THE BEAUTY THAT IS CAMIGUIN
June 17, 2010 4:00AM it was about time to wake up and get ready for our Camiguin adventure. We were supposed to take the Paras Sea Cat to bring us to this island however the previous day I found out that it’s in dry dock. They can’t give an estimate as to when it will become operational again. Luckily, the receptionist of Park View Hotel was kind enough to give me the instructions on how to go to Camiguin Island via bus then ferry. With the instructions and our spirits on hand, we traversed the dark early morning of CdeO and found a cab that would bring us to Lapasan where the Agora Bus Terminal is located.
At the terminal we took an air-conditioned bus that would take us to Balingoan Wharf, our drop off point going to Camiguin. The fare was charged at Php135.00 per head. Ordinary and air-conditioned buses leave every 30 minutes heading to that direction. We were set to leave by 5:00AM so we dropped by Dunkin Donuts first to buy us some mini-breakfast for our consumption along the way. I brought 1 liter of water as well!
By 7:00AM we are now alighting the bus at Balingoan Bus Terminal and took a tricycle going to the wharf. We then realized that the wharf is about only a 100 meters away from the bus terminal. I was able to get a glance at the “roro” that would take us to Camiguin Island and it’s pretty much the same one that we took when we went to Bantayan Island from Cebu City. Even from wharf, one can see Camiguin Island already, and the photo above was taken from the wharfactually. I was told that the travel time from Balingoan Wharf to Benoni Pier is about an hour or so. I realized that it was such because of the “roro’s” heavy load. The ferry charges Php135.00 per head for the transfer. There were a number of beautiful sights during the ride and among them were posted below. From afar, I am already enthralled by the majesty of the Camiguin Island. The mountainous range sits amongst the clouds! If only I have a better camera, I could have zoomed in on the island’s beauty. I can’t help but just stare that the magnificent wonder. The travel time of almost 2 hours was just enough to leave us amazed with the entire view of the island just to lead us to more enchantment.
We reached Benoni Port, Camiguin around 9:00AM where we were met by a number of multicab drivers offering us tour arrangements. But I decided to just take a van to take us to Mambajao area. Luckily the van driver was waiting for 2 more passengers to take off. The van trip from Benoni Port to Mambajao Town is about 30 minutes and we were charged Php30 per head. What I liked about the travel was that I had the chance to see more amazing views along the way. It was also a nice idea that the government built Camiguin’s main road along the coast and runs where the views are picture perfect. Upon reaching Mambajao Town, we were then again flocked by multicab and tricycle drivers. And since we didn’t have any reservations when we arrived, we asked one of them to take us to the White House. Unfortunately none of them knew where the white house is located. So we decided to walk around and look for a place to have our main breakfast. Until one of the multicab drivers approached us and offered to take us to Barangay Yumbing for just Php10.00 each. He suggested that we try looking in that area since he knows that there is one inn that fits our description of the white house.
When we reached Barangay Yumbing, we were brought by the driver to a newly built white house along the main road. But no one was there to accommodate us so we decided to go further where most seafront resorts are located. He said that there are some budget accommodations within that area. We were first brought to Paguia’s Cottages but the rates are beyond our budget and they don’t have wifi connection as well. So we headed further down the road until we reached Paras Beach Resort. The views were amazing however the rates are pretty much over the board. I realized that it might be well worth it however we don’t have plans of staying inside the resort the whole time, we want to go out and explore the island. We left Paras Beach Resort and found Pabua’s Cottages. The owner, Mrs. Pabua was kind enough to offer us a rate of Php700 per night for an air-conditioned double bed room with wifi connection. It was a good deal! Now that we have settled our accommodations, we then talked to Manong driver and tried to haggle with his rates. He offered us his multicab rental at Php1300 for the entire afternoon. I guess we were just tired and famished so we decided to take his offer.
Now that we have made arrangements for our accommodations and tour, we decided to freshen up and keep the adventure going. Then we realized that our stomachs are grumbling since we only had light breakfast and lunch time has just ticked on the clock. I told our manong driver that we’ll have a quick lunch at Vjandep’s Restaurant which is located in Mambajao Town. In Camiguin, it’s like everywhere I go has sights incomparable to none that I have seen before. Just imagine this sight on a one sunny afternoon. Amazing!
After having that sumptous lunch consisting of stir fried beef with veggies and rice, we started off with our Camiguin Island tour. These were the spots that we decided to pay off a visit to due to their proximity with each other. Although we were told that there are some spots not worth visiting, here are the spots that you should not miss while in Camiguin Island:
While we were lounging around the Soda Swimming Pool, we were told by the caretakers that the water tastes like soda hence the name. I realized that it must be since the waters are bubbly. Hooked on this fact, we decided to taste the water, it does taste like soda!
Can you imagine how all of a sudden rain started pouring on this part of the Philippines? We immediately took off because there’s one more spot that I really wanted to take a photo opportunity of. All hell’s gotten loose because the camera was busted, just in time for this rare opportunity, the one spot that I came to Camiguin for. The zoom feature won’t turn on. Then I realized that water just seeped in the battery compartment! Can you believe that, an underwater camera? Geesh! I forced the camera however to deliver what it’s built for. I told myself that I’m not going home without a shot of it, no matter what. And here are the results:
S0 pardon dear readers for a blurry shot of the Sunken Cemetery. I myself am enraged of what happened to my camera. I’m lucky though, to even have the shots of our entire CdeO-Camiguin trip uploaded still.
Our day commenced with a pizza and pasta dinner at Luna Ristorante located along the Camiguin National Highway, very near our rented accommodation for the night. The servings are big enough for its price range. You can expect for a decent dinner for around P500-1000 already good for 2 persons. It was a candlelit dinner because the electricity went off soon after we ordered our meals. Still being lucky when half-way through our meals, the electricity just turned back on! A promise of a sound sleep at night.