Camiguin Island, an Island of Fire and Water
Camiguin Island Travel Blog› entry 11 of 29 › view all entries
We woke up bright and early the next day. A quick breakfast and last minute packing, we said goodbyes to my friend's parents before catching a jeepney to take us to the bus stop that will take us to the Port of Balingoan, in Misamis Oriental.
The jeepney ride took 45-minutes. It was still dark when we left, and by the time we reached our stop, the sun was up, and the bustling morning crowd were busy with their daily activity. After 30 minutes, our bus arrived. It took another 2 hours from where we were before we reached the Port of Balingoan. The road traversed into small towns to along the coast, a beautiful view of clear waters and scattered small islands.
We reached the bus terminal by 930am. Although it was walkable (5-minutes), we decided to take a tricycle (cost: PhP5 per person) from the bus terminal to the port terminal.
The ferry ride was uneventful. The views wonderful. The breeze amazingly fresh. Scattered islands can be seen, some inhabited, others not.
And an hour later, we reached Camiguin. We reached the port in the town of Mahinog, and started looking for the van (multi-passenger) that will take us to the town of Mambajao, where we will be staying overnight. It took 30 minutes.
On reaching Mabajao, we rented a tricycle that helped us check several hotels to stay for the night.
Paras Beach Resort is only 5 minutes from the main area of the town of Mambajao, and just a 3-minute boat ride to the white sand bar, an island of white sand that disappears during high tide. We took the deluxe room for 1 night (Cost:PhP 2800, approx $60). It has several types of room from dorms to cottages. A pool is located in the center of the resort.
Checked in and ready to sightsee, we decided to eat lunch first. The resort has an alfresco dining area of which serves Filipino dishes. It was a delicious lunch with a view of the sand bar and the sea. Over mango juice, fish, chicken, and rice, we enjoyed our lunch.
After lunch, we inquired with the staff on the cost of renting a van or multi-cab (a smaller version of a jeepney) for the afternoon as we sighsee around the island.
So off we go! From Paras Beach Resort, we circled the island.
We stopped at the Walkway to Old Volcano. A hike up to the summit of the old volcano. Because we didn't have time, we decided to skip it. It would've been great to hike it up to see the view but we were also not prepared for the hike.
Then to the Sunken Cemetery. The area was a cemetery that was buried in water after the Mt Vulcan erupted in 1871, and was commemorated with a large cross. We took a quick mini banca (boat) ride (PhP15 per person) to the giant cross. From there, we can see large dark-colored "stones" that were once graves, now covered with corals after more than 100 years in water.
After the cementery, it was fitting to stop at The Gui-ob Old Church. The Gui-ob Old Church Ruins is a 16th century church that was also buried during the 1871 eruption. Only the 3rd floor level of the church can be seen from the ruins. Behind the ruin is a 300+ year old tree that must have started to grow after the eruption.
Before leaving the Gui-Ob Old Church Ruins, we bought some lanzones. Lanzones is a popular fruit in Camiguin, well-known for its sweetness. Grown from a tree, the fruits is in bunches, with each round fruit is covered by yellowish, thick, leathery skin. Underneath the skin, the fruit is divided into small, five or six slices of translucent, juicy flesh.
The Soda Water Swimming Pool (entrance fee PhP 20.00), our 4th stop that afternoon, is an interesting and unique sight. I didn't taste it but they said that it is a natural carbonated water! It was tempting to jump in with the hot weather, but we still had a few more stops to go so we decided to forgo it.
Close by is the Sto. Niño Cold Spring (entrance fee PhP 20.
Another stop was the J & A Fishpen, which has a restaurant, well-know for fresh seafood and fish. We opted out for the meal but grabbed a shake, enjoyed the scenic view of the lagoon and fishery, by the coast.
Up the central area of the island is Katibawasan Falls (entrance fee PhP 15.00), is a wonderful waterfalls high up the mountains. The road was narrow and steep, and from a far, you can hear the low, roaring sound of the waterfalls.
And lastly, the Hibok-Hibok Ardent Hot Spring (entrance fee PhP 30.00), where we took a quick dip, met and chatted with some German tourists. The water was hot for some, but I guess I was used to the hotter temperatures of Japanese hot springs, since I found the water on the lukewarm end.
Dusk as falled by the time we left the hot spring. The sunset left a fiery streak across the darkening skies. We were hungry and ready for dinner. We had the option to have dinner at the restaurant, but we wanted the local flavor - so instead, we asked the driver to take us to the market before dropping us off at the resort.
Then we took a night swim at the pool before retiring for the night.