Linggo, Abril 29, 2012

Siquijor Island

Siquijor Island
Located in the Visayan region of the Philippine Islands, Siquijor has a population of approximately 74,000 and a 92% literacy rate, one of the highest in the Philippines. The main languages are Cebuano, Tagalog and English. 

Siquijor has a tropical climate with warm weather throughout the year.
January to May - Dry
June to December - Occassionally wet

Siquijor has a mean temperature of 27.8 Celsius (80.6 F) and humidity of 78%. 

History and culture

Lightning laced the sky in white fire.
The earth wailed in the painful, joyous sound of new life.
The ground shuddered, the seas raged.
The churning waters parted and from the ocean's womb was birth an island of rock and fire.

Thus did, according to legend, the island of Siquijor emerge from the sea. 

The Spaniards called it Isla del Fuego, the "Island of Fire", referring to the eerie glow the island gave off as galleons passed in the night. The eerie glow came from the great swarms of fireflies harbored in the numerous molave treesor "tugas" as one of its earliest name "Katugasan" suggested.

Siquijor island was discovered by Esteban Rodriguez of the Legaspi Expedition in 1565. The first parish, also named Siquijor, was established in 1783 under the administration of secular clergymen. The first Augustinian Recollect priest, Father Vicente Garcia, arrived in Siquijor in 1794. In the years that followed, the parishes of Larena (initially called Cano-an), Lazi (formerly called Tigbawan), San Juan (Makalipay), and Maria (Cangmeniac) were founded by priests of the same order. With the exception of the Enrique Villanueve, all of the five municipalities were established as parishes by 1877. From 1854 to 1892, the island was under the political leadership of Bohol. In 1892, it became a part of Negros Oriental, and in 1901, a sub-province of the province. 

There followed a period of American influence and during World War II, up to the liberation in 1944, was occupied by Japanese Imperial Forces. 

On September 17, 1971, Siquijor became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 6396. The capital which was formerly Larena, was transferred to Siquijor, Siquijor in 1972 with Proclamation No. 1075. 

The serenity of the whole province makes it a perfect get-away. It is a haven for hikers, bikers and nature lovers. The highest peak at the center of the island, Mount Bandilaan is crowned with a rain forest boasting of unexplored caves and a butterfly sanctuary where one of the biggest butterflies in Asia is found. 

The town of San Juan is home of the renowned Capilay Spring Park, a natural fresh water spring complemented with a swimming pool and park amenities. A never-ending stretch of white sandy beaches cover all 102 kilometers of shoreline surrounding the island. It is and ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. Its splendid array of coral formation, reef, and other marine life is a must see for scuba divers. The western part of the island gives premier seats to view the most beautiful sunsets in the region. Waterfalls in Lazi and Larena also give cooling respite from the island's tropical heat. 

Some of the historical land marks are the old Cang-isok house, the bell tower of St. Francis of Asisi built in 1870 and the St. Isidore Labradore church and convent constructed in 1891, reputed to be one of the oldest and biggest in Asia.

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