The beautiful island of Camiguin

Camiguin Travel Blog

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J & A Fishpen
The opportunity to visit Camiguin came suddenly, which made me think I was really meant to go there. We booked our flights as early as January because Cebu Pacific offered a 50% seat sale. I made a mistake, though. Since the first flight to Cagayan De Oro was scheduled at 4AM, and the other earlier flights were already fully booked, I got the 12:20PM flight, only to learn the following day that Camiguin is very far from the airport, and that we had to be in CDO as early as 12NN to be able to catch the last ferry to Camiguin. So my advice to you if you're visiting Camiguin is BOOK THE EARLIEST FLIGHT.

Since we could no longer rebook, unless we shell out more dough, I resigned to the fact that we have to spend the first day in CDO.
Swimming pool of Camiguin Highland Resort
Good thing there's an activity that we can do there - white water rafting. It also gave us the chance to visit Bukidnon early the following morning to try Asia's longest zipline at the Dahilayan Adventure Park.

From Dahilayan, we hurried our way to CDO proper. The L300 van that we rented for the trip to Bukidnon dropped us off at a van terminal near the Agora Bus terminal. As advised by our river guide in CDO, we opted to ride a van instead of bus going to Balingoan port since it's faster and more convenient. The van fare is P100. I think the bus fare is also around the same amount. One lesson I learned in our trip is to always add 30 minutes to the locals' estimated travel time.
Our breakfast at Mantigue Island
So when the driver said it would take us an hour to get to the port, I knew he meant 1 hour and a half. :)

We arrived at Balingoan terminal just in time for the ferry that was already open for boarding. We left Balingoan at 2PM and arrived in Camiguin around 3:30 PM. The ferry ride was not supposed to be that long, but our ferry was carrying a fuel tanker so I guess it was run slower on purpose.

The hotel van waited on us while we were having our late lunch at the J&A Fishpen. It took us another 30 minutes to arrive at the Camiguin Highland Resort. CHR is a very friendly resort with a beautiful landscape and nostalgic architecture. I love it! I will definitely stay there on my next visit to the island. The hotel staff offered us welcome drinks as soon as we arrived. After checking in and dropping our bags in the room, the group went straight to the hotel's swimming pool.
Mantigue Island
We also bummed around in their jacuzzi and ordered fresh fruit shakes. I'm sure we looked so "shala" there, sipping our drinks from a tall glass while dipped in the jacuzzi.

We had our late dinner at the hotel. Their foods are delicious and very affordable. At P1,400, the 6 of us had hefty servings of grilled fish dishes, bulalo, veggies, calamares and cake desserts. Their cakes, by the way, cost only P50, and there are two slices per serving! We retired late to our room that night.

The itinerary for the island tour was provided by the hotel. Our package with them included our 2-night stay and the island tour. I will not disclose the amount, but really, we got a very good deal. I think the manager gave us more than 40% discount. Thank you Rey De Lima, you're the best! :)

We left the hotel for the tour at 6:00AM.
White Island from afar
The vehicle that the hotel provided looked so cool! I have to say this again, Camiguin Highland Resort is the best!

Our first stop is Mantigue Island. This island was featured by Howie Severino in one episode of the Reporter's Notebook. Mantigue was previously inhabited by a small neighborhood of fishermen and their families. But the government had them relocated to the main island in order to preserve Mantigue Island and its surrounding marine sanctuaries. Mantigue indeed boasts of white sand that is as powdery as that in Boracay. The beach, however, is a bit rocky. It's ideal for sight-seeing but not so perfect for swimming. Or, you can wear Aqua Shoes, as I did, so you wouldn't feel the pointy shells your feet would be stepping on. The water is superb, though. It's very very clear, way clearer than in Bora.
Mico eating his sea urchin
We had our breakfast in the island as well. We ordered Sutukil (Sugba, tinola, kinilaw) swordfish, and some clams. The meal was quite enjoyable but not that good. Maybe we ordered the wrong fish?

We wanted to snorkel in Mantigue, but we found out that the shallowest snorkeling spot is 10ft., so we all agreed to pass.

Boat Rental to Mantigue: P550.00
Table fee: P50.00
Environmental fee: P20.00/head

After Mantigue, we were so excited to see the best tourist spot Camiguin has to offer... White Island. From the beach where we would be riding our boat, we could already see the sparkling white sand of White Island. It looked so magical! Very very very lovely even from afar.

White Island exceeded my expectations. The best spot has very fine, sugary white sand, and the water was so tranquil.
Snack stalls at White Island
There were other guests when we arrived, but they left one by one come noon so we pretty much have the island all to ourselves! There are shades there already, and some stalls that sell snacks and drinks. A man that sells sea urchins approached us, he sells them at P10 per piece. I was actually looking forward to try it, so I bought three pieces from him (one for me, one for Jasmin and one for Mico). It was surprisingly delicious, even though it did not look appetizing at all. It tastes exactly like oyster, only I like its texture better.

We took a stroll to the other end of the sand bar and took a lot of photos along the way. The mountains across the beach provided a perfect background.

We left White Island at 1:00PM.

Boat Rental to White Island: P400.00
Environmental fee: P20.00/head

Since we had late breakfast, we skipped lunch and proceeded with the island tour.
Sea urchins for sale
Our next stop was the Sunken Cemetery. Honestly, there's not much to see there. So we took a few pictures and left. We also skipped the Old Church and Walkway tour. We made a short stop at Soda Water Swimming Pool to wash the salty smell off our clothes. We were not able to enjoy the pool, though, because it's too deep for us. We also took a short dip at the Sto. Nino Cold Spring. The water indeed felt like it has tons of ice in it. We ordered fresh buko from a vendor and sipped it while in the spring.

Another stop that we enjoyed is the Ardent Hot Spring. The spring is a certified stress-buster. When you visit Camiguin this is one place that you shouldn't miss.

We were reluctant to leave the hot spring, but we had to because we still have one more spot to visit �" the Katibawasan Falls. Since I've already seen one in Pagudpud (Kaibigan Falls), I was no longer that amazed at the sight of Katibawasan.
Swimming... Yeah!
My two cousins and I still took a short dip in the icy water (even colder than the Sto. Nino Cold Spring). It was getting dark already so we did not stay long.

Entrance fees:
Sunken Cemetery - Free
Soda Water Swimming Pool �" P20.00
Sto. Nino Cold Spring �" P15.00
Ardent Hot Spring �" P30.00
Katibawasan Falls �" P20.00

In summary, the highlights of our Camiguin Island Tour are the Mantigue Island, White Island (of course!), the Ardent Hot Spring and the road trip while going from one tourist spot to another. I really enjoyed the sceneries of Camiguin. The houses we passed by are simple, but they all looked homey and pleasant with the flowering plants adorning their small gardens. The fields are in the liveliest shade of green that I wanted to take a dive right into the middle, lie down spread-eagled, and just wait for the day to close.
My travel buddies


I miss Camiguin... one day is not enough to take in all its beauty and charm in my mind. I will come again, Camiguin. That's a promise.
jonatz says:
been to Camiguin, but never tried CHR or Mantigue Island.. nice blog! it was an enjoyable read! =)
Posted on: Oct 30, 2010
baliw-katok says:
Glad to read that u had a wonderful time there in Camiguin (just like I had in 2005). Very good and detailed info on ur blog as well as nice pictures !
Posted on: May 04, 2010
cathysioson says:
thanks for reading it!
Posted on: May 03, 2010
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J & A Fishpen
J & A Fishpen
Swimming pool of Camiguin Highland…
Swimming pool of Camiguin Highlan…
Our breakfast at Mantigue Island
Our breakfast at Mantigue Island
Mantigue Island
Mantigue Island
White Island from afar
White Island from afar
Mico eating his sea urchin
Mico eating his sea urchin
Snack stalls at White Island
Snack stalls at White Island
Sea urchins for sale
Sea urchins for sale
Swimming... Yeah!
Swimming... Yeah!
My travel buddies
My travel buddies
Yellow boat
Yellow boat
Nice nice swimming... I miss it. A…
Nice nice swimming... I miss it. …
Stroll
Stroll
Long stretch of white sand
Long stretch of white sand
Posing
Posing
Mico
Mico
Jump!
Jump!
Jogging
Jogging
Happy jump!
Happy jump!
We went around the island on this …
We went around the island on this…
Sunken Cemetery
Sunken Cemetery
Soda Water Swimming Pool
Soda Water Swimming Pool
Ardent Hot Spring
Ardent Hot Spring
A slideshow of photos taken durin…
Camiguin
photo by: yheleen