A Quick 24-Hour Itinerary Around Siquijor
My family and a few friends made a quick tour around the island and stayed there for a night.
We took the earliest boat ride from Dumaguete City and got to the town of Siquijor after about an hour. Despite our very limited time on the island, we decided to slow it down anyway. We stopped by a carenderia in San Juan town and had our fiesta take home reheated for a fee. We also made sure to order a few items from their menu.
Our breakfast took longer than expected but we had to make sure that our stomachs were full before we headed out for a day full of touring around the island. If you aren’t sure where to go, here’s a few of the best places you should not miss in Siquijor. Of course, it would be best if you had a few more days to spare so you could tour even more places.
The first stop was the huge Balete tree located in the town of Lazi. It was so huge you would probably be intimidated (and scared) by it if you happen to pass by the place at night. It is a beautiful sight though and you also get to enjoy a quick fish spa if you’d like to remove the calluses on your feet. You get to enjoy this place at a very minimal fee.
Plus, there are also small souvenir stalls nearby. The one located right across the Balete tree is more recommended though as their prices are slightly cheaper.
San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent
The convent is said to be one of the largest and oldest in Asia. Sadly, the place has not been maintained — we had the chance to go inside and explore the rooms but it was all empty. There are parts of the convent that underwent restoration but it did not look like an ongoing process.
We also made sure to check out the belfry of the church but it was too scary to go higher. It was actually a little scary to go up that little terrace inside the Church, where the choir is supposed to be located. My father grew up in Lazi and he said that during his childhood, he would climb up the roofs of the Church.
Most of the natural attractions I have visited around the country come with a fee but this one is an exception. I was totally surprised that entering the Cambugahay Falls was for free. However, you will have to prepare yourself for a grueling 300-step journey going down and, hello knees!, going up. You’ll be sure to forget that though because the water is super cool and refreshing. And, if you are adventurous and brave enough, you can also try swinging and diving!
If you want even more adventure, you can also head to Salagdoong Beach and try out cliff diving. Be sure to go there a little earlier though or when the tide is still high. The beach is beautiful and the sand is extra fine that we loved just standing on chest-deep waters. Plus, you also get to drive along the loooong stretch of manmade Molave Forest on your way in and out of the beach.
Most of the accommodations in Siquijor can be found in San Juan, which is also the most happening place in the island. However, we decided to find the cheapest place and stumbled ourselves into a homestay in Lazi, just a 3-minute walk from the Church and Convent. We paid just PHP1,500 for an airconditioned room which can already accommodate around 5-7 people. The bathroom, however, was shared but we were the only guests for the night.
My uncle highly recommended that we try out the seafood buffet in Dagsa, a foreign-owned restaurant located in San Juan. It was huge and we didn’t even get to finish it; the buffet costs only PHP1,200 and is good for up to six people already.
The only hurdle you will face when staying in Siquijor is the scarcity of public transportation. There weren’t a lot of multicabs even during the day so you will have to make sure that you hired a private vehicle (we hired my uncle at PHP1,800 for 24 hours, you can call him at 0915-954-4667) or rent a motorcycle. There also aren’t any street lights so driving around the island at night is not suggested.