Haunted Siquijor Island
The place that time continues to forget
The island doesn’t have any towns which would be considered overly large by Filipino standards. The port towns of Siquijor and Lorena are by far the largest, most likely due their limited connection to anything beyond the isolated world which exists here! There is not an abundance of restaurants or shops, though there’s enough to keep yourself adequately comfortable.
Immediately upon arriving to the island, you will most likely be approached by hagglers trying to rent you a motorcycle. This isn’t a bad thing.. they are actually the cheapest bikes on the island for rent, and much more convenient for getting around than the very irregular Jeepneys or painfully slow Tricycles found here. We managed to get a deal of roughly 200 pesos/day (approx $5 USD) with an upfront payment for 5 days – and had the balance returned to us upon return of the bikes.
Now, with bikes at hand, we set off to find accommodation. The majority of places to stay are found on the outskirts of the coastal towns. They’re often quite small, and quite basic. You may need to try a couple places before finding one which suits your needs. I opted to get a truly basic experience and ended up renting a sheltered hammock on the beach for 50 pesos/night ($1.25 USD). Though of course there are other options, I really enjoyed my time at Lorna’s End of the World guesthouse. I thought this would be a rare opportunity to get down to the bare necessities on an island which already feels quite primal.
A possible suggested route (the one I took), would be heading south on Cebu, if planning on swimming with the Whale Sharks in Oslob. From there you can take the 2 hour ferry over to Siquijor. Leaving, you can either return the same way, or catch the ferry towards Dumaguete and continue your journey. The only challenge is that the ferry to Dumaguete on Negros leaves quite late at night, meaning you arrive at unfavourable times.
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There are a few waterfalls, a large underground cave, many old churches, a sacred tree, quaint towns, jungle treks, beaches and voodoo ladies which can all be visited around Siquijor. I’d have to say my personal favourite Siquijor attractions included the incredible turquoise waters you could swim at in Cambugahay Waterfall, and my mangkukulam (voodoo) healing deep in the mountainous jungle by a witchdoctor. The caving was fun too, though it’s a little challenging in some areas, you do get very wet, and I didn’t find that they practiced much conservation techniques by allowing people to man-handle the stalactites and other formations. It’s still a fun experience, though I’ve been to some caves in other parts of the world where the guides were more informative and had better preservations techniques.
Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.
Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).
Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.
Have you ever found an island which just seemed totally isolated from the world? Where was it, and what unique things did you find while there?