The lore of Siquijor has always burned brightly, with a history as vivid and fiery as the volcanic eruption that birthed this enchanting island. But this eruption was far from ordinary; it was the culmination of an epic battle between good and evil, a tale of sacrifice and renewal that echoes through the ages.
The Reign of King Kihod:
Thousands of years ago, beneath the depths of the ocean, a great ruler named King Kihod held sway over a vast and tranquil underwater kingdom. His reign was marked by peace and prosperity, until an evil witch known as Lady Ingkanta shattered the serenity. With her wicked ways, she sowed discord among the kingdom’s inhabitants, causing strife and conflict to tear the once-unified realm apart.
A Kingdom’s Ultimate Sacrifice:
As the struggle between good and evil intensified, King Kihod faced an agonizing decision: to preserve the essence of his kingdom, he had to destroy it. In a moment of ultimate sacrifice, he cast a spell upon his subjects, ensuring that only the worthy would emerge alive in a new world above the ocean’s surface. The cataclysmic volcanic eruption that followed gave birth to the island of Siquijor.
The Beacon of Bandilaan:
Atop the island’s newly formed lands, King Kihod took his position at the very heart, a vantage point that allowed him to oversee the island’s evolution. Here, he erected a “bandila” or flag, a beacon to guide the survivors of his once-submerged kingdom. Today, the place known as “Bandilaan” in Siquijor continues to draw hundreds of visitors, particularly during Holy Friday, to witness the island’s unique rituals and healing arts—a legacy that may well be King Kihod’s gift to his people, the power to heal and inspire hope.
The Legacy of King Kihod:
King Kihod’s story is not one of solitude. He was joined by an elf named Ijor, who later became his successor as the king chose to become less visible with the arrival of humans on the island. He entrusted Ijor with the task of seeking out survivors and reuniting them. With the addition of Ba’alte the Dwarf to their ranks, the island’s survivors could easily navigate the land, creating a gathering place for rituals and renewal.
Master of the Seas and Keeper of the Fireflies:
King Kihod’s power extended far beyond the land. With his mighty staff, he could command the seas to protect his people. He had the ability to summon a legion of fireflies, magnifying their radiance to engulf the island in an ethereal blaze—a signal to ward off malevolent spirits and a warning to Lady Ingkanta to stay at bay. These fireflies, known as “aninipots,” are said to have drawn visitors from neighboring islands, leading to Siquijor’s nickname, “Isla del Fuego” or Island of Fire.
The Legacy Lives On:
Even after appointing Ijor as his successor, King Kihod continued to leave his mark on Siquijor. He frequented his favorite spot, a village crafted by Takadog and Tugga Sam on the island’s hills, offering a breathtaking view of the land he cherished.
As you explore the enchanting island of Siquijor, remember that its very essence is steeped in the legend of King Kihod—a story of sacrifice, renewal, and the enduring spirit of an island that continues to captivate hearts and minds.