Apr 6, 2017
Daghang Salamat (Many Thanks) Camotes Islands, Goodbye
GPS waypoint: 10°38'44.1"N 124°22'58.9"E
Location : Camotes Islands, Cebu (province), Philippines
Having traveled non-stop across Southeast Asia for years, sometimes packing/unpacking every 3 days, spending an obscene amount of time in transit, I felt travel fatigue that could only be quenched by staying in a picturesque place where rent is cheap and wifi is available. I would not have to continuously think about transport schedules, a roof over my head, laundry, water source, and all the trappings of life on the open road.
Camotes on the Radar
It was during this state of wishful thinking that I accidentally stumbled upon Camotes Islands. Yes, Camotes wasn't in the plan. From Danao, I would have gone straight to Cebu City but it would mean I would arrive during Sinulog fiesta - no way (my 2014 Sinulog experience is enough for me). I learned that there was a ferry from Danao to Camotes Islands. I thought I would stay in the island 2 nights before resuming my trip to Cebu City. That 2 days extended to nearly 3 months.
My stay in Camotes Islands has been extremely productive, having accomplished the following:
- resolve - when I intervened to have the Zesto staff pay the young girls for the work they've done, I didn't know I'd be at odds with the local organized crime. I could have wavered, but it wasn't a choice - I had to stay the course and put focus on these abusive practices by big business against those who are vulnerable. When was the last time someone stood up for those kids? And if I stood there doing nothing, then what is all this yoga for? just a workout on the mat?
I didn't meet too many people in Camotes - definitely not the travelers I usually engage with while on the move. But the ones I met, they are special and they painted a wonderful Camotes for me. The owner and staff (Elena, Jovie, Nanay and Yang) where I stayed have treated me as an extra member of the family, inviting me whenever there's an occasion, whether a birthday or town fiesta. Back at Baywalk, there is Kayla Me, a food kiosk where I hangout with Mitchell, Grant and their lovely +1s. This would also be a gathering place for their expat friends whom I've met. Of course there is the Poro couple, Joy and Abel, who took time and effort to show me around the island - even introduced me to the mayor. There were visiting friends from Cebu City as well - Maro, Nandinii +2 (Argo and Kayla) and Vien. Some locals drift by and that's how I met Alyssha and Charlotte. We got along well and started hanging out and planning things together - beach picnics and pizza parties. In a short time, I've developed a deep bonding with them - and I will miss them for sure. I am rich from all the friends I've met here.
My leaving Camotes Islands was largely because what I came there for has been done. The writings on the wall made it clear for me to leave and go where something else is in store for me - the invite to teach yoga on another island renowned for its dive spots, having already learned how to hand-code a responsive website, bringing my fitness back through calisthenics, deepening my yoga through pranayama, bandhas, mudra and meditation (not so much asana anymore). The final straw was perhaps reaching a saturation point with the island's noise level - but that's my issue, not theirs.
Camotes Islands will remain special. I don't know if I can come back, but it's a tempting thought. Perhaps by that time, Mitch and Grant's backpacker place is fully setup in Altavista. Perhaps I can even hold a few yoga classes there. Lots of perhaps. All I know at this point is that I have benefitted greatly from this place. Thank you Camotes Islands! Until I see you again.
Next stop: Cebu City
Reader Comments:Matteo Distasio
(Feb 8, 2018) thank you > THANK YOU !...for showing me some gems of Camotes Island....I am in Vancouver, Canada....and very much intend to go back to Camotes again very soon...gonna try to buy a little mango farm there in Tudela, maybe retire, I wonder if you are still in the Visayas area now?
(Apr 6, 2017) nice meeting you. If you are still in town today, lets have dinner... enjoy your travels and see you again anytime soon!
(Apr 6, 2017) ...farewell brother. I will keep a set of ear muffs for you in case you return here ra
Zy Gonzales Borlasa
(Apr 6, 2017) Hope you had fun Git. God bless you and we hope we can travel with you soon
(Apr 6, 2017) Where to next? See you in Cebu City?
(Apr 6, 2017) If I dont catch up Gigit before u leave have a great time where your travels take u and look forward to seeing u back on Camotes.
(Apr 6, 2017) We will miss you, Git! 😃
Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
Camotes Island FYI / Tips
- Camotes Islands is a group of islands composed of 4 municipalities:
- San Francisco - this is the biggest municipality covering the West major island. Its town center is the busiest with the market, eating places, live music and the Baywalk. The beach resort clusters, however, are concentrated in Santiago Bay, Mangodlong and Esperanza
- Poro - Poro is on the other big island to the East. It has its own port and the town center is likewise busy
- the busy area where most of the social gatherings take place, eating places, is located at the Baywalk area of San Francisco, 30 mins by motorcycle from the Consuelo Port. Travellers usually stay in their resort outside the Baywalk
- the resorts in Camotes Island are scattered around the island. There are none around the Baywalk area of San Francisco
- perhaps the only downside to Camotes Island is the inescapable deafening sound of karaoke - it is played very loud and it's everywhere. In Baywalk, there are 3 karaoke bars beside each other going full blast all at the same time
Camotes Island Cost Index(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)
- PHP 100 habal-habal ride from Consuelo Port to San Francisco
- PHP 55 Pale Pilsen beer
- PHP 10/pax regular fare for habal-habal within San Francisco
- PHP 500/tour habal-habal rate for island tour up to 2 pax
- PHP 800/tour tricycle rate for island tour up to 4 pax
Cebu City to Camotes Island
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Danao to Camotes Island
- via Poro - at the Danao Port, take the Super Shuttle Ferry for Poro (Camotes), P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 9:00am and 5:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
Camotes Island to Danao
Camotes Islands Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Daghang Salamat (Many Thanks) Camotes Islands, Goodbye Apr 6, 2017
- A Culture of Noise Apr 5, 2017
- Exploring Tulang Diot (Little Island) Apr 2, 2017
- In Search of the Hidden Beach Apr 1, 2017
- Pizza-Making Party in Camotes Islands Mar 25, 2017
- Zesto and Exploited Child Labor Mar 20, 2017
- The Bayot (Gay) Construction Worker Mar 20, 2017
- Yoga Calisthenics in Camotes Islands Mar 3, 2017
- Bathing with the Carabaos at Hagnaon Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Taking a Dip at Capasanan Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
- Exploring Tudela and Busay Falls, Camotes Islands Feb 21, 2017
- Settling Down in Camotes Islands Feb 19, 2017
- Clam Chowder Pizza from Scratch on a Rice Cooker Feb 15, 2017
- Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
- Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
- Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu Jan 13-14, 2017
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