The Complete Siquijor Adventure
The Complete Siquijor Adventure Travel Guide
Welcome to Siquijor “The Island of Fire”
(population: 81,598 to 95,984 as of 2015)
Local Language: Cebuano
Welcome to Siquijor “The Island of Fire”
(population: 81,598 to 95,984 as of 2015)
Local Language: Cebuano
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Get enchanted with beautiful experiences and fun memories in this Philippine island, Siquijor. Visitors often wonder why the island is called “The Island of Fire”. The fiery name came from when the Spanish noticed a glow of light from the shorelines of the island. When they got closer they saw that there were hundreds of fireflies making traces of their little lights. That’s how it started. The island is filled with traditions such as magic (dark and what not) and sorcery which captivates the interest of tourists and locals alike.
Siquijor is not only known as the “Island of fire”. It is also known as “the island of witches” and “the mystical island”. However, if you talk about the true mystery of the island, you can never deny it’s mysterious natural beauty like the gatorade blue waters in Cambugahay Falls or the great surreal underwater escapade nor the cool laid back vibes despite the booming tourism in this small island province.
We have a confession to make, Siquijor is actually by far one of mine and Josh’s favourite island in the Philippines. Among all the little islands around the Philippines, Siquijor has its own unique charm and a backpacker vibe that we love.
Local Language and Culture
Nowadays, people on this island are trying to remove the stigma that has been passed on for several decades. It is evident as you tour around the island, the locals you’ll meet always wear a smile on their face. Return the favor by being nice to people (as we should always do elsewhere) especially in Siquijor since who knows, the myths could still be true and you don’t want to ruin yours and other people’s holidays being rude around locals.
Best Time to Go to Siquijor
Despite its reputation for black magic and witchcraft, Siquijor is well-known for an island that has a zero “0” crime rate. Safety must come first before fun and excitement. Plan your trip to avoid being in an ugly situation. Make sure you are insured before boarding your flight to the Philippines.
Through the media, it is said that the whole Philippines is commonly known as an unsafe country to travel to. That is not the truth. The southern part (Mindanao area) of the Philippines is the only area that is not safe to both foreign and local travellers due to possible terrorism. The rest of the Philippines including Siquijor is safe.
The best time to go to Siquijor is summer which is between March to May. It is a perfect time to enjoy the serenity of the ocean as waves crash, trees rustle with the wind while basking under the high sun. We advise you to avoid the monsoon where there will be storms and heavy rains. Bear in mind that the only way to go to the island is by boat (and a chartered plane if you have tons of $$). You don’t want to get stranded or miss your schedules because of delayed and canceled boat trips due to weather.
5-day Weather Forecast in Siquijor
Beautiful festivities begin with thankfulness and prosperity. Celebrations among different cities, municipalities, and provinces occurring everywhere in the Philippines. One city has its own festival to celebrate their town’s patron saints, bountifulness, and other reasons which gives their town its own spark.
Solili Festival (Siquijor, Siquijor)
This festival is the highlight of the “Araw ng Siquijor”, Charter Day, which is celebrated for seven days that begin each seventeenth day of September (September 17). This is to commemorate the romance between a folktale character “Tukmo and Punay”.
Dilaab Festival (Siquijor, Siquijor)
Celebrated annually on October 4 in honor of their patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. This is also a form of thanksgiving for the natural resources embedded by their island which their patron saint loved the most. Also, this festival is to celebrate the warm hospitality of the Siquijodnons.
Bugwas Festival (San Juan, Siquijor)
This festival is celebrated specifically at San Juan, Siquijor at thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest and celebrated on August 30. The word “bugwas” means a spurt of water, which represents the waters coming from their underground sources.
Saging Festival (Lazi, Siquijor)
This festival gives importance to “saging” (banana) of its many uses in the lives of people in Siquijor. The dances showcased during the festival depicts the story of how this plant came to exist. This occurs in Lazi, Siquijor every May 15.
Lubi Festival (Maria, Siquijor)
This festival celebrates the humble livelihood of Mariajanons which happens every May 20. Lubi which means coconut gives honor to their town’s patron saint Our Lady of Divine Providence for their bountiful harvest and blessings they have received from the tree of life called Lubi.
Pamukad Festival (Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor)
Celebrated every July 15 for thanksgiving for their bountiful catch of fish as the Divine power intercedes with them and showers them with more blessings. This festival showcases the townspeople’s different routines to catch schools of fish.
Canoan Festival (Larena, Siquijor)
Celebrated every May 3 in order to give honor for hard work. The people of Siquijor tend to strive for their own and make themselves effective rather than waiting for an opportunity to knock on their doors. This festival encourages the farmers and laborers and celebrates their successes.
How To Get to Siquijor
Do you have seasickness? Well, the only way to go to Siquijor is by the sea with a boat or ferry from Dumaguete and Cebu. I’ve heard that there are chartered flights operated by a private company but it can be very expensive (around $300 one way).
Here’s some information you will find useful for planning. Have a look at to prepare yourself for a journey to Siquijor Island.
You can take the ferry bound to Siquijor. The estimated time of travel is about an hour (1hr) or two (2hrs)
- From Cebu City, you can travel by land through a regular bus schedule or a private car going to Cebu south, Liloan. Then by sea through a RORO (Roll on Roll Off) to Siquijor.
- You can get a flight from Cebu to Dumaguete and by ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor.
Estimated Time of Travel:
- A vehicle or bus from Cebu City to Dumaguete City takes about 6-7 hours then 1-2 hours by RORO / ferry to Siquijor. So a lot about 8-9 hours of travel time. This is advisable if you are not on a tight schedule and wants to take your time and spend less money travelling.
- Flight from Cebu City to Dumaguete City takes about 50 minutes to 1 hour and Dumaguete City to Siquijor Island takes 1-2 hours. So your travel time is approximately 3 hours.
- From Manila, you can travel to Dumaguete City by air and travel by sea to Siquijor island (refer to above tables for timings and fare)
- The second option is a ferry from Manila to Dumaguete and to Siquijor.
Estimated Time of Travel:
- Flight from Manila to Dumaguete will take about an hour and ferries from Dumaguete City to Siquijor Island will take about 1-2 hours depending on the speed of the ferry and the current of the waves. The estimated travel time is around 3-4 hours.
- Boat from Manila to Dumaguete City would take around 11 hours. Then the time of travel from Dumaguete City to Siquijor that is 1-2 hours. The total time is around 12-13 hours.
Getting Around Siquijor
Getting around the island shouldn’t be a problem because there are a few exciting options to choose from. Bear in mind that the streets around the island is most of the time not busy. you’ll get a proper island vibe. Transportation options available on the island are below.
If driving a motorcycle is not for you don’t worry you will still be able to get around this island. You can take a public tricycle for around P25 per 10KM trip. There are also public multi-cabs and jeepneys that you can pick up from the ferry port.
Adventures You Can Do in Siquijor
There are a lot of exciting things you can do on Siquijor Island. Here are a few options you can choose from.
|Bike Tours, Gear Rentals
|+63 995 082 8381
|+63 995 509 4278
|Salagdoong Beach Resort, Maria, Siquijor
|+63 935 111 7619
|+63 915 845 0835
- Mount Bandilaan National Park
- Kamp Aninipot – Siquijor’s Campground
|Skydive Greater Siquijor
|Siquijor Airport (Private Property North of Main Airport)
|+63 917 148 5993
Book Your Adventures Here
Eat Your Way Around Siquijor
Local Foods and Delicacies
Before I give you the finest restaurants, pizza houses, bars, and cafes, I want to give you some lists of the finest delicacies Siquijor Island has to offer. Mangaon ta bay!
Bars and Restaurants
Now that you have a glimpse of what food Siquijodnons can offer you, let’s go and take a look at their restaurants, bars, and other famous eateries that will make you drool and make you come back for more.
PS: These recommendations are based on our own experience being there
Top Tourist Spots: What Not to Miss in Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls (Lazi, Siquijor)
If you want to experience the Tarzan jump, you’re at the right place! Experience these 3-tiered waterfalls with your own life. You have two choices for the Tarzan jump; there is a higher one and of course, there would always be a shorter one just like the cliff diving spot in Salagdoong Beach resort. Their waters are blue, somewhat similar to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Isn’t that ridiculously awesome? Be a part of the tarzan club and face your fears and try to swing that rope!
Paliton Beach (San Juan, Siquijor)
If you’re looking for a perfect spot for a perfect sunset, here’s your place! Paliton Beach is the mini Boracay of Siquijor Island. Although this place isn’t for partying, this place still rocks and takes your breath away. Bent palm trees that overlap the ocean make a great spot for your Instagram pictures and also, their palm trees have swings you can enjoy.
Old Enchanted Balete Tree (Lazi, Siquijor)
Centuries ago, Shamans used the Balete Tree for sacred rituals. But of course, by this time, when you go and visit this enormous tree, you wouldn’t find even 1 Shaman on spot. This tree offers a nice place to dip your feet as fishes wait for them to eat the dead skins off. Not just that, they also have stores that sell potions. Potions for sickness, potions for good luck, and of course, potions for romance. Would you like to avail of one?
Cantabon Cave (Siquijor, Siquijor)
This magnificent tourist attraction lies at the center of Siquijor Island. This cave is not just a cave, but this is one of the most beautiful and worth taking risks kind of cave in the whole Philippines. The thing I like the most about this cave is that it’s more natural rather than made for tourism. Every edge is all nature’s miracle. Upon discovering the insides of the cave, a tourist guide or a local there will have to assist you. The price for 1 person is the same for 3 persons. So if you’re on a budget tour, you can bring 2 of your friends along to share costs.
Salagdoong Beach Resort (Maria, Siquijor)
To be completely fair and honest with you, this resort isn’t for dining in and enjoying meals. I’ve seen annoying faces everywhere in their restaurants but hey! Their cliff diving turns your frown upside down. They have two platforms to choose from; the first one is 20 feet high and the second one is 32 feet high. Would you dare take the 32 feet high platform? And not just that, they also offer kayaking and it’s very fun because the waters are clear and there is also a rock formation for you to wonder about.
Lazi Church and Lazi Convent (Lazi, Siquijor)
Lazi Church is a Roman Catholic church. This church is a historical Church and has a unique architecture. Blocks like those villager’s houses in royal movies are the same as the blocks used to build this Church. In front of the church there you would find the Lazi Convent. By the time we got there, the convent’s gate was closed. That’s why we only had pictures outside but it was still amazing for Instagram pictures. You can come here to the church, pray, and give thanks to the Lord has given you a lot more than what you need.
Hapitanan (Lazi, Siquijor)
The name Hapitanan which means stop-over says it all. You can stop by and experience flying on a broomstick. The locals who are there are the ones who take pictures of you while you’re on the broomstick and as you jump, they immediately click that button and poof! You got a picture like you’re an instant witch flying with a broomstick. Not just that, they also have spots for nice Instagram pictures. So what are you waiting for? Stop by!
Hambilica Firefly Hatchery and Sanctuary (San Juan, Siquijor)
This place would be a huge part of your trip. Here you’ll get to see fireflies for free! They have lodges and rooms that are close to the beaches of Siquijor Island and during the night, you can sit back and relax outside while watching the trees sparkle and shine because of those cute and tiny fireflies.
Best Neighborhood to Stay When in Siquijor
Day Trips from Siquijor Island
Books to Read
In Pursuit of Progress: Narratives of Development on a Philippine Island
This is a good book to read to understand more of life in Siquijor Island. This is written by Hannah C. M. Bulloch and it’s all about surviving poverty and making progress on the situations of life present in Siquijor. This was written by Hannah when she went to Siquijor island. She wrote about everything she saw and everything she felt about the island. Being in Siquijor is an inspiration to finish this book.
Siquijor Island might be full of witchcraft and wizardry and people with knowledge about sorcery and black magic. But indeed, the place is magically splendid to visit. The adventure that is waiting for you to delve into, the seas that are waiting for you to dive in, the breeze, waiting for you to inhale it, Siquijor is really worth every penny you have for one tour. Enjoy the greeneries and the blue oceans and extraordinary waterfalls in Siquijor Island! The best place to make your soul wander.
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