Aside from the infamous reputation of being a place of magic and sorcery, Siquijor Island is well known for its beautiful natural attractions such as beaches, caves and waterfalls.
The mystical island of Siquijor, also known as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) is commonly associated with mystic traditions and is famous for its mountain-dwelling mangkukulam (witch doctors) who brew potions with local herbs.
Siquijor’s infamous reputation of being a place of magic and sorcery have fascinated travellers from all around the world.
During the healing festival, visitors are allowed to witness the rituals where incantations are sung while old folks make potions out of herbs, roots, insects, and tree barks, and the local people are happy to share the legends about witchcraft, witches, and even “aswang” – various bloodthirsty monsters that lurk in the island.
Aside from the hair-raising stories, Siquijor is just perfect for those wanting a quiet getaway for a relaxing vacation.
Cambugahay Falls is one of the highlights of Siquijor Island which can be reached by climbing 135 stone steps. Here you can enjoy basking the clear, clean, and fresh blue waters rushing through multi-tiered waterfalls which flow down to smaller lagoons. If you want to have the place for yourself and enjoy that calming, tranquil ambiance, you may opt to visit the waterfalls during weekdays since most visitors and locals flock the area during weekends to relieve stress from their weekday activities.
You may not leave Siquijor without visiting the Old Enchanted Balete Tree. This impressive 400-year-old tree is believed to be a dwelling place of supernatural beings.
Mysteriously, water flows underneath the tree and comes out into a man-made pool or stream and locals couldn’t tell where the water comes from which triggers the surfacing rumors about the tree. Its eerie outline makes almost everyone believe that the tree is enchanted especially when they look at its massive and unidentical roots.
Mount Bandilaan is the highest point of Siquijor island, 632 meter above sea level and is very easy to reach. There’s a viewing platform at the peak from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole Island of Siquijor.
Cantabon Cave, found on the side of Mount Bandilaan is a great place for an exciting spelunking adventure, best avoided by the claustrophobic. The cave is filled with stalactites and stalagmites which are visible along the way as you explore the cave.
Another attraction near Mt Bandilaan is the Butterfly Sanctuary where it’s possible to see many species including Moths of Two Continents; Attatus Atlas – widely known as the biggest species of moths in the world; Kalima – also called as the Dead Leaf Butterfly; Snow Butterflies from the Swiss Alps; Birdwing Butterflies; Philatelic Butterflies that are usually seen on stamps; Philippine Moths; and many others.
The Tulapos Marine Sanctuary, that encompasses 14 hectares of coral reefs, white sand beaches, and mangrove forest, is a great spot for snorkeling. Here visitors may expect to see giant clams, starfishes, sea turtles schools of batfish, jackfishes and barracudas.