Siquijor - Island of the Unknown

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Philippines  , Central Visayas,
Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Siquijor is an hour-and-a-half boat ride from Dumaguete. For Filipinos it's said to be an island of mystery and the unknown. Witchcraft and god knows what else goes on here we'd been told.

A few months ago, Ellen fell off her bicycle back in Toronto and hurt her shoulder. Modern medicine doesn't seem to have an answer for the pain that she still suffers. So this morning we rented a motorbike and struck off into the interior of Siquijor, an island that's entire coastline covers a distance of just 72 kilometres, in search of a witch. Lonely Planet gave us instructions on how to find them, but they've been wrong on so many counts already this trip that we thought we'd have a go on our own.

“Where can I find a witch?” I asked the cashier at a little shop by a stream where I'd set a bag of Maxwell House instant, a handful of creamer packets and a coke, down for purchase.

“118 pesos,” she said after ringing up the sale.

“Look at her," I pleaded, "it's my wife, she fell off her bicycle and hurt neck.”

“Have you tried the hospital in Dumaguete? It's new and one of the best in the Visayas.”

At the third jungle-like shop, the sales clerk asked if Ellen had tried the 12 year-old Tanduay rum. It was almost noon and the day had become hot. And to make things worse, I'd burned my bloody leg on the exhaust pipe of the damned bike. I pulled 120 pesos from my wallet and bought the rum.

Back at our hotel we had a bite of lunch, then went out for a dive. Tonight I'll try and spoon feed Ellen some of the copper coloured medicine, then study the effect.

Check out the very short blue fish video. I'm beginning to feel like a parent with baby pictures. I think Ellen's beginning to regret buying me the underwater mask/camera. But don't cringe, you'll have to endure these blue babies for two seconds.

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