Camiguin Island, being the second-smallest province in the Philippines made it very feasible for a whole day road trip. I had the chance to visit Camiguin Island last December with my fiance’s family and we were able to check out the small yet very picturesque island in the country. With a rich history foreground, and several beaches to dwell on, I was giddy enough to join the trip.
On our day one, we meet up in Cagayan de Oro and had around a 4-hour drive to Balingoan Port (Misamis Oriental). We then road a ferry for about 2 hours before we reached Benoni port in Camiguin. It was quite a long day travelling from Cebu to Cagayan overnight, 4 hours to Baligoan Port and another 2 hours to reach Camiguin! Phew!
We started our DIY day tour right after reaching Benoni port. Since it was around noon, we pick a spot somewhere along the road and had our lunch there. We had our food packed in advance for lunch. (it’s a super saver) Although there are some small food establishments near Benoni port where you can take your lunch before heading out for Camiguin adventure. 🙂 We got some good shots while taking our lunch and at the same time enjoying the view. It was very serene looking over the sea at one side and the bird’s chirping on the other.
Mambajao Lighthouse. In Mambajao Plaza stands a modern looking lighthouse. Locals said it was supposed to be made of stone just like the old lighthouses found all over the country. It was renovated though for the safety of everyone. The old stoned lighthouse was then replaced with a somewhat modern looking. You won’t be able to climb up as well, since they were locking the gates on the stairs on your way up. Maybe again, for safety I guess.
Old Church Ruins. (We had a quick stop to where we stayed — I’ll blog about it soon. 😉 , thus explains the change of clothes. We need to rest and freshen up of a while. Although this all happened in one day, trust me. Haha! )This is actually my personal favorite. Located in Catarman, Camiguin is the Old Guiob Church Ruins. Camiguin Island will never be named as an island born of fire for nothing. It houses seven volcanoes and one of them, Mt. Hibok Hibok is still active! Locals said that Catarman was supposed to be the old capital of Camiguin before Mambajao. Mt. Vulcan erupted last May 13 1871, leaving nothing but the remnants of the past. The place gives me the chills. I don’t know why, it may be because of the history behind it.
The Sunken Cemetery. The most famous land mark in Camiguin is the sunken cemetery. Still in Catarman and due to the eruption of Mt Vulcan,the lava washed out to the sea which gained a height enough to submerged the areas of Catarman including the town’s cemetery. The tombstones and the original cross can still be visible during low tide. The one behind me, visible to all tourists was made by the local tourism office to place a permanent landmark of the sunken cemetery.
The Old Volcano Walk Way. Camiguin being one of the earliest provinces influenced by Christianity, they created an 8 kilometer path with 14 human sized statues that serves as stations of the cross. This is basically the go-to place during Lenten Season for the locals. We were sure that we won’t be able to climb up until the last station since the day was almost over so we just took a group photo instead.
Soda Swimming Pool. This was our last stop of the day. It was a bit far from the highway and we can’t get a good signal on the way to the Soda pool so we can’t trust Google maps, (which was a life saver by the way when we were there.) we banked on asking locals along the way until we reached our destination. It was around 4PM I guess when were there, we didn’t had plans on going swimming, we just wanted to see what the fuss was about given that they mentioned that the water tasted like soda. Well, it tasted like fresh water for me. hehe! Local says it used to taste a lot like soda before. Nevertheless, there were a lot of people still coming to Soda Swimming Pool for picnics and family gathering. The entrance fee was only 20 php, so it’s worth it to take a dip. 🙂
There were a lot of several tourists locations to visit for a day tour but even if we maximize everything, the sun is almost gone so we then call it a day. I guess not visiting every spot is another reason for me to go back, right? We then went back to the resort where we stayed to rest for the next day’s adventure (On my next blog post. hehe! ). Being a sucker of sunsets, I will end this post with a sunset photo taken while the car was moving at around 100 kph.. haha! kidding!