Sunday, April 29, 2007

Camiguin, the Island of Fire

Camiguin is an island province with five towns but with seven volcanoes. With hospitable people, Camiguin is the best place to go for ecotourism. The small island boasts of everything that you can ask for in a nature trip. It has beautiful white beaches, waterfalls, hot and cold springs, volcanoes and places for scuba diving. The 64 km. circumferential road around the island is already cemented as well at the roads leading to the major sites. Hence, it is no longer a hassle to tour around Camiguin.

Camiguin was the destination decided by the priests from the Vicariate of Ormoc for our Easter break. There were 13 of us priests who joined the trip. From Cebu we took the Cebu Ferries boat for an overnight ride to Cagayan de Oro. From Cagayan we right away boarded the bus going to Butuan for our destination in Balingoan which is the jump off point in going to Camiguin. The ferry boat ride took an hour, hence by noontime we were already in Camiguin.
Upon reaching the pier in Cagayan de Oro from Cebu their were people in small boats asking for coins to be tossed to the sea for them to catch.

Viewing Camiguin from the ferry that we took from Balingoan.

The island of Camiguin from afar

The port in Benoni, Camiguin

We stayed at the Villa Paraiso Resort in the town of Mambajao

Katibawasan Falls was the first place we visited upon settling at the Villa Paraiso Resort

The long and slender falls of Katibawasan

The water was freezing cold here yet this did not refrain us from taking the plunge.

I overstayed in the cold waters that when I went out I was freezing cold. I sat down by the side of the falls and suddenly I felt dizzy and my sight got dim. I tried to stand but suddenly I collapsed hitting the rough ground. They had to rush me to the hospital. I had bruises on my face.

My accident almost aborted our trip as my companions wanted that we go home. I prevailed them to stay. I had to stay overnight in the hospital but I was able to check out after lunch. My companions went on the tour around the island without me on that second day.

After checking out of the hospital, I hired a tricycle in order to go around the island of Camiguin since I could no longer catch up with my other companions. I even went to more places than them in that afternoon.

At the sunken cemetery.
Sto. Niño Cold Spring

Fr. John Paul clings tightly to his life saver at the Sto. Niño Cold Spring.
White Island

White Island

Views from the White Island which is just a sand bar in the middle of the sea. It is sometimes called Alphabet Island as the shape of the sand bar keeps on changing the whole year round depending on the waves and the wind.

At the White Island.

I caught up with the group at the Ardent Spring.

The parish church of Mambajao

A small chapel inside the Catarman Church ruins. The old church was destroyed during the earthquake of 1871.

The Soda Swimming pool

Tres Marias mountain

Parish Church of Catarman

Pulpit inside the Catarman church

Altar of Catarman church

The church of Sagay

Used to decorate the church were local materials like twigs and bamboos and mats.

Guinsiliban Church

Altar of Guinsiliban Church

Church of Mahinog

Altar of Mahinog church

A sea farmer shows off the "guso" plants that he just harvested from the sea. The guso plants are a main source of livelihood for the people living in Mantigue Island.
The guso plants are neatly planted in rows just in the shallow waters a few feet from the seashore.

The guso are left under the sun to dry and ready for marketing. They are the raw materials for making gulaman and plastics among other things.

The volcanic island of Camiguin looms at the background from the island of Mantigue