An authentic experience can be hard to come by in many big cities in Asia. Cities like Bangkok, Siem Reap and Singapore are so entrenched in Western travelers Asia hit-lists that adventures can feel canned. Whether it’s the people jockeying for room to take a picture of Angkor Wat, fighting over merchandise at the weekend market in Bangkok or waiting in lines longer than those at Target on Black Friday to see some temple, travel can get taxing.
Thankfully, there are places, like Siquijor Island, that acts as an antidote to travel fatigue. There the food is delicious, the people gregarious and genuine, the sunsets vibrantly hued and the only other Westerners are those who have “gone native.” I already waxed poetic about the charms of the small Filipino island, but here are 16 more reasons why.
Continue reading Photo book: 16 more reasons to love Siquijor
From the sweet perfume of honey-marmalade topped pink rice to the lazy sensuality of a mongrel blend of spices rubbed into a rotating chicken, a myriad of scents assault my nose in the family-run market.
To my left were a group of middle-aged Filipino men, gathered around an old, flickering TV set, watching a sporting match that was evidently very exciting. Every few minutes the cacophony of raucous cheers and jeers and the toppling of chairs as the men leapt to their feet were heard throughout the open-air market. Continue reading Forever my favorite: Siquijor island, Philippines
We’d been told of the mystical powers locals believe are at play on Siquijor Island, otherwise known as the Isla Del Fuego (the Island of Fire, named for the abundant amount of fireflies that inhabit the area). The mountain-dwelling mangkukulam (healers) are said to brew up remedies and potions, which are used for everything from minor ailments to luring in a new lover. Although, the guidebook my co-worker, Jenny, had highlighted and dog-earred said that these days a more popular healing practice involves sitting on the beach with a cocktail in hand.
But by day three, we’d already imbibed in the local rum, coconut wine and the Philippines PBR-esqe brew titled “Beer Na Beer” and had taken in several stunning sunsets from the comfort of our beach hammocks, so we figured it was time to try the old-school approach. Continue reading Meeting with the Mystics in Siquijor