After all the days we spend burning out at work, the only thing my friends and I were craving for was to spend our weekend in the Island Born of Fire- Camiguin. Since we only had a weekend to travel because of our work schedule, we were able to visit almost all of the significant places in Camiguin for just a day and a half. Believe it or not, you can actually circle round the island in just a single day if you had all the time in the world.
Before getting there, we carefully planned out our time of departure, itinerary, and budget. We left last Saturday at noontime right after our duty hours. We packed up so quickly so we could get to Agora Bus Terminal in just a few minutes. By 12:30, we were already leaving for the Port of Balingoan. To get to Balingoan, you need to ride the bus and travel for approximately 2-3 hours. It was unusually gloomy that day thus we were quite alarmed of how our travel will go but thankfully, the sun eventually shone! I guess the odds were in our favor. After all, we just couldn’t bail out on our much-awaited weekend trip out of the city. To get to the Port of Benoni in Camiguin, we waited for an hour of travel via ferry. I thought we weren’t going to make it to the last trip but luckily, we so did. We finally arrived in Camiguin at nearly 5 in the afternoon!
We settled in to the place we were going to stay in at Paguia’s Cottages. I wasn’t really able to take photos of the place because I was dead tired and hungry but for a price of P1400 (good for 4 people), our room was very much lovely to stay in. For our first night, after our dinner, we made it to Ardent Hot Spring which was located in Mambajao. We rented a motorela to tour us around and pick us up. When you’re in a tight budget like us, you’ll find even better ways to save up and savor your trip such as foregoing a package tour for a motorela drive and blend in with the locals. Yet again I wasn’t able to take pictures of our first location, because I was so focused to relaxing on a warm spring. Not to mention, the place was filled with slippery rocks and the night was quite dark, so taking a picture wasn’t really a choice for me.
The main highlight of our trip was our planned island hopping before we leave for the last ferry trip. We woke up as early as 4 am the next day to prepare for our trip to the island at 5:30 a.m. It took us only about 15 minutes to get to where the White Island was and man, what a sight it was.
I’ve actually been there before but the memories were quite vague since I was just in high school back then. But the view we were able to see was magnificent and I was reminded of how beautiful it was. The place was unusually crowded even in the wee hours of the morning considering that it was a summertime and it was a weekend. To avoid the damaging heat of the sun by noontime, you can enjoy the cold breeze when you take a dip first thing in the morning.
Soon after our breakfast, we visited the Sunken Cemetery and Old Church Ruins. The places don’t charge tourists anything. The two were just located nearby as well that is why it didn’t take us a lot of time to stroll around before we get to the last leg of our quick trip.
Before leaving, we made sure to visit Mantigue Island. Because we were going to try and catch up with the last ferry ride, we placed Mantigue last on our list considering it was just near the port. Like the White Island, you need a pumpboat to get there. Unlike the previous location, Mantigue is a lot farther as it took us about 20-25 minutes . But the view and the crystal clear water were worth the wait! Mantigue was more divine-looking when we got to snorkel underwater. It was even probably better than White Island since the water boasted shades of brighter emerald. We truly didn’t want to leave but we had to! After eating our lunch and rinsing off as swiftly as possible, we finally bid adios to the wonderful, quaint Camiguin Island.
Though the trip was short-lived, the time we had made it even more exciting. I got to spend the best time at a beautiful island and wonderful friends, and I couldn’t have asked for more. Camiguin is just one of the many other islands we have in our country that deserves to be explored yet nurtured. Upon leaving, I realized how badly I wanted to return knowing we had more reasons to come back. See you later, Camiguin!