A tricycle in Larena, the port of Siquijor. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
A tricycle in Larena, the port of Siquijor. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

The little eyebrow raise

#Philippines

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Filipinos have a way of greeting you. To point out that they have seen you, noticed, seen, to say hello fast by the way, instead of a small nod, or a smile like in Thailand, they raise their eyebrows.

Let's raise our eyebrows to say hello!

This raised eyebrow is a quick and informal greeting, often followed by a smile and the inevitable " Hello ! " or "Hi! " for the foreigner or the foreigner of passage.

It's also a way to answer yes, to signify your agreement ...

A tricycle in Larena, the port of Siquijor. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
A tricycle in Larena, the port of Siquijor. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The streets of Larena, the "big" city and main port of the island. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The streets of Larena, the "big" city and main port of the island. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

I am happy to find here, in Siquijor, this little brow of eyebrows so particular, that I had noticed in Leyte, but who had disappeared in Alona Beach ...

It ends up rubbing on me, by the way. I start to raise my eyebrows, when I greet people!

The beautiful Salagdoong Beach

The day before yesterday, I went on a motorcycle tour (everywhere in Asia, the term "motorcycle" refers to any two-wheeled motorized, and when I say that I do the "bike" is actually rather the equivalent of a scooter). Siquijor is an ideal island for this kind of ride, there is very little traffic, just tricycles and motorcycles, some jeepneys (jeeps converted into buses) and bicycles. A road of 72 km, in good condition for the portion that I have already traveled, around the island.

You still have to ride quietly, because of dogs, goats, cows, chickens, children who can tumble at any time from the edge of the road, and people in general, because life is concentrated along this road. famous circular road, pompously called "Highway"

So I gave myself a little trip, after the morning dive, to the east of the island. My goal: the beach of Salagdoong.

Really cute, this big rock over the turquoise water, in Salagdoong Beach. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Really cute, this big rock over the turquoise water, in Salagdoong Beach. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

But I forgot we were Saturday. It's also weekends for Filipinos. Many of them have come, this afternoon, as a group or with a family, to enjoy the charming setting of this small cove with two handles, surrounded by rocks, with incredibly clear water, where you can swim without having to walk far (unlike "my" Sandugan beach).

In short, instead of the expected calm, there was of course the inevitable karaoke thoroughly, the bar-resto of the beach, and lots of people in front of barbecues or under the awnings to rent all around. Atmosphere and crowd much more authentic and pleasant than those of Alona Beach, that said!

The beautiful beach of Salagdoong, on the east coast of the island. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The beautiful beach of Salagdoong, on the east coast of the island. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
On weekends, everyone arrives with family or friends to Saladoong Beach for a picnic at the water's edge. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
On weekends, everyone arrives with family or friends to Saladoong Beach for a picnic at the water's edge. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

I found myself again distributing shrugs of eyebrows and " Hello " to the right and to the left. A group of students offered me to join them and a girl even offered me a glass of Tanduay, the local rum (often drunk mixed with Coke) ...

It did not really tell me to swallow rum at that time, so I politely declined the invitation, I had time to take some pictures, to dip, then I continued my journey in the village of Maria.

Maria, her market, her church

Maria has an imposing church and a small market. Flanked by a hexagonal belfry, the church of Our Lady of Divine Providence, built of limestone, dates from the end of the 19th century.e century, shortly before the end of the Spanish colonial period.

Painted on the doors of the double door, the Ten Commandments, in English.

The church of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The church of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The entrance to Maria's church, with its kitsch "decor". On the doors, the Ten Commandments. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
The entrance to Maria's church, with its kitsch "decor". On the doors, the Ten Commandments. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Inside the church of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Inside the church of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Venerable trees bring shade to Maria's main square. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Venerable trees bring shade to Maria's main square. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
There are fruits and veggies in the market stalls of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
There are fruits and veggies in the market stalls of Maria. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

After my short incursion into the church, I wandered a bit to the market, bought some fruit, and then returned to Sandugan Beach before night fell.

And she falls early here. It is day, immutably, from 6 am to 6 pm. So from 5-6 pm, it's time for a drink around the bungalows of "my" beach ...

Quiet tourism

At Sandugan Beach, at Islanders Paradise where I live, I have been sympathetic to my immediate neighbors, Marika and Shareef, a young Swiss-Maldivian couple on vacation. We spend a lot of time together, we get along very well.

Like me, they travel according to their desires, without a really pre-established itinerary. Except they have three months in front of them. Result, it's been more than ten days that they tap on Siquijor, so they like it ... Marika is pregnant and does not feel too much the courage either to bang bus or ferry hours in a row. Without being able to dive, she is content to snorkeling (swimming in fins-mask-snorkel on the surface).

Photo souvenir at the cocktail hour, with my new friends Marika and Shareef. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)
Photo souvenir at the cocktail hour, with my new friends Marika and Shareef. (Siquijor, Philippines, February 2008)

Today, another knowledge, made during the dive: David, a young Spaniard, teaches in Saigon (city also called Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), as part of a university program to promote the language of Cervantes. He also has a lot of time in front of him and has an appointment with friends in Boracay.

In the bungalow to my left, there was a couple of Canadians yesterday. And in Larena's Internet café, where I am, I have already met two French couples, also independent travelers. Siquijor definitely attracts a much nicer tourist population than Panglao ...

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

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