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Date Posted: 11/27/09

Siquijor Experience (November 9, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

At 7am we motored to the bigger town of Larena for breakfast and whole day activities. Thereafter we got into a bus tour around the120km circumferential road of the island guided by Tourism Officer Ivy Gomez.

We toured the century old churches of Lazi, Siquijor and Larena and made a brief stop at more than 100 years old giant Balete tree. According to our guide it will take 20 people with outstretched hands adjoined together to cover the circumference of the giant tree. What took my great interest is the swimming pool that is fed by water flowing from a spring underneath the giant Balete confirming the general knowledge that the tree and its roots made it possible for the pool to exist.

But if there is one thing I will not miss to visit in Siquijor will be the store that sells magic “potions” or “lumay” that by rubbing it to your object of affection will produce “magical” effects. There are also potions or “barang” against adversaries making their stomach to bloat, or whatever. We all greedily fall into this brilliant marketing ploy and I personally bought a bottle plus an extra one, for use when I get back to Manila. Armed with this magical “potions” and “barang,” pretty women and foes, beware!

In the afternoon Mayor Gold Calibo hosted a merienda for us at the municipal hall and led a giant symposium for at the municipal gym. Students and residents filled up the big crowd. As usual Dr Ted introduced and led the chanting “Kaya ng Pinoy” which the crowd enthusiastically responded.

The Mayor was gracious enough that even after dinner, he invited us for a brief “karaoke” session. Again, Dr Ted regaled us with his singing prowess. We beg off at 10pm to call it a day so we can leave early for Tagbilaran, Bohol.

Siquijor Province is still some of the few remaining places one can find traditional Filipino values dominating the lives of its residents. I am always energized and inspired to learn much about them to understand better our present ways and values. 


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