Roaming Around Camiguin: Day 1


Katibawasan Falls

Camiguin, known as "the island born of fire," is the second smallest province in the Philippines (in terms of population and land area, next to Batanes). The pear-shaped island province is divided into five municipalities namely Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Mambajao, and Sagay.

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We arrived at Benoni Port at around 11:45 am. We got the tour services of Teddy Pabualan of http://camiguintransport.blogspot.com/. You may reach him at +63917.521.9391 or teddybird2005@yahoo.com.

From Benoni Port, we requested that the driver bring us somewhere where we could eat, and he recommended a buffet place in Mambajao. Since we came a bit late for lunch, the selection was already limited and we felt like it's not worth the price (Php 125) so we asked our driver to bring us somewhere else. He finally brought us to a quaint eatery in front of the hospital. Our meal was dirt cheap at Php 40 each, which already includes a viand, rice, and a bottle of Coke. The food was ok, - homecooked, clean, and decent selection.

After lunch, we started with our island tour. Kuya Teddy's whole day island tour is priced at Php 1,500 for a multicab, this already includes pick-up from Benoni Port and transfers to Camiguin White Island Resort where we stayed. I believe the tour rates in Camiguin are standard. Also, with the exemption of the Kibila Giant Clams Sanctuary, all tourist spots in Camiguin are government-controlled. Official receipts are issued upon payment of entrance fees.

Notes on Kuya Teddy:
Aside from him being an efficient and attentive tour guide, we noticed that his team is always on time. They were never late in any of our tours. For tourists like us, it is no question that time is really important, and one single minute missed means a lot. Also, his team members were all easy to deal with.
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Katibawasan Falls
One of the three major falls in Camiguin (the others being Tuasan and Binangawan Falls), Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao is said to be the highest falls on the island, plunging 75 meters into a huge rock pool. The water is cold and refreshing here, so it is a perfect spot for cooling down after a tiring journey. Entrance fee is Php 20.



Right outside the gate of the falls are souvenir shops and small stores selling snacks. Don't miss the chance to try Camiguin's iconic kiping - a flat giant round giant crisp chip made of cassava flour and drizzled with coco jam. 
Souvernir shops outside Katibawasan Falls
The good thing about this falls is that you don't have to trek so much to reach it. From the gate, a pathway leads to a viewing deck and a restroom where you can change into your swimming outfits should you wish to take a dip at the rock pool.


Clear, cold water flowing unto rocks

Katibawasan Falls

Camiguin's iconic delicacy

Want some kiping?


Sunken Cemetery 
During the 1871 eruption of the Mount Vulcan in Camiguin, the Spanish cemetery was wiped out, and on the exact site now stands a cross surrounded by the sea. Aptly called the Sunken Cemetery, this site in Catarman is indeed a perfect spot to watch the sunset. There is no entrance fee imposed here, but should you wish to ride a small paddle boat to go to the cross, you have to pay a minimal amount to hire the small boat, and another fee to go snorkeling. We would have wanted to snorkel here if only the waves were calm. I read a lot of good reviews about the marine life surrounding the cross. Don't worry, you might not even notice that there's a cemetery beneath as colorful corals and playful fishes guard the entire sanctuary. They said it's not a scary cemetery after all. =)

Sunken Cemetery
Walkway to the Old Vulcan
Not too far away from the Sunken Cemetery is the Walkway to the Old Vulcan. This site also contains some of the remnants of the 1871 Mount Vulcan eruption. Our driver said we can actually go up but we felt too tired to hike up already. There, we should have seen the 14 Stations of the Cross and a panoramic view of the island. One thing that I also noticed is that the vegetation in Camiguin in one of the greenest I've seen. Verdant forests are everywhere, thanks to total log ban.


Walkway to the Old Vulcan
Guiob Church Ruins
Also a scar of the great 1871 eruption, the Guiob Church Ruins is another must-see spot in Camiguin. Here, you will be enthralled with the picturesque view of the sea and the ruins of the 16th century Spanish church which was buried during the eruption.

Walls made of coral stones and egg whites at the site

You can light a candle and say a little prayer here

Century-old tree at Guiob Church Ruins

Playing around the ruins


The ruins if the bell tower
Sto. Nino Cold Springs
Back to Catarman, we checked out one of the three most-visited springs in Camiguin - the Sto. Nino Cold Springs. The springs here are mind-blowing cold so we didn't allow ourselves to have a dip. We went there in February and the breeze alone was so cool that we felt like we couldn't stand the cold springs. If you are going here in the summer season, dipping into the water here is a apt way to cool down. Entrance fee is Php 20.

Sto. Nino Cold Springs

Up close


Bura Soda Water Park
When I asked our driver why is it called "soda springs," he said that people believe that the water here is sweeter than ordinary tap water. It's like a soda. But admittedly, the driver does not believe this tale. This spring is located at the foot of Mount Hibok-Hibok (another active volcano that forms part of the Pacific Ring of Fire). Entrance fee is Php 20.

Bura Soda Water Park
Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort
Our last stop was the famous hot springs in Mambajao -- Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort. It was the perfect way to cap our day as the hot spring waters with temperature as high as 38 degrees Celsius soothe our numb calves and stressed muscles. The warm bath experience is surreal. A tip though, make sure to put on some insect repellent as mosquitoes play around the area especially in the late afternoon. Entrance fee is Php 30.


There are also rooms available for overnight stays, as well as cottages for day picnics. A butterfly park within the complex is something that the kids would definitely enjoy.

Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort

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We left the resort feeling recharged despite being on the road for more than 12 hours already. It was only day one of our trip in Camiguin and we were already happy with we have seen so far. Day two  is all about Camiguin's pristine beaches, so stay tuned!

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Comments

  1. its not the belfry but the watchtower. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. ;) thank you mam matet for sharing your camiguin experiences with us... may god bless you and may you have more island to explore in your journey ;)

    regards,

    TEDDY PABUALAN
    www.camiguintransport.blogspot.com
    0917-5219391

    ReplyDelete

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