We went to Siquijor for the very first time last March. Ang tagal na namin sa Dumaguete pero nun lang kami napunta. Daming reasons. Oh well, finally, nakarating na rin.
We traveled by ship, which I would recommend if you have lots of time. If you're going for a day trip, ride a fastcraft. Tickets are sold on the day itself -- no need to get tickets in advance. Well, more like, they WON'T sell you tickets in advance.
So we rode the ship. Took us a looooooonnnnngggg time. Parang more than an hour. I didn't mind it though. The weather was sunshiny and water was so bright and blue. Plus may kadaldalan ako -- a girl from Mandaluyong traveling with her boyfriend. I miss makipagdaldalan ng Tagalog and I really enjoyed our kwentuhan. Kids are so lucky nowadays kasi ang mura na ng air travel. Unlike dati, it was prohibitive talaga. I diss Cebu Pacific every so often, but I can't deny that they did change the landscape (airscape?) of Philippine aviation with their cheap flights. Oh, mabalik tayo sa sea travel. Try not to get the air-conditioned cabins and instead opt for open air seats. Sarap ng hanging-dagat.
It was a little before lunch when we got to Siquijor pier and the closest food place was Portside Café. I bought roasted chicken from the neighboring Señor Pedro, but it didn't taste good, quite unlike those being sold here in Dumaguete. TheHusband and Sharkteeth bought a platter of fried chicken, chicken fingers, fries, and other finger food, which all of us liked.
My new friend -- he reminds me of Toby in the West Wing. Must be the sad, solemn eyes.
After lunch, we walked a bit around the poblacion of Siquijor. We also went inside Siquijor Church.
Church of Siquijor
The parish was established by secular priests under the patronage [not sure about the translation] of St. Francis of Assissi in February 1, 1783. P. Setten, a secular, started the building of the stone church under the management of P. Alonso de los Delores from 1795 to 1831. The structure of the convent was similar to a fortress to combat frequent pirate attacks.
We booked at Buco Beach Resort in Sawang, Maria, which is on the opposite side of the town of Siquijor and is midway between the towns of Enrique Villanueva and Lazi. While we were in the church, a guy chatted us up, and he said we should pass through Lazi and visit the church. So we did. It was another looooonggg trip, but, again, it was beautiful. We passed through San Juan, and the blue water was sparkling and all sorts of beautiful.
|Quite a place to spend eternity in|
This public cemetery near the beach appears to be abandoned and neglected. Ewan ko ba...si Voldemort ang naisip ko nung makita ko yung broken tomb.
Finally, we reached Lazi. We're so glad we passed through this route. It's a beautiful town.
I wasn't able to capture the enormity of this tree. It is huge. Not sequoia-huge, but huge nonetheless.
The floor of the church is made of two-tone wood. When we were there, somebody was buffing and shining the floor using the traditional bunot. [Bunot is a dried, halved coconut husk used to polish the floor. I hated being tasked as taga-bunot pag cleaner ako nung nag-aaral pa ako 'cause it was so tiring.] The floor isn't perfect, but it appears sturdy and strong, and so shiny (the bunot, see). The church itself is beautiful, especially with its gold and turquoise color theme.
We had a bit of trouble looking for a connecting ride to Maria, and eventually, we just rented a tricycle to bring us there.
It was mid-afternoon when we reached Buco Beach Resort. It's a nice little quiet place, and we were able to get a beachfront room. The accommodation was basic, but the room was huge and with two double beds. Both beds have canopies, which apparently weren't mere decorations, as on the side of the resort runs an estuary. But I didn't see any mosquitoes. That is not to say that there weren't any insects 'cause I was bitten by unknown insects, which left me so itchy. Up to now eh hindi pa galing yung mga insect bites. It is awful. My dad sagely remarked, "nabarang ka" when he saw the bites.
The place was really quiet. Sharkteeth was so disappointed because of the isolation and the lack of beach-goers. We had the whole beach (and resort, seems like) to ourselves. I was expecting some island and reggae beats, but only the sound of the water could be heard. The sand was white and powdery near the beach but a bit rocky underwater. I thought the place would be teeming with marine life, but I only saw a few fishies. So that was a bit of a letdown. Nagdala pa naman kami ng snorkeling gear.
We woke up early the following morning and watched the sun rise.
There were so many tiny crabs going to the sea, and it was like something out of a horror film seeing such number of crabs. I imagined myself being chased by the crabs and eventually stumbling down (thank you, pes planus) and being smothered/eaten by them, with only bones left after they're done. Horror story talaga.
When we first got there, Sharkteeth tried the hammock and it flipped over, throwing S out. She was so furious. She felt like it was a personal attack on her being. A total affront! The next morning, she tried it again and vanquished it. Triumph for Sharkteeth! LOL!
The food in the resort was okay, nothing spectacular, but it was something I would prepare at home and was comforting. The staff and the owner were all very polite and attentive. I wouldn't mind staying there again.
We were initially planning to go back to Siquijor via Enrique and Larena, but our schedule was tight, and as we didn't have return tickets yet, we didn't want to risk any delay. We had a difficult time getting a ride back to Siquijor, and we waited for more than an hour before we got a ride to Lazi.
From Lazi, we were able to get a ride going back to Siquijor. We got there fairly early, and we were able to walk around again. Ehem, nakapag-ukay pa ako and found a nice little Longchamp LePliage tote. Forty-five pesos. Say what?! Hahahaha! Di ko na tinawaran. Nakakahiya naman. We got the last trip going to Dumaguete, and it was already dark when we got back home.
|Negros Oriental, dusk|
Siquijor is one of the places in the Philippines that is usually associated with mystic traditions, with whispers of witchcraft always breathed whenever somebody mentions going there. But insect bites aside, all I've encountered were courteous and welcoming people and I would love to go there again. It reminds me of a simpler time when the world seemed quieter and less complicated and time passed by slowly.