History: The island was first sighted by the Spaniards in 1565 during Miguel López de Legaspi's expedition. The Spaniards called the island Isla del Fuego or “Island of Fire,” because the island gave off an eerie glow, which came from the great swarms of fireflies that harbored in the numerous molave trees on the island. A folk legend also has it that many years ago, when the magical island of Siquijor was still nowhere on the face of the earth, a great storm engulfed the Visayan region, and a strong earthquake shook the earth and sea. Amidst the lightning and thunder arose an island from the depths of the ocean’s womb which came to be known as the island of Siquijor, hence the name Isla del Fuego, or "Island of Fire." Oddly enough, in modern times, highland farmers have unraveled giant shell casings under their farm plots, supporting the theory that Siquijor is indeed an island that rose from the sea. Esteban Rodriguez of the Legazpi Expedition in 1565 led the first Spaniards to “discover” the island. He was captain of a small party that left Legazpi’s camp in Bohol to explore the nearby islands which are now called Pamilican, Siquijor, and Negros. Brief history: Legend has it that Siquijor rose from the sea amid thunder and lightning. To support this, fossils of clams and other sea creatures can be found in the interior highlands. The islands´s native name was Katugasan derived from "tugas", molave trees that covered the hills. It was earlier known to the Spaniards as "Isla del Fuego" (Island of Fire) because of the swarm of fireflies that proliferate the areamIts present name is claimed to have been after King Kihod, its legendary ruler. Another version says it came from "quipjod", a native term meaning "the tide was ebbing". In time, the name "Siquijod" evolved until the "d" was changed to "r" for Spanish euphony. From 1683 to the end of the Spanish occupation, Siquijor was under the ecclesiastical authorities in Cebu. For some time, it was...
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