Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Siquijor. Day 2.

Our second day in the Philippines started off with our alarm clock failing to go off.  Thank you sweet Jesus that the boy randomly woke up and decided to look at his watch.  It was 5 minutes past the time that we were supposed to meet our cab driver.  We quickly dressed and made it (with plenty of time) on our flight out to the island of Dumaguete.

As soon as I could see the island from the plane I knew it was going to be awesome.  Dumaguete is drastically different from Manila.  It's way more tropical, less urban and really nostalgic.  It is still very colonial and it reminded me instantly of my time spent in Martinique.  The air is so fragrant and my spirits were immediately lifted.   Once we landed, we hopped on another tricycle and made our way to the ferry terminal and boarded the first boat out to Siquijor.

So first things first, just a little about Siquijor.  Siquijor is an island province located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines.  It was 4 days before we left for the Philippines that I was skyping with my mother.  As soon as I told her that the boy and I would be visiting the Visayas she said, "Oh!  Did you know that you're Visayan?".   Uh, whaaaaaa?  Yup, turns out that I am in fact a quarter Visayan.  woot woot point for me.  Siquijor is the third smallest island in the country and it was originally called "Isla del Fuego" by the Spaniards because of it's eerie glow.  Turns out that this 'eerie glow' comes from the swarms of fireflies that inhabit the island.

Now if all of that isn't enough to sell you on a vacation to Siquijor, listen to this:  Siquijor has a reputation as a place of both magic and mystery.  Apparently, there are many "witches" that live on the island and they practice both white and black magic.  In fact, there's a festival that happens every spring where many of these witches get together in the center of the town and brew a special potion to last them throughout the year.   It's both a blessing and a curse to the island as many locals are scared of the magic that the island possesses and won't step foot on it.  On the other hand, it also draws curious tourists like us to it's mystical waters.

It was Christmas Eve, and as soon as we landed on the island I knew it was going to be simply amazing.  We immediately hired a tricycle and bumped our way through the winding roads to our accommodation, the Casa de la Playa resort. 

We are so blessed in that Trip Films contacted La Casa de la Playa beforehand and told them that we were coming and that we wanted to shoot a piece on their resort.  In turn, they offered to host us for our stay on the island.  They were almost completely booked so we were originally supposed to get one of their garden villas.  Luckily for us, they had a guest leave a day early, leaving their beachfront property open for a very happy boy and girl. 

We spent the rest of the day relaxing by the beach and exploring the town of Larena.  More on La Casa de la Playa, Larena, and Siquijor in my next post.  My body thinks that I should still be on vacation and refuses to let me stay up past my bedtime.  

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