Tuesday, December 6, 2011


                    Camiguin is an island province of the Philippines located off the northern coast of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao. When I was a kid I would hear stories from my friends about their summer vacation spent in the island. In college I would see it from a distance every time the bus passed by Balingoan,Misamis Oriental (the jump off point to Camiguin) as I would travel from my city Butuan to Cagayan de Oro. I never got to visit the island until 2008 when I took my younger siblings for a tour.
                   Balingoan, Misamis Oriental , the jump off point to Camiguin is 2 hours away by bus from our hometown so we had to get up early. When we arrived in Balingoan we had breakfast first at the famous eatery in town called "Baling ni Juan"which I suspect was also the origin of the town’s name. The eatery is just a tricycle ride from the bus terminal. It was almost 10am when we got to the port (actually the port is just across the street from the bus terminal) so we had to take the 10:15 ferry. The sea was calm so we were smooth sailing for an hour to the Benoni port in Camiguin. As soon as we got off the boat we were met by multicab drivers offering their services for a tour of the island. Since it was almost 12 noon we hopped on to the first multicab we saw after the driver qouted the price for a day tour around the island.We agreed on a P1500 package that includes the important attractions in Camiguin.
Balingoan Port

      Mt. Hibok-Hibok as seen from the White Island

               The driver and his companion started asking us questions as we drove off . All of a sudden I became paranoid. I realized that we didn't check if the driver was registered through the Department of Tourism of the province.I saw the emblem of DOT at the port where the multicabs were parked. I started thinking negative things.What if they're gonna rob us?
                Good thing the other guy who I thought was the driver's assistant got off the vehicle. I felt relieved, I knew the driver alone was not capable of hurting us as he was shorter than me. I asked the driver to take us first to a place where we could have lunch (which I shoudn’t have done because he took us to a small resort and the worms in my tummy went on a hunger strike for an hour until they finally served us lunch). The food was good though but we paid for a day tour only so we wasted so much time already.
                After lunch our first stop was the Sto. Nino cold spring. I loved the crystal clear water flowing from the spring to a few large swimming pools in the resort. The water was so clean that we could clearly see a school of small fish in the pool.Since summer just started there were only few tourists at that time. What I hate about the resort is its location, It’s way off the main highway. Another issue I have about the resort is the blaring karaoke right next to the pools.
               Due to time constraints we didn’t spend so much time at the resort so we proceeded to the next stop, the ruins of the 16th century Guiob church which is nothing more than a ruin, I mean I couldn’t even picture it out as a former church. I closely examined its walls and I could see some corals as one of the materials used. 

                From the church we drove off to what they call the "Sunken Cemetery". The thing is , if you don’t dive you’ll only see the marker because… duh it’s a sunken cemetery. A man approached us and offered us a ride to the marker which is a huge cross. I wanted to help the man because I knew that he makes a living out of that but we could not afford the price for a boat ride just to see a marker of a sunken cemetery which is totally submerged.
Katibawasan Falls

                    So far none of the sites we’d visited impressed us ,so we moved on to the next one, the Katibawasan falls. I was excited about seeing the falls up close as I had only seen one before from a distance. It was late afternoon when we got to the falls. Even before we laid our eyes on it ,as the place is surrounded with trees ,we could already hear the sound of the water gushing down to the pool below.I was in awe of the sight of the water dropping abruptly from a high cliff to the pool . The cold water in the pool was inviting but the place had a creepy feel to it. The few people swimming that time left shortly after we arrived so the thought of swimming in the pool with no one else except my younger siblings , surrounded with thick foliage and listening to nature’s sound coming from the water, the birds and maybe some creatures lurking somewhere around the pool or under the water was not so tempting.
One of the pools at Ardent Hotsprings                    
                    After marveling at the amazing sight we left and headed to the Ardent hot spring. It's at the hot spring where we spent the longest time as we'd never experienced swimming in a 39degree- pool before. 
                    After a day of touring the island we asked the driver to take us to a place where we could spend the night at. I forgot the name of the place but it's close to the beach and we paid P1500 for a cottage good for 4 people. It had 2 beds and an ensuite bathroom. It was the perfect location as we were going to the "White Island" early the following morning. Technically the "White Island" is a sandbar and what's amazing is its shape ,which resembles the letter "C",as in Camiguin. We informed the owner of the cottage that we wanted to tour the "White Island" the following morning so she could get us a boatman.

White Island

                    Almost 6AM the following morning when we left for the island and the owner of the cottage specifically mentioned that it takes 7 minutes to reach the place. I was surprised to see that there were already a lot of people in the island. It would be better if a tour to the island starts as early as 5AM because it gets so hot since it's barren, there's no available shelter of any kind. My brother's tent came in handy so we were able to last for a few hours of swimming and just sitting on the sand people watching. By 9 AM we texted the boatman to fetch us. Camiguin's slogan is "Come again to Camiguin", and with what we saw we may do it again.                                                                                               


  1. Lovely photo of White Island! Camiguin is such a beautiful island. I did a Camiguin-Bukidnon-CDO trip with friends once and it was a very memorable trip.

    Thanks for the link exchange! I've added you up on my list as well. Good luck with your blog and here's to more trips in 2012! :)

  2. hi melvin

    it seems limited lang yata yung mga pics sa camiguin... if you wish to visit camiguin in 2nd time.. you may also contact me thru 0939-2440521 i have also a multicab in here ill be the driver and tour guide.. ill drive you around camiguin makes you to experience 100% camiguin....

    teddy m pabualan
    camiguin tour operator

  3. @ted.thanks for dropping by.sure i'll contact you if we decide to go back there.parents ko kasi di pa nakapunta sa camiguin.tamad kasi ako kumuha ng pics hahaha.

  4. Cool! If you want to stay in a Camiguin Resort that offers world class facilities and a great tour to Camiguin White Island, try asking people who went there or search the internet for the best resort to stay.