Through The Ancient Trails Of The Iraynon-Bukidnon – Mt. Igmatongtong (799+MASL)

Antique holds natural wonders that is still far from the spotlight it deserves, which is a good thing. For the longest time, the Iraynon-Bukidnon, the indigenous people of the province, is still working on their lasting legacy which are the rice terraces carved among the mountain slopes which is reminiscent of those in the Cordilleras of Luzon. Still dreaming of finishing the Antique Madness hike which is consisted of Mts. Nangtud-Madjaas-Baloy Daku and Igcuron – we tried to test one of the minor mountains near the area to get a taste of what it’s like hiking in Antique. We’re coming, Mt. Igmatongtong!

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Muscovado-Landia

Still sleepy after a short solo flight from Manila, I rode the shuttle van outside of Iloilo International Airport. Half an hour later inside the van crammed with people, I met two of my friends in San Pedro Terminal of the Molo District,  who’ve been busy the past few days roaming around Guimaras and Capiz, and took the next van bound for Culasi in Antique.

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The van was rather crammed-up, and falling asleep was harder than I have expected given our body built, and the large backpacks that we’re carrying that time. Some three hours later, with our legs about to catch cramps anytime, we alighted at what they call as Lugta Crossing of Laua-an, Antique after crossing the bridge hovering above the Paningayan River.

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Patnongon, Antique

We then contacted Kapitana Melanie for our habal-habal service, just to realize that they were already there since I had messaged her earlier when we are still in Bugasong. We decided to get some lunch first at a roadside eatery before proceeding to Brgy. Capnayan. The road along Brgy. Guinbanggan, an upland Barangay, was purely cemented passing through communities, sugarcane plantations and rice fields.

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Little did I know that from the main highway, Brgy. Capnayan is only accessible through single motorcycles wherein we passed through steep and narrow cemented walkways and most of the time, I was just holding for my life as we ascended through the road. Half an hour later, we stopped at what they call as the junction since it is now not accessible by motorcycles and the only way to reach the area is by foot.

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The view from there is already rewarding, the low-lying communities the rice fields and hills dominated the vista. The municipality of Laua-an is also known as the Sugar Capital of Antique for the notable production of Muscovado Sugar. This is also known as Nalupa Nuevo or pueblo near the mouth of the river, meaning it is already a pueblo before the start of the Spanish-American War.

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We started the trek to Kapitana’s house, after seeing his son waiting for us from the junction, I was dead wrong from thinking that the house is just a few meters away since she said that no trek will be done if we take the service from the highway. It took us half an hour again through the Bali-like rice terraces and mountain trail with me still wearing my cotton shirt and maong shorts. (PHEW)


Awakening Godzilla

We arrived at Brgy. Capnayan a little past noon time, Kap. Melanie also assisted us very well and even welcomed us inside their humble abode. We also then registered and changed into our hiking clothes before our guide eventually arrived to assist us in this short hike. Without further ado, we started the trek.

The indigenous people of Antique, the Iraynon-Bukidnon, is known for their rice terraces which is also their lasting legacy. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only in Ifugao we get to see amazing rice terraces, Antique has versions that can rival those of in the Cordilleras of Luzon. The ones in San Remigio and Valderrama has the largest one covering 600 hectares, while some of the low lying municipalities like in Laua-an also has their fair share of amazing man-made paddies. It is an honor also to retrace the foot steps of this indigenous people who once set foot along these trails and still continues to do so.

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The rice fields that welcomed us along the way are uniquely, Anique, I felt like I was inside Indonesia’s Tegallalang Rice Terraces but a more compact one, but this one has the Capnayan Waterfall which is a stand-out from the rest – a waterfall between rice terraces!

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The cemented steps were rather slippery that it took us some time walking just to make sure we won’t slip down. After quite an ascent to the upper Sitio, the even more wider and vast rice fields came into sight, and even the summit of Mt. Igmatongtong. The simple life in here, that is very far from the busy city districts is something to admire for people who likes to commune with nature.

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One hour already have passed, and we found ourselves among the mountain pass leading to the very summit of the mountain, from afar, the rock, emblazoned at the very top came into sight.

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The last assault proved to be a little bit taxing, but not until storm clouds blew from all directions.

The view from where we were staying is truly worth the hike, the ridges and peaks we all scattered in almost every direction as far as the eyes can see. The summit got covered in thick blankets of white smoke that we had no choice but to scale it and wait for the afternoon shower to further subside.

 

Then what we had hoped for came into being. The clouds slowly released the summit from its chilly embrace and the Sulu Sea and the surrounding mountains came into full view!

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We also realized that the actual rock at the summit somewhat resembles Godzilla as it looks like a dinosaur awakened from its deep slumber.

But kidding aside, Mt. Igmatongtong translates literally to “Ulo (Igma) Na Nakapatong (Tong-tong)” or a head placed on top. The name was derived from the story of then natives, Anglo and Ligaya, which is said that Anglo used his superpowers to place a head-like rock formation on the mountain to scare of marauders alike to protect his wife, Ligaya. But it still looks like a Dinosaur to me, sorry Sir Anglo.

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After spending an hour at the summit and refilling our hungry tummies, and had our fix of what it’s like to hike in the province of Antique, we decided to descend down to catch the last bus or van bound for Iloilo.

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Along our descent after bidding goodbye to Kapitana Melanie, she made it clear that she is no longer the chieftain of the Barangay after losing to another more influential candidate, we met Teacher Mary, who happens to be a teacher to the barrios. We asked here where she is heading to and said that she’s going home after a day in the elementary school of Capnayan which is until the third grade. She has done this everyday for the last five years and said that she will continue doing this as long as there’s a child in the area who goes to school to learn.

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We got back at the main road at 04:30 in the afternoon, and had some snacks as we waited for the Ceres Bus bound for Iloilo. It turned out to be a rather really wrong decision since it took us more than four freaking hours just to reach Tigbauan, Iloilo (a UV Express Van might have taken this route in just 2 hours or even lesser than that)

So much for a rewarding day hike in Antique, next stop, Iloilo’s Mt. Napulak!

Travel Tips

  • One can contact Kap Melanie at  0997 327 9610, so she could arrange a habal-habal service to fetch you and/or your group in Lugta Crossing instead of chartering a tricycle then transferring to another habal-habal.
  • From the Brgy. Capnayan Junction, the hike immediately starts and will take you 30 minutes or less before arriving at Kap. Melanie’s House.
  • There are stores in the Barangay where you can buy food, and where you can refill your water.
  • You can also ask Kap. Melanie to prepare lunch for your group for a minimal cost so your group could have a sumptuous lunch after the hike.
  • Start early, the trail going to the summit passes through open rice fields and grassy mountain slopes with no tree covers.
  • If pressed on time, one can opt to ride the shuttle vans since stopovers are not that frequent and traverses the roads faster than the buses.
  • One can also take the Ceres Buses but it takes a lot more time to arrive at your destination. From Lau-an it took us almost 5 hours before we arrived in Tigbauan, Iloilo. If we chose to take the van going back to Iloilo, it could’ve just took us 2.5hrs or less.
  • Also prepare food for your guide, as a sign of courtesy.
  • Respect local cultures and practices, be sensitive.
  • Practice LNT Principles at all times.
  • After the hike, one can proceed to Tibiao, which is about half an hour away, for a nice Kawa Hot Bath or a visit to Bugtong Bato Falls. Alternately, the looming mighty mountains of Antique is just within reach, or one can also savor the azure waters of Mararison Island in Culasi.

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How To Get There:

Mt. Igmatongtong is located in Brgy. Capnayan, Laua-an, Antique.

  • If coming from Iloilo International Airport:
    • Approximately 160+ kilometers (4-5hrs travel time, fastest route)
    • Ride any UV Express/Shuttle Vans bound for Molo South Terminal and ask to be dropped off at San Pedro Terminal. (70php/pax – 30 minutes)
    • Then transfer to another shuttle van bound for Culasi, Antique. Tell your driver that you are bound for Laua-an, Antique. (170php/pax – 3-4hours)
      • Alternately you can take the Ceres Bus which has more comfortable seats and wider leg room, fare is at 140php, but take note that travel time will take longer. (Additional 1-2 hours)
    • Alight at Lugta Crossing, the landmark is after the bridge with the Laua-an Welcome Arch.
    • From Lugta Crossing hail a tricycle to bring you to Brgy. Guinbanggan (50php/trip – 15 minutes), upon arrival at the Barangay, charter a habal-habal to take you to the mountain junction of Brgy. Capnayan where the first part of the trek starts. (50php – 15 minutes)
      • Alternately you can charter a habal-habal from the highway to take you directly to Capnayan Junction. You contact their former Brgy. Captain, who they call as Kap. Melanie at 0997 327 9610. She assisted us very well during our visit. (100php/pax – 30 minutes)
    • From the Junction, trek for 30 minutes before reaching Brgy. Capnayan. You can leave your stuff there if doing a dayhike, then the hike going to the summit of Mt. Igmatongtong is 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your pacing.
    • Be sure to drop by Brgy. Capnayan to register (donation only) and it is mandatory to secure a guide (300php/5pax)

  • If coming from San Jose de Buenavista, Antique:
    • Approximately 55.5+ kilometers (1-2 hours travel time)
    • A domestic airport will be opened soon, entering Antique province will be much easier. Philippine Airlines will serve this route from Manila or Clark.
    • Take any bus or van bound for Laua-an, Antique. Travel time takes 1-2hrs, and fare is less than 100php.
    • Alight at Lugta Crossing, the landmark is after the bridge with the Laua-an Welcome Arch.
    • Follow the instructions from the previous Iloilo Route.

  • If coming from Caticlan Airport in Aklan (Godofredo P. Ramos Airport):
    • Approximately 122+kilometers (2.5-3.5 hours travel time)
      • If coming from Kalibo International Airport in Aklan, alot atleast additional 1 hour travel time.
    • Take any bus/van bound for San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, travel time 2.5 to 3.5 hours, fare should not be more than 200ph/pax
    • Alight at Lugta Crossing, the landmark is after the bridge with the Laua-an Welcome Arch.
    • Follow the instructions from the previous Iloilo Route.


Budget and Itinerary

This is part of our 2-Day #PanayAngAkyat Climbs in Antique and Iloilo.

DAY 01

0545 Arrival Iloilo Airport
0600 Take van to Molo Terminal 70php
0645 San Pedro Van Terminal
0730 take van to Laua-an, Antique 180php
1035 Arrival at Lugta Crossing, Laua-an, Antique
1045 Lunch at Barangayan Food House
1100 Charter Habal-habal to Brgy. Capnayan (100php)
1130 Brgy. Capnayan Junction, Start trek to Kapitana’s House
1150 Arrival at Kapitana’s house
1230 Start trek (Guide Fee:300php/5pax)
1400 Summit Mt. Igmatongtong (799+MASL)
1445 Descend down
1530 Back at Kapitana’s House
1600 Junction, charter habal to highway (100php)
1630 Barangayan, wait for bus bound for Iloilo
1700 Bus bound for Iloilo (132php)
2100 Shamrock Resort (650php)

DAY 02

0600 Wake up call
0700 Take jeep to Igbaras 28php
0730 Arrival at Igbaras, register (25php), breakfast
0830 Charter Habal-habal to Brgy. Bagay (100php)
0900 Brgy. Bagay, register, secure guide (700php) donation
0930 Start trek
1030 First watersource
1115 Last Watersource
1230 Mt. Napulak summit, lunch
1300 Explore pinnacle rock
1445 Descend down 1615 Limbaong Falls
1645 Brgy. Bagay, tidy up
1700 charter habal-habal back to Igbaras (100php)
1730 Take jeep back to Iloilo City (50php)
1900 Iloilo Boardwalk, Dinner at Ramboy’s Liempo Aklan
2100 Check in at Hotel
2200 Lights off

DAY 03
0615 Flight back to Manila

0700 Arrival in Manila

Budget for Mt. Igmatongtong Climb (If coming from Molo, Iloilo) – 700php/pax, excluding food and other incidentals


Still have any questions or concerns? Drop me a message HERE!

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If you’ve been to Mt. Igmatongtong, please feel free to share your experiences at the comments section below!

Through The Ancient Trails Of The Iraynon-Bukidnon – Mt. Igmatongtong (799+MASL)

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Updated November 03, 2018

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Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.


Adding an even more mystical reputation to the island of Siquijor is the enchanting cascades of Cambugahay Falls in Lazi. Known for its three tiered cascade, blue waters and the Tarzan Swing, we ventured out even further from the town proper to witness the famous attraction.

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From the Lazi Church and Convent we traveled for another twenty more minutes before reaching a busy mountain pass filled with tricycles and vans with its drivers waiting for their passengers. Filling the air with aromatic yet smoky scent of a nearby makeshift eatery, our grumbling stomachs found refuge in just enough servings of local home cooked meals and grilled barbecues. The sun, shining like crazy during that noon time, made us stop for a minute and have our lunch break under the canopy of a nearby tree, before starting to descend down half an hour later.

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Some 138 steps going down, the sound of gushing waters already emanated as we carefully tread down the stone steps, a little bit more further down and the hint of greenish to turquoise green waters welcomed us. It is not as blue as we expected it to be, since the guide we had with us said that it rained the night before causing the water to turn a little bit murkier giving it a greenish hue.

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The three tiered cascades is not as grand as the other falls in the country, infact it is just several meters high, and even more smaller in the upper cascades. It is also not as wide as you think it is, but it has its own unique and enchanting beauty that it is impossible for one not to take a dip as soon as one lays eyes on it.

This waterfall further drains from this area down to some three kilometers to the Lazi Bay. What is even more interesting is that although quite a number of people were in the falls that day, there are hardly any litter to be found, the eyesore I’ve noticed is the loosely hanging spare tire interiors in the Tarzan Swing that

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Tourists flocked the area since it was a Sunday afternoon, a thing that a tourist/traveler like me don’t like as much, as the serenity of the place is often disturbed by the crowd that has settled – the booming music from several Bluetooth speakers, the incessant shouting, and the loud noises that forms into a spasmodic kind of chaos. So it is always better to plan on weekdays to spread the impact.

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SPLASH!!! we turned our heads immediately after hearing a lady screaming like crazy before dropping down into the last and largest basin of Cambugahay Falls. Realizing it was the Tarzan Swing that we visited for, we got ecstatic upon seeing the actual thing itself with a number of tourist already lining up to try the ride for themselves.

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So we had our guide hold our stuff for us and without further ado, climbed the rickety makeshift bamboo platform that is around two-stories high where the jump deck is located. For 20php, the thrilling swing ride, with the rop tied to a higher tree branch above, will be unlimited and it is entirely up to you how many times you’ll do it.

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The smaller platform where another swing is located is at the rear of the basin where one can sample the jump before proceeding to the even higher one where we were standing at the moment.

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When it was my turn, the excitement suddenly shifted to nervousness, as I tightly gripped the handle, a little bit of a short three second countdown, and a sudden jolt of courage. I jumped from the platform, launching and propelling myself from the bamboo deck, the air swooshing from all sides and the exhilarating feeling is all that is happening at that moment. But then the hardest part, I guess, is knowing when to hold on or to eventually let go (lol, hugoooooot). But kidding aside, at the same exact time where my thought seemed to wander, about 2 seconds and a half later, I let go of the rope before splashing feet first into the water, before I resurfaced triumphantly. So, it happened seven more times, until I felt that I should still reserve more energy for the Salagdoong Cliff jump later that afternoon.

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We then visited the upper cascades after, and it is also good for swimming if you want to just relax and spend the lazy afternoon by the river. We packed up and ascended back to the jump-off point to visit the famous attraction of Maria, Siquijor; the Salagdoong Beach.

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How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Siquijor Circumferential Rd, Lazi, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee:
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

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Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated October 10, 2018

Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.


Adrenaline Rush and Diving Boards

“Three…two…one…TALON!”(3..2…1.. JUMP!) Shouted by the people surrounding the 35 ft high diving platform. As I tightly held on to my action camera, I ran half-hearted out of the diving platform down into the water. I am now airborne, but falling, that was the longest three seconds of my life, shouting frantically until I realized that I am still falling even after letting out that scream (of agony). I involuntarily shut my eyes and felt the air swooshed against my whole body before plunging into the aquamarine water, I reemerged a few seconds later above the water feeling my ear tingling from the shift of pressure, before gasping out a heavy load of air to refuel my lungs. “WOOOOH, ISA PA!” (WOOOH, ONE MORE!) I exclaimed as people watched in awe and excitement from above as I swam across the not-so-calm water of Salagdoong Beach.

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A visitor posing at the lower diving board.
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One of the few many who braves the 35 feet high platform

With each of them jumping right after the next, this cliff dive spot in Siquijor is definitely an adrenaline junkie’s kind of spot. The height of the diving board may not sound so promising at 30ft (9meters) and 35ft (10meters) but if you place yourself over the edge, you might be one of the many visitors who just climbs up for the photo but never jumps down. For the ones who already tried the jump, they all speak but of one thing: “One of a kind experience!”

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I already tried cliff jumping most of the time and if given the chance, from top of waterfalls, from cliffs down to the sea, on top of huge rocks down into the river, and even swinging from ropes down to the basin – and is always and will be a good dose of adrenaline. But with these kinds of leap of faith, it is always the first jump that matters, once you made it, there’s no telling how many times you’re going to do it again. So take that jump!

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At the northeastern side of Siquijor Island lies Salagdoong Beach, an even more quieter side of Brgy. Olang in Maria. Before reaching the area, you will turn at the Circumferential Road leading into the largest man-made Molave forest in southeast Asia spanning at 200+ hectares. The Isla del Fuego or Island of Fire got its name during the time of the Spaniards when they noticed from the Island of Negros an island at the other side that glows eerily against the dusk. This prompted them to come and visit the island only to realize that it was due to the hoards of fireflies that thrives at the gargantuan Molave Trees in the area.

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Passing through this thick canopied forest with the laidback afternoon sun trying to pierce through, the crooked branches resplendent with leaves and buzzing insect sounds made this part of Siquijor a bewitching experience.

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Arriving at the Salagdoong Beach, the sand isn’t as fine as that of Paliton Beach nor at the Port of Siquijor, but it was rather coarse and mixed with ground coral rocks. But the real draw here is the deep aquamarine water that is so inviting even the marine life underneath it is a sight to behold, that anyone one couldn’t resist to take a dip.

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This is a public beach but the resort now collects an entrance fee for the maintenance of the cottages, parking, and shower areas. Adjacent to the beach at the top of the small hill is Hotel Agrifino where one can spend the night.

This is actually a twin beach that is separated by a 50ft tall coral rock where the slide and diving platform are located. One can take the 30ft with the highest one at 35ft.

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The rest of the remaining hour we spent wading through the beach and relaxing after a long day of circling the island. We tidied up after a few more minutes and rode our tricycle service for the last leg of the Siquijor adventure.


How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Brgy. Olang, Maria, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: 75php
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour


P.S. – I reviewed the video clip from the action camera during the jump, that face tho. 😀


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

LRM_EXPORT_444134350940041_20180921_221251214.jpg

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated October 06, 2018

 

From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.

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Nimbus 2018

We alighted at the side of the road somewhere in Lazi overlooking the coastal areas in this southern part of the island. Then hysteric laughter echoed from inside the small hut that seems to be a cafe and souvenir area. “Sir, Hapitanan na, walang babayaran, donation lang dito..” (Sir, we’re in Hapitanan, no fees to be collected here just donations..”) Kuya Raul said as he slowly parked his red tricycle beside several more parked.

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Then it just struck me that this is where the famous broomstick photos I am reading from the internet are taken. We went inside to see some groups queuing up to have their flying poses taken. From a small makeshift wooden platform, one can use the brooms provided which they call by several names like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Then from below a small window is where one can take photos of you jumping with the broom to make it look like you are riding a broomstick just like how tales of witches doing the same stuff are re-imagined.

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We also wasted no time and had our photos taken, from the shaky wooden platform, I conjured the broom by saying “Accio, Broom!” . Growing up reading and binge watching Harry Potter movies again and again, I firmly gripped the handle and mounted the broomstick, and as the whistles blew, I flew up in the air trying to grab hold of the Golden Snitch with the help of my newly acquired Nimbus 2018. Okay back to reality, it was a fun experience indeed, so make sure to drop by before swimming in Cambugahay Falls, okay?

 


If Only The Walls Could Talk

Just a few more minutes after Hapitanan, gargantuan Acacia Trees came into sight, lining up along the plaza providing enough shade to anyone passing by. Then the century old structures came into view, the barn-like appearance of San Isidro Labrador Church to the right and its equally imposing and complimentary Convent to the left.

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Being a UNESCO Baroque Church candidate, the San Isidro Labrador Church or commonly called as Lazi Church is now undergoing a major rehabilitation. I really appreciate this move since from the previous articles I have read, the church is already in a very sorry state, coral stone interiors slowly being eaten by lichens and moss, two pulpits in a very bad shape, birds taking refuge and pockmarking the blue painted tin ceiling,  and the creaking hardwood flooring. Galvanized roofs now lined up the whole perimeter area but one can still see the coral stone facade flanked by tin roofing on the upper pediments. This was built in 1857 by Augustinian Recollects.

Here are some of the photos I have seen from Lakad Pilipinas entry about the Lazi Church before the restoration:

Lazi Church facade before the restoration. (Photo from http://www.lakadpilipinas.com)
Lazi Church interiors before the restoration. (Photo from http://www.lakadpilipinas.com)

Just across the road, the newly renovated Lazi Convent stood sentinel. Straddled across a 2500 square meters of land, this was once the biggest amongst its kind not just in the country but in the whole of Asia back in the days. This was finished thirty years after the town church was built.

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The two-story structure was built in the traditional Bahay-Na-Bato style. The ground floor made up also of coral ricks similar to the church which has arches that lines up the corridor. The second floor is made up of local hardwood with windows adorned in the traditional Capiz Shell. The structure’s tin roof extends up to the apex that doubles the height of the imposing structure.

From the inside, creepy walls line up the ground floor which serves as a temporary makeshift church while the church is being repaired.  Then a staircase leads to the second floor of the convent. Everything inside is now carefully rehabilitated with the once derelict and dilapidated interiors restored to their formal glory, from the replaced stained glass windows, waxed Narra flooring, up to the carefully polished balustrades and the several church pews temporarily put in the second level.

One of the halls now serves as a museum that have several artifacts that is as old as the tales, if only the walls could talk and these artifacts could tell stories. The church and convent relics vary from antique saints and religious icons, scrolls, musty wardrobes of friars and priests, old books, a rusty typewriter, black and white photographs of the old church and surrounding areas, and some haunting pieces of old hardwood.

Here are some of the photos I have seen from Lakad Pilipinas entry about the Lazi Convent before the restoration:

Lazi Convent before the restoration. (Photo from http://www.lakadpilipinas.com)
Lazi Convent second floor interiors before the res. (Photo from http://www.lakadpilipinas.com)

The history of this imposing structures really have a lot to tell since time immemorial. If only we could visit it back in the days to see how their daily lives went inside this halls.

We boarded inside the tricycle and proceeded to the much awaited cascades of Cambugahay Falls.


How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Siquijor Circumferential Road, Maria, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: None
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour

Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

LRM_EXPORT_444134350940041_20180921_221251214.jpg

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated September 23, 2018

 

Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.

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Coconuts and Glassy Waters

Right after a rather quick stop over at the church and plaza near the port, we headed down to the Siquijor signage inside the boulevard fronting the sea a few kilometers from the town proper.

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A little bit farther from the town of Siquijor, we traversed the provincial road before following a detour with a signage that says “To Paliton Beach” into a dirt road before stopping nearby the coast. Towering coconut trees fringed the coastline from afar while the salty yet refreshing breeze of the sea again greeted us again.

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Contrary to the moniker calling it the Boracay of Siquijor, Paliton Beach indeed has fine creamy sands that are really soft to the feet and hugged by the glassy waters. Also this is a marine sanctuary filled with a diverse set of species that thrives underneath its ocean currents.

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From a distance, wading through the waters will give you a glimpse of the corals and sea urchins, it is also said that it is a good diving spot wherein there are three submarine caves where divers can witness sleeping Reef Sharks and plethora of marine life.

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But then again, with the aftermath of the typhoon that just visited the Visayas Region, seaweeds are scattered along the shore, and also the ocean tide is high that day.

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So we contented ourselves by just lazing around and taking photos of the iconic trees that compliment the shore of this public beach which stretches from both sides up to the private properties and resorts where several more beaches with the same kind of fine white sand beach are also present.

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If only we had time to spend here, the sunset here must be one of those spectacular ones in the country. After almost half an hour, we started packing up and headed down to the town of Lazi to witness the infamous Balete Tree of the island.

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How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • San Juan, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: None
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

 

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton BeachLogomakr_5P0UNAUpdated September 23, 2018

 

Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.


Blank Icy Stare and Goosebumps

A gazebo that serves as candle lighting area welcomed us as we arrived in the church grounds of the Our Lady of the Divine Providence Church in Maria, Siquijor. This is the last church we visited and unlike any other church this is, I must say a controversial one.

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Siquijor is one spooky place riddled with unexplored caves, eerie looking churches and tales of witches and black magic. But if you are looking for something that justifies this urban legends, then visiting this church is a must. From the outside it is made up of limestone rocks because of its dark minimalistic facade appearance. An octagonal bell structure is adjoined to the church, there are no saints on niches nor intricate carvings or grand designs.

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Then this is where the creepiness starts, from the newly constructed portico that does seem to match the church exteriors, the door itself is a wooden ten commandments tablets, with the opening curtained by black yarns extending from the top of the door down to the ground.

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The interiors of the church is also somber and plain looking, but from the inside it was rather massive. Less might be more for this church since the white washed walls are slowly being colored green and black by the lichens slowly creeping through the church walls.

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Then what is really interesting and a hair-raiser is the statue that is encased in glass at the left portion of the church.1539339903344707.jpeg

Dressed like the Virgin Mary, but with robes colored in black and embellished with gems and glittering sequins – Black Magic Maria (Valak?), as called by many, clutches a skull in the right hand and an inverted cross in the left one, but as of writing, the one I saw in Siquijor holds it in an upright position. She’s said to be a a nighwalker, taking in the tales of the locals, back in the days, the petite religious icon suddenly disappears from its glass cabinet during dusk and appears back before dawn. Why a nightwalker? Her feet is always covered in mud and grass.

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I don’t know how possible it is, but upon seeing her, the blank icy stare and the somber pale looking face that sports a thin frowning mouth suddenly sent chills down my spine as I saw her almost piercing gaze as if looking right through your soul. This is one of the many firsts where I got spooked by a lifeless statue, seriously, given that I have this unexplained fear with dolls and clowns.

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But amidst these stories, St. Rita of Cascia, is an Italian Saint that is the patroness of hardships and impossible causes, abuse victims, against loneliness, sterility and many more relating to the life she led when she was alive. She was wed to an abusive husband and bear twins, sadly her husband was killed, and in the same year her twins were also killed after swearing vengeance to their father’s killer. She served in the convent for forty years right after the depressing event. Miraculously she received a chronic head wound that is said to come from the crown of thorns and bled for fifteen more years before she died of tuberculosis in the convent of Cascia in 1457.

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More of her story here: Black Magic Mary – The Myth

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The afternoon sun is still perched in its highest peak, but the thought of seeing the statue looking at us from the upper reaches of the eerie looking church during dusk was a thought too crazy to imagine. We headed back to our tricycle and prepared ourselves for the exciting cliff jump in Salagdoong!


How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Siquijor Circumferential Road, Maria, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: None
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

LRM_EXPORT_444134350940041_20180921_221251214.jpg

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated September 23, 2018

 

Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.

1539339919435149.jpeg


 The Port Is More Than Enough

I tried to catch some zzzz’s inside the fast craft to provide me with the energy I need for the Siquijor day trip since we came directly from Manila that same day. As soon as the vessel departed from the Port of Dumaguete, so did my conciousness and I floated aimlessly into limbo for an hour until the loudspeaker announced that we are nearing the island of Siquijor.

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As we docked and disembarked into the port of Siquijor, what immediately got my attention is how clean the water is, the shallow translucent sea water was more than beautiful than any other port that I have seen so far (Also include the boat port in Biri, Northern Samar). From the both sides of the concrete causeway, the waters are so inviting that I could go in for a swim anytime. The port beach in the town of Siquijor in Siquijor is really more than enough.

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Contrary to trash ridden piers in the country, this one is clearly a stand out, the fine white sand along the beach is devoid of any litter and floating plastic and garbage, but full of kids playing and locals tending to their daily activities.

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St. Francis de Assisi Church

Not from afar our tour guide, Kuya Raul Gom-os waived his hands in the air as we talked over the phone checking out where his location is.

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Without any further ado, we rode the tricycle and ventured out into the Welcome Siquijor Sign and with the St. Francis de Assisi Church looming in the background as the first stop of the usual Siquijor Tricycle Tour. It was just a few meters away, should’ve just walked then.

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As we waited for our turn to have our photos, tourists started to flock the little plaza where the colorful Siquijor sign stood. The Sunday gospel in the usual Cebuano language boomed from inside the small church across the street.

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Siquijor Church as the locals call it is located just a few meters away from the port where a convent also stands. According to the National Historical Institute marker posted on the right side of the coral stone church, it was said to be built in 1783 and is said to have a Nipa roof back then before being converted into the present galvanized iron roofing.

 

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I was not able to fully appreciate the interiors of the church due to the ongoing Sunday Mass but I observed that the facade maybe a little subdued and petite but one you looked inside, it goes pretty deep. The interiors are very basic without any grand chandeliers nor intricately carved woodworks nor elaborate paintings, it is just pure white with a basic cruciform plan. Not far away from the church is the Bell Tower or campanaryo made from Adobe stones that stands on top of the hilly part of the plaza that is said to be used by the natives to watch out for marauders docking into the island’s nearby shores.

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The morning sun is clearly blinding and starting to get really hot, so after spending a few minutes around the area, we carried on to the next part of the tricycle tour to the town of San Juan.


How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Santa Fe St, Siquijor, 6225 Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: None
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Standard Rate/Day Tour


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

LRM_EXPORT_444134350940041_20180921_221251214.jpg

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated September 22, 2018

 

Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century-Old Balete Tree

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale. Let Transit Pinas take you on a journey of unveiling what hides behind the peculiar stories and legends surrounding the mystic island of Siquijor and why you should start packing your bags and discover for yourself what awaits inside the Isla Del Fuego.


Under The Canopy: A Tickle Fest

Still in awe of beach and waters inside and nearby the Siquijor Port, our tricycle started rolling along the winding circumferential road of the province. “Mga fifteen minutes ‘dun na tayo sa Balete..” (“Around 15 more minutes and we’ll be arriving at the Balete”) Kuya Raul said while steering the vehicle that was larger than the usual.

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Minutes seem to pass by swiftly after buying snacks and traversing through the town of San Juan, and in no time, we were standing next to the gnarly yet haunting Balete tree just beside the highway. Its multitude of vines reaches down until the ground and its lush leaves provide a cool canopy from the intense heat of the midday sun. What’s interesting is that a number of people sitting inside what seems to be a natural pool just below the canopy of the Balete Tree, are having the time of their lives.

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It is said to be around 400 years old and the biggest in the island but I think this is only the third biggest after the Balete Trees in Canlaon City in Negros Oriental and the ones in Baler, Aurora. But this one is unique from the lot since it has a fish spa underneath it.

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At the base of this ginormous tree is a cold spring that flows down into the pond that is artificially placed by the people with a little overflow down the street. Maybe this explains the longevity and the size of the said tree and I also noticed that the host tree where the Balete Tree is thriving is still alive. Contrary to popular belief, Balete’s do not grow on their own, they are rather parasitic in nature and wraps itself around a healthy tree until it dies. But with the case of this Siquijor Tree, they are having quite a peculiar understanding.

Then from below the water thrives a number of small fishes that nibbles out the dead skin cells from the feet of any tourist, a fish spa indeed. We also tried doing it and ended up pulling our feet from time to time due to the ticklish feeling when a group starts to swarm a foot or two. Then there are also big Tilapia fishes that does the trick and also helps out the little ones in nibbling out your foot, it was a bit scary at first to have a fish that big eat out portions of your feet, but you’ll soon get over it.

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Then adjacent the Balete tree is a souvenir shop and a cafe selling peculiar items that are up for grabs. It is only in Siquijor where you get to buy a vial of Gayuma (Love Potion), Voodoo Dolls as keychain, Anting-anting (Charms) all sorts of oily concotions for any ailing body parts and even dried mixture of leaves that is said to heal sorts of diseases.

 

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Truly, Siquijor capitalizes in its reputation for the black arts and sorcery that makes this mystical island stand out from the rest.

Up to this day, as of this writing, I can still feel those swarm of fishes, both big and small, having quite a good time eating the calluses from my weary feet. What an experience from Isla Del Fuego!


How To Get There:

  • This is part of the Siquijor Tricycle Day Tour hosted by Kuya Raul Gom-os (09355965465)
    • Siquijor Circumferential Road, Lazi, Siquijor
    • Entrance Fee: 15php
    • Tricycle Tour: 1000php Day Tour


Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 56th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

LRM_EXPORT_444134350940041_20180921_221251214.jpg

Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Taking the Leap of Faith – Cliff Jumping at Salagdoong Beach
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated September 22, 2018

Siquijor Travel Guide

The Land of Faith Healing: strange as it seems, travelling to the island of Siquijor will raise eyebrows once mentioned because of its reputation for the black arts. Even the older generations still practices and believes in witchcraft and sorcery; although at present time it is still practiced in a less prevalent scale.

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Because of the eerie glow the island emits during sundown, particulary from fireflies flocking the gargantuan Molave trees, it tickled the curiosity of Spaniards to visit it – “Si Kihod” answered by a native who thought they were asking for his name (instead of the name of the place), and eventually turned to “Siquijor” after some time.

Not just a folklore about the womb of the sea giving birth to an island, but the origin of the mystical island was just quite recent, geologically speaking, as proved by the coralline terraces found in some municipalities. Moreover, fossils of Giant Clams (tridacna) and other mollusks that are living in the vicinity today are found on top of the hills, Mt. Malabahoc/ Bandilaan (638+) and even the plowing fields.

From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor.


Where is Siquijor:

Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country located in the Central Visayas region after Camiguin and Batanes. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor with five other municipalities named San Juan, Lazi, Maria, Enrique Villanueva and Larena. It lies southeast from Cebu and Negros across Cebu Strait (also called Bohol Strait) and southwest from Bohol.

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Map of Siquijor Island


How To Get There:

Being an island province without a bustling city center, the only way to get to Siquijor is via Ferries and Fastcraft from several ports such as Dumaguete City, Tagbilaran City, Cebu via Bato, and Iligan City. Travelers from outside of the said regions can easily access it through its main hub, Dumaguete City via Dumaguete-Sibulan Aiport. And for international travelers planning to visit the charming island, the easiest way to get in from Hongkong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan is via Mactan-Cebu International Airport then take a bus bound for Dumaguete City in Cebu South Bus Terminal.

  • From Metro Manila:
    • ● Cebu Pacific – Flies 2 to 3 times daily to Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport
      ● Philippine Airlines – Flies 2 times daily Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport
  • From Dumaguete City Port (Fare starts at 136php to 360php):
    • GL Shipping Lines (1hr travel time, Fast Craft, sails daily)
      • Dumaguete City To Siquijor, Siquijor: 05:45am / 10:15am / 12:00pm / 02:00pm / 04:30pm
      • Siquijor, Siquijor to Dumaguete City: 05:50am / 09:30am / 01:00pm / 02:30pm / 05:45pm
    • Ocean Jet (45mins travel time, Fast Craft, sails daily)
      • Dumaguete City to Siquijor, Siquijor: 07:00am / 12:50pm
      • Siquijor, Siquijor to Dumaguete City: 06:00am / 01:40pm
    • MV Siquijor Island Ferry (1hr travel time, fast craft, sails every Saturday)
      • Dumaguete City to Siquijor, Siquijor: 05:00am
      • Siquijor, Siquijor to Dumaguete City: 06:00am
    • Montenegro Shipping Lines (2hrs travel time, Ferry, sails daily)
      • Dumaguete City to Larena, Siquijor: 10:00am / 06:00pm
      • Larena, Siquijor to Dumaguete City: 06:00am / 02:00pm

  • From Tagbilaran City (Bohol) Port (Fare starts at 210php to 360php)
    • Ocean Jet (Fast Craft, sails daily)
      • Tagbilaran City to Siquijor, Siquijor: 10:30am
      • Siquijor, Siquijor to Tagbilaran City: 01:50pm

Mode of transportation in the island is by tricycles and habal-habal, buses ply the municipalities but with very limited trips. Vans and multicabs can be rented through accredited tour operators.

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Where To Stay:

With the steady rise of visitors in the island, several hotels and inns for travelers have sprouted in the island, here are some hotels to help you choose when visiting Siquijor, the cheapest can cost you at around 400php per head, just like whjat we availed in Replica Manor in the town of Siquijor.

  • Siquijor, Siquijor:
    • Tumamak Lodge – Port Area, Siquijor, Siquijor / 0905-149-6724
    • Replica Manor – Rates Start at 800php/night / Siquijor, Siquijor
    • Guiwanon Spring Park – Rates start at 300php/night / Brgy. Luyang, Siquijor, Siquijor / 0926-460-6010
  • San Juan, Siquijor
    • Good Vibes Siquijor – Check Rates Here / San Juan, Siquijor
    • Coco Grove Resort – Brgy. Tubod, San Juan, Siquijor / 0939-915-5123
    • Lorna’s End Of The World – Brgy. Lala-O, San Juan, Siquijor /  0927-381-6377
    • Toris Backpacker Paradise – Check Rates Here / Maite, San Juan, Siquijor
  • Lazi, Siquijor
    • NJ Pension House and Restaurant – Check Rates Here / Zamora Cor. Aljas Streets, Lazi, Siquijor
  • Maria, Siquijor
    • Hotel Agripino – Rates Start at 800php/ Brgy. Olang, Maria, Siquijor
  • Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor
    • Seaside Garden Cottages and Resorts – Brgy. Camogao, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor /  (0906) 829-5704

Click here for more accommodations: Where to Stay in Siquijor 


Travel Tips:

  • People are very hospitable, everyone smiles and also understands Tagalog, with the majority speaking Cebuano.
  • Plan ahead and prepare, make sure that you have already contacted your hotel/home stay/tour guide of your choice as some of them may get fully booked during peak season.
    • Our contact tricycle tour operator is Raul Padayhag Gom-os (0935-596-5465) or Kuya Joam (0927-693-2095)
  • Always remember to treat your tour guides / drivers nicely and even include them in your meals as a sign of courtesy with these hardworking locals, include tips aside from their usual fees.
  • If very desperate to be in a relationship, make sure to buy a vial of Siquijor’s Love Potion and slip it into that unsuspecting person’s drink to make sure that forever is now within reach.
  • I suggest to also travel during the dry season from January to April so waterfalls have their unique blue color and beaches devoid of washed out trash and seaweeds.
  • Travel during lean season as rates are relatively cheaper as compared during peak season, moreover, you can enjoy the beach and other destinations without the usual crowds (travel on weekdays).
  • It is advisable to travel with a companion or a group so rates can be divided to how many of you are in the group so your budget stays on the safe zone.
  • Pack food and water with you, although stores are present at most of the destinations, prices are steeper as compared to the regular cost.
  • Check the availability of Passenger Ships/RORO/Fast Crafts to and fro the island of Siquijor to avoid missing the first/last trip.
  • It is advisable to waterproof your gadgets by bringing dry bags most particularly if visiting beaches and waterfalls.
  • Signal for Globe and Smart is present and has good reception at town propers and internet connection is available at your hotels, while data reception is sporadic and intermittent.
  • Pack your trash and leave no trace, practice LNT Principles all the time

Speak Siquijor:

Since it is close to the islands of Negros, Cebu and Bohol, most of the locals, referred to as Siquijoranons, speak Cebuano with English as their second language. Here are few phrases you can use when travelling to the Land of Faith Healing:

  • Maayong adlaw! – Good day!
  • Maayong buntag! – Good morning!
  • Maayong udto! – Good noon!
  • Maayong gabii! – Good evening!
  • Daghang salamat! Thank you very much!
  • Lami kaayo – Very delicious
  • Oo, Dili – Yes, No
  • Tagpila kini? – How much?
  • Ambot – I Don’t Know
  • Wa ko kasabot – I Can’t Understand
  • Stop! – Hunung!
  • usa, duha, tulo, upat, lima, unom, pito, walo, siyam, napulo – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten

Things To See in Siquijor:

  • Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor
    • Cang-isok Old House
    • Camugao Beach
    • Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya
  • Larena, Siquijor
    • Sandugan Beach
    • St. Vincent Ferrer Parish and Bell Tower

Extend Your Trip:

  • Negros Oriental:
    • Casaroro Falls
    • Pulang Bato Falls
    • Twin Lakes: Balinsasayao and Danao
  • Dumaguete City
    • Silliman University
  • Cebu
    • Oslob Whale Shark Watching
    • Moalboal Sardine Run
    • Kawasan Canyoneering

Itinerary and Expenses:

This is part of the author’s 2-day Negros Oriental – Siquijor Adventure last September 09-10, 2018

DAY 01
0450 NAIA T3 via CebPac (823php GetGO Promo Fare)
0610 Sibulan Airport, Dumaguete City
0630 Take multicab to Port Crossing
0640 Alight at crossing (8php), take tricycle to port
0700 Buy tickets for GL Shipping Lines Fastcraft (200php, 15php terminal fee)
0710 Depart for Siquijor, Siquijor
0805 Arrival at Siquijor Port, Siquijor
0830 Meet Guide, Picture at San Isidro Church
0945 I Love Siquijor sign, Siquijor Boulevard
1015 Enchanted Balete Tree (15php)
1045 Hapitanan Broomstick Challenge (20php, donation)
1100 Lazi Church and Convent (20php/pax)
1200 Lunch, Cambugahay Falls (20php entrance, 50php parking fee, 100php guide fee – not mandatory, 20php Tarzan Swing)
1215 Free time, Tarzan Swing
1330 Depart for Salagdoong
1600 Salagdoong Beach (50php)
1615 Cang-isok Old House
1630 Pan De Bisaya, snacks
1645 Tulapos Marine Sanctuary Beach
1700 Depart for Siquijor, Siquijor (1200php, Tricycle Tour c/o Raul Gom-os)
1800 Siquijor Boulevard, Watch Sunset, Dinner
1900 Check in at Replica Manor (850php/2pax)
2200 Lights Off

DAY 02
0530 Wake up, take tricycle to Siquijor Port (50)
0600 Ocean Jet Fastcraft to Dumaguete City (250php, 19php Terminal Fee)
0645 Dumaguete Port, breakfast
0730 Start tour
0830 Lake Balinsasayao (50php)
0915 Lake Danao, boat ride (250php)
0945 Back at jumpoff point
1015 Snacks at Lake Viewdeck
1045 Mountain Viewdeck (725masl)
1130 Sulfur Mountain, Ocoy Valley
1200 Pulangbato Falls (50php)
1300 Depart
1315 Tierra Alta (50php)
1345 Depart for Valencia
1400 Lunch at Estrella’s Eatery, Zamora St. Valencia
1430 Depart for Casaroro Falls
1515 Casaroro Falls, start trek (10php)
1530 Casaroro Falls
1630 Ascend back to jumpoff point 0515 Dumaguete City – Silliman Hall, Campanaryo, Provincial Capitol – DumaguetMe Sign
1815 End of tour (1600php/2pax)
1830 Check in at ND Lodge (873php/2pax), tidy up
1930 Try Silvanas at Sans Rival Store
2030 Dinner
2200 Lights off

DAY 03
0615 Depart for Manila
0800 Manila, Back to reality

Total Damage for Siquijor Overnight trip (excluding food and other incidentals):

For Solo Traveler: 2829.00 +/-php
For Two Persons: 1729.00 +/-php


Disclaimer: This is based on the actual trip that I have done, all information stated above is up to date as of writing. There are more options to choose from and please feel free to message me for any concerns and suggestions that comes up as you browse this series. 

Location in the Philippines

Demystifying Siquijor: From Black Magic Maria, love potions, Voodoo Dolls, broomstick rides, century old churches and convent, up to the stunning waterfalls and beaches, let Transit Pinas take you on a day trip across Isla Del Fuego as he uncovers the brighter side beyond the esoteric and peculiar charm of Siquijor. Follow this adventure series into the Land of Faith Healing, as I ventured into my 57th province last September 09, 2018.  Umari kamo niing matahum nga dapit!


Demystifying Siquijor Adventure Series 2018

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Siquijor Travel Guide
Entering the Land of Faith Healing – Siquijor, Siquijor
Towering Palms and Creamy White Sands – Paliton Beach
Hauntingly Beautiful – Lazi’s Century Old Balete Tree
From Broomsticks to Eerie Convent Halls – Lazi Church and Convent
Tarzan Swings and Enchanting Cascades – Cambugahay Falls
Black Magic Maria – Siquijor’s Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
Roadside Foodcrawl – Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya
Sunset Over The Mystic Island – Siquijor Boulevard

Have you been into the province of Siquijor? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

Siquijor Travel Guide
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated September 2018

In Photos: Braving Basilan

 

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Mundane Mondays
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Bagong Yugto
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Padayon
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Masjid Mabarakat
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Papunta ka palang, pabalik na ako
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Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag
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Basic Needs
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Pagkakaisa
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Sa Ngalan Ng Isang Kilong Dinurado
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Tulo
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Pamamalagi
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Ngiting Tagumpay
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Ang Bata Sa Cabunbata
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Paglipay
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Ipagpatuloy Ang Daloy
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Speeding Papet
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Inshallah
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Paradiso
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Minaret
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Pinaglipasan
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Vinta, Aking Sinta
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Enciong
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Crossing Borders
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Jollibomb
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Pagitan
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Patungo
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Pasasalamat
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Satti
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Kristyanismo sa Bayang Islam

Location in the PhilippinesBraving Basilan: This adventure series narrates what transpired during my day trip across the island of Basilan, as I set foot on my 55th province last August 20, 2018. The road not taken and an eluded paradise – this has been once home to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and historically also the staging ground for Moro Raids in Zamboanga. Giving it the notoriety as one the most dangerous provinces in the Philippines. Follow me as I show you the other side of Basilan!


Have you been into the province of Basilan? How was it? Share it in the comments section below!

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Photos: Braving Basilan
Logomakr_5P0UNA
Updated August 29, 2018

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