Mystical Siquijor: Another Mother-Daughter Trip

April 20, 2024 Travel

My mom is quite the character. Like many others, she had reservations about our Siquijor trip, and until we reached the port, she was thinking of skipping this leg of our journey. You know, a lot of people, including her, grew up hearing spooky stories about witchcraft in Siquijor. But now, she proudly tells everyone she shares our vacation stories with that Siquijor is one of her favorite destinations.

Siquijor Island is famous for its mysterious healers and 'white magic' practitioners, shrouding the island with a veil of mysticism. This reputation has endured through generations, with mananambals inheriting ancient healing traditions that emphasize the use of natural elements in their practices.

We spent four days on the island, with two days devoted solely to relaxation and travel, and the two days in between exploring both coastal and mountain destinations of the island.

St. Francis de Asisi Church welcomes everyone to Siquijor

Our Coastal Tour

Mystical healers aren't the only attraction on the island. Siquijor is also renowned for its stunning beaches and waterfalls. 

Our tour began at Pitogo Cliff, situated on the southwestern side of the island facing the breathtaking Sulu Sea. Named after the Pitogo trees in the area, this spot offers a 40-foot cliff, best enjoyed during high tide for safety. It also features ten and 20-foot jumping-off points usable even during low tide, although we visited mainly for picturesque backgrounds.

Next, we visited the Century-Old Balete Tree in Lazi, a 400-year-old giant known as the oldest and largest in Siquijor. What adds to its mystique is a natural spring flowing beneath it, where we enjoyed a quick foot spa by dipping our feet into the water and letting fish nibble dead skin.

Our next stop was Hapitanan for a broom shoot. This charming café has staff skilled in capturing the iconic witch-flying-on-a-broomstick shot from an elevated pedestal, embracing the island's folklore.

Following Hapitanan, we explored Lazi Church and Convent, two popular sites attracting even non-Catholics. 

The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, or Lazi Church, located in Lazi municipality, is a Roman Catholic treasure recognized by the National Museum of the Philippines.

The church as viewed from the Lazi Convent

Lazi Convent

After this spiritual visit, we headed to Cambugahay Falls, a must-see for its three tiers of blue waters and local guides known as "human drones." These guides are adept at capturing captivating videos for tourists, including vine swinging.

Our tour also included visits to two renowned beaches - Salagdoong and Paliton Beach. 

Salagdoong Beach in Maria town boasts two beautiful coves with coconut palms and white sand. Tourists also come here to cliff jump. 

Paliton Beach in San Juan town also has human drones and cozy food huts serving fresh seafood and cold beverages.

Paliton Beach was our last stop, and by late afternoon, we returned to our resort, allowing us time to refresh before enjoying a stunning sunset at Shaka Café in San Juan.

Our Mountain Tour

We skipped breakfast at our resort and kicked off our third day on the island with breakfast at one of its highest viewpoints.

Larena Triad Coffee Shop is a place I often visit in Siquijor, which is why I suggested starting our Mountain Tour there. There's nothing quite like starting the day with a cup of coffee while enjoying an amazing view.

Our next stop was the Butterfly Sanctuary. Since we had limited stops in our itinerary due to skipping a few attractions for my 76-year-old mom, we briefly passed by this sanctuary. This is a conservation project aimed at saving the remaining butterfly species on the island.

Following this, we reached the highlight of our second tour - Siquijor’s highest peak, Mt. Bandilaan. It's just a fifteen-minute walk up, possibly even less. This mountain holds cultural significance as a sacred place where healers gather herbs and perform rituals during Holy Week, akin to Mt. Banahaw.

Mt. Bandilaan spans a stunning 212 hectares, rising 557 meters above sea level as the highest peak in the province. At its apex stands a 15-meter tall viewing tower, offering nature enthusiasts a 360-degree panoramic view of the entire island.

Next on our agenda was lunch at Lambojon Terraces, La Canopée. It's one of the best spots in Siquijor for relaxation and dining, with an amazing view of the island. Their hammocks are popular lounge areas, especially during sunset.

We had planned to visit another popular coffee shop, Bucafe, but unfortunately, it was closed.

Since it was early, and we had already visited all the spots on our itinerary for the day, I suggested a visit to U Story. I had heard positive reviews about this resort and was eager to experience it firsthand. However, I initially thought they might still be closed, as I had heard they only open during summer.

My Mom and I at U Story

True to its reputation, the resort was beautiful. Perched on a cliffside, it features villas and a restaurant serving a wide variety of food. We opted to indulge in dessert here while soaking in the beach view, giving us yet another reason to plan a return trip to Siquijor.

Where We Stayed

It took us a while to decide if we were going, and by the time we started booking, all the resorts I had in mind were fully booked. Luckily, I found Seaview Resort online. Our room was reasonably priced at only P 1,500.00 per night. It had a balcony and a comfortable bed. The best part about this resort is its proximity to Tawhay, one of Siquijor’s most popular restaurants.

How to Get to Siquijor:

There are several routes to reach Siquijor, with the island accessible only by ferry from neighboring islands. For us, coming from Negros Island, the most convenient route was via Dumaguete.

Getting around the island is easy, especially for budget travelers. Tricycles for rent are available at the port. We rented one for P 1,500.00 per day, and the rates were standardized. Our driver, Regin (09161273873), not only knew the island well but also had a knack for capturing great photographs.


Other Good Travels