Postcards from Siquijor – A Photo Essay

Siquijor. A small island in the central Visayas in the Philippines, and one of the wonders of this country. For Filipinos, Siquijor is synonymous with witchcraft, mystery, and the unknown. It is famed for its mangkukulam, healers sometimes known as witchdoctors who provide traditional remedies for contemporary illnesses. In reality, it is a beautiful island paradise you should get to before the mainstream tourism beast gets its talons into it.

We arrived via ferry to an island surrounded by turquoise waters, but shrouded in dark clouds and a mighty breeze. Having survived the usual crush of the oncoming drivers competing for our custom – as happens whenever you arrive anywhere in Asia – we made it to our accommodation. Within 20 minutes of investigating the adjacent beach, I knew we’d found a special place; one which would offer a bountiful harvest of stunning photo opportunities. 

We were not wrong. Words are usually adequate at expressing thoughts, emotions, feelings, and sights, but on this occasion it is best to simply show you how you beautiful Siquijor is.

SIQUIJOR: ISLAND PARADISE
A rocky overhang. Taken at Salagdoong Beach.
A rocky overhang. Taken at Salagdoong Beach.
More beauty framed by coral and rock formations.
More beauty framed by coral and rock formations.
Gorgeous view at Paliton Beach.
Gorgeous view at Paliton Beach.
The landscape of the ocean around Siquijor is so empty, yet it has a profound effect.
The landscape of the ocean around Siquijor is so empty, yet it has a profound effect.
SOME TRULY BRILLIANT NATURE
Tell me where the water begins... it so clear you can't even see!
Tell me where the water begins… it so clear you can’t even see!
The beach adjacent to our accommodation.
The beach adjacent to our accommodation.
The Old Ballete Tree, believed by some to have mystical powers of healing.
The Old Ballete Tree, believed by some to have mystical powers of healing.
The fish spa at the old Ballete Tree
The fish spa at the Old Ballete Tree.
Rocky formations on the beach at our accommodation.
Rocky formations on the beach at our accommodation.
EXCITEMENT ALL AROUND.
Clearly enjoying the rope swing at Cambugahay Falls.
Clearly enjoying the rope swing at Cambugahay Falls.
Who can do the best rope swing dive? Sam could. Cambugahay Falls.
Who can do the best rope swing dive? Sam could. Cambugahay Falls.
Riding a Filipino trike pillion while the others ride safely in the cab.
Riding a Filipino trike pillion while the others ride safely in the cab.
Nothing is more relaxing than floating in warm, clear sea water. At. Salagdoong Beach.
Nothing is more relaxing than floating in warm, clear sea water. At Salagdoong Beach.
THOSE MAGNIFICENT SUNSETS
So many different colours.
So many different colours.
We'd never seen the sky this colour.
We’d never seen the sky this colour, it is like a painting.
Enjoying the sunset on. Paliton Beach with. Some friends from home.
Enjoying the sunset on Paliton Beach with some friends from home.
Such a complex palette of beautiful colours.
Such a complex palette of beautiful colours.
As if someone set fire to the sky.
As if someone set fire to the sky.
In the end, it all comes down to love.
Such beautiful scenery, this trip has turned us into right water babies.
Such beautiful scenery, this trip has turned us into right water babies.
What it's all about.
What it’s all about.
Sharing this experience has been more important worthwhile than anything material. What's next?
Sharing this experience has been more important worthwhile than anything material. What’s next?

The photos in this post have been taken on either an iPhone 5c or 6, or a GoPro Hero 4+ and are personal snaps we’ve decided to share with you because we were so enamoured by the beauty of this place. Siquijor might be remote, it might be full of shamen and witch doctors and warlocks, but in reality it is somewhere you need visit… and soon.

Siquijor, the Philippines is one of the most stunning places we've seen. It's a photographers haven and here are some of our favourites.

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WhenTwoWander

We're Sam and Katherine, a young British couple on the trip of a lifetime. We've navigated South East Asia on a tight budget, and we're currently based in Melbourne, Australia. South America is next on the list! Our story is a sign of the times - we met on Twitter! We've been a couple for three years now, but we're still learning about each other.
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20 thoughts on “Postcards from Siquijor – A Photo Essay

  1. Taiss Reply

    Really magnificent photos! You are right bout getting there before all the tourists make it a mainstream destination. What a gem of a place! Looks like you guys really enjoyed yourselves! The sunsets remind me of those in Bali. We hope to get to the Philippines in the early part of next year! Thanks for this visual!

    • WhenTwoWander Post authorReply

      It will definitely become more touristic in the next five years.
      We’ve actually just arrived in Bali so I’ll keep an eye out for those sunsets!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. The Travel Ninjas Reply

    The Old Ballete Tree is amazing. Not sure if it’s magical, but it’s definitely hypnotising. We haven’t made it to Siquijor yet, but it is a beautiful and mystery place. Those photos are really impressive for being taken with phones.

    • WhenTwoWander Post authorReply

      We’ve seen people lugging big dslrs around and other actual cameras, and for the most part, our phones have been just as good. Plus they’re far more portable and have in-house editing software.

      Siquijor was a pretty great place. Off the beaten track a bit, so fewer people and internet connection not good, but for a few days it was perfect for us!
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. srbrnrd Reply

    Truly beautiful spots, are you writing more about the island besides the beach? I would have loved to see the pics more clearly as the green menu bar cuts them off a bit.

    • WhenTwoWander Post authorReply

      They really are, and yes we’ll write more about Siquijor soon. Cambugahay Falls was a true highlight of our whole trip.

      How were you viewing the blog post? I’d love to help improve your experience on our site. Feel free to message in private if you wish; contact details are on the page in our menu.

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. colleenkinsey Reply

    Wow! So many photos. I can tell where you’d get a “witchy” vibe from it. But you didn’t experience anything? What a shame. thanks for mentioning Siquijor I had never heard of it!

    • WhenTwoWander Post authorReply

      We actually wanted to go and see a witch doctor up in the mountains but we ran out of time! Thanks for your comment!

  5. nomadicfoot Reply

    i have only heard about manila, Cebu and boracay in Phillipines but you have added one more place to my itinerary. Thanks

  6. Sandy N Vyjay Reply

    This island is surely a treasure. Untouched and pristine. The evenings look magical. You are right need to get there before it is overrun by tourists and gets commercialized.

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