Camiguin: The Island Born of Fire
Thank you, Camiguin!
by Jette Gonzales | January 26, 2016
One of the most mystical, unspoiled and exotic places to visit in the Philippines is the Island of Camiguin.
Nestled in the northern coast of Mindanao, there are several ways to get to Camiguin, and here’s how.
- From Manila, fly to Cebu and take a connecting flight to Camiguin. There are three flights available per week via Cebu Pacific.
- From Manila, fly to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. Once in CDO, take the fast craft from< CDO Macabalan Port to Benoni Port in Camiguin or take a land trip from CDO’s Agora Bus Terminal to Balingoan Pier (roughly two to three hours travel time). If you’re doing the land trip option, take the ferry to Benoni Port after.
- You can also opt for Oceanjet Fast Ferries. It offers trips from Jagna, Bohol to Benoni and back.
In Camiguin, nature adventures await. Get settled in your preferred accommodations first, though. You can enjoy the rustic ambience of Nypa Style Resort, the premiere accommodations at the Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin, or the more popular Paras Beach Resort. After, consider hiring a multicab (a small utility van very popular as a public transport in the area) to take you around. You’ll need at least two days for exploration.
It’s acceptable (even advisable) to simply don a swimsuit throughout your island tour; just bring a sarong or some sort of cover-up. You’ll definitely want to take a dip in each spring and in the waters of the .
Camiguin takes pride in its soda springs, which are sulfur-rich and are perfect for those who seek medical help for body aches and skin problems. The Santo Niño Cold Spring is also a popular day destination even among locals for its water slides, picnic cottages and fresh cool pools. The pools are so fresh that you’ll be swimming with small fishes.
Game for hiking? Trek up the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Via Crucis. The slope of the dormant Mount Vulcan is where you’ll find life-sized statues that represent the Stations of the Cross, spread across an 8-kilometer climb uphill.
Visit the Sunken Cemetery next, a memorial to Camiguin’s dearly departed that was swept underwater during the volcanic eruption in the 1870s. Another interesting stop is the Sto. Rosario Church in the town of Sagay. This is dubbed as the Green Church because it was built with materials that are all byproducts of nature.
A trip to Camiguin is not complete without frolicking in the famed White Island, a c-shaped strip of coarse sand that varies with the tide. It’s located about one kilometer from the shore of the mainland and offers a majestic view of Mount Hibok-hibok. There are no trees there to offer shade, so it’s best to go there early morning or late afternoon to avoid the full blast of heat from the sun.
Amazed with ocean life biodiversity? You may wish to see the Kabila Giant Clam Sanctuary and Ocean Nursery where seven of the world’s nine known giant clam species are found. End your day perfectly with a relaxing dip at Ardent Hot Springs with several pools of varying temperatures.
Don’t leave Camiguin without sampling its delectable food. Try J&A Fishpen in Barangay Benon where you can enjoy a seafood feast comprised of your fresh picks from the restaurant’s very own fish pen. Have the freshest fish and shellfish cooked according to your preference. Take home a box, or several boxes, of Camiguin’s delicious Pastel. This is a locally made bun with sweet custard filling. Oh, and if you happen to visit in October during Camiguin’s Lanzones Festival, do enjoy the lovely Philippine fruit.
Visit Camiguin, and give this underappreciated island the recognition it deserves!