Camiguin Island

May 18, 2015
mantigue island camiguin philippines

Summer wouldn't be complete without a day at the beach. It's one of the most awaited time of the year for the beach bums. Let me share one of the craziest, buwis-buhay adventure I had this summer with my YOLO friends. My friend Ryan, who was bitten by the travel bug and who's only just discovering travel told me he's heading to Camiguin Island alone. I really wanted to go after seeing some of our friend's photos who just visited the island however my work schedule is stopping me from going. 


Luckily my schedule was changed and I got myself 3 days off so I decided to tag along together with our friend Audrie. Yey! Finally, I'd be able to set foot to the island born of fire. I was born and raised in Mindanao, but I've never been to Camiguin. 

CAMIGUIN
Camiguin [kamiˈɡin] or the Island Born of Fire is a pear-shaped volcanic island and is one of the smallest islands in the Philippines in terms of area and population. It is situated in the Northern Coast of Mindanao. It is just 23 kilometres at its longest and a bit more than 14.5 kilometres at its widest breadth. Within this small island lies 7 volcanoes,a number of nearby islands, hot and cold springs, old churches, water falls and the famous Sunken Cemetery.

HOW TO GET THERE
Camiguin has it's own airport however there's no direct flight from Manila to Camiguin yet. You can either take a flight from Manila to Camiguin via Cebu or Manila to Cagayan De Oro however the second option will take so much of your time.

Via Cagayan de Oro City:
  • Take a plane from Manila to CDO (roughly 2 hours)
  • From CDO, take a bus from Agora Bus Terminal to Balingoan (2 hours)
  • Take a barge or ferry from Balingoan to Benoni Port in Camiguin (1 hour)

mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines
Ryan and I took the 6:30 AM flight from Cebu to Camiguin. I'm not sure what happened, I was beside Audrie when she booked her flight, it's a bit strange 'cos she ended up booking a flight from Cebu to Cagayan De Oro hence she had to take the long route to Camiguin. Awww poor Audrie, she spent the entire day travelling and missed our first-day itinerary.

And, by the way, that 70-seat tiny propeller plane freaked the heck out of me. It was my first time flying in a propeller plane and I'd say I didn't really enjoyed it except the part where a gwapo Spanish guy sat in front of us hahaha Well, there's always a first time for everything.

mantigue island camiguin philippines
Finally, we arrived after an hour or so. I was as excited as Ryan, it was his first time visiting Mindanao. We took some flyers inside the airport before heading to the hotel, one of those is a folded flyer that has a map on it and some information about the tourists spots in Camiguin, places to stay, mode of transportation, and etc. As soon as you get out of the airport, there will be lots of people waiting for you, some will give you flyers for scuba diving classes, snorkelling and other services. Some are multi-cab, motorcycle and motorela (tricycle) owners and drivers, they'll try to make a deal and will give you their rates immediately. I had Ryan deal with them cos I easily get annoyed every time I had to deal with transportation matters especially when they all talk at the same time desperately wanting you to hire them.

We couldn't decide immediately on what to hire and prices quoted are way much expensive (hello people we're not foreigners okay.) so we decided to take a motorela, asked the driver to take us to GV Hotel. 
mantigue island camiguin philippines
This was our home for two nights. It was an okay hotel, a practical budget room. You'll basically get what you paid for. Visit their website for more information.

PLACES WE VISITED
After taking a rest we agreed to hire a motorcycle for 400 PHP for a half day tour in the eastern part of the island while waiting for Audrie. 

Mantigue Island
This island is truly beautiful! The crystal clear water, powdery white sand and the forest walkway is just perfect! Spent the entire time frolicking in this stunning islet.
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines
Ryan's own version of Murad Osmann's take me to project :)
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines

KATIBAWASAN FALLS
This 250 feet high majestic falls is located at the foot of Mount Timpoong just about 5 kilometres southeast of Mambajao. Just pay the 30 PHP entrance fee then you can already enjoy its ice-cold water rushing down the rock pool.
mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines

ARDENT HOT SPRINGS
Last stop on our first day is at Ardent Hot Springs. The heated water comes right down from the vents of Hibok-hibok Volcano to 4 pools with different temperatures. You can enjoy all the pools for the entire day, just pay 30 PHP for the gate fee. 
Photo by Storm Crypt

Other spots to visit in the Eastern part:
  • Enigmata Tree House and Sculpture Garden
  • Macao Cold Spring
  • Ostrich Breeding Farm
  • Giant Clam Culture
  • Mt. Ilihan Peak
  • Moro Moro Watch Tower
  • Pamonglo River
After calming our nerves, we headed back to GV Hotel to meet Audrie.So that's how we spent our first day in Camiguin. We could've visited more spots if we started our tour in the morning, but we have to rest and take a nap 'cos we didn't sleep the night before our flight.

What about you guys, have you been to Camiguin? What places have you visited and what places do you want to visit?