Camiguin Camiguin Series

An Enchanting Island that is Camiguin

Sunday, March 11, 2012Ryan Mach

Experience the enchanting beauty of Camiguin. 
Introductory post of my Camiguin Series.

Much has been said about the enchanting beauty of Camiguin, a small island north of Mindanao. It was romanticized in the local film "Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin" and was featured with slight irreverence in the horror flick "Quija Board."  Regardless of how it's depicted in the movies, its unique charm can hardly go unnoticed.
Considered as an off-the-beaten-path destination especially by foreign travelers, Camiguin is diminutive in size, (the smallest province both in population and land area after Batanes) but it absolutely doesn't reflect the richness it has to offer. Here, you will find seven volcanoes ( most of them are active), scenic waterfalls, hot springs, church ruins, a sunken cemetery and friendly locals. With such attractions scattered around the island, anyone who's looking for adventure will not be disappointed. Whether it's lazying on the beach, trekking the rainforest, trying out local cuisine, Camiguin can be an ideal spot for respite and quality vacation.  

In terms of natural attractions, this island is a stand-out. Gorgeous white sand bar in the middle of the sea, freezing cold waterfalls, relaxing hot springs, panoramic volcanoes, name it, Camiguin almost has it all. (I know I'm overselling by mentioning it twice but I can't help it!) Both peaceful and laid-back, its charm may not be for city dwellers (zero night life) - but I'm a simple, provincial guy who loves any place rustic and Camiguin is easily one of the most charmingly simple places I've gone to so far.

I almost backed out from our Cagayan de Oro - Camiguin trip because I got cold feet. There was terrible weather that month (August 2011) and some typhoon was brewing up the northern part of the country. But my travel buddies who had an earlier flight assured me that the weather in CDO was perfect. Never doubted them although they cautioned me that when they approached Lumbia airport, there was a lot of turbulence in the air. Good thing I didn't succumb in my fear, otherwise, I wouldn't have experienced the beauty of this island.

There are no direct flights to Camiguin. There's an airport in Mambajao (one of Camiguin's towns) but it stopped operating a few years ago for whatever reason. The most famous route is the Cagayan de Oro - Balingoan, where ferries sail to and from Camiguin on a daily basis. We planned on spending three days in Camiguin so we only stayed one night in Cagayan de Oro. We left the city early the next day and went to Camiguin.

We were blessed with a bright weather. Meanwhile, we heard that Manila and some parts of Luzon were ravaged by a strong typhoon.


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