Every culture of a country can be determined by the historical colonizations in the early years. In the Philippines, one of the most influential colonizers is Spain. For more than three centuries of captivity, the Philippines has indeed adapted the Spanish heritage which influenced the country’s cultural evolution.
Despite being among the smallest provinces (land area and population) in the country, Siquijor has its strengths that any individual can appreciate. Known for its mystical background, Siquijor is dubbed as the Isla del Fuego or the “Island of Fire.” The reason is because the island is surrounded with Molave trees near the seaport. Around the Molave trees are hordes of fireflies that emits a supernatural luminescence on the island.
The province may be small but it is among the highest literacy-rating provinces in the country at 92.5 percent.
How to pay:
Its uniqueness makes it a must-go place for anyone especially for tourists around the globe. It has a rich culture of mythical stories. In its historical accounts, Spaniards were captivated by the illuminating island. In 1565, the legendary ruler of the island was King Kihod. When the Spaniards made their way to the seashore, they asked the name of the ruler. Due to language barrier, the Spaniards thought that kihod was the name of the island. It became sikihod and later changed to siquijor because the visitors of the island cannot pronounce it well.
People think that this province is full of mythical creatures like witches, wizards and sorcerers but this is yet to be proved. The inhabitants of the province are called Siquijodnons.
Where to go:
Since the province is still developing, the usual way to go there is by sea. There are three ports available that serve as public and cargo transportation. The mentality created by people about Siquijor’s stories both draws and repels tourists and visitors. Aside from this, the province is popular for its white sand beaches, caves, parks, butterfly sanctuary and waterfalls. Most tourists do not fail to visit Mt. Bandilaan National Park for mountain trekking and relaxing.
When to go:
The festival dates of Siquijor is not consistent but these usually fall on the month of September. During the celebration, Siquijodnons showcase their archaic healing rituals. Their most-awaited festival is called Araw ng Siquijor (Day of Siquijor). One of the traditional practices during the festival is the Solili Binalaye. It is a marriage ritual wherein newly-wed couples and revelers enjoy the gathering with dancing and shouting.
What to do:
There are stores which are selling love potions and other types of enchanting instruments. Buying some of these stuffs may not work but these will serve as a token or remembrance that you went to Siquijor. There are also white sand beach resorts that anyone can spend his or her night with friends and family. Notable resorts are the Coco Groove Beach Resort, Coral Cay Resort and the Dondeezco Beach Club & Resort.
It is advised to avoid talking or asking about sorcery because some natives might be offended. If the tourist is very curious about the mythical stories, he or she can wait for a Siquijodnon to start the topic first.