Saying “Hello” to April also means “Hello, summer!” for us here in the Philippines. Right now, you’re probably planning on which tourist destination you would like to go to and what you would like to do to have fun under the sun. In this beautiful, tropical, archipelagic country of ours, there are so many places to choose from. As for me, one of my favorites is the island province of Camiguin located in Mindanao.
Last summer, I went there with a group of friends from college. It was a two-day trip and we got to do a lot of activities within that short period of time. We started our adventure by riding a bus from the Agora terminal to the Balingoan Port which took us about two hours of travel time. From there, we got on a barge going to Camiguin. If you’re located outside of Cagayan de Oro, you don’t have to worry since there are flights and ferries going to the island. For a more information about it, you can check camiguinguide.com ‘s detailed article on how to get to the province.
We rented a motorela in order to cruise around the island. Our first two stops were the Old Guiob Church Ruins and the Sunken Cemetery in Catarman, the historical remains of the old Spanish towns in the island after Mt. Vulcan (the name of the old volcano) erupted in 1871. After that, we hiked the Walkway to the Old Volcano so that we can get a panorama of the entire island. We planned on reaching its peak but we had to give up on that goal because it was already high noon and we were about to get dehydrated because we were stupid enough not to bring some water with us.
Thirsty and tired after trekking, we headed straight for the Ardent Hot Spring Resort in Mambjao to grab our lunch and to refresh ourselves. I can still remember how relieved I was when I dipped my toes in its waters. The spring was so relaxing it worked all the tenses in my muscles after that long walk. On our way back to our place, we decided to drop by this spot in the island that gives you an amazing view of the old volcano and the beach. The good thing about it is it’s for free. Yes! No entrance fees or whatsoever!
The next day (which is our last day in Camiguin), we decided to go to Mantigue Island to do some snorkeling. Mantigue is an islet located about a few kilometers off the coast of the province. We reached this small island by taking a motor boat from Brgy. San Roque in Mahinog. The fee for the ride was Php 550.00 which accommodates five to six people. We also rented some snorkeling apparatus which costs us around Php 400.00 (that includes a mask, a snorkel tube and a life vest) because we wanted to do some water activities aside from taking beach photos and swimming. We paid an entrance fee of Php 50.00 upon reaching the island and we also paid another Php. 200.00 (again, that’s for 5-6 people) for the boat ride towards the Mantigue Fish Sanctuary, the place where you get to do the snorkeling. I’d like to narrate the fun I had in the islet but no words can describe it so I’ll just indulge you with photos.
So that was the end of my Camiguin getaway last summer. I’ve learned a lot from that trip and I’ll definitely go back this year because there are still tons of places that I would like to visit and tons of things that I would like to do in the island. Plus, it’s just close to Cagayan de Oro so why not, right?