Thursday, November 9, 2017

THE BACKPACK SQUAD's FEEL CAMIGUIN (DAY1)




Our family has always been excited to visit the island of Camiguin in Mindanao.  It boasts of pristine white sand that can rival Boracay Island, waterfalls, and natural springs.




We started our Camiguin Adventure by waking up very early in Cagayan de Oro. We took the taxi going to the Agora Bus terminal.  We found out that we have two options, either to ride the bus or a private van going to Balingoan.  We chose the van and paid Php150 per person.  Upon reaching Balingoan, we were informed that the earliest trip was at 5:30am.  We took the first trip, travelled for 2 hours, before reaching Camiguin Island.



BALINGOAN PORT

WE CAN SEE CAMIGUIN ISLAND FROM THE FERRY




FUNNY SURPRISE FOR MY LITTLE MAN  :)

As expected, we arrived quite early in Camiguin.  We noticed that most of the stores and pension houses were still closed.  We headed directly to Pabua’s Cottage, our temporary home for 2 days.  After breakfast, we proceeded to our day tour.


OLD VULCAN:

Barely 240 square kilometers in land area, Camiguin is the second smallest island of the Philippines in both area and population. It is just 23 kilometers at its longest and just a bit more than 14 kilometers at its widest. Within this small area lie seven volcanoes. Lovely little Camiguin is the island “born of fire.”


FOG AT 7am IN JUNE

SUNKEN CEMETERY


LOOKING AT THE SUNKEN CEMETERY


Much of the island was formed through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the late 1800s, for example, the eruption of Mt. Vulcan submerged the old town of Catarman – pushing it below the sea, leaving behind the ruins of a church and its bell tower. The Sunken Cemetery, now marked with a huge cross, was also one of the areas in this old town.

You can also opt to snorkel underneath the cross and see the diverse marine life that formed within the ruins.   


WALKWAY


It is the Camiguin’s most famous pilgrimage site.  It is a tiring 8 km. climb, 300 steps to the top, and along the way you will see the life-size Stations of the Cross.  We didn't go up, because our efforts are focused on getting some Vitamin Sea  :) 

OLD GUIOB CHURCH RUINS





Cotta Bato was the capital of Camiguin in the 1800s  When Mt. Vulcan erupted in 1871, houses and churches were destroyed. That single eruption buried the entire town into obscurity.  The ruins we explored were once a part of that town.






Upon entering, you will notice a small chapel inside the ruins for the locals nearby and tourists who wants to offer prayers. At the back of the ruins, you can see it's old bell tower, old convent and tree after Mt. Vulcan eruption.





STO. NINO COLD SPRING  


Camiguin is a volcanic island and so there will always be hot springs.  But the Sto. Nino spring is different, because it is cold!  It can be found at Sagay Town and is located about 2.5 kilometers from the main road.  






It is a natural cold spring that flows down from Mr. Mambajao and is filtered by layers of minerals from the mountain, so it is clean.  The temperature is naturally maintained from 20-25 degrees celsius.  A refreshing treat especially if you got tired from climbing the walkway.

TUASAN FALLS         







It is located 6km. northeast of Catarman.  It is less visited compared with the popular Katibawasan Falls.  But we enjoyed it here because you can swim in the cold water, and you can actually go near the water basin.

ARDENT HOT SPRING

Hot springs in Camiguin are concentrated at the east side.  One of them is Ardent found at the foot of Hibok Hibok Volcano.  The water comes right out of the forest with a temperature of just above 40 degrees celsius.  It is then mixed with some colder water and guided into 4 separate pools which are arranged in cascades. 


What did the BackPack Squad do on their second day in Camiguin. And what were some of the food they feasted on?  Stay put, that's another story.

note:  the BackPackSquad visited Camiguin in 2015