Day 1: Camiguin Island

May 19, 2015

White Island

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, buhis-buhay adventures 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 on the Northern Coast of Mindanao. It is just 23 kilometers at its longest and a bit more than 14.5 kilometers at its widest breadth. Within this small island lies 7 volcanoes, a number of nearby islands, hot and cold springs, old churches, waterfalls, and the famous Sunken Cemetery.

HOW TO GET THERE

Camiguin has its 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 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 ferry from Balingoan to Benoni Port in Camiguin (1 hour)

mantigue island camiguin philippines
mantigue island camiguin philippines

Ryan, A.K.A Cebu Boi

We took the 6:30 AM flight from Cebu to Camiguin. We were onboard a tiny 70-seat propeller plane that freaked the heck out of me. It was my first time on a plane that small and I definitely did not enjoy the ride except the part that someone so gwapo sat in front of us LOL

Another friend, Audrie mistakenly booked a flight from Cebu to Cagayan De Oro hence she had to take the long route to Camiguin. Poor Audrie spent the entire day traveling and missed our first-day itinerary.

mantigue island camiguin philippines

We finally arrived after an hour or so. We were so excited since it's both our first time in Camiguin. We took some flyers with the island map in it and some information about the tourist spots in Camiguin Island. As soon as you get out of the airport, there will be a lot of people waiting for you, some will give you flyers for scuba diving classes, snorkeling, and other services. Some are multi-cab, motorcycle, and motorela (tricycle) owners and drivers. They will try to make a deal and will give you their rates immediately. I had Ryan deal with it. I suck at things like that and 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 so we decided to take a motorela and asked the driver to take us to our 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 are 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

KATIBAWASAN FALLS

This 250 feet high majestic falls is located at the foot of Mount Timpoong just about 5 kilometers 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

ARDENT HOT SPRINGS

The 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 the 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?

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