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CamiguinMarch 9 - 14, 2009


CDO to Camiguin
Camiguin was not in my itinerary. I didn't even know where it was, except that I was told on several occassions it's a beautiful place. While in Cagayan de Oro, I heard Camiguin was just a short distance away. The following day, I was already on the bus heading out for this place. I got off in Balingoan and boarded the ferry to take me to this island volcano.

Blessed with Nature's Bounties
Closer study of the island revealed it's natural bounties. It's home to mountains (Tres Marias, Mt. Timpoong, Mt. Mambajao, Guinsiliban Peak) and 2 volcanoes, one of which is the famous and still active, Hibok-Hibok Volcano. The entire island has a circumference of 64 kilometers - big enough to roam around, but small enough to be accessible by a mountain bike...if I only brought one. The hot and cold springs are abundant...the waterfalls are numerous. Dive spots? Choose your wild! The beaches? Many resorts to choose from.

Technically, I was still homeless, having left Sagada early March. As a potential home, Camiguin called out. Rent was reasonably priced, seafood cheap and abundant. Furthermore, there's that umbilical cord to the outside world - the internet! The presence of an expat community also says a lot about the locals' tolerance for outsiders.

The capital of Camiguin is Mambajao. It's here where much of the action is happening. The row of popular resorts are also lined up along the northern coast of Mambajao. It's not yet as cosmopolitan as most small cities in the country. You don't see the usual tell-tale icons - SM, Starbucks or McDonalds. It's still a big town wannbe city...but maybe it's for the better. Local hangout, to the extent there's one is Perry's Pizza Place.

With the absence of a mountain bike, the next best thing to discover the island is through a motorbike. A whole day's rental was P500 + gas. With mobility, I roamed around, mindful I'm not really a good motorbike rider. For the most part, the rideable part lies within the perimeter of the island. It's possible to go into the interior but it's roughing it.

Ardent Springs
One of the accessible hot springs in the island is Ardent Hot Springs. It has a big lagoon-type pool where water runs through. Additionally, a smaller and hotter section is available further down. Huts and rooms can also be rented. It's not cheap though. Within its vicinity, a path to Hibok-Hibok Volcano can be found. I was warned that for a first-timer, having a guide is best. I didn't climb as the guide fee was prohibitive.

Hibok-Hibok Volcano
On a different day, after asking around, I was told a friendlier jump-off to Hibok-Hibok can be found via the northwest coast of Mambajao. It was supposed to be intuitive I could get away without a guide. Early the following day, I was already on the trailhead. It didn't take long before I realized I was already lost. Fearing the worst, I headed back...darn! It's tough when there's not enough head count to split the guide cost. Perhaps next time I can download a GPS track and navigate through its time!

Katibawasan Waterfalls
One of the most fascinating features of Camiguin is the Katibawasan Falls. Towering at 250 feet, it's the highest in the island. It was a good 135 steps down to reach the base. I don't know how deep it gets. It was scary trying to swim to the plunge pool and dive down.

Sunken Cemetery
Back in 1871, a violent earthquake caused part of the island to slide down the sea...carrying the cemetery with it. Today, a huge cross marks the spot. It's a marine sanctuary now and marine life abounds, but there's no trace of the old cemetery.

Stations of the Cross
On the path to the peak of the old volcano, stations of the cross were erected. It was a fairly good climb leaving me panting by the time I reached the top. The view was spectacular. It would have made a sweet white-knuckle downhill ride...but they won't allow bikes.

Being alone and not wanting to rent a boat for a dive, I piggybacked on scheduled I always do. I'd be the invisible passenger, making the most of where the dive is. Oftentimes, the dive spot is too deep I couldn't do much. That's what happened here. The best corrals were waaay too deep I was left to explore on my own within the shallow sections. Everytime the divers come back and talk about the awesome dive, I just feel being cheated out on life. Oh well, I cannot afford scuba equipment anyway.

Guiob Church Ruins
Magnificently preserved columns of the Guiob Church can be found at Catarman. It's that same earthquake of 1871 that also caused the destruction. Joy, a local tourist guide, explains the history and tours guests within the small confines of the area.

Ending Thoughts
I would like to explore Camiguin in greater detail next time...look for possible houses I could rent, maybe try biking the entire island, climb Hibok-Hibok with a GPS, snorkel on Mantigue Island...and stay there while it calls out. Then? Well, there's a new ferry service to Bohol. I haven't been there yet.

--- TheLoneRider

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Waterfalls / Spring Blogs
  1. Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
  2. Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
  3. Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
  4. Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
  5. Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
  6. In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
  7. Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
  8. Freediving Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  9. Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  10. Bathing with the Carabaos at Hagnaon Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  11. Taking a Dip at Capasanan Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  12. Exploring Tudela and Busay Falls, Camotes Islands Feb 21, 2017
  13. In Search of Guiwanon Cold Spring Jan 12, 2017
  14. Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs Immersion Dec 11, 2016
  15. Dipping at Bungan-Bungan Spring in Libertad Dec 9, 2016
  16. Exploring Malumpati Spring of Pandan Dec 4-6, 2016
  17. Visiting Igpasungaw Waterfalls Dec 3-4, 2016
  18. Exploring Bugtong Bato Waterfalls, Tibiao Nov 24, 2016
  19. Splashing at Magkawas Falls in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 16, 2013
  20. Visiting Lubcon Falls, Surigao del Sur May 13, 2013
  21. Visiting Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan Apr 24, 2013
  22. Exploring Santander, Samboan and Badian, Cebu (Aguinid Falls and Kawasan Falls) Oct 30-31, 2011
  23. Pulangbato Falls and Hot Spring Jul 16, 2011
  24. Splashing in Pulangbato Falls with Cuernos de Negros Jun 5, 2011
  25. Hike to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls Apr 25, 2010
  26. Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
  27. Tinago Falls of Iligan City Mar 16, 2009
  28. Camiguin (Katibawasan Waterfalls) Mar 9 - 14, 2009
  29. Hike to Bomod-ok Falls November 3, 2006

Reader Comments:

(June 25, 2009) Another memorable adventure you had @ Camiguin. I've always wanted to go there. Haaay....kainggit ka!

(June 25, 2009) nice!

UP Mountaineers Environment Committee
(June 24, 2009) wow!

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