Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Tree House


What’s your bird’s eye view of a trip to nature and the beach all in one day? Yes, that is possible in Siquijor Island. You see, this place holds many incredible attractions. It may seem to be just another typical trip but wait until you discover what lies beneath these blue waters and above in the green trees.  Let’s take a virtual trip to the island’s Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Tree House.


Tulapos, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor.

How to get there

Finding your way to this attraction is not difficult. It will be quite a long ride to get to the island first, of course. You take a plane from Manila (home to most international flights) to Dumaguete. Next, you take a ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor. But moving forward, you can take a jeepney or motorbike to the Tulapos which approximately just one kilometre from the town proper.

Entrance Fee

It will only cost you Php50.00 to register for your visit to the sanctuary and Php10.00 to climb the tree house. All funds are directed to help conserve the place.

The Attraction

Tulapos itself proves its beauty with its naturally artistic terrain, evident in its hills sloping gently from west to east thereby forming uniquely stunning scenery.

To begin stunning you, we have the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary which has noted for its years of existence. In fact, it is the oldest of its kind in the island having been established way back in 1986. The sanctuary encompasses 14 hectares of coral reefs, white sand beaches and mangroves.  If the Mt. Bandilaan boasts of its majestic flora and fauna, so does this sanctuary—in its marine form, of course.

And the best way to fully enjoy the visit to this marine attraction is snorkelling. And don’t be surprised at a school of batfishes (or ‘barracudas’) that you’ll meet in the way, in addition to the colourful species you encounter in the area. Cleary, heaven can be found down under.

This sanctuary does not only give physical lure. It also gives the local inhabitants a source of living. For what its worth,  these locals have been a witness to how this sanctuary grew from providing shelter to a small number of  fishes in the past up until today where it has really become a home of thousands of living aquatic wonder—coral reefs and fishes of various species. As of 2000, an average of 72 individual fish per square meter was recorded as the highest fish population the sanctuary has ever gained. And for as long as the residents are vigilant to protect this wonder, the numbers will also continue to rise.

Image Credits: Sexy Nomad

Evidently embellishing the splendid sanctuary are the mangroves. And closely associated with these mangroves is the famous two-storey Mangrove Tree House—that big! Getting to the tree house isn’t that easy though. Tourists, per record, say that the sand is sticky making you strive a bit to walk in it.

But it will be all worth the wait when you come inside the tree house. Its complex structure impresses many. It’s complete with rooms, a bathroom, kitchen, electric outlets, and a veranda (overlooking the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary). On the topmost room, you can see a huge bed made of bamboo and dried leaves spread all over it, just like some bed sheet. Now, isn’t that nice?

The only downside this tree house has is its vulnerability to the forces of nature, everything does. Some visitors say that you have to very careful both on your way up and down the stairs of the tree house because some steps could possibly tear off. But the local government has already been collecting funds to repair and continue to preserve this attraction. Who knows, when the day comes for you to visit, the tree house has been transformed into a regular accommodation by the sea.

In the mean time, enjoy what the endless possibilities it has to offer!

Wanna visit Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Tree House?









Header Image Credits: IronWulf.net

Bandilaan Butterfly Farm

Header Image Credits: islandersparadisebeach

Have you ever heard of the legend that tells of butterflies paving the way for your wishes to come true? Yes, folks believe that you tell your wish to a butterfly once you’ve captured it and then let it go; the butterfly will fly to the heavens and the higher being shall grant it for you. Well, in that case, you might want to try wishing at the Bandilaan Butterfly Farm found within the Mt. Bandilaan National Park in Siquijor. Create your wishlist now!

Mt. Bandilaan, Lazi, Siquijor

The most convenient way to travel to Siquijor is from Manila to Dumaguete via plane and then from Dumaguete to Siquijor itself via ferry. Arriving at Siquijor, take a jeepney or motorbike going to the town of Lazi. You can ask the guide to take you to the Mt. Bandilaan National Park.

Image Credits: siquijor.gov.ph

The entire Butterfly Farm spans a total of 1,460 square meters (equivalent to 5 hectares) land area. It composes of a botanical garden as huge as entire space. It houses 102 species (as per record) of butterflies and moths that feed from the garden itself. This attraction is believed to hold the record of having a butterfy with the largest wingspan in Asia.

One is sure to enjoy this tourist spot not only because of its physical magnificence but also with the courtesy and knowledgeable staff of the Farm who take you through the sanctuary tour. They have been trained by Professor Jumalon. He founded the ‘Julian Jumalon Foundation’ that took care of such sanctuary way back when it started in 1970’s.

Once you get inside the Butterfly farm, you will surely be amazed at the thousands of butterfly species glimmering in different shades of colours, filling the entire area with the brightness and vigour. These butterflies are not only found in the local or native land; there are those that known internationally. Such species include but are not limited to the following:

• Moths of Two Continents
• Attatus Atlas (known to be the most huge moths the world has)
• Kalima (sometimes called the dead leaf butterfly)
• Snow Butterflies (from the Swiss Alps)
• Birdwing Butterflies
• Philatelic Butterflies (usually seen on stamps)
• Philippines Moths

As you move along from one specie to another, the staff may tell you some interesting facts about them. They have been carefully educated to provide the best service as well as knowledge to the tourists.

Image Credits: NADZ2 at TravellersPoint

The Butterfly Farm also features an enclosure where the larvae dwell until they reach metamorphosis.
The butterflies have surely thrived in such clean and ecologically-balanced area that has been for the years of its existence. Just imagine an array of butterflies painting the greenery of the farm. Such amazing wonder!

In fact, it’s wonder has already spread outside Siquijor Island. It has already been featured in national news. It has also been visited my many students via numerous educational field trips. It has further attracted many tourists on top on the whole public that flock the place.

So are you ready to fulfil your wishes? Don’t worry, if you aren’t allowed to catch the butterflies in your hands, just go near them and whisper your wish. Now, that’s far more of a catch than throwing coins in wishing wells.

Wanna visit Bandilaan Butterfly Farm?




NADZ2 at TravellersPoint


San Juan de Capilay Lake

Header Image by: Enrico Dee of Byahilo

What can be more majestic than a lake situated in the heart of the city. Yes, if you think that bodies of water can only be found beside mountains or can be reached in faraway towns, then San Juan de Capilay Lake will somehow change your mindset. It’s uncommon for lakes to be surrounded by the bustles of the city. But believe it or not, when you set foot in it, it’s a good as leaving town for a long vacation.


San Juan, Siquijor


Flights to Dumaguete from Manila are on a daily basis and ferry rides from Dumaguete to Siquijor are always around. Travel time for the former takes 1 hour and the latter, 45 minutes. Once you have arrived in Siquijor, you can take a jeepney or multicab to the town of San Juan.



Siquijor, among many other cities in the country, holds excellent tourist spots and noted for its one of a kind swimming pools fed by springs. The catch is, San Juan Capilay Lake flows through these springs. It’s located just right in the center of the town plaza, thus both travellers and people from everywhere in town inevitably enjoy the beauty and coolness of this place. But it’s everybody’s favourite haven during weekends.

Image by: Lou Malolot

The flowing body of water fins its way on one side of the municipal hall, the other streams in the public market and the town gym. Tourists and local also tell of the water being classified into three sections. The upper portion is where the natural spring sits (no pools constructed over it); the second section is where the swimming pool flows; and the last one is the laundry pool which just runs by the road.  San Juan used to be a tribal village named Capilay until the mid 19th century—thus the name.

The lake is a picturesque aqua-coloured body of cold water surrounded by greenery that cools you off during a warm weather. Lush acacia trees embellish the vast water tables. It’s like a blend of the woods and the sea. The setting is just as romantic as the island is mystical. The pools that have been constructed enhanced the lovely lake. And the more it lures every visitor to spend the day there.

Image by: Enrico Dee of Byahilo


Since the attraction is just right in the center of the San Juan town plaza, it is indeed open to the public and thus free of any entrance fee. At anytime, you can take the plunge and enjoy swimming. If you’re up to tone and flex your muscles with a long swim or simply want to relax under shady trees, this is the place to be. There are cottages and picnic tables around so you enjoy great food. Kiosks can also be found in the area to suit your convenience. Such scene is ideal to people who are inclined to sketching and painting.

So to the artists, don’t forget to bring with your sketch pads, canvass, pencils and brushes. To everybody, be sure to bring your cameras. San Juan de Capilay Lake is certainly the best way to enjoy a hot lazy afternoon.

Wanna visit San Juan de Capilay Lake?


Enrico Dee of Byahilo

Lou Malolot








Mt. Bandilaan National Park

Header Image By Brennan Mercado

A walk and plunge in the beach is rejuvenating and going up a mountain can be exhausting. But if you’re told that this mountain is worth the climb both along the way and at its very top, would you take the journey? You should, having ‘no’ for an answer is certainly not the best option. Climbing Mt. Bandilaan in the Island of Siquijor is like a trip to sky alongside the bounty nature has to offer. Get your gear set!


Cantabon, Siquijor


Mt. Bandilaan lies in the center of Siquijor. To get to Siquijor, you need to take a plane from Manila to Dumaguete (the best route by far) and a ferry ride from Dumaguete to Siquijor. From here, we take Lazi town as our starting point. There are vehicles such jeepneys and motorbikes (or “habal-habal” as the locals call it) that can take you to the Mt. Bandilaan National Park.  Travel time may take about forty 40 minutes to 1 hour since there are some parts of the road that haven’t been developed and are covered with lime stones.


From the foot of the mountain, the first notice its height. Mt. Bandilaan is 1,394 feet high and is 557 feet above the sea level. It is known to be the highest peak in the island and has often been compared to Mt. Mayon, having an almost perfect cone shape. The terrain is just naturally aesthetic. The springs (yes, five of them to be specific) and rivers flowing at its foot give you a rejuvenating feel that anytime just wanted to throw yourself in. Moreover, vegetable gardens grow around the whole park thereby giving the tourists refreshingly dirt-free air.

Image By: Storm Crypt


Most people trek and explore the caves. But they make sure not to miss the lighter part of the journey– experience nature’s bliss with the endearing flora and fauna the park boasts of. Many fancy the colourful array of butterflies that thrive in its sanctuary, otherwise known as the Bandilaan Butterfly Range and Breeding Farm. And they continue their way up to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Along the way at certain points, you pass by the Stations of the Cross.

Image By: Storm Crypt

Going up further will lead to you the 13th and last station. And if you got yourself extra energy, you might want to make the most by climbing some more towards the Metal Observatory Desk that beholds the breathtaking view of the whole Siquijor island. Hikers need not worry though since there are also a few stores along the way that sell cold drinks and crackers to keep you going.

Image By: Storm Crypt

When you’re done with your itinerary, you shouldn’t leave the place without buying some ‘magic’ stuff. Yes, amulets, potions, charms, oils and the like are being sold in the park. Locals believe these things provide you shield from evil forces as well as cure you of your diseases. Siquijor locals are known to be experts at concocting such, accompanied by rituals only they can utter.

Now, you have an assurance that visiting mountains can be a lot of fun.

Wanna visit Mt. Bandilaan National Park?


Storm Crypt under CC by-nc-nd 2.0

Brennan Mercado under CC by-nc-nd 2.0






Lazi Church and Convent

Header Image By: Storm Crypt

Philippines is known to be rich in church traditions and is evident in the numerous churches we have, almost anywhere in the country. And in every church sits a convent beside it. Let’s jump into a moment of peacefulness by taking a short trip to the Lazi Convent in Siquijor Island, acclaimed to be Asia’s largest and oldest convent.


Lazi, Siquijor


Most visitors take the Manila-Dumaguete-Siquijor route via plane and ferry, respectively. From the port of Siquijor, you need a tricycle to take you to the Lazi Convent. Another option would be to take a jeepney. Some tourists observed though that the way to the convent is taking longer than usual not because of rocky roads but because the drivers take their time which in turn is not a worry in this not so fast-paced however splendid town.


The Lazi Church and the Lazi Convent are situated right next to each other. The church still holds mass until these days and if you’re lucky, priests can take you for a tour at the convent. Thus, it is indeed open to every local and every visitor who wishes to experience inner peace amidst the busy travel. The only cost you would spend for is Php20 if you would like to hop inside the museum inside the convent.

Image By: Storm Crypt

Apart from the giant trees of acacia that surrounds the place, the breathtaking baroque architecture of the church and the convent will definitely give you a high regard of your history. To provide a more vivid picture, Lazi Convent stand high, shaped in “U”, encompassing an area of 50 x 50 meters. Complementing its remarkable architecture are the stones that compose the lower part of the structure and the hard wooden panels that make up the upper portion. Thus, sometimes, it is often called “bahay na bato”. The pink shade of the façade has become faint and made it more classic. This place was built by the Augustinian Friars way back in 1887. It served as their dwelling as well as a place for leisure.

Image By: Storm Crypt

Spending several moments of your time inside the church and the convent allows you to experience tranquillity like no other. Travellers say that the moment you get inside the church and the Lazi Convent, you are welcomed by an undisturbed atmosphere that makes you want to get in touch with your inner soul. Moreover, as you step inside the museum located on the second floor of this convent, you see a number of very old religious objects such as an antique typewriter, saints carved out of wood, and a diary of one of the friars can be seen inside. And in an instant, you seem to find yourself back in the 19th century. But savour the moment while you can because photography within here is not permitted.

Image By: Storm Crypt

The convent is maintained by a woman caretaker, who many would say gladly offer you native delicacies that you shouldn’t refuse to it as it does fill in your stomach. To date, the lower ground of convent has been utilized as a school building.

Siquijor in general had several folklores but none in specific has been told of the Lazi convent. However, if there’s one word to tell of this landmark, it would be “legacy”.

Wanna visit Lazi Church and Convent?


Storm Crypt under CC by-nc-nd 2.0



Cang-Isok House

Header Image by: Enrico Dee of Byahilo

People travel for a lot reasons and when they do, beaches and nature trips are on top of the list. But in every trip, there lies a difference—and that would be having an actual account of your history. Yes, visits to old laces can be fascinating.

One of the historical structures found in a traveller’s list is ancient houses. Philippines boasts of such and they can be found in many cities or their suburbs. Among the many, lies the impressive Cang-Isok House, a 200 year old house located along the coastline of Siquijor Island.


Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor


The Cang-Isok house is three-kilometer drive from the town of Siquijor. An effective way to get to Siquijor would be to take a plane from Manila to Dumaguete and then take a ferry to the island itself. In 45 minutes, you arrive at the place. Now, you have the option to rent a tricycle (Php 900-1000), a mulitcab (Php 1500), or a motorbike (Php200-300) to take you to the Cang-Isok Village and the attraction.


One can feed his curiosity of the house for free when you pass by the coastline of Brgy. Libo, Enrique Villanueva. History recounts Cang-isok’s existence when it was built in the mid 1800s. It is also called the “Tejano House”, after a Spanish man Mariano Tejano who built it. It came to be known as “Cang-isok” since it’s located in the seaside village of Cang-isok itself. In most times though, the house remains closed but locals say that the new generations of the Tejanos who reside a few kilometres from here continue to preserve it.

Image by: Dennis Villegas

Many people who come to the place enjoy sight seeing. Who wouldn’t? It is so refreshing to stand in front of the shore, listen to the sound of the waves and the changing wind. Most of all, it is fulfilling to look at a house that has witnessed history unfold in the years that have passed.

One can just imagine, how many years Cang-Isok stood the ravages brought about by time and nature. Local hard woods of best quality such as “tugas” and “molave”, good types of local wood, definitely provides for a solid foundation. The nipa sheets lined over the other, give the house a natural touch. Cang-isok was designed to have stilt posts, elevating the house a few meters atop the ground, just as history tells that Philippine ancestors need to elevate houses to protect the household from wild animals.

But the house isn’t only rich of physical strength, it is also rich in mysteries that locals have observed and experienced through time. During the dark, they believe to have seen ghosts in the house. They also tell of bright eyes that lit the window cracks. We all know ghosts fall in love with empty houses but that doesn’t diminish the beauty the house brings. Whether you come to visit early in the day or later, a simple look at Cang-isok will surely make you want to add it to your list of great ancient houses that delighted your travels.

Wanna visit Cang-Isok House?

Image Credits:

Dennis Villegas

Enrico Dee


Cantabon Cave of Siquijor

Header Image By: Storm Crypt

Picture yourself surrounded by the serenity of nature—the cool green colour of shrubs that soothe your sight, music from forest creatures that tinkle your ear, invigorating fresh air that you breathe, and the natural formations that fill you with wonder. How would you like to spend some respite travelling to one of Philippines most visited caves? Buckle up and let’s take a trip to Cantabon Cave, Siquijor.

Cantabon Cave is more than the ordinary. It has not been commercially developed—giving people more reason to explore its natural marvel. Famed for its impressive group of stalactites and stalagmites among 45 other caves in the island, the trail to its very end can be difficult. Experiencing the unexploited grandeur, however, is surely worth the take.

Image By: Storm Crypt


Siquijor, Siquijor


The best way getting to Cantabon Cave entails you a one-hour plane ride from Manila to Dumaguete, another forty-five(45) minute ferry ride to the island of Siquijor, and some nine(9) kilometer travel to Barangay Cantabon via a motorbike or what people would often call as “habal-habal”.


Now, the next thing you have in mind is the cost to enjoy a whole day of fun. An entrance fee of 10 pesos will be charged and if you wish to have trekking guide with you, you’ll need to pay an additional of 300 pesos which already covers the use of gear such as flashlights and helmets.


Mountain climbing, in addition to trekking, is an excellent way to enjoy your trip. From preparing your gear down to the last minute of discovering the cave, the excitement will keep you. Another fascinating way to spend the day in Cantabon Cave would be to explore the various rock formations in the walls of the cave.


The cave measures at a length of 30 meters and a width of 10 meters. The inside is a dark room that highlights a huge range of glittering icicle-like stalactites and stalagmites hanging from the cave’s ceiling and formed by continuously dripping water that contains calcium carbonate. The cave also boasts of its perfectly undisturbed body of water running along the way that people dub as a ‘natural pool’.

Image By: Storm Crypt

Visitors say it’s indeed a rocky travel along those slopes and areas where you have to bend over to avoid bumping into the formations. A quick note would be to equip yourself with durable shoes that can endure rocks and secure your helmet in place. Moreover, travellers often say that it takes about two (2) hours to explore the whole place to and fro and that it wouldn’t be complete without taking shots of the beauty the cave beholds.

Cantabon Cave’s existence is dated back in 1985 during its discovery by some foreign hunters that thrived in the place. Stories don’t really tell of mystifying folklores except that Cantabon is just sitting next to Barangay Antonio which they describe as a “voodoo place”. Nevertheless, the trip to this cave is breath-taking and would continue to leave awe to its visitors.

Wanna visit the Cantabon Cave?

Image Credits:
Storm Crypt under CC by-nc-nd 2.0


Cambugahay Falls of Siquijor

Header Image By: Shea Klipper

The island of Siquijor is known for its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscape. It is infamous for its rich natural beauty as well as historic landmarks that still stood tall up to this day. There is a shroud of mysticism and tranquility within the island that people have come to visit. You can feel the fresh air rustling the leaves of the trees and the tropical weather makes it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime.

One of the perfect spot to enjoy Siquijor is Cambugahay Falls. One of the island’s main attraction that even people within the island spend their time with their families to relax.

Image By: Faith Melendres


The Cambugahay Falls is located just 2 kilometers outside the town of Lazi which is another historic town in the island.


Getting to the town of Lazi is easy since the town is one of the island’s biggest municipality. Going to Cambugahay Falls is nothing short of breathtaking. As you go up to the 2 kilometer road, you will be seeing the wonder that nature has granted Siquijor.

Even though it is 2 kilometers away from the falls there is no worry of getting lost since you can always hire a motorcycle driver to get you to the place. You can negotiate with the motorcycle driver when it comes to fees. If you do have a car with you, road signs all point out straight to the falls. And if that does not help you, locals are willing to help by pointing you the way.


Once you have reached the destination, you will have to walk down 135 stone steps without any guardrail after paying your parking cost of 10 to 20 pesos for cars and 5 to 10 pesos for motorcycles. There are two vendors in the area who will offer refreshments when you get back. One of which will collect the parking fee. There are no entrance fees for the falls.

Image By: Faith Melendres


By the time you are done climbing down the 135 stone steps, you are sure to enjoy the clear blue waters of the multi-tiered waterfalls that is Cambugahay. Clean and fresh water rush through each waterfall that flows down towards smaller lagoons.

Image By: Shea Klipper

There are three tiers that make up the entire waterfalls. All of which flow right down into a small stream. You can simple lay down into the fresh and cool shallow waters to help you cool off from the trip down from the stone steps. The water comes from natural springs and watersheds from the rain forest up above the mountains and ends downstream of about 3 kilometers where it goes out into the Lazi Bay.

Image By: Shea Klipper

The crystal clear blue water can be enjoyed with friends and family 24 hours every day of the week. But, be sure to take the weekday trip if you want to have the falls all by yourself because weekends can get crowded leaving you no room for a nice silent nature trip. And be sure to bring cameras with you as it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Wanna visit Cambugahay Falls?

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Image Credits:

Shea Klipper

Faith Melendres






The Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor

Header Image by: Dennis Villegas

If you leave Siquijor without visiting this majestic and popular landmark, you will be left wondering how it feels like to be left in awe gazing up a huge natural attraction. What’s the use of visiting ‘just a tree’? You should probably just include this in your itinerary since a blogger at RANCHO D’EL TORRERO mentions “you can’t help but feel humbled beside it”.

Plus that’s one awesome pictorial that you will miss posting on Facebook.


Brgy. Campalanas, Lazi, Siquijor


You can find this landmark at 10 meters from Siquijor’s National Highway or also known as the island’s circumferential road. This is also found within just a few minutes away from Capilay Spring.

To get there you can hire a tricycle driver or a multicab to bring you to the place.

Image by: Faith Melendres


None. Optional donation via donation box.


Take photos. Leave a donation. Or wash your clothes. 😀

At this point in Lazi you can see a panoramic view of the Island’s western side.

Image by: Faith Melendres


This balete tree is centuries old or believed to be 400 years old. It is the ultimate setting for a horror movie. It is locally known as the oldest and biggest tree in the province of Siquijor – a popular landmark that you shouldn’t miss.

A handful of legends and myths have been attached to the history of tree. Which is quite natural since it is, as mentioned, centuries old. It is also known as a dwelling place for supernatural beings.

Water flows underneath the tree which flows straight to a man-made pool or stream. The locals couldn’t tell where the water comes from thus the engulfing strange stories of place.

Image by: Faith Melendres

It was the place where people could take a dip and be healed. It was also developed for the locals to use as their laundry area. Some would even take a bath and swim in it. Though right now, it is considered unsafe. Instead, one can see fishes swimming in the place.

The scary and eerie outline of the tree makes anyone believe that the tree is enchanted. The roots are massive and unidentical. Such eeriness could be attributed to the outline created by the hanging roots and vines of the tree.

This locally known balete tree or dalaki is a type of ficus (or fig tree) and is a relative of the strangler fig tree and called such due to the fact that it grows around a host tree and strangles it. One traveler from TripAdvisor observed that it is “equivalent to Australia’s similarly wide girthed Moreton Bay fig”.

Image by: Faith Melendres

The Green Cloud blog quotes the definition of the balite or dalakit is:

“A name given to various species of Ficus which start as epiphytes and strangle their host, assuming tree form. They are much feared as being haunts of various supernatural beings.” ~Source: Wolff, John U. A Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Library, 1972.

Wanna visit the Old Enchanted Balete Tree in Siquijor?

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Image Credits:

Dennis Villegas

Faith Melendres