Our second island destination in the Philippines was Siquijor – an island known for witchcraft and healers apparently, although we didn’t see any magic and luckily didn’t need any healing.
Siquijor is a tiny little island, so small that you can drive round it’s circumference road in a couple of hours, and it would be pretty impossible to get lost – there’s only 6 towns on the island.
A Filipino Night Out
Luckily for us, my mum knew a lovely lady who lived on the island. Her name is Honey, and she’d been to the UK in 2009 and stayed at our farm for a couple of days. We exchanged numbers via facebook and promised to meet up when we got off the ferry from Cebu.
By the time the ferry docked, Honey had already sorted us out a scooter to rent for our 4 days, and a tricycle taxi (a motorbike with a big covered sidecar attached) to take our bags to the place we’d be staying. She sent us on our way with a promise to come and pick us up later in the day so we could all go out for an evening meal.
Once we settled in and had an afternoon snooze, Honey and her husband picked us up and told us we were going to a Filipino birthday party. We were the only westerners there, so felt very lucky to see the local side of living on the island. The custom on Siquijor is for the birthday boy or girl to invite pretty much everyone they know over to a party with plenty of food and booze, music and dancing. The birthday boy in question was turning 49, and owned a beachfront hotel. He put on a live band and served lechon – suckling pig not unlike our hog roasts.
We spent the evening being introduced to what seemed like every politician on the island… turns out Honey had recently been running for mayor of her town, so her crowd of people consisted of all the mayors, government types and business owners on the island. They all seemed really happy to have us there and not at all put out that we’d crashed the birthday party – in fact people kept handing us more beer and pressing us to go up for extra helpings of food.
As the sun set over the water, the kids went out to play in the shallows to catch little fish and I couldn’t help but think there are worse ways to grow up. Not much trouble you can get into on an island the size of the Isle of Wight.
After plenty of beer and food, we decided to call it a night and went back to have a sleep. I think the party continued to the early hours for both the adults and the kids… Honey said her daughter would probably miss school the next day.
For our first night on the island, we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome.