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Exploring Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor

Enrique Villanueva is one of two (2) towns in Siquijor province that was named after a former governor of the province of Negros Oriental, of which Siquijor was once apart of until 1971. The other town is Larena, which was once the capital of Siquijor. With a population of only 5,972 (based on 2010 census), it is the smallest town in the province in terms of population. It is also the smallest town in Siquijor in terms of land area covering only 27.93 square kilometers. The town is so small that people joke about how goats and cows can vote during elections.

I had the chance to visit the place last month during the 1st #InfoTourismAdventureRace during the 22nd annual regional convention of the Regional Association of Development Information Officers 7 (RADIO 7).

Talingting, Siquijor
With Mayor Gerold Pal-ing



A Bit of History

The town was once known as Talingting because of the abundance of the fish locals refer to as Talingtingon. Once a barangay of Larena, it was organized into a municipality and officially named Enrique Villanueva in honor of a former Negros Oriental governor who was instrumental in elevating it into a municipality on 1 January 1925. Until now, many people still refer to the town as Talingting.

Places of Interest

While a small town, Enrique Villanueva also has beautiful spots it can be proud of. They are listed below.

Cang-isok House 

The Cang-isok House is the oldest known surviving house in Siquijor, although little is known as to when it was constructed. Sadly, this interesting piece of heritage is kind of neglected by its private owners.

Cang-isok House
Cang-isok House

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

Tulapos is a marine sanctuary established in 1986 and covers 14 hectares of coral reefs, mangroves, and white sand beaches. It also has a mangrove tree house as an added attraction. 

Caves

Enrique Villanueva is home to at least four (4) of the identified caves in Siquijor Island: Bitaug, Isa, Napayong, and Olave Caves.

Lilybeth's Pan Bisaya

A gastronomic treat for island visitors can be found in barangay Binuongan where barangay Camugao resident Lilybeth Viernes-Alce runs a humble mini-bread station that serves the famous supas Bisaya or native bread. 

Siquijor Pan Bisaya
Noel of Ubay, Bohol trying his hand at baking Siquijor's pan Bisaya

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