An island that frightened some, but fascinated many. Ever since I was a kid, when it came to witchcraft, potions and black magic, Siquijor would always come to mind. To unfold its mystery, together with my siblings, we embarked on a journey to this so-called mystical island.
Siquijor, an island province in the Visayas is the third smallest in the Philippines right after Camiguin and Batanes. It was dubbed as Isla del Fuego or Island of Fire by Spanish colonizers. The reason was because of the hordes of fireflies surrounding the Molave trees on its coast.
Getting there maybe butt-numbing but to tell you, it is totally worth it. Siquijor had us even with their port alone. The island has this rustic ambiance, and the feel that it was as if forgotten by time. Everything was so laid back and simple that made it even more enticing.
We stayed at Lorna’s End of the World, and they have not failed to welcome us with their genuine Filipino hospitality. To avoid wasting time, after a series of failed boating attempts, we went to Capilay Spring Park. The park was just a walking distance from where we were staying so we opted to walk. There was nothing that was sort of extraordinary, however, Capilay Spring Park gave us the privilege to relax amidst the serenity of the place itself.
Our next stop was Lugnason Falls, and to our surprise, almost all of the Siquijodnons we asked didn’t know where it was. According to our map, it is located in Brgy. Napo, a short distance from the park. It was Kuya Jun who bravely brought us there even if he himself didn’t have any idea. Fortunately, we were able to reach the place, and on our way, we were greeted by the warm smiles of the locals.
After making it to at least two destinations, we called it a day and went back to Ate Lorna’s place. My sisters decided to take a rest while I took the opportunity to have some alone time with myself at the beach. Everything seemed to be at place that moment.
The following day, we woke up early for our island tour. The first stop was the Enchanted Balete Tree, that has been standing for almost centuries or others believed to be 400 years.
The next stop was the Cambugahay Falls. And with it’s clear blue basin, everyone will be tempted to swim into it. I was amazed by its cascade that I wasn’t able to help myself and marvel at its beauty. I went up to have a good view of the falls and I was advised by a local that I can actually jump in there. It was very inviting but no, I didn’t do it. Cambugahay Falls was really bewitching, that we found it hard to leave.
On our way back, as promised by Kuya Jun, he brought us back to Lazi Church and Convent. A structure made out of timber and coral stones. As much as we wanted to go and see its interior, we weren’t able to do so for there was a ongoing mass. Instead, we went to check the Convent.
We also went to Maria Church to find the “Santo ng mga Mambabarang” or the Black Magic Mary. It might seem spooky to see a saint holding a skull and an inverted crucifix but that’s what made it interesting.
And to top it all, our last stop was the famous Salagdoong Beach. I may not have jumped off of its ledge but, nevertheless, I had fun. Swimming at its crystal clear water and seeing that my siblings were also having fun was more than enough.
What made our stay even more unforgettable were the people whom we have met and helped us along the way. To Ate Lorna and her husband, for the hospitality. To Kuya Jun, for the guidance during our tour.
So is magic real? Definitely, yes. And Siquijor’s real magic comes from people whose kindness and generosity were more than the power of any potions and spell combined.