Discovering Camiguin




This post is the first in a series of featured articles/photos from other travel related blogs. In this blog post, Abbie Maquiling, who owns Discovering Pinas, dives deep into the island of Camiguin. Aided with pictures, Abbie takes us into the heart of Camiguin Island. As you can see from her post, Camiguin offers more than its sweet lanzones and that little strip of sand people call the White Island. Enjoy!

Camiguin is one of the smallest islands here in Pinas, second only to Batanes Island (smallest) in land area. Camiguin has 5 municipalities namely Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Mambajao (the capital) and Sagay. It’s the home of Lanzones Festival held annually in October and Mt. Hibok-Hibok, still an active volcano that last erupted in 1953.

Camiguin Island Sunset

Camiguin Island Sunset

I was fortunate to have met a friend who has friends in Camiguin. We went there for the Holy Week which is one of the most anticipated events in Camiguin. Pinoys and tourists come here to meditate and relax especially on Holy Week. By then, the twelve stations of the cross are all wind up around the island. You can go around the island for a day and visit all the twelve stations. Some come here for the sun and water. Camiguin is a unique island for the fact that it’s an island in Mindanao, has an active volcano and lots of beautiful white sand beaches. Aside from the beaches, it has waterfalls, cold spring and hot spring. Fun, fun, and fun all in one island.
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The first spot that we went to is the Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross in Catarman since it was the Holy Week. This is actually the Mt. Vulcan Daan that erupted in 1871 and which now has stations of the cross. It’s not that hard to reach the summit where the last station is located because stairs were built for easy access. Just a tip though – this is not for the faint-hearted and if you do want to reach the last station, bring water with you.

Entrance to The Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of The Cross

Entrance to The Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of The Cross

The stations of the cross light up just before dark

The stations of the cross light up just before dark

There are actually two waterfalls that I heard of in Camiguin. One is Tuasan falls in Catarman that we didn’t visit because it’s not easily accessible by vehicle. You have to trek and pass through Barrio Mainit in Catarman. The other one is Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao which is a really spectacular waterfall. The water goes into a icy rock pool and it’s perfect for those hot, summer days. It’s accessible by any vehicle and you won’t get lost because the government installed signs/directions going to the waterfalls.

Katibawasan Falls

Katibawasan Falls

Icy Rock Pool

Icy Rock Pool

We also visited the Ardent Hot Spring which is still in Mambajao. This is a perfect spot for those weary travelers who seek relaxation. This is your natural jacuzzi and is very therapeutic. There’s also a man-made swimming pool called Soda Water Swimming Pool and i don’t know why it’s called like that. Probably to attract attention. It’s water is cold and the scenic mountain landscape is yours to enjoy. There’s also a cold spring in Camiguin called Sto. Nino Cold Spring in Catarman if you want the opposite of hot. It’s your choice, really. Camiguin has it all.

Soda Water Swimming Pool

Soda Water Swimming Pool

Ardent Hot Springs

Ardent Hot Springs

Camiguin has another tiny island beside it which is named Mantigue Island and is a part of Mahinog. This island is accessible by pumpboat from San Roque, Mahinog. There’s no electricity and water in the island so you better pack a lot of food and water if you want to stay there for the night. I’ve seen a lot of starfish and sea urchins in the island and it’s a very good spot for snorkelling. Another island across Mambajao is White Island which doesn’t need any introduction because it’s really, really famous. It changes its shape from the letter C to letter I depending on the tide. You can also see Mt. Hibok-Hibok from here.

Land Ho! Mantigue Island

Land Ho! Mantigue Island

Just keep walking...

Just keep walking...

...in Mantigue Island

...in Mantigue Island

Camiguin is also known for the Sunken Cemetery in Catarman which sunk in the volcanic eruption of Mt Vulcan Daan in 1871. Its Cross Marker was installed in 1982 to mark the Sunken Cemetery. This place is actually one of the best dive spots in Camiguin and in Pinas.

The Cross Marker Of The Sunken Cemetery

The Cross Marker Of The Sunken Cemetery

Remnants of the said eruption can also be seen in the ruins of the Gui-ob Church also known as Catarman Ruins. It’s located just a few minutes away from the Sunken Cemetery.

The Gui-ob Church Ruins / Catarman Ruins

The Gui-ob Church Ruins / Catarman Ruins

There’s more to discover in Camiguin but i’ll leave it up to my next trip.

An old parola (lighthouse) in Mambajao

An old parola (lighthouse) in Mambajao

Photo Credits except those with copyright labels: Al and Marlone

5 Comments… add one

  • Backpackerresources May 12, 2009

    Are there places here good for backpacker travelers?

  • sashindoubutsu May 16, 2009

    nice blog! 😀

  • Abbie M May 19, 2009

    hi there! thanks for the featured article. i really appreciate it. more power to Philippines Travel Blog. 😀

  • sunglasses May 30, 2009

    Great places and resorts.. Philippines have a lot of amazing places

  • church Jan 17, 2010

    this is very 1 of a kind venue for serene ambiance. This worth a thousand words

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