Come again, Camiguin?

Experiencing the most known of Camiguin in a day  – 11.29.15

There’s a Filipino slang word called “lagari” which means hopping from one place to another. And if there’s a word to best describe my second day in Camiguin, that would have to be it – as that day I hopped to touristy places as early as sunrise in a SANDBAR to a COLD SPRINGS RESORT to more iconic landmarks such as the CHURCH RUINS and SUNKEN CEMETERY. Only pause was at sunset back at CAVES DIVE RESORT until off again to another spring, this time opposite of cold at ARDENT HOT SPRINGS RESORT.

It was a day of countless witnessed selfies, jump and wacky shots and Higher Being-knows-how-many people I have shared bodily fluids with but it was a day I had to ensure be packed and if only for that, those are all worth it.

For who knows when I will come again to Camiguin, right? (Okay, enough with the ‘joke’).

1. Caught the sunrise in White Island

Having read somewhere online that the sandbar is best enjoyed at day-start when it is not too hot yet, I disciplined myself to wake up extra early that morning. I did not even bathe because I knew I was going to go into the water anyway. Having just spent a few minutes of staring into the island from the deck in my resort to wake myself up a little, I headed to the spot in the beach where the boat I had arranged the previous day was waiting.
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Sun intense but shy from where the boats are parked

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See that sheet of white?

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Going

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People eventually visible

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Unlike encounter with previous day’s island called Mantigue, my love for the sandbar was instant. Sand is amazing, water is clear and matches my swimming skills (or rather, lack of). It was the kind of place where anywhere you look, it was just beautiful that I didn’t mind sharing the place with other guests who were just as excited as I am to be there.I was even too giddy taking photos but I had to control myself because I might miss out on enjoying really. Once I felt satisfied with what I have captured, I went to try out the different areas where I could swim.

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Oh hello there

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Almost 360 degrees (at different times in that morning)

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These locals find opportunity in sandbar visitors and set up these stalls that sell food and drinks

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In most areas, water is blue except some portions when it reflects the green of the mountain (in this case, Hibok-Hibok)

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As it’s in the middle of the sea, expect no shade 

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‘My feet were here’ shot

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And again, when I take selfies, I am extra happy there

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Sunburst

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Forgive the water drops on my camera

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My kind of water!!!

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Somewhere very shallow was this

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How can I leave a place like this?

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I could have stayed all day if not for other places on my list on that limited day. Before around 9AM then, I went back to resort to meet up with the habal-habal driver-slash-guide I asked the reception to book for me that day.

2. Dipped in cold in Sto Nino Resort

One of the things the province is known for are its springs and upon Googling the most popular ones, this came into view. After getting warmed then with sunrise in the sandbar, next trip is getting soaked in naturally cold water at a spring resort.

It was a weekend (a Sunday at that) when I visited that the place was full I was misplaced. Apart from not having a space to settle, I was misplaced being the rare solo person there. Everyone was on a family picnic while I was pretty sure I am quite this loner to them. My guide sort of though too and asked whether I wanted to have my photos taken or something. There were moments of awkward but it was a first for me so I just made the most out of it and tried as much to be not as conscious.
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Something to remember my habal-habal ride

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On the way to the resort, this awkward photo as my guide suggested I pose for the background

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And here are some photos of the resort. Having been used to bodies of water that are clear in blue, I didn’t think there could be something clear in green. But voila, that spring’s water was like that.

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Bestfriends in their respective donuts

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And my spot was here :p

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At the entrance when I left, I saw this woman selling some thin crisp pancakes. I got curious and made it my quick lunch.

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Could not be sure whether this is a local delicacy but this one is called “kiping” – like a flat pancake with chocolate syrup

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3. Saw what was left of the Church

While not much a fan of history, there is something I find attractive in abandoned and ruined places. It must have been how it plays with my imagination on how the place was when it was still ‘alive’.

That was precisely what happened that early afternoon when I went there. The quiet in that place was screaming – few people were there and the greens surrounding the compound complimentary. However, the history of how this place came to be was far from quiet. As I have read at the entrance stone, these pillars of the church called GUIOB is what was left of a Spanish era town capital called Cotta Bato after Mount Vulcan became violent one fine early evening.
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View upon entering

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The opening on the right side led to a garden where the remains of the belltower and a century-old tree stand.

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What was left of the belltower

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And okay, I was too little

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More church columns on this side

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Life grows on some parts of the ruins

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That century-old tree

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Telling its story

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Afternoon sun

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I asked my guide for this shot and thanks to the photobomber

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4. Viewed marker to remember the dead

Sharing the history  of the church ruins is the town’s cemetery which was buried with the multiple eruptions in 1870s and in some years after. View of the cross was lovely as a solo structure in the midst of all that blue but to me, it brought to me some feelings of loneliness – well, most likely because this cross signifies several life losses.
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Crowd

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5. Grabbed beer and pizza at Northern Lights

Hungry and probably feeling a little bit depressed from recent stops, I capped the day tour off with calories at a restaurant near the resort. I was the sole customer at that time so I had this big table on the second floor all to myself.

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Hey there, buddy

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Can’t remember what kind but I probably ordered whatever is their specialty or signature pizza

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6. Took some rest at the resort and was surprised by the sunset

I meant to just rest for a while at the resort before I head to my next destination. Yet to my surprise, I realized how there was this nice view of the sunset from there.

It all started when I heard children giggling from nearby. I sat somewhere where I could hear and discreetly see them. That was when I noticed some intense orangey light on the sand. I turned my back and whoa, the sun was right there setting, all big.

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These kids I was spying on

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This failed to give justice

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When I saw the sunset, I changed venue and moved somewhere closer. Apparently, beyond the beachfront deck of my resort to the left, there are rocks where I could sit. I found a safe steady one and spent time there over sunset.
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From where I was sitting is this note in an unfamiliar language

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Dot of orange

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7. Fought the night chill at a hot springs resort

ARDENT HOT SPRINGS RESORT was said to be also one of the more popular destinations in the island. This was not my first time in a hot springs (first one was in Baslay Twin Hot Springs in Dumaguete) but this was interesting because the resort is comprised of several pools with varying degrees of hotness depending on how high and how close one is to the mountainside of Mount Hibok-Hibok. As in natural hot springs, expect the smell of sulfur.

For such a place that needs maintaining, they charge cheap entrance fees of 30 pesos for adults and 50% discounted rate for children below 10.

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20151129_190817Was busy pool-hopping I barely took photos

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How to get there and other practical details

Details on how to get to Camiguin can be found here.

Mambajao, Camiguin Island’s center, is located about 20-30 minutes away from Benoni Port. You may ride a van or a multicab from the port.

Most of the accommodations are located near Agoho Beach. You can check out where I stayed – CAVES DIVE RESORT. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kristina Correa (or more known to almost all people in her life as Teng) is based on the city of Manila in the Philippines and whenever she can, cools off with routine and gets her doses of happy someplace else. She doesn’t mean to inform and help plan (as obvious with her laziness with details) but hopes her stories and photos can inspire you to create your own.

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