More Slow In The Philippines

Philippine Tourism popular #morefuninthephilipppines should also be known as #moreslowinthephilippines. After a grueling overnight wait due to a sever weather warning we are finally on our way to the island of Siquijor. Located an hour and 30 minutes by ferry from the township of Dumaguete (Negros Island) To the northwest of Siquijor are Cebu and Negros, to the northeast is Bohol and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is Mindanao.

Dumaguete Boulevard close to port at sunrise.

Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country, in terms of population as well as land area (after Camiguin and Batanes). During the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines, the Spaniards called the island, Island of Fire (Spanish: Isla del Fuego) because of the fireflies. Siquijor is commonly associated with mystic traditions such as faith healers.

Low tide at a north facing beach 5 minutes drive from the town of Siquijor.

Everything slows down ten fold when you arrive you are forced to accept that internet is slow, water pressure is less and you don't see anyone running or rushing. Smiles are plentiful and malls don't exist. The total population is about 96,000. It only takes about 3 hours to drive the circumference of the island.

Sandugan area of Siquijor is a good spot to take a fabulous sunset. It's unique mangrove foreground adds to the ambience of this mysterious island said to have many ghosts. At night nearby after sunset you can have a Filipino meal at the triad restaurant up high in the hills overlooking the city of Larisa. Be prepared for slow service. In fact in most places you can expect to wait 30 - 45 minutes. After dinner if you are lucky a firefly tour might allow for some sightings.

In front of our resort at Villa Marmarine on our first morning I was lucky to capture some anglers looking snorkling along the calm waters. These two sisters were looking for sea urchins and shells. Even though the sea urchins are small in size they are packed full of flavour. The mangrove trees that line Enrique Villanueva village are also worth a look if you are into nature photography.

Another unusual destination is the fish spa. This one hundred year old Banyete tree has a pond where tiny and some large fish nibble on your toes dead skin. The feeling for some is painful and for myself it was a tickle. Enough to make you smile not laugh. Once in a while a larger toothless fish swims by to have a larger nibble. Shocking put not painful.

Every tropical island needs to have a paradise beach so Paliton Beach is my best recommendation as there still are not any resorts built on this of the island. The white sandy beach and coconut trees line perfectly along the beach to provide shade. Perhaps we were lucky but there were only three other people on the beach that day.


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