Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Siquijor 2015: Exploring All of the Island in One Day

I know it has already been weeks since this trip happened, but what still baffles me in happiness is how clean all forms of water in Siquijor Island are. Everything is just unbelievably clean and clear. The moment we stepped foot on the port, I was already amazed at how blue green, not brown, the water was, to think that we were on the port. And this condition, I think, is not merely because the locals are taking utmost care of their falls and beaches but simply because these gems have not yet been ransacked or abused by outsiders knowing that the place has not yet been fully commercialized.
Diamond De Siquijor Beach Resort
We were prepped for a day of touring around the island, never on pause. We would either be in transit from town to town in our ever so comfortable multicab, catching our breaths after an uphill and downhill trekking, whisking water here and there while soaked in some naturally flowing water or taking photographs at whatever we would turn our heads to because everything was just photogenic.
Even when we didn’t go swimming at Lugnason Falls since it was a bit crowded with locals on the day of our visit, I have to say it was still great seeing this beautiful piece of nature. The area is just small enough that the moment you step in front of it, you can already see its entirety. It radiates calm from every angle, the kind of calm you only get when around nature, so I bet it would’ve been really nice to hang out there if not for the number of people that time.
Cambugahay Falls, on the other hand, was where we had more fun. Aside from swimming along two layers of cold flowing water while being blanketed by shady trees, it was really the long and thick baging (vine/creeper) that won us over. We would swing with it like kids in the wild, let go and end up swimming in the water. Then we’d do it over again. And again. This is how they spell out playtime in the province.

In between water activities were visits at some of the island’s architectural landmarks like that of St. Isidore The Farmer Catholic Church which is said to be the oldest church on the island and, just right across from it, an old convent which, though not functional anymore, still exudes historical value.
A quick stop at the old Enchanted Balete Tree was something of a break considering all the travelling we were doing around Siquijor. Instead of scaring us out, this huge tree which was said to have been there since hundreds of years ago was a rather marvelous sight. The natural fish spa by the area was another treat for us. 
Different kinds of fish nibbled on our toes, and none of us could endure such sensation for long because it was very, very ticklish. Well, except Joson. She had too much fun there.
Love potions on sale!
Truth be told, I didn’t know Siquijor has quite an assemblage of scenic beaches. We were lucky enough to enjoy two of them. The best spots were saved for last.

Kagusuan Beach was where we chilled out and talked the longest that late afternoon. As told by our tour guide, the beautiful Kagusuan Beach once catered to a commercial resort. There was very little left of the previous establishment, but the few remaining relics added drama to the feel of the beach. 
Kagusuan is like the cotton candy of beaches. It has the softness of pastel colors everywhere – the water, the foam, the sky. Yummy seas!
We capped off our tour at Salagdoong Man-made Forest and Beach Resort. 
It is a favorite among tourists because it’s a great spot for cliff diving and sliding. The resort has two ramp levels for cliff diving, one 25-feet and one 30-feet high from the water, and a slide lower for less adventurous tourists. But for really boring people like Jusz, Katrina and me, we opted to just watch and support our brave friends. Tita Pabs, Faith and Joson accepted the challenge of jumping off the 25-feet high ramp. This didn’t happen quickly, though, as it took all three of them a total of another three hours, more or less, before being able to let go and jump which also earned Tita Pabs a bruise so huge that made people think she underwent some frat initiation rite. Funny! But still, good job, you guys!
Contrary to what one may initially think about the people of Siquijor Island, the locals we met had been nice and accommodating during our entire stay. I guess we just expected worse because of all the weird stories we heard about this place. Oh well, so much for myths and urban legends.
Big thanks to Kuya Joam for being the informative and accommodating guide who really took good care of us. He also made sure we get our money’s worth by giving us the total Siquijor experience. He would stop where he knew we could take pretty photographs even when it was in the middle of the road. Faith found out about him through a blog, so I’m also going to recommend him here if you want your trip to be just as fun as ours.

At the end of the day, beyond all the urban legends attached to its roots and people, Siquijor Island is but a virginal beauty that has so much to offer. I am just so blessed to have discovered and experienced this paradise firsthand. I stepped foot on this island without a clue as to what would welcome us here and went home rich with memories and a newfound respect for this treasure. Siquijor simply blew me away.

*Photos by Erika Pablo, Katrina Tolentino, Faith Ugates, and yours truly!

You may contact Kuya Joam at 0927-693-2095.

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