Sunday, October 02, 2005


SIQUIJOR HAS ARRIVED! Siquijor is of course NOT anywhere near the waters of the Caribbean. Siquijor is an island yes, amidst the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Yes. There were Pirates there too. Siquijor was believed to have risen out of the ocean in a display of thunder and lightening to form a land area masked with mysteries, including unusual religious practices, different, yet parallel to such magical (black art) of the way off Caribbean Islands. Not the same, but mysterious and secret practice where many feared this unknown way of life. It certainly kept inquisitive people away over the years. As the legends spread throughout the islands of the Philippines and South East Asia, Siquijor carried with it the mystery that in part remains today. There are those still who believe the Island is, shall we say, mystical.

The island is famous for manqkukulam, healers and sorcerers who could cast maleficent spells. Enemy's took notice. Nobody wanted any black magic on their soul. There are numerous festivals on Siquijor one of which encompasses practitioners and healers who claim to possess magical powers that includes the gathering of live insects, various herbs all thrown into a cooking pot creating magical potions and spells are recited amidst the boiling concoctive. Check out the Islands festival schedules. You will have a wonderful time on Siquijor. The island is also a great DIVE Island with fantastic waters and great white sand beaches like the Salagdoong Beach, Tubod and others. Don't miss out on the caves. Oh the caves. Up in the mountains, perhaps a friend of a friend locally can whisper the secrets held in some of the lesser known caves. Try the Cave of Cantabon for one. Beautiful lakes too. Don't like ocean water all the time, then swim the lake of San Juan de Capilay. You won't be sorry.

Siquijor land area is approximately 343.50 sq. km. with about 6 incredible small towns. It is one of the smallest islands in the Philippines located in the Central Visayas. Close by is Negros Oriental and Dumaguette City. Also it is close to APO Island one of the world's most magnifient dive locations. Absolutely fabulous people with hearts of gold. So special is Siquijor, no matter where you are in the Philippines, with their many fantastic better known islands, it is worth spending the time to visit Siquijor. You may never want to leave. Great people. Great diving. Great beaches. Great and quaint resorts. Great seafood. A masterful mix of old time tourism.

Siquijor was called the Fire Island or Isla del Fuego. Named by the Spanish explorers, not because it had temples or dragons, or volcanoes but because of fire flies. Siquijor was originally known as Katugasan. TRAVELSAPIEN has no idea why. What is known is the early Spanish were awe struck at the millions of sparkling lights that danced over the island, not knowing at first they were bushels of fire flies drawn to the molave trees that were everywhere over the landscape. Like twinkling stars they lit up the night.

From it's beginning Siquijor has remained mysterious yet that same mystery draws your attention and curiosity. For those wishing something special, inexpensive, and a great life experience enjoy the opportunity. Siquijor has historical buildings too you will enjoy exploring but it is the mystical island itself that will seduce and charm you completely.
To keep up on events and peoples of Siquijor visit Gary Harrison's great site The newsletter is informative and a super source for current events on the Island. A special note of thanks for photo's that came from their gallery of photos of Siquijor as well as Tommy Schultz, who's photos are truly outstanding examples of what you will find when you visit the magical, mystical island of Siquijor. Check out Tommy's website at . Fantastic!

More to follow. SIQUIJOR An island to remember.