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3 days and 2 nights at The Healing Paradise – Siquijor.


Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

Siquijor is the third smallest province in the Philippines, it only has six municipalities namely Siquijor, San Juan, Maria, Larena, Lazi and Enrique Villanueva. It is popular with the locals because of its famous folklore about witches, shamans and about their healing and destroying powers. This is perhaps the reason why Siquijor was hailed to be one of the most interesting place to visit by Lonely Planet.

Sure, that deciding to visit this island was never easy as deciding to visit islands like Camiguin or Boracay, but the thought of seeing and experiencing the island beyond how the old folks define it is something that I cannot let go. So the first thing I did was read a few blogs and noted the things that we can do while on the Island. Then I was in contact with Tomas, he’s the owner of the Tori’s backpackers Inn in San Juan, Siquijor where I booked a two night stay for two. Surprisingly, it’s as simple as that. Then, off we went to the mystical Island.
Our flight departed at 8:00am from Manila to Dumagute with 9:15am ETA. The flight was delayed for a bit, but we were able to reach Dumaguete before 10 in the morning. We had a quick meal at Sans Rival in Dumaguete then walked along Roxas Blvd to the Port. Luckily, we caught a boat which was leaving in less than 10 minutes after our purchase.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stopSiquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

The boat ride to Siquijor was around an hour and a half so we were there before 12PM. Upon arriving, the beautiful turquoise beach with its very clear water welcomed us. We went straight to the tricycle drivers who were lined up outside the port. We were approached by a driver asking us if we need a tour guide and provided us the options pointing to a huge rate board which was prepared by their tourism department for tourists’ awareness. He also directed us to the Islands’ tourism booth to get a map and prove that he is indeed a registered tour guide. After having all the information, we decided to take his service and ask if he can for drive us to the resort and we’ll take the tour the next day. That starts our day1.

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At Tori’s Backpackers Inn we met the owner Tomas and her wife Ria, both are very friendly and accommodating. After having our things fixed at our room we had a late lunch at Tori’s bar, then went back at our room to freshen up. We thought of going out after and walk along San Juan beach going to the swimmable area which is at the front of Cocogrove Beach resort to catch the sunset. But we were so relaxed that we fell asleep till past two am. I can’t say it was a total mess, but you know the horrible part of it is waking up hungry and have nothing to do but browse your FB and IG page up and down??

Anyways, we enjoyed the sunrise a few hours after. San Juan beach is not only blessed by a very nice sunset but also with a very refreshing view of morning hue.

6am when we started the tour, our driver was there on time.

 

Enchanted Balete Tree & Fish Spa


Our first stop from San Juan is at the 400 hundred year-old Balete tree. They believed that it’s enchanted because it grew right above a stream that according to the locals never runs dry even on a long summer season. The stream had some fishes, mostly are what they called pait-pait, those were the tiny little fish used for Fish Spa. The fish spa is quite cool, I never tried it before, so I made sure to experience it here. I enjoyed it for a second, but I can’t stand a minute with those little fishes tickling me to the bones. So we moved over to our next stop.

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San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent in Lazi Siquijor


This church was a simple yet architecturally amazing one. It is made of indigenous corals and hardwood – tugas (Molave). Like its convent, this church was also declared as a national heritage site and not to mention that it’s one of the Philippines most outstanding Heritage Churches.

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San Isidro Labrador Covent – This convent was hailed to be the largest in the Philippines. It was constructed in 1887 and was completed in 1894 and is now a declared heritage site.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

 

Cambugahay Falls


Cambugahay Falls is located in a secluded place from the main road. It is composed of many layers, making it a nice trekking site for those who has enough time to do so. Most of its visitors would indulge a long dip in its clear and cold water while we chose not to because of its strong flow at that time of our visit.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

Salagdoong Beach,


Salagdoong Beach is where we spent most of our day, skinny dipping and snorkeling. It’s a paradise, although I have heard that Kagusuan beach which was closed due to an ongoing development that time is prettier. I am not complaining though, we personally loved our stay here and we can even stay here for a month more given a chance.

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Tulapas Marine Santuary


Before 3PM, we came back to the city passing by Tulapas Marine Santuary, we didn’t make a stop anymore because of the scorching heat of the sun. The view from our slow moving vehicle is enough, but I also hope to take a long walk next time.

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Back In Siquijor, Siquijor.

St. Francis of Assisi Church


This church is actually a sight away from the port area, it is where the famous “Welcome to Siquijor” greeting was built. While in this church I came along with vendors selling fresh sea urchins, according to them this is a known food of the locals so I bought one for the experience. To complete this mini food trip we also grabbed a cassava cake to pair as suggested by Kuya driver (forgot his name but his contact number is this 09208286604 just in case you need it), I thought it’s a nice idea for a snack later back at the inn.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stopSiquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

Capilay Spring Park


Before finally going back to our stay, we quickly dropped by at the Capilay Spring Park. It is a huge spring pool where you can enjoy swimming and relaxation, located at the heart of the town plaza.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

Back in Tori’s Backpackers Inn, I prepared a little sea urchin in a plate, sat by the beach front and tasted it. I hate the taste! I don’t like it, but I like the Cassava cake. After finishing the half of that huge cake I didn’t notice that I felt at sleep at the swing. Thanks to my travel buddy for taking this candid shot of mine, I hope next time you tell me you’re taking one.

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Sunset Viewing


Then came the beautiful sunset. The asset of San Juan beach.

Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop Siquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stopSiquijor Tour and Dumaguete short stop

We had our early dinner with the other backpackers. Also had a nice chat with one of them. That time we were told that we should have had a motorbike instead of the guided tour. We learned that it is cheaper and that would give us more access to a lot more places, especially those that were in the high area where tricycles are restricted due to stiff road. We don’t regret anything though, but it made us think that we should come back. Don’t you think?

Travelling Dumaguete - Siquijor- - Toris Backpacker's Inn 6686
When the night is young and the breeze is cold then take a drink,
make it two and enjoy! Cheers!




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Christeen is a 20 something Filipina, a student of life and a corporate employee who travels as she possibly can. Off from work, she's into crafting, fashion designing, taking photos, practicing yoga and telling stories from her journeys.

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