There’s a curious little icon on the map of an old fort. It meant that there’s a historical site, sitting on the north eastern side of El Nido, just right smack in the town of Sibaltan. I would ask some people in El Nido town but not many people know about the significance except my landlord where I’m staying. “There’s a Balay Cuyonon Museum there you should see. It tells all about the history of the place”. When we got settled in Sibaltan’s Guard House, our caretaker, Bulanday led us to the grounds of the museum situated by the beach.
It’s a shame it took us a delayed flight to visit this gem of a place. “Of all the places we’ve mapped in the coastal towns, Divilacan Isabela is the most beautiful and is our favourite!” said one of the NSO Mappers we met at the flight check-in counters in Maconacon. The working duo has been mapping Eastern Isabela for months already and are ready to go home. But the fickle status of our flights had other plans in mind. Our flight was cancelled and had to stay here for another day which is not unusual for this region. But wonders never cease as we met the cheerful Tourism officer of Divilacan, Natalie, who was also waiting for the flight. In no time she quickly whipped up an endorsement letter and then found ourselves riding a motorcycle to Divilacan.
Guiwanon Park boat and Nipa Huts among mangroves
What I really liked about this small island of Siquijor, is it’s just so easy to get from one place to another. Just hop in a habal-habal or an AUV, you’ll be in there in minutes. So after wandering around the tree house in Tulapos, we head forward north of the island to visit another marine and mangrove sanctuary, the Guiwanon Spring Park.
A lone mangrove
Isla de Fuego or the Island of Fire as early Spaniards called this small island in Central Visayas when they saw a warm glow of light caused by fireflies when seen from afar. Nowadays, just the mention of Siquijor, people are quick to associate the place with mysticism, magic, witchcraft and sorcery. For a traveler like me whose more interested by stories of such phenomenon than to be shunned away by it , I guess it’s just a matter of time ’til I come to visit the place. And for the first time in this blog, my initial set for Siquijor will be in black and white. I thought that the monochrome treatment captured the mood of what I want to convey a certain mood somehow which is very “Siquijor” to me.