Thursday, January 21, 2016

Siquijor : Mystical Island of Fire

Welcome to the mystical island of Siquijor  

It took over a  month to finally decide which destination I would spend my birthday.  My heart is yearning for Batanes but considering the limited days off, budget and totally unprepared for it, my options were narrowed down to  Agusan del Sur, Bohol and Davao. But after seeing a few Instagram photos, my curiosity and my hidden urge to explore this so-called "island of fire and magic" was triggered; I knew I had to go to Siquijor. 

An island rich in culture and mystery

Siquijor  is known as Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire)  by the Spaniards who discovered the island hundreds of years ago. This is due to the swarms of fireflies that harbored in the molave trees on the island which gives off an eerie glow from afar, much like a burning island of fire. 

The island is known for magic and mystery;  of witches, supernatural phenomena and known as the source of medicines and herbs prepared by  albularyos and herbalists. They even held Healing Festivals where healers and herbalist from Visayas and Mindanao come together to perform healing and participate in the preparation of concoctions made from a variety of tree barks, herbs, roots, insects and other ingredients.  It has four municipalities and I was happy that I was able to roam in those areas. 

Siquijor TravelSeries : Cang-Isok Century-old House

Siquijor Island is full of mysteries. Seeing this century-old house abandoned by the beach made me wonder why this hasn't been destroyed amidst the forces of nature. Known as the Cang-Isok House, our guide told us that this hasn't been destroyed even at its century-old age.  Even the recent typhoon that hit the island a year ago, the house stood as strong as ever. 

This is situated along the highway of Enrique Villanueva while we are on the way to Larena. 

Siquijor travelSeries : Siquijor Forests

Siquijor is known as the fire-glowing island  years ago due to the swarms of beautiful-lit fireflies that hovers the island at night. The island's inner land area is full of green forests (even a man-made one) is refreshingly beautiful to see. Here's some. 

This was taken en route Kagusuan Beach. We couldn't help but ask our guide to stop for a while and took some photos for documenting memories. It was refreshing to see a lot of greens and the the cool shades it brings. It has a variety of trees such as mahogany, molave and well, i don't know the others. 

Siquijor TravelSeries : St. Rita of Cascia

The Church of Our Lady of Providence in Maria Siquijor is just simple yet holds interesting stories about its patron saint, St. Rita of Cascia.   Exterior design has nothing  special to offer.  It's bare stone walls displays the usual look of being "old".  

Yet when you start getting inside, you'll be amazed at how well-lit it is with the natural light. The ceiling has no colorful designs like what you'd seen on the ceilings of St. Francis Church.  The woodwork on the altar is superb. It makes you proud how the locals exhibit such mastery in wood carving and how the altar looks grand as possible.