As the dawn breaks on the island on a Sunday, Siquijor Church is already all lit up for the early mass. Siquijor, with all its interesting churches, is also known, or should I say notoriously known, for alleged practices of black magic and witchcraft. Its an interesting juxtaposition but personally I find the island too beautiful to entertain such a notion.
My few days of stay offered me a glimpse of how it is there. I concentrated more on the sense of place.
As you step off the ferry in Siquijor pier, you get an idea of how beautiful the beaches are around the island.
Even on this public beach, the sand is creamy white and fine, and the water is emerald green. You can just drop off your bags in a corner and dive right in.
Most common form of transportation around this sleepy island is either my tricycle or by motorbike (which you can rent for just 300-350 pesos a day). Crime rate is so slow you can even leave your bike by the side of the road and still find it there the next day. No one would steal it, for it would be difficult to find something like that in an island just 22 km across at its widest and about the same distance from northern tip to the southernmost part.
You can circumvent whole island riding on a motorcycle along its coastal road in less than 3 hours.
Most folks visiting Siquijor would go straight to San Juan, a town on the southern part of the island. Its where the long stretch of white sand beaches are, so naturally its where most of the resorts are. But even today you can still find a lot of unspoilt and undeveloped beaches near the area.
Sandugan beach low tide
I stayed far up north in Larena where most of the mangrove sanctuaries are. For a few days I stayed in Sandugan beach on the north western tip of the island. Its a quiet place and perfect destination with no blaring karaoke music.
For two straight days I was treated to glorious light displays during sunrise and sunset.
It is in places like Siquijor where you see folks living harmoniously with the land, or the sea for this matter.
Sunrise and sunset are special times of the day, not just because of the colors of nature, but for catching something to put on the table.
At low tide, you'll see locals heading to the beach with small buckets. Soon these buckets will be filled with sea cucumbers, small crabs, shellfish, seaweeds, and whatnot.
After a few days I was convinced that this was indeed paradise, and some folks going here are coming for the wrong reasons, when in fact the right one is staring you right in the face.