Here Are Some Details About Siquijor Island
SIQUIJOR ISLAND – Here are some pieces of information about the island of Siquijor. The island boasts stunning beaches, captivating caves, and world-class diving spots.
Siquijor, a provincial island nestled in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, holds its capital, also called Siquijor. This serene province is the third smallest in the Philippines in terms of both land area and population. It shares borders with neighboring provinces, including Cebu, Negros, and Bohol. The island is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches and pristine underwater sanctuaries, making it a popular tourist destination.
However, in local lore, Siquijor is famous for its association with witchcraft and the occult, which may be attributed to its annual healing festival held on Black Saturday.
Dubbed as “The Mystic Island,” Siquijor has been declared a marine reserve and tourist zone since 1978, under Proclamation No. 1810. Its picturesque beauty, ancient churches, and welcoming locals make it an ideal retreat for visitors from far and wide.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
- During their attempts to colonize the Philippines, the Spanish referred to Siquijor as “Isla del Fuego” or the “Island of Fire” due to the presence of abundant fireflies on the island.
- Once a year, Siquijor hosts a “Healing Festival,” offering a wonderful opportunity for visitors to observe faith healers using prayers and rituals to treat various illnesses.
- Siquijor is renowned as the island associated with spells and black magic, so be prepared to hear numerous chilling tales!
- In the past, the first Spaniards to encounter Siquijor named it “Isla de Fuego,” meaning “Island of Fire,” due to the eerie glow emitted from swarms of fireflies residing in the molave trees. During Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s expedition, led by Esteban Rodriguez, they landed on the island and met its ruler, King Kihod. A misunderstanding led them to believe that the king’s introduction, “Si Kihod,” meant the name of the island, resulting in the name “Sikihod,” later spelled as “Siquijod” in Spanish. Eventually, it was changed to Siquijor as the Spaniards found it difficult to pronounce. In 1783, Siquijor, not yet a province but a town, became the first municipality and parish on the island. While governed by the Archdiocese of Cebu, civil administration was under Bohol’s authority. Following the arrival of the Augustinian order, more parishes were established on the island. By 1877, all municipalities in Siquijor had become parishes, except for Enrique Villanueva. Before the American era, Siquijor was part of Negros Oriental and later became a subprovince in 1901.
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