There are many ways to have a cheap tour of Siquijor, for our group we availed of a tricycle countryside tour package. If we have chosen to visit the top tourist spots of Siquijor by public commute, we would probably save money but it would be at the cost of time. Time, unfortunately we did not have much of when we went for our 2D/1N vacation in the smallest island province in Region 7.
We only stayed overnight in a white beach resort in the island, Salagdoong in Sta Maria. On our way back to the pier, we continued on with our countryside tour.
The first stop was the famous Cang Isok House along the coastline of a town called Enrique Villanueva. A bahay kubo on stilts, this humble abode made of planks of hardwood and nipa has definitely seen better times but when you look at it, you can feel the strength and character emanating from the structure.
At one point, Cang-Isok must have been a typical Filipino native house, simple yet beautiful.
Today, this old house stands proud in spite of its battered look. This house has defied what nature may have brought over the years from rough waves, high tides and other calamities. It is the lone structure where it stood surrounded only by waves and a few scattered palm trees. Other residents may have chosen to build houses in higher places, far away from the reaches of the blue waters. Or if Cang-Isok has close neighbors from years before, they did not survive the times but this house did.
I am wondering where its name came from? Is it the name of the barrio? The family name of those who own the place? What is Cang-Isok anyhow? I also wonder how many years this building has stood. The info that I could gather is that this is the oldest surviving house in Siquijor, exact number of years unknown. It makes you wonder too about the people who took residence in the Cang Isok House. Did they feel bless waking up every day to an amazing view? Did they consider their home a tropical paradise?
This is also one of those instances when I think letting things be is the better, wiser choice. The local tourism stakeholders and the owners could choose to fix this house but they didn’t. If they will, Cang-Isok will lose its essence; its battered oldness is what makes it a unique testament to time and to defying odds. This house survived, it’s a heritage by its own right.
It was early afternoon when we visited this popular house in Siquijor. From our vantage point up in the main road, we got down the makeshift stairs to take a closer look. Nobody was there, the door was closed and the windows shut. Looking around, the place radiates easy and relaxing vibe. Everything looks very calm, the sea was bright blue and green, the waves were gentle, sea breeze was cool.
It makes me think, the Cang-Isok Old House of Siquijor may just survive us all.
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