Siquijor – You don’t need to be an explorer to find fire…
Video Guide to Siquijor
The old explorers knew the best places to go. They sailed right to the center of the Visayas region in the Philippines, and they found heaven. They didn’t call it “heaven” though (probably wanted to keep the secret for themselves), but “Isla del Fuego,” the “Island of Fire.” That’s not because of volcanoes, by the way, but because of the thousands of fireflies that illuminate the tropical foliage all around the island. If you’re a world traveller, you know this island of fire and light as the center of mystic tradition and occult fascination, and you call it Siquijor. The island has quietly been gaining a reputation of being a wonderful place to holiday in. Away from the crowds, little traffic, some amazing beaches as well as some decent beach resorts Siquijor is a terrific place worth checking out. More and more people are discovering this tropical paradise in the Philippines. For more information on Siquijor you can check this great website My Siquijor
Previous Video guide to Siquijor
Resorts in Siquijor
Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort
Siquijor resort are relaxed and native-friendly, and, while they boast no five-star amenities, they have comfortable bungalows that let you stay ocean-breeze cool as you investigate the island’s enthralling history and activities. The most popular area in Siquijor to find accommodation is around the town of San Juan. Here there is a lovely beach and a ton of resorts starting from backpackers. JJ Backpackers (cell 09186 700310) has prices starting from 350 PHP (dorm), 500/600 PHP for double fan rooms with common bathroom. Treasure Island Beach Bungalows (09 154 345 679/ 092 7879 9791) has 6 rooms with the fan rooms starting from around 1000 PHP. The Bruce (0928 601-1856) had rooms starting from 1200 PHP. White Villas Resort had fan rooms from 1500 PHP for fan and 2300 PHP for air conditioned rooms. Another area that has a number of resorts is just north of Larena. This area is a bit more isolated and quieter. Some of the resorts around here include Kiwi Dive Resort, Islanders Paradise Beach Resort and Casa de la Playa Below is a list of some of the popular resorts in Siquijor.
Siquijor Tourist Attractions
Siquijor is a glorious jewel of an island, possessed of amazing limestone rock cliffs, tropical jungles, waterfalls (Cambugahay Falls and Lugnason Falls), natural caves (Cantabon Cave), a colourful butterfly sanctuary, historic sites, stunning coral reefs (offering some of the best diving in the country) and astounding white-sand beaches (Kagusuan Beach, Salagdoong Beach and San Juan Beach to name a few of the amazing beaches around the island), with the warm ocean surf adding a gentle and relaxing rhythm to island life. Please check out the video for a guide to the best tourist spots in Siquijor.
Siquijor is the home of Philippine magic and mysticism, and its festivals are fascinating for the outsider. Consider such astounding Siquijor attractions as the Folk Healing Fest, an Easter celebration where the potion-making wizards of the island create exotic brews to heal the sick and, as is recorded in the Christian legend of Jesus, raise the dead. Or, if you arrive later in the season, try the Dilaab festival in October, which honors the patron saint of animals (especially fireflies), St. Francis; he probably would have been stunned at the sight of his well-lit minions brightening the Siquijor night sky.
And—if you’re planning a wedding, and you want something out of the way and exotic, imagine a visit during September’s Solili Festival, where marriages and their rituals are celebrated in street dancing, surely the most physical and memorable way to pledge your true love.
How to get to Siquijor
Dumaguete (Negros) –
There are regular boat trips from Dumaguete pier. Regular ferries take around 1 and 1/2 hours while the fast craft take around 45 minutes.
Delta Fast Ferries (tel 63 35) 225 3128/420 1111 Approx 45 mins, depart 7.00am/10.30am/3.00pm/5.30pm. At present Delta services were suspended.
You can also fly Cebu Pacific to Dumaguete and and then catch the ferry to Siquijor.