Saturday, April 24, 2010

7 Top Destinations in Camiguin Island, Mindanao

White Island, Camiguin


Camiguin is the second smallest island in the Philippines (next to Batanes) in terms of land area and population, it is only composed of five municipalities with Mambajao, the province's capital, as the largest.

Nonetheless, it is home to many wonderful tourist spots hugged by breathtaking view of natural wonders. An island of varied ecosystem, rugged terrain, pristine beaches and untouched hinterland, Camiguin has a unique setting into the heart of the sea.

Cradled by rugged cliffs and imposing mountains, it is hugged by seven active volcanoes.

Island born of fire

Camiguin is dubbed as an island born of fire. It is tousled with several volcanoes and seven of these are recorded active. Mt. Hibok-Hibok had a last recorded eruption in 1953 which significantly reduced the population by 30%. 

This relatively small island is geographically located off the coast of Northern Mindanao, bounding Bohol Sea and Misamis Oriental.

The island has only one airport with flights coming from Cebu City but it is only seasonal, visitors may travel via Cagayan de oro city port and Balingoan, Misamis Oriental. 

Camiguin has a natural beauty of nature and its way of life is far from today’s highly urbanized form of living.

Interestingly, Camiguin’s old dialect is Surigaonon, brought by the province’s first settlers coming from the province of Surigao del norte.

Historically, the name of the province is taken from the word "camagong" a large Philippine tree prominently grows in Surigao del norte.  

Portion of the Camiguin land was buried during the May 1871 eruption of Mt. Vulcan Daan, it buried large part of the Catarman town including the ancient Spanish church, a tower, a bell and a cemetery.

Today, the ruins of the church and the cemetery are two of the most popular tourist spots in Camiguin. If you are planning to visit Camiguin, here are the top destinations in the island you should not missed.

1.White Island

A natural paradise, this is one of Camiguin’s pride, this breathtaking site of the province is framed in the middle of the clear blue water of Mambajao. 

White island, Camiguin

Purely an island with powdery white sand, the beach is surrounded by the splashing of calm waves from the Pacific Ocean which water varies from cobalt blue to aquamarine green. 

Visitors often seen frolicking at the shoreline, posing for souvenirs with its amazing views. It has a picturesque panorama of mountains and the dramatic horizon. 

The experience is more soothing and captivating when this area is visited early in the morning where the glimpse of early sunrise dazzled through the sun-kissed beach and clear water.

2. Ruins of the Spanish Church


 

The Ruins of the Old Church – According to the history of Camiguin, when Mt. Vulcan Daan ferociously erupted in 1871, it buried most of Catarman's land, the town’s landmarks wiped out including the ancient Spanish church, its tower, bell and the cemetery. 

Ruins of the Spanish Church

Today, these two sites known to visitors as the Old Church and Sunken Cemetery. The old church site is a remnant of an imposing religious structure which was buried along with its history.

However, it is largely remembered through the ruined walls that scattered with in the trimmed ground where visitors are free to wander with in the airy surroundings. Just few feet from the entrance area is a small church erected to mark its religious existence.

3. The Sunken Cemetery

This sounds creepy but this area is where the town's public cemetery located that sunk during the violent eruption of  Mt. Vulcan in 1871.

  
This structure was erected to mark the grave site that was buried beneath the water. A stark reminder that human bodies were once part of this historical site. 

The rampaging of the waves during high tide forever shrouded the graves of those passed away but remembered through this landmark which is elaborately constructed.

Tourists may visit this site by riding a boat along the coast line. But for people who have less tolerance on raging waves, they may choose to stay in the steps to view the area. The boat ride leading to the cross just cost P15.00.

4. Soda Swimming Pool

This blithe Olympic sized swimming pool with a spectacular view of the highland, is fascinating which attract people to have a refreshing dip.

Clear, refreshing water of Soda Swimming Pool

With its breezy environment and clear, placid water, everybody is tempted to plunge, but during cold weather, the environment is somewhat chilling I have a second thought of diving into its alluring water during our tour. 

It has several cottages lined-up along the bank for a more private indulges. The pool is surrounded with trees and plants which pumped fresh sensation, providing visitors with a more relaxed adventure.

5. Sto.Niño Cold Spring

The cold spring is split into several water basin in its sprawling area just beneath  trees and rainforest, it has an elaborate passageway, cottages and airy surroundings. Smacked in the middle of the forest.
 
part of the water basin of Sto.Niño Cold Spring

The cold water freely flows from the top of the mountain and said to be, the most natural spring mother earth can offer. One may wonder how this gift of nature flows abundantly from its stillness to the ground without ceasing. 

Visitors may enjoy the area through organizing a dry picnic. It has tables for rent and a spacious picnic ground. Outside, this site is surrounded with stall market of food and souvenir shopping.

6. Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring

Located at the foot of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, one of the Camiguin's active volcanoes, the hot spring is a perfect place to dip into the warm water. 

It's is so therapeutic, great experience to soak beneath the warm fresh water gushing from the hills. It is divided into three portions, the middle part is the deepest with almost six feet deep and visitors are being warned to take extra precautions. 

Ardent Hot Spring at Mt. Hibok-Hibok


The relaxing environment with varied trees and plants and the terrain, offers tranquility and peace of mind. Though relatively smaller than the space of cold spring and soda swimming pool, personally, hot spring is one of my favorites. 

But due to the absence of improvements within the area, visitors need to be cautious with falling branches of old trees or even coconut, it also lacked sufficient lights within the swimming area, but generally, this site is a wonderful choice for tourists for a more relax spirit.

7.  Katibawasan Falls

A natural mountain wonder with a breathtaking site of raging waterfalls, Katibawasan falls site is surrounded with thick vegetation and a spectacular rainforest.

This is closer to Camiguin Highland Resort, the premier resort in the island. It offers a clear, cold water where everybody can enjoy the calmness of the mother earth. 

The scenic view of Katibawasan Falls

It is almost located beneath the forest and a drive experience going to this area is a mixed of great anticipation and excitement. 

The rugged cliff detailing the area is a breathtaking sight to behold, a more fulfilling adventure. Katibawasan falls' drop is as high as the Pagsanjan falls in Laguna.


Here's my actual Camiguin Travel Experience:

4 comments:

Rackell said...

Wow! I love camiguin.. I hope I can visit this place next year!

JOYCE LAMELA said...

hello rackell,

Yes, Camiguin is such a fabulous place to visit,it offers many spectacular tourist spots. My favorites are Katibawasan falls and the White beach. Hope you can visit Camiguin soon. God bless you and good luck!

AkikO said...

Nice! Good thing you were able to capture some of the beautiful highlights at Camiguin. I really wanna go back to this place so badly. Thanks for sharing.

Cagayan de Oro Philippines

Joyce Lamela said...

Thanks Akiko!

Yes, Camiguin is really a wonderful place to visit because of its amazing countryside and beaches. Love to go back there someday too.

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