There is place in the Philippines that some locals are terrified to visit. It was called Isla de Fuego or Island of Fire by the Spaniards during their occupation. Thousands of fireflies used to inhabit the island making the island glow every night. When the Spaniards left, the locals call it Siquijor. For years, Siquijor was dubbed as the Mystic Island of the country. It was rumored that witchcraft and sorcery was practiced in the island years before the Spanish era until this present day.
Since the travel trend hit social media and people are more into traveling, Siquijor became one of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas Region. Curious, I packed my bags and went to Siquijor. At the back of my mind, I was excited about the experience at the same time anxious.
For 3 days I stayed on the island looking for hints and traces of the stories I heard; I was so disappointed. There was no witchcraft, no sorcery or evil spirits lurking in the Balete trees. There were no warlocks casting spells, no witches flying around at night riding broomsticks, no big scary black cats with bloodshot eyes, no potions, no big caldrons or voodoo dolls. Instead, I found beautiful white sand beaches, warm smiles from locals, generosity, uncrowded streets, breathtaking sceneries, centuries-old churches and most of all peace. A place I would gladly go back alone to escape life.
During my stay, I realized that regardless of what people think about Siquijor, every place has its own unique identity and story. Siquijor has its own too. About the scary stories I heard, if only I could write something about it here, I’d be glad to share a story or two. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an honest experience about it so there is nothing for me to tell, except for how beautiful it was. How the sky turns yellow gold every sunset. How peaceful I felt when I was strolling the longest white sand beach I’ve been. How warm and friendly the people were. How warm the wind touched my skin.
The horror stories we hear, I will just leave it up to your imagination.
I have been traveling for quite some time, I have seen other beautiful places too, but what would always remind me of Siquijor, is the peaceful feeling I experienced. Being away from the hassles of my everyday city life, I was one with myself there. And for that, Siquijor is indeed a mystical island.