Tag: Mindanao

Cagayan De Oro: White Water Rafting

Cagayan De Oro: White Water Rafting

Release those endorphins by trying out whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro. Travel, Budget and Experience Guide.

Siargao Island: Never Wanting to Return to the City

Siargao Island: Never Wanting to Return to the City

I want more of Siargao, I want to settle there and get a dog.

Camiguin Island: Hauntingly Bountiful

Camiguin Island: Hauntingly Bountiful

Camiguin (cah-mee-geen) A pear-shaped volcanic island in the northern tip of Mindanao that is relatively an unspoiled land that is gifted with many waterfalls, spring water pools, bounty fresh seafood and sweet juicy harvest from its land. Although Camiguin is known or heard of as one of the best places to see in Mindanao it was able to maintain an uncorrupted status by large-scale tourism. It is one of the most tranquil islands I have been to in Mindanao and a place where you see God’s work thru nature.

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View from the main road. 

Camiguin is the second smallest province in the Philippines making it easy to explore in just a day. The 10km waters of Gingoog Bay separating the island from the mainland are partly responsible for keeping the high volume tourist influx in its land. To most frequent visitors they tend to feel territorial about this jewel of an island and try to vanguard the beauty of this place.

How to go to Camiguin?

If you are coming from Manila I suggest booking a flight going to Cagayan De Oro then take the Ocean Jet boat which is relatively the fastest and most convenient way. The only downside though is they only have one (1) trip everyday. Book your tickets and plan ahead.

Other points of kick off journey you may check refer to the link below;

http://www.camiguinguide.com/guide/how-to-get-to-camiguin.html

 

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Where to stay?

There are different resorts, hotels, and lodges to choose from and it really depends on your budget. If you want to travel frugally you a lodge room can go for as low as 500php ($10) and as high as 4,500php ($90) for beachfront villas. As for my group, we didn’t plan where we will stay so we asked around if there are any local houses that we could rent out and luckily our very nice multicab driver offered his friend’s place for just 2,500php/night ($50). We were very happy with the house as it is a two story beach house with a large porch front facing the ocean.

Nevertheless, not all of us are that spontaneous. Here are our recommended places to stay. You may click on the active link to check availability and book directly on site.

 

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Oceanfront porch from our rented beach house. 

When you are traveling with a large group I suggest to rent a whole house instead as it is relatively cheaper and you’d be able to save on food cost since you may use their kitchen to cook your meals. Do not hesitate to ask the locals for other alternatives for transportation and accommodations.

Attractions

  • The Annual Lanzones Festival every 3rd week of October. The fruit is sweeter as compared to what is being harvested in Laguna, Luzon area as the land in the island is blessed with a very strong fertile soil due to the volcanoes.
  • A number of centuries-old churches dating back to Spanish-colonial times can be found the various parts of the island.
  • Old town and ancestral homes that seemed untouched and unmoved by time
  • Old ruins situated on top of the hill.

 

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Church Ruins
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Wildflowers on the hill

I spent hours just sitting and appreciating the scenic view of the ocean from the ruins. It’s ideally placed that you would imagine having your prenuptial photos being taken here. On top of a slope, fresh green grass, wildflowers sprouting in every corner, perfectly shaded areas because of centuries-old trees. Everything is serene and bountiful of beauty.

Springs and Waterfalls

Personally, I fell in love with Camiguin because of its numerous springs. You can rent a multi-cab that will take you around for the whole day, and as for us group of 15, we just opted to rent a multi-cab because it is much cheaper to split it by our group. For smaller groups, you may take a tricycle or rent a motorbike. Locals are friendly and honest so do not hesitate to haggle. There are entrance fees to each spring locations but at a very minimal cost of not more than 15php- 50php

  • Nino Hot Cold Springs and Bura Natural Soda Water Pool. They describe it as ‘soda’ because the water really tastes like 7-Up or Sprite. The water is perfect, not too cold at all and the locals told us that the soda water is a very good hair moisturizer and to my astonishment it really was
  • Ardent and Tangub Hotsprings
  • Katibawasan and Tuasan Falls

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As I have said Camiguin is relatively a small island with an area of roughly 92-95 sq mi (23 kilometers at its longest and 15km at its widest) so it will be easy to navigate and explore in just 1-2 days to go thru all the hot & cold springs and waterfalls.

The Sunken Cemetery that is below sea level the place is visible due to the huge cross that was put up. Should you want to get closer you will need to rent a boat to go nearer the cross or cemetery area.

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Cross marker of the Sunken Cemetery

Four volcanoes are pretty prevalent around the area. The most majestic one is Mount Hibok Hibok being the only active volcano and youngest on the island.

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Mt. Hibok Hibok stands majestically

There are two coastal islands located just kilometers away White Island sandbar and Mantigue Island.  The White Island sandbar is one of the best sandbars in the Visayas and Mindanao region. It is just minutes away from Paras Beach Resort so you may ask around and rent a boat going the sandbar. The surrounding water is very serene and every part of the sandbar offers various picturesque seascapes. You can snorkel around as there quite a number of marine animals around the sandbar.

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One of the best sandbar in the Philippines.

Just sit and wait for the sun to set before heading back to town and be in awe.

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During golden hour.

If I were to describe the town of Camiguin and its people I would say that contentment resides in their lives and on their land. They are happy, warm and generous.  The land and sea that surrounds them takes good care of their needs and never neglects them like a mother to her children.

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Children eagerly heading towards their school.

Camiguin will always be one of those places where you could confidently say that nature in its own way is in worship to a greater being.

See. Feel. Experience. Be a storyteller of your travels.


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