitors and locals alike. It prides itself on having an extensive tapas style menu that permits you to experience the best flavours of the Philippines and a cocktail drinks menu unrivalled on Siquijor if not the Visayas.
Baha Bar offers traditional cocktails inspired by local fruit and ingredients that you will definitely not find anywhere else.
ROADSIDE DELIGHT AT LILIBETH’S PAN BISAYA
We were at the tail-end of our whole-day island tour. From the Beach Port of Siquijor, Capilay Spring Park to the famous Siquijor balete tree, Cambugahay Falls, and Kagusuan Beach; we’ve been to places we’ve visited before and to new ones. And there’s definitely nothing more rewarding after such a journey than a relaxing coffee break (or beer, perhaps?) right by the beach as the sun sets far off into the horizon.
Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya is a roadside bakery located on a lonely stretch of the road along barangay Bino-Ongan. It sits right by the beach, more famous for its mangroves than its sand, which it has really none to speak of, by the way—they’re mostly crushed corals.
But we’re not really here to swim. We’re here to eat.
Siquijor’s pan bisaya is owned and operated Lilibeth Viernes-Alce, a sweet woman clad in apron who was supervising the ovens when we entered the simple hut where the bakery is set on. This thatch-roofed structure is where all the magic happens; from the mixing and kneading of the dough up to the final baking at the makeshift concrete oven—fired from below and at the top by driftwoods and coconut husks—right at the side of the hut.
WHERE TO STAY?
When visiting Siquijor, there are various of hotel accomodtauon that you can choose to stay. But, in my case, I highly recommend ROYAL CLIFF RESORT
Royal Cliff Resort is located in the paradise coastal side of the mystical island of Siquijor, nestled in beautiful and majestic rock formation. It is noted to be one of the perfect hideaways and one of the best tourist destination of the province for its breathtaking seascape, fantastic sunset and amazing coral reef.
*Photos by Google
It is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boat-sailing and other sea adventures. Royal Cliff Resort is also an idyllic place to dine. It is known for its great food and for the great people around.
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson