- Posted May 8, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Eye on the Philippines
Siquijor: Island of Fire
To many Filipinos and foreigners, the island of Siquijor in the Philippines, conjures images of voodoo and bizarre rituals.
In spite of the long presence of Christianity, Siquijor is noted for herbal medicine, witchcraft, magic, and superstitions, with barangay San Antonio of Siquijor, Siquijor, as the center of shamanism. There are white or black sorcerers according to whether they specialize in healing or harming.
Unlike before that mananambals or folk healers perform secretly in caves, visitors can see a glimpse of what they are doing. In fact, their services and products are for public display. Lumay or love potions are available for those who want it for business and lovelife. The are also talismans for protection.
During Holy Week, herbalists and sorcerers from the neighboring provinces of Visayas and Mindanao come to San Antonio to participate in a ritual known as tang-alap. For five Fridays, they roam the area’s forests, caves, and cemeteries to gather medicinal herbs and roots, then on Black Saturday, the participating herbalist sit in a circle to chop the herbs which are potent to heal ailments and diseases. They also mix the ingredients of sumpa or protection against hex in a cauldron.
Folk healers still in Siquijor, but visitors will see few overt signs of it.
The Spanish called it the Fire Island or Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire), probably due to the fireflies they found here, and later renamed it Siquijor.
Often mistaken as “Siqui-horror” and other ghoulish stories, Siquijor reveals so much more enchantment than that. In fact, Siquijor Island, is a booming tourist destination in the Philippines which offers severel white-sandy beaches, scenic mountains and other places of tourists.
Among the tourists spots are:
The Cambugahay Falls is the most famous enchanted falls in the Island. See its several levels of waterfalls and enjoy its cool and refreshing waters. The falls are secluded and relatively unexplored.
Capilay spring is natural spring converted into a swimming pool situated in the town of San Juan. Many Locals use it cold water for a swim or enjoy the shade of the spring park for a picnic.
The St. Francis of Assisi Convent, at the Poblacion, has fascinating old Spanish coat of arms in the walls. Its bell tower was built in 1891.
St. Isidore Chruch and Convent or Lazi Church and Convent which was constructed in 1884 is the biggest convent in the Philippines and the whole Asia. In 1978, the Lazi Convent is declared as one of the historical landmarks of the Philippines by the Philippine National Historical Commission.
Numerous white sand and beaches make up most of Siquijor Island's shoreline.
Resorts are sprouting like mushrooms to accommodate tourists who come to Siquijor to experience the sights and sounds of the endless offers of this mystic island.
For sure, it's more fun in Siquijor, Philippines!
(Note: Raw video on Siqujor attached.)