Thursday, July 5, 2007

Camiguin


Our trip to Camiguin came in earlier than expected. When Tina and I arrived in Cagayan de oro we realised that we’re not in the mood for the city lifestyle yet. So, we packed our bags and caught the last ferry to Camiguin late in the afternoon. Camiguin is situated just an hour away by ferry from the port of Balingoan of Cagayan de oro. It’s the best ferry ride we’ve had so far as it was so relaxing it seemed like we were on a sunset cruise. We sat at the seats near the railings of the ferry, listened to Tina’s music in her ipod and watched the sun set peacefully. We arrived Camiguin half past seven. Unfortunately during that time there were no jeeps or tricycles heading to Mambajao (where most of the beach resorts are located). So we didn’t have a choice but to rent a van for 350 pesos that would take us to Jasmin by the sea, the resort where we stayed.

When we got to the resort, the jovial Melinda, the owner of the resort, welcomed us. The resort had that homey feeling to it. It only had a few cottages and they also offer a dorm type of accommodation for only three hundred fifty pesos a night. The room was comfortable and spacious enough for the two of us, so we decided to stay in the dorm. We shared bathrooms with the other guests in the resort, which wasn’t that bad as it’s kept clean all the time. We liked how intimate the resort was. It gives you the chance to get to know the people in the resort and so as its other guests. We called it a night a bit early, as we were so tired from all the travels we’ve had that day.

The next morning, we arranged an island tour with the resort. The only island tour we could afford was through a single motorcyle or the habal-habal. Our first stop was the famous old volcano. I’m not sure as to how many steps you’d have to take just to reach the zenith of the volcano but knowing that they had set up the Stations of the Cross along the trek would only mean that you’d have a challenging trail to the top. I’d have to say that it was a bit tempting to climb the steps as for sure the view from the top would be amazing. But I wasn’t feeling too well at that time so I had to pass. And so as Tina, her body was still aching from the trek she had to do to see the waterfalls in Bohol.

We also dropped by the sunken cemetery. The cemetery had sunken when the Old Volcano erupted in 1871. From the view deck across the cemetery, you’d see a white cross standing still in the middle of the ocean, and what lies beneath it are tombs that are now make-shift homes for the fishes in the ocean. Apparently, the sunken cemetery is an ideal place for diving and snorkelling. But when we got there, the water didn’t seem appealing at all as it was a bit murky, probably because of the constant downpours.





Then, we went to the Sto. Nino cold spring for a swim, well maybe not a swim-but a dip in the pool. The water was so cold, I can’t imagine doing freestyle laps around the pool. I was shivering! I think I only lasted for a few minutes while in the pool. But it was my first time to dip in a cold spring, so I found it pretty cool.


Yup that's me after the shock, didn't know it was going to be that cold!

Then we moved to the Katibawasan Falls. This is by far the tallest and leanest falls I’ve seen while on this trip. At least for this one, it’s less risky getting to the basin of the falls compared to the Casaroro falls in Dumaguete. But I realised that it lacked the fun of carefully stepping from one rock to another just to get close to the falls. They almost had everything concrete; it made it seem like just an ordinary pool with a gigantic falls beside it.



From the habal-habal, I was in awe to see how the island was blessed with so much natural wonders. On my left was Mt. Hibok-hibok, it served as backdrop for the whole island. And at my right, is the horizon of a clear blue ocean. It was so beautiful. You don’t get picturesque views like these elsewhere.







Lastly, we went to the Enigmata Tree House. If we had another day to spend in Camiguin, we would’ve stayed here for a night. The resort is like a gallery for anything artistic. Showcasing different forms of art. At the façade of the resort, a huge sculpture of a woman with a body of a turtle is placed neatly. The rooms that are made out of wood and bamboo are built around the tall trees. The doors, walls, cabinets are painted with different images that gave colour to the tree house. The tree house in itself is one massive sculpture. It’s as if it was built without a blueprint in hand, only through instinct and pure creativity. The place is so conducive for anything that requires stimulation of one’s creativity.











The next day, we were scheduled to go to one of the two white islands in Camiguin late in the afternoon. But it poured really hard so we just decided to just reschedule it for the next day. We had a grand time hanging out with Paul, an awesome Canadian guy we met at the resort and Melinda, the owner of the resort. Paul taught us how to play poker and shared a few drinking games. It was my first time to play poker and luck was at my side and won a hundred pesos. Not bad huh?! Haha! We spent the rest of the night drinking and laughing our hearts out. It was so much fun! Melinda was so nice to have given us a bottle of Tanduay rhum. I think we finished the whole bottle in just an hour or so. Paul’s drinking games can get you drunk by the second! And much later, we finished at least five beers each. Melinda was so much fun to be with, her funny antics flowed in so naturally. No wonder people keep coming back to her resort as she makes you feel at home like family.

On our last day, Tina, Paul and I went to the white island. A sand bar lying just a few minutes away by boat from mambajao. Camiguin doesn’t offer white sandy beaches but don’t fret as it has two pristine white beaches not too far from the island. The white island, the one closest to our resort is a long stretch of white sand surrounded by shallow waters good for snorkelling and just plain basking in the sun. One can choose to spend the rest of the day there as picnic huts can be rented for only 50 pesos. It’s a great place for a picnic! We spent a few hours in the island as we were scheduled to leave Camiguin at lunch time.













The time we’ve spent in Camiguin was definitely worth it. The island offers you something different compared to the other islands as it offers you picture-perfect views of volcanoes, beaches, waterfalls and many more in just one island. But what makes Camiguin truly special are its people as they are genuinely friendly and free-spirited.



Til Then

The Lost Sputnik

7 comments:

kuLet said...

ganda.. i was thinking of going to camiguin last month pa. alone sana.. ok lang kaya?

nice blog!! ganda adventures nyo..

Lost Sputnik said...

hi kulet. It's totally okay to come to camiguin on your own. the island is pretty safe naman. stay at jasmin by the sea, they'd take care of you there. ill post the details on how to get to camiguin and where to stay stuff maybe tom.

kuLet said...

oh, ok thank you.. i'll wait for it.. if ever this will be my first time to travel alone.

barbie_na_doll said...

hi lost sputnik traveller!
I came accross your site! thank goodness! I think this is the answer to my camiguin planning worries ehehehe. You have a nice site, do you have more pics of camiguin? BTW, if there are only 2 white beaches there do you think we'll enjoy those that are not? Do you think a 5-day stay in camiguin is too much? How about the prices of food and accomodation? cuz we're looking for a fun and enjoyable budgeted trip ehehehehe .. thanks for your time. if you don't mind pls email me your response & suggestions at jaoiecutie@gmail.com and judy.ann.q.jao@accenture.com

More travels to come! =)

hellocamiguin said...

that was a nice sunset photo. good that you had a nice adventure of our island. nice blog sputnik!!! cheers!

ALDO WALDO said...

Here we go!!! A little bit disappointed that the houses are not really in the trees... but your pictures are WOW!!!
Salamat kaayo ug ayo ayo ;-)

iteachk1 said...

Nice blog and glad I came across it! Photos are really nice.

I wonder if you're still getting back to folks because it's '09, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I'm thinking of going to PI in August and wanted to check out Camiguin. Do you think 6-7 days is a good amt of time to spend there...I don't mind being a little bored, just hanging out at the beach, hiking, hitting the hot and cold springs. Any other thoughts about places to visit in PI in August that won't be a total washout. I've read that it's best to stick to Central Visayas and NE Mindinao (and gotta see Manila, in spite of the rain!).

Thanks for your help,

John from NYC