Siquijor has a few nicknames that describe its personality: as the “Island of Fire”, as the early Spaniards dubbed it because of the glow it gave off due to the island’s abundance of fireflies, and “healing island” because of the presence of many folk healers and shamans up to this day. But the real mystique and allure of Siquijor lies in its sheer beauty and laid back vibe, which is both feisty and soothing, exciting and relaxing. Here are a few places where you can experience both in Siquijor.

Aerial view of Paliton Beach. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Siquijor’s serene beaches. Siquijor has a good mix of beaches for those who either want a more secluded getaway or a lively spot where they can soak up the locale. The beaches of San Jose such as Paliton Beach are lined with local stalls selling fresh seafood and refreshments – it even has a floating bar docked closely to the coconut-tree-lined shore. The beaches of Maria, like Salagdoong Beach, offer a quieter, more rugged beauty where you can go cliff-jumping and snorkeling.

One of Cambugahay Falls’ three cascades. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The healing waters of Cambugahay Falls. The sight of Cambugahay Falls’ clear turquoise waters alone is a soothing sight, but a dip will make you feel even more refreshed – which locals believe has healing properties. It has three basins, some of which have tarzan swings and bamboo rafts. There are also some tables on the side and stalls that sell skewers such as grilled hotdogs and saba.

San Isidro Labrador (Lazi Church) facade. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Iconic 18th-century churches. Siquijor also has a lot of pilgrimage sites such as the San Isidro Labrador or Lazi Church, which is an 1884 nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Baroque Churches of the Philippines and the St. Francis de Assisi Church and Convent.

Aerial view of Mt. Bandilaan’s view deck. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Mt. Bandilaan National Park. The island is just as beautiful from great heights. Mt. Bandilaan National Park offers a sweeping view of Siquijor and a paved uphill path for those looking for a quick, easy hike while on the island. It also features an installation of the Stations of the Cross, which makes it a popular pilgrimage site especially during Holy Week.

Bolo-bolo healing experience. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Folk healing traditions. Regardless of beliefs, learning about folk culture helps one learn more about a place and its culture and traditions. Try the bolo-bolo healing experience, purchase herbal infusions and remedies (made in compliance with Department of Health standards), or bring home a piece of protective or luck-bearing charm in the form of an accessory or totem crafted by the island’s healers and artisans. The island’s healing powers run deep, if you let yourself get immersed in it.

Discover more destinations to see, experience, and savor in Siquijor. Visit this link to map out your next journey across the Philippines. 

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