The other night I went for a run along the coastal road that runs the full 72 km of Siquijor island. I ran 5 km of the road and felt so much hospitality in that little stretch. I ran past children playing, families lounging and teenagers playing basketball. Most Filipinos stare like Koreans but with a smile, a nod and a friendly hello…at least on Siquijor. Along my run I ran with a couple of Filipino boys, spoke to countless people (young and old alike), was invited to play basketball(which seems bigger than any other sport here) and was smiled upon by almost everyone I encountered.
The warmth and hospitality exudes off the people here and there seems to be no price tag. Upon arrival to the island we stopped in a place for food just next to the ferry terminal. I tried to tip our young waitress 25 pesos (about $0.50) and it was politely refused.
Riding around on bikes yesterday everyone wanted to say hello and many wanted us to stop at their stand. We stood around with some kids jumping off a pier and chatted with them for a while. Or rather watched them excitedly do dives and flips off the pier for our amusement. The people of Siquijor really know how to treat people and it is very simple. Smile and say “hello.” Simple, yes, but unbelievably refreshing.