Coming to Camiguin

 One weekend, under the trees of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Grace Cutab and I were talking about the Run for Given, when she mentioned that she’s having a trip to their home in Camiguin.

At the mention of Camiguin, my face registered the surprise of a kid–every traveler and backpacker I know of would want a slice of Camiguin experience because of its famed white beaches and postcard perfect spots such as the creepy Sunken Cemetery. She asked if I wanna come–how can you say no to the gates of paradise summoning?
Camiguin has been in my bucket list since grade 3, I think; the time when students are asked to memorize the Philippine map and the capital of the provinces, and I always thanked Camiguin for being easy to remember because it’s one lone province island on top of mainland Mindanao (where provinces are squeezed together in regions too many for my poor memory). Also, it has a cute, memorable name, Camiguin, and a fierce capital name–“Mambajao” (only recently did I learn that it’s pronounced as mam-ba-haw).
With a week to book tickets and prepare for a trip, Grace made everything easy with a simple, comprehensive email that I’d like to share to those planning to visit one of the Philippines’ wonders.
How to get to Camiguin (this is if you will  travel without me):
Option 1/ If you arrive on or before 8am in CDO: (RECOMMENDED!!!)
  1. From Cagayan de oro/Lumbia Airport
  2. Take a cab going CDO pier/port (kontrata Php 250.00-300.00)
  3. Take the Paras Sea Cat, 9am trip to Benoni, Camiguin (Php 400.00 per head)
  4. 1.45 – 2 hours travel from CDO to Benoni, Camiguin (free seating)
  5. We will fetch you at the Benoni Port
Option 2/ If you arrive at CDO later than 9am: (THE HAGGARD WAY!!!)
  1. From Cagayan de oro/Lumbia Airport
  2. Take a cab going to Agora/Bus station going to Balingoan Pier or take the bus going to Butuan City
  3. 1.30-1.45 hours travel time from Agora to Balingoan Bus Station (Php 100.00 per head)
  4. From Balingoan Bus Station, cross the street, walk towards Balingoan Pier (200 steps, please see attached map:Balingoan pier) / Do not hire a trike, super lapit lang, hindi pa ubos ang yosi mo andun ka na, except kung maraming bagahe
  5. Book a trip to Benoni, depende sa available ferries, may mga umaalis every hour to every 2 hours.
  6. 1 hour travel from Balingoan to Benoni (I hope you see dolphins!)
  7. We will fetch you at the Benoni Port
Places to go in Camiguin:
  1. Sto Nino cold spring
  2. Church ruins
  3. Sunken Cemetery
  4. Station of the Cross
  5. White Island*
  6. Hot Spring
  7. Katibawasan Falls
  8. Mantigue Island*
  9. Pamunglo Spring (secret place ito ng mga taga-samin)
May minimal entrance fees sa mga lugar between 20 and 40 pesos per head.
*we need to rent bangka going to these islands, Php 400-600 per bangka, good for 4-6 persons.
Our ride is a 10-passenger tricycle, libre aircon!
Must bring:
  1. Money, though may PNB at landbank ATMs sa Mambajao, kaso kalayo kaayo, 1 hour away
  2. sunblock
  3. Swimming attire, aqua shoes/booties (mabato kasi sa amin), meron namang booties sa bahay kaso haggard looking na, mapagtyatyagaan pa rin naman goggles, mask and snorkel, (meron na rin naman nito samin); there are diving sites around the island pero sa resort ito binu-book
Going back to Manila: it would take half day to go back to CDO so might as well, book a flight in the evening or mid-morning pero aalis na kayo ng Camiguin a day before, spend the night in CDO.
That’s it, pansit! Welcome, Camiguin!

White island, Camiguin

(next blog: the adventures in Camiguin)

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11 years ago

i wanna see camiguin!

8 years ago

What is the best place/ location to learn scuba diivng in the Philippines?I am planning to learn scuba diivng in the Philippines but I like the place to be low-priced but has a lot to offer terms of the beauty of the dive sites. If you can give an estimate how much I would spend for a period of time for diivng and accomodations, that will be very much appreciated. Thanks!OK I’m down to a few choices: Puerto Galera, Anilao, and Palawan. Which one is best? Let me know. And if you have other suggestions, that will be great. Thanks!

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