Half-day tour of Siquijor

Since we were only staying overnight in Siquijor and we arrived after lunch, we had to make-do with a half-day tour of Siquijor. We were supposed to visit more stops the next day, but since my sister was sick, we decided to just enjoy the resort. Good thing our chosen accommodation, Coco Grove Beach Resort, had many facilities to keep us entertained.

After having lunch at the resort, our tour guide, who picked us up from the pier, just waited for us throughout our lunch and check-in. Our first stop is the famous Balete tree of Siquijor. It is 400-500 years old and is the biggest and oldest Balete tree throughout the island.

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Due to all the scary Halloween specials I’ve watched when I was younger, I was really afraid of these trees. The locals also believe that there’s a spirit living in the tree.

The tree is at the end of a cold river that the local government has converted into a fish spa. This has become one of the stops and activities for tours, although my sister refused to dip her feet into the cold and refreshing water.

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You can actually enter this Balete tree, which some tourists attempted, but I was wary of the lurking spirits and just sat down on the floor and enjoyed the fish spa.

Our next stop is the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, or commonly called Lazi Church (because it’s in Lazi, Siquijor).

The Lazi Church was built in 1857 but finished in 1884 by Filipino artisans and is considered one of the biggest Churches in the Philippines.

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Lazi Church's grounds and huge trees make it look so inviting for picnics or a lazy respite from the sun.
Lazi Church’s grounds and huge trees make it look so inviting for picnics or a lazy respite from the sun.

20160122_150513_markedUnfortunately, the Church was closed when we arrived. Sometimes you can get lucky if your tour guide knows the caretaker, but the caretaker was out somewhere so we couldn’t get in. We just took pictures around the Church and took a peek inside, through the broken slats of the front door. How I wished that we were able to attend mass there!

Despite the hour, there were kids around the church, desperately trying to sell us candles. Since the place to light candles is outside the church, on the right side, mom bought a candle from each of the little kids, just so everyone had a share. It was pretty sad seeing them so young and out of school, working to provide for their families.

Our last stop for the day was the Cambugahay falls. All sites say it’s majestic and breathtaking, but while I do agree that the water was very nice to swim in, I was underwhelmed by the whole scene. We were in Siquijor in January, but the waterfalls was very thin and not so grand. We went up the three tiers but no grand rushing water greeted us. Even though you can choose to stay in any of the three tiers, we went back to the lowest tier, which was more populated but our guide said was the safest to swim in.

Note: There’s a steep staircase, I think above 30+ steps, from the main road down to the falls so make sure you hold on to the railings as it can get slippery!

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In the lowest tier, there’s a hanging rope that people can use to swing from the ledge over to the water. Some brave souls actually just jump off the rocks, but we decided to use the rope. There are locals who watch over the falls for the tourists’ safety.

Since I really wanted to try it — one of Siquijor’s must-do’s! — I, brave soul that I am, begged my mom to go first.

She said, “okay!” I don’t know who was more shocked — me, or the men watching the rope. I mean…it’s mom. She’s not adventu–holy guacamole she just jumped.

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Mum said she used to do this a lot when she was younger.

She came up laughing and called me to swing down. I’m ashamed to say it took me almost 20 seconds to pull my feet up so I can swing over the ledge.

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Not shown in this photo: Me, praying so hard that I won’t bump my head on the rocks.

And since we’re thrill-seekers, we rode the rope twice — of course, my mom went first both times.

It really showed me a different side to my mom, and I started to cherish her as an adventure buddy. Now I know where our thrill-seeking side comes from!

The next day, it was time to head to Dumaguete. We asked our tricycle driver if we could pass by the Welcome to Siquijor sign and take a few pictures. It’s just off the port, but we didn’t have time to stop when we arrived the previous day. Thankfully, the driver agreed, for free.

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Even though it was just an overnight trip, our brief stay in Siquijor was such a teaser! The people are so nice, and the beaches are pretty that even though it’s a little far, it has quickly become one of my favorite destinations. Although Coron, Palawan, remains my #1 favorite, Siquijor is a close second.

See you next time, Siquijor! I hope you never lose your quaint, clean charm.

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