When I hear the words Camiguin Island, one thing came up into my mind, the OUIJA movie which scared me much and had noted to be the scariest horror film in the Philippine industry which was released in 2007. Well, this is not really about the movie itself; however, it’s all about the shooting place, Camiguin Island.
Getting there is not that easy. As for us, since coming from Davao City we tried at least to commute this time. The bus we were riding left the terminal at 10:00 in the evening. Excitement, yet restlessness are what we underwent by that moment. At 3:00 AM, we had arrived at Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Well, imagine how long have we traveled. Finally, we’ve arrived in Cagayan de Oro at 5:00 AM. Thought it would be the last stop to Camiguin Island but mind-bogglingly we had to ride again a van going to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental and it had to take an hour and a half to reach the Balingoan Port. At 6:30 AM, as we arrived to the port, the barge is so good to us seemingly waiting and so it had left the port exactly we arrived. When we were at the barge it was already then relaxing. I could almost foresee our destination place. It took 45 minutes’ ride with the barge. As I stepped down I murmured, “This must be a haven on earth”. I was greeted with so nice people with, “Hi, friend” which is exactly the greetings of Camigueňos to their visitors.
Before going further around the island, let me acquaint you with a brief history about Camiguin Island as I asked the native residents. I was surprised when I found out that Camiguin Island is actually belonged to Northern Mindanao, Region X and its capital city is Mambajao, Camiguin Island is the second smallest province in the Philippines. It is populated with 74,232 people and has a land area of 229.82 square kilometer. The name Camiguin is derived from the word “Kamagong”, a name of a tree in the ebony family.
Spanish documents indicate that the great explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Camiguin in 1521 and 1565 respectively, but it was not until 1598 when the Spanish settlement was established in Guinsiliban.
And now, let’s go and ruminate as we experience serenity to our first stop, Camiguin’s glorious history”, the Old Catarman Church Ruins. It is said that the remnants of the Vulcan Daan eruption in 1871, the monument with its thick century –old walls, belfry and convent stand reminiscent of the second Spanish settlement established in 1697. Catarman Old Church Ruins is located in Bonbon.
The next stopover is the most well-known spot I’ve ever heard, the Sunken Cemetery since it was featured in the Ouija film. Getting here actually is so much satisfying already. Standing behind the
large white cross is such big evidence that I have landed my feet in Camiguin Island somehow. Curiosity was drawn up to me, so I and my friends really got the chance to step up to the vicinity of the huge cross. It can be reached through a small boat. The large white cross installed in 1982 to mark the community cemetery swept into the sea by Vulcan Daan’s eruption in 1871. From here it is a perfect place to watch the glorious sunset over the ocean. Most snorkelers and divers love to explore here. Sunken Cemetery is just situated in Bonbon, approximately 18 kilometers from Catarman.
Stupendously, during holy week, tens of thousands of Christian come to the island to walk 64 kilometer circumferential highway as a form of sacrifice either to fulfill a vow or to do a penance for the remission of sins.
Natural attraction is our next sojourn. It was around 3:20 PM when we passed by Paras Beach Resort. This is where the most convenient way to the famous crystal clear blue water of White Island for only 3 minutes by boat. It’s a small uninhabited white sandbar, with the picturesque of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Old Vulcan as its backdrop. The island is ideal for sun bathing, swimming, snorkeling, and shell collecting and even viewing the sun rise and sunset over Camiguin. White Island is situated 2 kilometers across the sea from Agoho and Yumbing.
As we headed back to our lodging house in Catarman after an hour of swimming, snorkeling and sun bathing, we were planning to wash off in a hot spring, Ardent Hot Spring, yet our last stop for the day 1. This resort is located 6 kilometer southwest of Mambajao. In the heart of the island bubbles, the mineral pool with water around 40 degree Celsius coming from the vents in the active Hibok-Hibok Volcano. It has a four-tiered pool of varying depths and warmth. The hottest and shallowest is on top. The spring is ideal to bathe in at night surrounded by cool mountain air. Taking a bath here is just like having a pampering spa in a sauna, as if soft massages and acupressure with its flowing water. There are picnic huts and tables available in the beautifully landscaped garden and there is a restaurant on site.
After an adventurous first day, we deserved to have a rest best only for a night. On our day 2, itinerary has all set and the first place to be discovered is Sto. Niňo Cold Spring.
The place is so terrific! A huge pool of cold spring water measures 2 meters by 40 meters sprouting from the sandy bottom. The vicinity has its native stones, picnic huts, cook out facilities and restrooms for picnickers. It is located 4 kilometers north of Central Catarman. Obviously, we did not stay long; the water is as cold as ice.
Our next trip on our expedition is Soda Water Swimming Pool located in Bura, Catarman West of Mambajao in Camiguin. As we all know soda is something to drink but not here. It is something you can be drowns up as long as you like. It is the one and only in the country
where you can swim to a pool of soda water. Great scenery over the fields and the seas as its cold water provides a refreshing splash to bathers and picnickers. Convenient picnic huts and tables are available right beside the pool.
There are a lot more enlisted in our itinerary, unfortunately, we ran out of time. We had to come back home. The rest beautiful falls are promised to be explored soon
The Camiguin Island is most probably unmatched anywhere else. A place with exquisite waters, picturesque scenery, thrilling adventures, friendly people, Camiguin Island has it all. Camiguin Island is exactly an island of my imagination. Unwinding and kissed by the cool breezes of the mountains and the sea.
F-E-W words aptly describe Camiguin Island… F for Fantastic. E for Enchanting. W for Wonderful.