Siquijor Island (Philippines)

If you are looking for a 5 star island experience then the island of Siquijor may not be for you.  If you are looking for a great island atmosphere and hospitality, where you can chill out and enjoy the spoils of a much simpler island life, then this place is definitely for you.

There were no franchise stores or chain restaurants on Siquijor Island.  There is no 7-11 on every corner.  Though the houses and structures are made of cement, they still appeared humble and rustic in their own way.  The main road that circles the island is not flooded with noisy jeepneys/tricycles as they are rare and come by on a schedule.  There’s only one upmarket resort on the island, and I hope they keep it that way.  I would hate for this island to become commercialized, ever.  Siquijor is completely mesmerizing the way it is…..Simple, unpretentious, and almost untouched.

There are just a few resorts on Siquijor and Coco Grove seemed to get all the hype.  We pulled the trigger on Coco Grove and was thrilled to discover upon arrival that it resembled an old style Hawaiian resort.  It is really big (land mass wise, not room quantity wise), not fancy, in tune with nature and suited our needs perfectly.   The lush jungle grounds are phenomenal and the undeveloped natural beauty of the beach on a protected marine sanctuary is what made it so cool.  It reminded me of some of the wild Hawaiian beaches that we have grown to love so much.  What was really amazing, the resort sits on a huge swath of oceanfront land and despite the resort being at capacity, you rarely would see anyone at the beach.  It felt like Barbie and I had the entire beach to ourselves.  A special place.

Siquijor is the perfect place to unplug and just take it all in.  You could quite easily lose track of time on this island and perhaps never want to leave.  For the first time on our trip we were mostly without internet on both our cell phone SIM cards and wifi for a total of 5 days.  This is probably the longest I have been without Internet not just on this journey but in the history of forever.  I can report it was an real liberating feeling.  It took my relaxed state to another level and I found myself thinking about shit no way I would normally think about if my eyes and mind were glued to the internet.  Try it yourself, unplug for a few days and you too may reach the higher ground.

We covered a good chunk of the island on a tricycle and visited a natural foot spa where you stick your feet into the pond and little fish would eat all the dead skin off your feet.  It tickled, felt real strange and made us laugh, and now my heels are smooth as a baby’s ass.  We also visited the most amazing Cambugahay Falls.  The water color of this waterfall was a shade of blue I have never seen in a waterfall.  Great place for a dip in one of natures awesome creations smack in the middle of the jungle.

There is also a supernatural side to this island which I was told keeps many local Filipinos away as they tend to be real superstitious.  It has a reputation for being an island of dark magic.  Rumor has it that shamans and witches also practice black magic here.  However, the only magic I found in Siquijor was the one that will keep me wanting to go back.

Siquijor is so undeveloped and it’s rare to find places like this nowadays.  Although it’s still somewhat a hidden gem to most, Siquijor is gradually becoming more known to travelers.  But since there is no airport and getting here can be quite a journey, most people prefer to skip it.  Less tourists, more beauty to preserve.  So before the island gains even more popularity, I suggest making your way here.  But do me a favor, keep it on the down low still.

Restaurants –
Baha Bar (multiple meals). Chekesh. Coco Grove

Firing on all cylinders in this tropical paradise.

Traveling in poor countries as foreigners we will pay more than locals in many situations.  We will get scammed sometimes (actually only Barbie), and we will even get frustrated from time to time.  That’s part of traveling and it’s better to just accept this than to get angry and bitter when it happens.  I’ve always been kind of impatient, always in a rush and wanting to get things done and over with ASAP.  Well now that I have been on the road for 6 months I have learned that its not going to be like that in many places in the world.  I’ve learned the art of patience…..especially on “Transportation Days” and especially in the Philippines.

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