Philippines: Why Siquijor loves its ‘witches’

The island has a reputation for witchcraft, something that has fascinated – and frightened –people. Proof of this is a YouTube video titled “Siquijor Magic” that went viral a few years ago. It shows an alleged “sorcerer” from Siquijor making paper dolls dance to guitar music.

The local government unit, however, seeks to change Siquijor’s image of black magic to that of a “Healing Island.” It seeks to capitalize on the traditional healing methods and cures indigenous to the island. To this end, it has been holding since 2009 the annual Healing Festival at the highest peak of the island, the Bandilaan Mountain View Park. It provides stalls for healers and herbalists where patients or plain tourists can consult them.

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