Salagdoong and Ijor the Elf

Ijor was one of the early survivors that reunited with King Kihod. He was King Kihod’s right hand and became his successor when the king decided to slowly fade away. He was fast, skillful, and could do anything his master asked him to do. He was also capable of escaping from harm by simply using his magic and trickery. I-jor settled in a place close to the beach where he could hunt for fish for food. In fact, he built a shelter to protect himself from the weather on a huge rock formation where he could see the fish down below. His shelter was made out of seaweeds that he collected on the shore. I-jor could transform himself into different animals, but being a bird was his favorite. This gave him the freedom to effectively roam around the island.

Read: The Legend of King Kihod

According to the legend, he moved like a “doong,” a local bird found in the area, and would be seen diving down into the waters from a cliff where his shelter was located. When he decided to relocate into the wooded area, an artificial forest created by his friend Tuggas Sam, he left his shelter behind which the local settlers called “salag,” or bird’s nest in Cebuano language, because of its shape. They then called this area “salag-doong” (salagdoong) in Ijor’s honor. Not far from this area also, you’ll find the forrest that Tuggas Sam created.

It is believed that even to this day, some locals would see a different looking bird that roam around the island. This is the same bird that people say would hover above the artificial forest almost every evening especially when the moon is bright. Of course we were all told that Siquijor came from King Kihod, but witnesses said that when Ijor met some Spanish travelers on the shore and was asked by the Spaniards, “¿Cómo te llamas?” He said, “Si Ijor.” But regardless of what the locals have heard of its origin, the name Siquijor and the island itself will always be a mystery.


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