Smitten by Siquijor's Charms
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One morning, I, along with the newlyweds, Ben and Jessica, and some relatives, rounded the island aboard a multicab that took us to Siquijor's six municipalities, with the capital town as our starting point. From downtown Siquijor, our first stopover was at a sleepy village in the town's outskirts where I got a fuzzy view of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.
We then proceeded to the nearby municipality of San Juan where Capilay Spring Park lies. The park boasts of a swimming pool whose waters come from a spring. On weekends, people gravitate towards the tree-shaded pleasure ground to swim, stroll or engage in small talk.
From the park, we went to Coco Grove Beach Resort in Tubod, San Juan, one of the finest beach resorts dotting the provincial coast. Upscale and picturesque, it has air-conditioned beachfront cottages. Each hut has a private veranda that offers guests front view seats where they can marvel at one of the most impressive sunsets in that side of the Philippines. The resort has a swimming pool, a bar, several first-class aqua sports facilities and other amenities.
Another unforgettable episode of my escapade was the trek to enchanting Cambugahay Falls in Lazi. The slippery, narrow trail along a steep gorge that leads to the breathtaking waterfalls isn't for the faint-hearted. One slip could lead you to a lethal fall into the chasm. I, along with most of my companions, didn't seem to mind the danger. The thrill of seeing the cascading waters was simply irresistible.
And our efforts paid off. Cambugahay Falls was a sight to behold. It's a spectacular multilevel cascade that drew euphoric ohs and ahs from the group. I knew of at least two sports-oriented shows, one foreign, "Survivor", and one local, "Sports Unlimited"— if I'm not mistaken — that have taped their episodes there.
After the exhausting derring-do at Lazi, we drove at high speed to Salagdo-ong Beach Resort in Olang, Maria to fill our grumbling tummies. Lunch consisted of mouth-watering grilled fish, sashimi, pork adobo, lechon paksiw and piping hot rice. Sated, we milled around the beach and went swimming to burn those calories, enjoying the unspoiled beauty of that side of Siquijor.
From Maria, our entourage passed by the town of Enrique Villanueva where we pulled in to see the 200 year-old Cang-isok house, the oldest in the island. Approaching the gate, we noticed a stern sign against strangers, barring us from exploring the place.
Driving towards Larena, our eyes were treated to sweeping vistas of white-sand beaches, serving as perfect picnic grounds for the world weary, where the blue sky converges with the emerald sea to create a fusion of grace, serenity and harmony.
I can't seem to get enough of Siquijor's attractions: her emerald waters, white beaches and fascinating cascades, fresh seafood, and her simple, genteel and friendly folks. If time and money permit it, I'd head back to the place and experience anew the mystical high that only this gem of an island can offer.
Where I stayed
Dondeezco Beach Resort