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Siquijor - Magical Paradise of Visayas

In the 16th century, the Spaniards called Siquijor Isla del Fuego or ‘Island of Fire’. They gave the name because of the abundance of fireflies that lit up the trees in the island during the night. The presence of fireflies indicates that the place has a healthy environment. This is the real magic of Siquijor.

Primarily, the province is famous for its sorcerers, shamans, and witches. Now, these stories are replaced with discoveries of its natural and cultural treasures. From enchanting beaches to Pre-Hispanic churches, Siquijor is surely a province worth visiting.

Demographics

1. Population – 87, 695 (as of 2007 Census)
2. Land Area – 337.5 sq. km
3. Capital – Siquijor
4. Language/Dialect – Cebuano, English, and Filipino
5. Divisions

Cities (0)

Municipalities (6)

  • Enrique Villanueva
  • Larena
  • Lazi
  • Maria
  • San Juan
  • Siquijor

famousfor

Cantabon Cave
The cave is filled with unique stalagmite and stalactite formations. Though considered as the most famous cave in the province, the cave itself has not been fully explored.

Salagdoong Beach Resort
It is a restful hideaway tucked in a cove, with fine, white sand covering the shoreline and a nearby islet providing a good vantage point of the beachfront area.

San Isidore Labrador Parish Church and Convent
It is reputed to be the biggest and among the oldest in the country and in Asia.

Cang-Isok House
It is a century-old house made of bamboo and a local tree called tugas.

places

Cultural

San Antonio Village
Location: Siquijor, Siquijor
It is a village where elderly men and women are engaged in the preparation of folk and herbal medicine during the Lenten Season.

Century-Old Balete Tree
Location: Brgy. Campalanas, Lazi, Siquijor
Local residents believe that the tree is enchanted and serves as the home of various elemental creatures. There is water from an unknown source that flows underneath it towards a man-made stream.

Man-Made

Cang-Isok House
Location: Brgy. Libo, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor
Made from native and indigenous materials like bamboo and nipa sheets, this house is an interesting piece of art and detailed engineering construction that surprisingly withstood many storms in the Visayas region.

Bandilaan Butterfly Farm
Location: Mount Bandilaan, Lazi, Siquijor
Totaling five hectares of land area, this butterfly sanctuary is a breeding haven for some 54 butterfly species and moths – all these in a lush 1,460 square meter botanical garden serving also as life support for the butterflies in both larval and adult stages. It is said to be the home of the butterfly with the biggest wingspan in Asia.

Natural

Cantabon Cave
Location: Brgr. Cantabon Siquijor, Siquijor
Discovered in 1985 by a group of foreign hunters, the cave is 300 meters long and 10 meters wide, filled with stalagmite and stalactite formations. At the center of the cave is a small natural pond with crystal-clear water. Though considered as the most famous cave in the province, the cave itself has not been fully explored

Cagusua Beach
Location: Maria, Siquijor
The beach is noted for its picturesque rock formation. It is situated below a steep cliff, accessible by a concrete staircase.

Salagdoong Beach Resort
Location: Maria, Siquijor
Its main attraction to tourists is its location and the view of the shore from the resort which makes a tourist’s stay very peaceful and relaxing. The resort also offers a tour around the scenic sights in the province.

Capilay Spring Park
Location: San Juan, Siquijor
Water used in the spring park comes from the mountains of Siqjuijor. It has a pool with three chambers. The upper pool where the springs are located, the second one is where the swimming pool is, and the third one is the laundry pool, also known as the "river" which is located by the road. This park is accented with big trees which could give cool shades to its visitors. Kiosks are also found by the pool side for convenience.

San Juan de Capilay Lake
Location: San Juan, Siquijor
A natural, spring-fed swimming pool situated at the heart of the town plaza where local people converge during weekends for a swim in the cool waters of the lake or simply sit under the shade in the spring-park and people-watch.

Mount Bandilaan Nature Park
Location: Lazi – Siquijor, Siquijor
It is the highest peak in the province, rising up to 557 feet above sea level totaling 1394 feet high. Mount Bandilaan provides many opportunities of exploration such as cave spelunking, nature trekking and mountain climbing. Other attractions in the area include a shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Stations of the Cross, five natural springs, caves and butterfly sanctuary.

Religious

St. Isidore Labradore Parish Church and Convent
Location: Lazi, Siquijor
Declared as a historical landmark by the National Historical Commission in the 1970’s, it is known as the biggest convent in the country and in Asia. Conceptualization and construction began in 1857 by Augustinian Recollects and was completed by Filipino artisans in the year 1884. Among the many features of the church are an old belfry with its ancient bells still intact, intrinsic altar design, hand sculptured images of the Station of the Cross, and period pulpits that give the church a holy and ancient ambiance.

St. Francis of Assisi Church and Bell Tower
Location: Siquijor, Siquijor
The church was built from coral stones, cruciform, and had a nipa roof. It has its own watch tower or bell tower built to protect and forewarn the island folks of approaching pirates and other adversaries.

Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and Station of the Cross
Location: Mount Bandilaan, Lazi, Siquijor
These two popular pilgrim sites can be reached by trekking a 200-step hill from the entrance of the Nature Park. At the end of the station are three crosses and a metal observatory deck which gives a commanding view of the province.

festivals

Solili Festival
Place: Siquijor, Siquijor
Date: September 17
Taking after the traditions in the town of Lazi, the Solili Binalaye is a marriage ritual where both parents of the bride and the groom prepare a feast and take turns in advising the couple on the realities of married life.The rituals are depicted in a street-dancing competition that serves as the highlight of the week-long Solili Festival and Araw ng Siquijor Charter Day celebration.

Folk Healing Festival
Place: San Antonio, Siquijor, Siquijor
Date: Good Friday – Black Saturday
Herbalist from all over the Visayas and Mindanao prepare medical potions using the traditional method practiced since ancient times. The herbal preparation takes place on Black Saturday, on the belief that with the death of Jesus Christ, entities and forces not of this realm, roam the earth and share their healing powers to those who seek their assistance.

Bugwas Festival
Place: San Juan, Siquijor
Date: Last week of August
The festival is the town’s way of celebrating a bountiful and abundant harvest in honor of their patron saint, St. Augustine. Bugwas means a spurt of water coming from an underground source, which flows freely in the open ground.

Dila-ab Festival
Place: Siquijor, Siquijor
Date: October 1
Dila-ab suggests the distinct hospitality that the Siquijodnons are popularly known for and the name the island was once-known for as “Isla de Fuego.” The festival also gives due recognition to the natural assets of Siquijor and in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. Francis of Asisi, who is known as a nature lover.

Lubi Festival
Place: Maria, Siquijor
Date: May 21
The town's "Lubi" festival reflects the indispensable value of every coconut tree in the life of every Mariajanons. As a constant staple in the life of every "Mariajanons", from the copra meat to the drop of "tuba", people knew how indispensable "Lubi" has been to one's survival.



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