With a few hours of sleep from a late night gathering with cousins, we excitedly woke, though groggily at the crack of dawn to be on our way to Camiguin Island. After a 2-hour drive from Bugo we arrived at Balingoan, where the port to Camiguin is and found this silhouette of the Island on a gloomy, albeit beautiful day.
As we were waiting aboard the boat, we were entertained by the teenage boys swimming below us asking us to throw coins in the water so they could dive and retrieve it no matter how deep. Some were at the top of the boat and back flips to the water as coins are thrown. It was their way of earning money but I couldn't say for sure that they're part of the badjao tribe. I honestly didn't like the way they did things to earn money because I was concerned of their safety. The dives and flips they did was head first and I could only imagine the effect it will have on them in the near future. I don't doubt that they're amazing swimmers but they weren't properly trained with the mechanics of jumping or falling into water. I didn't just want to watch and be a bystander so I told them not to drop head first in the water but I also want to help them earn a few coins. Instead of just throwing coins for their skills and tricks, I urged them to get the trashes floating nearby in exchange for coins. They happily obliged.
I personally don't know if you would think it right or not for society to just condone with their way of living as others think it closely resembles begging but hey, who am I to judge. They're doing what they know they're good at to make a living and I respect that.
There they are beside the boat, swimming to make a living
Coin hunting in the sea
Fare rates (already with terminal fee):
Student rate: P180
Car transport: P1673
After some display of skills, we happily went on a 1 hour boat ride to Camiguin's port, Binoni. First on the list of activities was lunch. We found a sea side carenderia (small eatery) at Catarman, near the public market and enjoyed our lunch by the sea.
With our tummy full from the food and excitement, we took a dip in the cool waters of Sto. Niño Cold Spring. The place is surrounded by trees adding a fresh environment to its cool waters.
Fish spa: P10
We picked a spot near the water so we could watch over the kids as they dip. That's the gang on the left.
I thought it was already shiveringly cold in Sto. Niño Cold Spring but I was proven wrong by the coldness of Tuasan Falls. Whereas Sto. Niño Cold Spring was already developed, this place has preserved its raw ambiance but renovations are already on progress.
We weren't going to take long so we decided not to rent tables. We just placed our bags on the sides and took a dip in the cold waters. This was another captivating scenery from nature's work of art which was worth the shivering cold.
After having enough gnashing of teeth, we visited the Old Church Ruins where we met three jolly and smart junior tour guides who were not just knowledgeable about the Island's history but also of photography. They were rather confident about their skills that I found it adorable. 😊
The adorable historians and photographers in action
According to our little guides, there once was a church that stood here but only this remains as it was ruined by a volcano eruption. The foundations of the church were said to be corals, limestones and egg white.
The Island is home to multiple volcanoes with histories of eruptions which is one of the reasons it's called the Island Born of Fire.
The bell tower
The remains of the Convent
The Centennial tree standing proud for over a hundred years.
We didn't go down to the cross because we had a lot of kids with us but I'm definitely going to dive down on my next visit to witness what is below. It's worth the spook, right? 😉
With setting of the sun comes the draining of our energy.
We settled at DS Vacation house in Mambajao near the shore where you can ride a pump boat going to White Island. The place is lined with resorts and guest houses, with restaurants and resto bars in walking distance.
Accomodation was P1500 and the room catered all eleven of us. It has an air conditioner and you could also cook outside. The house was gated and there was a parking space inside.
The following morning, we immediately headed to White Island which is about 10 mins. away from the shores of Camiguin. It's called so because it's literally white and naked. It's the view you get from there that makes it a destination to be.
Tourists bound for White Island
Pump boat to White Island: P450 which is good for 1-6 passengers
The Island's fee: P50
This is the view you get standing at White Island. That's Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan at the back of my sister. There are already a lot of pictures of the place so we decided to add our own spice to it. 😄
This is our version of the White Island view. She usually does leaps while I do kicks. 😏
It was particularly windy that day. The boatman felt that a storm was coming and so we hurried back to the shore of Mambajao. After a quick breakfast, we had a relaxing dip at Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring resort. The Ardent Hot Springs is at the foot of the active volcano, Mount Hibok-hibok.
We then had lunch at J & A Fishpen restaurant just near the BFAR Camiguin experimental station. Apart from enjoying sumptuous food from the restaurant, we had fun feeding the fishes. And with that, we bade goodbye to Camiguin.
We bathe in hot and cold as we hopped from freezing waterfalls to the soothing hot spring in the Island of Camiguin. You could tour the whole Island in a day which is pretty amazing given all its features. We only spent two days and one night in the Island and we've already seen much of its beauty and rich history but I know there is still more it could offer.