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With a land area of just 343.5 square kilometres, the province of Siquijor is the 3rd smallest province in the Philippines. Yet its small size can be truly deceiving, for there’s a lot of magic and mystery here. The island was formerly known as the “Isla de Fuego” or the Island of Fire during the Spanish era.  Today however, it still evokes an eerie yet magical charm perhaps because of all those stories about witches, love potions and magic spells. If you’re planning to visit Siquijor, here’s a peek at a few of the many wonderful sights and sounds of this magical island.

Go Diving And Snorkelling

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The waters around the island also have their fair share of magic and mystery, as visitors will truly be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the various dive sites. The province has more than twenty magnificent dive spots where you can spend your Philippine beach holidays. From the famous Tulapu Sanctuary to Tonga Point, Daquit Shoal, West Point, Paliton, Solangon, Lala-O Sunken Island, Salagdoong, Tubod Marine Sanctuary, Tambisan, Candapino Point, and more, you certainly will never be left wanting.

The most popular places to go beach-hopping include Salagdoong Beach, Kagusan Beach, Paliton Beach, Siquijor Beach and San Juan Beach. For the more adventurous, you could perhaps try jumping off a cliff at Salagdoong Beach, where two cemented diving boards are placed at 17 and 20 meters each above sea level.

Relax Underneath A Balite Tree in Lazi

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If your foot (or your whole body) is still aching after spending a whole day snorkeling, scuba diving or riding a motor bike around the island, then try dropping by the enchanted, centuries-old Balite tree in the town of Lazi. The 400-year old tree gives visitors an eerie and mystical feel, because it’s so big, with lots of roots and vines hanging from it.

Underneath the balite tree is a pool, where fresh water flows from a spring, where you can rest your weary feet, and soothe those aching muscles. Nearby residents also get their drinking water from the spring.

Guiwanon Spring Park

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If you’re looking for a place which showcases the best of environmental protection and sustainable development, then visit the Guiwanon Spring Park. Here, visitors can enjoy being in the middle of a lush mangrove sanctuary, as they can walk along wooden bridges. The park also serves as a sanctuary for birds and various marine species.

Take A Dip And Refresh Your Senses At Cambugahay and Lugnason Falls

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For those who’d like to take a dip, and let the cool cascading waters fall on them, head on to Cambugahay and Lugnason Falls. The former is located in the town of Lazi, and the falls spill into a freshwater pool. On the other side of the falls is a large tree with sturdy, low-lying branches where you can swing your way like Tarzan and drop into the water. You could also climb up the waterfall, and jump from there.

For the more fearless, visit the island during Holy Week and feast your senses on lots of mystical stuff. From faith healers to black magic chants and rituals, and lots of herbal potions, Siquijor will surely enthrall you, and leave you speechless.

You can actually see the sights and feel the sounds of Siquijor in just one day. All you need to do is rent a motorbike (if you’re by your lonesome) or you could hire a multi-cab (if you’re with friends or family) and get an expert guide. Don’t forget to include magical Siquijor in your next best beach holiday Philippines destination!

Aside from being renowned for a historical siege, Baler, the capital town of Aurora Province, is noted for its fine scenic beaches and of course – its killer waves. With that, it has been considered as one of the top surfing spots of the country.

Its main attraction is the strong waves that reach up to a height of between 9 to 14 feet. It comes as no surprise that hundreds of surf lovers and beach aficionados alike flock to this most sought-after tourist destination, one of the most popular Philippines beach holidays.

What To Expect in Baler

Aurora Province is wondrously teeming with exceptional bay formations. There’s the Dibut Bay in San Luis which is just a boat ride away. Enjoy the view of the cliffs, surrounding beaches and rock formations when in the area.

Amazingly, Baler has 328 kilometers of pure coast. Resorts become crowded with beach goers and surfers from anywhere around the world during the surfing season between the months of September to March.

•    Surfing

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For the newbie surfers, Sabang Beach is the perfect place to be. Surf shops and schools abound in the place which look after the needs of both neophytes and seasoned surfers as well. Further, sunbathers will love its wide expanse of gray sand.

Another spot for the brave of heart is the Dapa or Cobra Reef known for its towering waves – so ideal for the adrenaline junkie. During the off-season, beach lovers will still enjoy wind surfing, and that’s between March and June.

•    Snorkeling, Scuba Diving and Windsurfing

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Apart from riding the giant waves, you also experience lots of sand, sun and sea. There’s Casiguran Sound, with its shimmering waters and white beaches ideal for leisure swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling as well as diving.

Snorkeling is best in Digisit Beach, Lukso-lukso islets, and Dicasalarin Bay as all these spots have terrific snorkel enclaves. Diving, also among the favorite activities in Baler is better done in Borlongan Beach which has a mushroom shaped coral.

•    Sightseeing

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Water sports and activities are not the only popular things to do in Baler. You can also enjoy the breathtaking sights, white sand beach, gentle waves, and sprawling hills as you explore Dicasalarin Cove.

How To Get To Baler

The place is estimated to be 230 km from Manila. When in Cubao, take any bus or van bound for Cabanatuan City. Once there, you have two options – the Baler-Bongabong road and the Canili-Pantabangan road.  The latter is recommended for better roads although it’s the longer route. The former is quite adventurous since you’ll be crisscrossing the rough roads across Sierra Madre.

Sadly, no commercial airlines fly to Baler, but, it has an airport for private planes in Brgy. San Isidro, San Luis, Aurora. It’s about 10 kilometers from the town proper. Travelers may also avail of chartered flights from Seair.

Delicacies in Baler

Aling Rose’s purple suman, a local delicacy can be bought as a pasalubong for those you left back home. Likewise, homemade products like peanut butter (made from pure, quality peanuts) from Nanay Pacing’s is also good to go as presents.

The Philippine tourist attractions of Baler are just a few of the best spots to go for the holidays. Interested in more Philippine destinations? Find them all here in our pages.