PHILIPPINES

SO YOU WANNA GO TO SIQUIJOR?

    Boy oh boy am I glad I took up my friend’s advice to include Siquijor in my Philippines itinerary! Siquijor is definitely having a little moment in the public tourist eye, but not nearly as over-populated as some of it’s sister cities like Coron/Palawan etc – which was exactly what my choice was between – so, let’s get ready to get a little opinionated and controversial. I will START by saying, I did go to Coron for literally one night for work and I fell in love with just the pier area and KNEW there was no point trying to see/blog/experience a day’s worth and definitely have plans to go back for at least 1-2 weeks as I believe there’s such a wide variety of islands and experiences to have.

So, I had four days up my sleeve from Dumaguete til I needed to be in Coron and was planning to spend two of the four in Siquijor and the other two in Coron. But. Things obviously changed and here’s the biggest reason why:I was staying at Coco Grove Beach Resort and the owner Mike was a big influence on me to stay, my first day I did a big scooter ride over the whole island and passed by so many places I wanted to see, over dinner Mike knew I didn’t want to go to the hotel I had booked work with as it was just lining up to not be a great relationship, which was when Mike brought up Apo Island.

The way he described it, sounded like an un-touched oasis of beautiful coral life. And pretty much the only people on the island are those that come over on the same boat as you, which can sometimes be 70 people, but still…it’s a lot less than some other “hot reef spots”

I kind’ve weighed my odds….Coron, which looks insane, but where absolutely every travel blogger is documenting right now, or….Apo Island, an oasis I just heard about that I haven’t seen saturated across the internet and something new and adventurous, which realistically, is what I started this whole thing out for.

So. I threw the plan away. I missed my flight to Coron, on purpose! Something I can say confidently I have never done intentionally. I also didn’t have any wifi due to some recent storms, so, no connection, no plan….NO PROBLEM!

I decided to spend my days doing everything I wanted to do to explore and it lead me to some pretty amazing places, like….

Cambugahay Falls

A beautiful cascading multi-level falls with rope swings, rafts and pretty much the brightest blue shade of water I’ve ever seen.

Salagdoong Beach & Cliff Jump

I probably severely slapped my arms, ears and bum cheeks one too many times, jumping in over and over again on this 65ft drop! The best part, was

making friends – I met a fellow Aussie who helped me with this drone shot – Nick @nickdellabosca and also Anni and Timo @anniandt

imo who were also there shooting drone! I guess the more travel blogging grows, the more you tend to spot each other out and indulge in conversation!

Apo Island

Snorkeling in Apo Island was too fun and I actually met some cool girls from Germany on the tour – we ended up crawling (literally slithering) into a hidden cave on the beach and doing an impromptu photoshoot!

The next day before I left we even hit up some actual caves that you’re MEANT to walk through

Cantabon Cave

Equally as challenging though, the small crevices and nooks of this cave were insane, it was also PITCH BLACK….and….full of bats. But we still managed to swim in the underground swimming pool.

I just mean, who can even say that in their life! I swam in an underground cave pool?! A highlight for sure!

Scooter the island

I also took a scooter around the whole island….and by took I mean, hired a driver because I can’t drive scooters. I just can’t. The drive straight through was around two-two and a half hours. But for some reason it’s one of my favourite things to do in Asia, to sit on the back with my camera, the wind in my hair, a good playlist and just ride, mentally taking in all the surroundings and local life. It’s absolute bliss for me.

There’s a LOT more of Siquijor left to discover – I would love to stop in at the Mangroves next time and I drove past the San Juan markets that many times with the CHEAPEST signs ever that I would love to spend a day just meandering around there.

I guess Siquijor was a few things for me:

A bit of untouched paradise that you can find authenticity and beauty in

A bit of a comeback and reminder of my original self and why I enjoyed doing this in the first place

A lesson to let go, be present, throw away the plan and listen to your intuition.I took that lesson with me the next few months (which probably shows how backed up on blogs I am *sweating*) but it really held a high standard in my life which I’m still using right now, if it feels right, enjoy it, if something tells you don’t go, listen, if you need to reevaluate, stop, breathe and reevaluate. We’re not running out of time, in fact, every breath we take, we’re gaining time. I stopped the notion of thinking I HAD TO, and started with, I WANT to. Because it makes me FEEL good. Choosing happiness over everything as well as balance.

I guess you could say, I owe a lot to my time in Siquijor and I’m thankful for my friends suggestion, for Mike’s persuasion and for all of my experiences I was able to enjoy.

*MASSIVE SIDE NOTE* How spooky is this, after I left Siquijor, EV-E-RY-ONE…literally…EVERYONE told me that it’s a witches island. Like it’s bewitched with magic and voodoo! I didn’t encounter anything like that, only good positive experiences. But there’s definitely a magic there! Maybe I was put under a spell 😛 leave you to go and see for yourself! Comment below if you have been or what you think of my story time there….

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply Joseph Hipkin May 19, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Never Been to the Philippines..but now I feel I have in a way! Great blog, beautiful Photography, I could see and feel your insightful thoughts and descriptions of this great adventure (life in general included) Awesome story time Natalie! Thank you!

    • Reply Natalie-Monique Le Sueur May 20, 2019 at 7:10 am

      thanks so much Joe! glad you feel like you were there with me! That’s the biggest compliment for me 🙂

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