When I told some of my friends that I am going to explore Siquijor on my own, words like scary, witch and the like instantly came out of their mouths. These and a couple of occult warnings which could send chills up your spine if you are someone not keen to the supernatural. Well, I can say I am one adventurous gal and I can no longer postpone a visit to this island province much longer. So when a chance to book an uber cheap round trip ticket to Dumaguete came up last year, I reserved right away.
It was supposed to be a five day sojourn, but my work schedule didn’t allow it. I trimmed down my vacation to four days and voila, I was still able explore Siquijor for two whole days, my eyes and heart all full.
The heavens answered my prayers when the sun decided to hold a sunny novena for the whole week. I was ecstatic as I know I could see the full beauty of the seas with that kind of weather. And when the vessel I was in slowly approached Siquijor’s shores, I found myself holding my breathe as I could only stare in awe. Blue greens and clear waters greeted me on the onset of my vacation. And at that moment I knew I was completely enamored.
I was up and about as early as six since I didn’t want my tour guide waiting past our agreed time of 8 AM. Kuya Joam was supposed to fetch me but it was Tata who was enlisted as my guide/chauffeur that day. He was kind and nice and took good pictures too!
Kanheron Museum was not part of the usual island tour itinerary. But I was glad that my guide suggested visiting here since it showcases antique stuff from the Midwestern US. And you should know by now that I am a sucker for these kind of things.
The owner of the place, Daryk Cuaresma, hails from Siquijor and was into the art of woodcarving into art. He and his family is currently settled in the USA but they go home once in a while. Mr Cuaresma obviously has the eye for the good old things and has an exquisite talent too! He carves images from wood – so good his creations were that I assumed these were paintings from a distance.
I was looking forward to jumping off the cliff at Salagdoong Beach Resort. But before that stomach-churning adventure, we passed by some obscure spots and stopped for a quick snack.
I wasn’t really planning on doing some major water activity. But I thought I was already there and the blue sea didn’t help in making me say no. So I said yes and for about an hour I snorkeled in open waters.
And oh boy, I was so glad that I didn’t pass up on this one. It was my first time to see a huge school of Barracudas, a sea turtle in open waters and a dancing and too cute Nemo! 😀
Our lunch was spent at Salagdoong Beach Resort. Here I found the beaches really nice. But I wasn’t able to swim because I was so concentrated in mustering enough courage to jump at the cliff. My stomach was in knots the whole time we were there. It was actually not my first time to jump. I did this two years ago in Boracay.
But I really wanted to do it so after some gentle coaxing from my guide, and the fear of lagging behind our schedule, I jumped in the end and conquered the 35 foot high cliff.
I only jumped once since the photos and videos taken were all good. I smiled to myself since another bucket list have been accomplished that day. But I guess it would be sometime again before I do a similar feat. My mom and a few friends called me crazy. And I guess I was. 😀
It was only upon leaving Salagdoong beach that I regret not being able to swim even for a while. The water looked so cool and inviting! But I think that’s a sign for me to come back again in Siquijor.
Our next stop was the Lazi Church and Convent. I was looking forward to exploring the ruins of the convent, the biggest in the country, but it was undergoing renovations. I got sad since I will no longer see it in its former glory but thankful at the same time that it is being restored for future generations.
Lazi Church and Convent
Since the convent was closed, we headed on to Cambugahay Falls soon after. And this is where I really enjoyed my stay in the island. The falls was just walking distance from the road, hidden beneath lush canopies. There were quite many tourist when I arrived but their numbers are not yet enough to be called crowded. Most of the people in the waters were foreign visitors. And no one was doing what I call the Baging Jump!
I asked how deep the center was and I was told that it was about 10 ft. Good thing I know how to swim because I think I jumped more than 10 times!
It was a long, tiring but memorable day for me. Siquijor is truly a wonder. A rare gem that should be protected. And I am glad that I pursued this trip despite some obstacles. I learned that though rewarding myself of a good vacation once in a while may hurt my pocket, it will give me lasting memories that money can never replace.
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