So it was Day 2 for me and my friend in the Island of Fire - Siquijor. And I really loved the serenity of the place. We devoted Day 1 for a much needed rest. We stayed at Ate Lorna's End of the World, that's a resort by the way.
I saw a trike driver/guide named Kuya Joam in a forum and texted him weeks before the trip. I booked our Siquijor countryside tour on our 2nd day and he quoted 850 pesos for the whole day tour - no rush (it's up to you if you wanna give him a tip). I asked him beforehand if he could give us a map of Siquijor and he obliged - he got it from the Provincial Capitol. Kuya Joam arrived at the resort 10 minutes earlier from our 9 a.m. call time and off we went to explore the mystical Siquijor province and its 6 towns in a day.
|Kuya Joam - 0927.693.2095|
|Capilay Spring Park|
|Century old Balete tree|
|tambay habang kain ngg niyog|
|quiet Holy Monday|
|images were covered because it was Holy Week|
|made up of corals|
You don't need to pay an entrance fee if you don't intend to see the convent's museum on the second floor. We met the convent's caretaker and she toured us inside the structure. She's been there for 30 years now and haven't received any monetary payment for her services. She said that it's all because of her deep faith and love to the Lord.
|former Lazi convent|
|currently the dining area of the priest|
|can't wait to jump eh?|
|that was me in the water after the jump|
|my second jump|
We entered the church and it was quiet. I was busy taking photos of the interiors while Kuya Joam came to me rushing with a sweet smile on his face, "Di pa siya naka-cover Carla!". I immediately went towards the image and examined it. All then I saw it - the image of St. Rita de Cascia or the Black Magic Mary. The image was wearing a black gown while holding a skull on its right hand and an inverted crucifix on the left. I looked at it and stared at the eyes. It was so piercing and it felt like it was speaking to me through its eyes. I googled it and saw different interpretations for the image and St. Rita herself which I can't confirm.
|Our Lady of Divine Providence Church - Sta. Maria|
|uncovered images - we are lucky|
|the image I was looking for|
A few minutes later, we arrived at the beach. We paid an entrance fee of 15 pesos each (Kuya Joam was free of charge). As soon as I saw the beach, I couldn't help but get giddy like a kid. I didn't do a research prior to this trip so I didn't know that there were some cliff diving points here. Only when Kuya Joam told us that I learned about it. I peeked on how high it was and without so much thinking about it, I told them that I want to jump. And I did it! That thing they called cliff diving
|mid air dive |
I did enjoy my time in Maria beach except for the sharp corals on the seabed. After fulfilling my beach addiction, we went to the nearby Tulapos Mangrove Sanctuary. While I was taking some photos of the mangroves, Kuya Joam bought some bukayo. It was Siquijor's version of pan-de-coco for 6 pesos a piece. It was huge and delish! And we hoarded 10 more for our breakfast the next day (which we finished after the tour and became our dinner).
|Century old house - still functional|
|used for fishing|
|can't resist eh?|
Our last stop was the St. Francis of Assisi church and bell tower in the town of Siquijor. It is made of stone and cruciform. The bell tower stands independently from the church in the middle of the plaza. The images inside were covered as well.
|St. Francis of Assisi Church - Siquijor Church|
|St. Francis of Assisi Bell Tower|
We met a cute couple in the resort, Mark and Stephanie. We chatted most of the time during our stay in the resort. When we were about to leave for Dumaguete, Stephanie asked me if what was our plan. I said, "Que sera, sera". Then she invited me in her hometown in Zamboanguita to attend Apo Island's fiesta. And we were thrilled!