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TRAVEL GUIDE: Where to go in Siquijor for adventure and healing

By Katelyn Cassandra Alvarez Published Nov 22, 2022 10:30 am

Siquijor, the "land of healing" is the third smallest province in the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Despite it being one of the smallest provinces, there's a wealth of culture, adventure, and beauty to discover here.

There are no airports or sea ports that will lead you directly to Siquijor, but its beauty makes all the travel worth it. Visitors can book a flight or sea voyage to Dumaguete where you can board on a boat that will lead you to the port of Siquijor. 

Upon arriving at the entry port, the best way to explore is by motorcycle or tricycle which you can rent for a day. Vehicle rentals are widely available on the island.

Toward the end of September 2022, the provincial government of Siquijor eased their COVID-19 guidelines within the province of Siquijor. Vaccine passports and RT-PCR tests are no longer required. 

So, in case you haven't been to Siquijor yet and you're looking for somewhere new to explore, here's what you can do there.

Island of wonders

Siquijor is best known for its untouched beaches, falls, and rich marine biodiversity that will truly bring you closer to mother nature. The province’s unique culture, tradition, and beliefs, have also built up the view of Siquijor as an island full of wonders. 

The island province is also known for its traditional ways of healing. This traces back to the land’s roots when the residents had limited to no access to medical institutions. Thus, they have come to develop ways on how to treat themselves.  

Even now that medical care is made more accessible to the people, traditional healing is still prominent and has become an attraction in the province.

Cambugahay Falls 

If you’re in the mood for a cool and refreshing trip, Cambugahay Falls in Lazi is one of the top, budget-friendly attractions you can visit. Twenty pesos is all it takes to visit this Siquijor gem. This 2-meter multi-tiered waterfall can take your breath away with the sound of its raging waters, as well its peaceful atmosphere. 

Families, friends, and solo travelers usually venture here for relaxation. The locals have put up a rope swing that everyone can enjoy. Wooden floats are also accessible for a perfect hangout place while swimming and great pictures.

With an additional parking fee of P10 and P50 payment for the rope vine swings, you can enjoy a thrilling experience in these turquoise-colored falls.  

Paliton Beach 

For beach bums, one of the most enjoyable spots to visit on the island is Paliton beach. Roughly a 40-minute drive from Cambugahay Falls, this public beach with no entrance fee offers a great place for swimming during the day, as well as a perfect spot for watching sunsets. 

Cantabon Cave 

For the adventurous, Cantabon Cave is another must-visit place once you get to Siquijor. The impressive 800-meter long cave is located at the side of Mt. Bandila-an in the Barangay of Cantabon. It will take an approximate time of two to three hours to explore the entire cave. 

The sight of stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave is jaw-dropping. It also hides an underground river with clear and refreshing waters, as well as rock and terraces formations such as the King’s Bed, Shower Bell, and Angel’s Bath. 

For your safety, be sure to book a reliable tour guide to help you navigate the cave’s wonders. Tour guides usually charge a fee of P600 for caving and sightseeing. 

Tubod Marine Sanctuary 

Waste no time in unleashing your inner ‘Little Mermaid’ in an underwater adventure in Siquijor. Tubod Marine Sanctuary is a must for an up-close meet up with marine creatures.

Hundreds of marine creatures and fishes lie under this beautiful marine sanctuary. Tubod Marine Sanctuary is one, if not, the best snorkeling location there is to find in Siquijor. 

Tubod Marine Sanctuary is located in front of the Coco Grove Beach Resort and Tubod Beach. No entrance fee is charged just to lie on the sands of the beach as well, while P50 will allow you to snorkel in the sanctuary. Swimming access costs P20. 

Coco Grove Beach Resort 

From comfortable and high-end rooms to a perfect beach and diving experience, Coco Grove proves to have one of the best accommodations on the island.

With a total of 91 rooms, Coco Grove Beach Resort has a variety of rooms to choose from. Get a taste of Filipino and European cuisines as you dine in three different restaurants you can choose from. These are filled with seafood and other dishes that will give you an exquisite fiesta of flavors. 

You can also plunge into different activities that the beach resort has to offer, including diving in their 23 wonderful dive sites, yoga, water sports, and other water and outdoor activities.  

The resort also offers services such as babysitting, massage and reflexology, in-house laundry service, and shopping in their boutique and souvenir store. They also have pool bars, gardens, swimming pools, and many more facilities. 

Book your accommodation in Coco Grove Beach Resort as a well-deserved treat after the long hours of exploring the beautiful island of Siquijor. 

Bolo-Bolo (Batong Hakut) 

Bolo-Bolo healing, practiced in the barangay of Canghunog-hunog, Siquijor, is a unique healing practice that is well-known among Siquijor residents and the tourists. Traditional healers use a straw-like wooden bamboo pipe called ‘Bagacay,’ a rare black stone, and a clear glass filled with water to draw the negative energy and elements out of the sick person. 

The stone and the bamboo pipe are submerged in the water; the traditional healer blows air into the pipe toward the stone until water becomes dirty. Then, he empties the glass and refills it with clean water. This process is repeated until the water remains clear.  

It is believed that the Bolo-Bolo procedure helps cleanse the patient. The dirty water represents physical and/or spiritual illness, while the action of blowing air into the pipe towards the stone pertains to the strength and power of the healer to fight those ailments. The clear water is a sign that the patient is healed.

Balay Pahauli 

Located in Cantabon, Siquijor, Balay Pahauli involves the use of herbal medicines, amulets, and potions for healing.

The traditional healers conduct a ritual called ‘Tuob’ wherein they use the ashes they got during Black Saturday mixed with some medicinal herbs. They also offer the traditional ‘hilot’ or massage therapy the Siquijor way.  

Just like the Bolo-Bolo healing, the goal of the healers at Balay Pahauli is to remove the evil and negative spells embedded in the patients. 

Healing huts such as Balay Pahauli and Batong Hakut do not charge specific amounts for their services. Instead, donations are highly encouraged and appreciated by the healers. 

Holy Mountain of God 

To complete your experience in the land of healing, try a trekking activity to the Holy Mountain of God is the best way to end it. After the long walk and hike on this mountain, a 30 feet tall Holy Cross awaits for the tourists on its peak. 

It was the residents’ dream to have a cross planted on the land of their province. They aim to have some sort of protection and Divine Providence to secure Siquijor over wars and calamities. 

Find your inner peace and calm as you heal with nature in the Holy Mountain of God.