UDJE

The Explorer

Camiguin Island: The Paradise of the South

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view of Camiguin from White island

   Camiguin Island is a pear-shaped volcanic island located approximately 10-kilometers north tip of Misamis Oriental patched over the southern sea of Bohol province in the Philippines. It is well known as the island “Born of Fire”.  It has seven volcanoes and several volcanic domes. Volcanic eruptions and land movements have created this spectacular island which is full of natural wonders and historical riches. It is the smallest province in the northern Mindanao that composed of five towns namely; Mambajao (the town capital), Mahinog, Guinsilban, Sagay and Catarman.

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at Mantigue island (view of its shallow blue water with white powdered sand)

   Camiguin’s uniqueness lies in it varied terrains pristine natural environment and rustic setting. Camiguin is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful islands, a virtual paradise, as the island allows visitors to experience a sample of untouched beauty in its entirely.

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How to get there in Camiguin Island?

   There are many ways to get there in Camiguin province depend on where you will come from. If you’re from Cebu or Bohol, you can simply check the scheduled trip of fast craft ferry on their website heading to Camiguin Island. If you’re from Manila, you can check online the flight schedule availabilities of Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines going to Cagayan de Oro City. Air travel will consume about 1-hour and 30-minutes. You’re destined landing airport would be in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.  From Laguindingan Airport, you have two options on which would you prefer to take going to Agora market. If you’re going to take a cab along the airport, I think it will cost around Php500 for a fare. But if you opted to take a multicab, the fare is only Php130 per person, just inform the driver to drop you off in Agora bus terminal station. Travel time is approximately 1-hour. When you reached the Agora bus terminal, you can take a bus that will get you to Balingoan port, fare is only Php143 per person. Other option in getting to Balingoan port from Agora is via van. There’s plenty of van along side of the Agora terminal that will aboard towards Balingoan, fare is only Php100 per person. Travel time is approximately 2-hours. Once you’re already in Balingoan port, you can immediately buy your ferry ticket bound to Benoni port in Camiguin, booth is infront of the port gate before you enter the main port terminal. Ferry ticket is Php170 per head. Sea travel is 1-hour and 30-minutes.

Where to stay in Camiguin?

   Choosing an accommodation in Camiguin will actually depend on your budget. There’s a wide selection of hotel and resorts that will shoot to your preferences. From expensive with high-end amenities to a simple and humble cottage accommodation. Before having a trip to down south Camiguin, make sure you have already planned your get away smoothly and you should already coordinated your accommodation or resort to stay. Among resorts in Camiguin are; Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin, Paras Beach Resorts, Pabualan Cottages, Golden Sunset Beach Club, Secret Cove Beach Resorts, Camiguin Highland Resort, Pabua’s Cottages and many more.

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   I am actually a practical budget traveler ever since whenever I’m traveling for solo, duo or even a big group outdoor activities. Me and my girlfriend/travel buddy, Joanne, often availing a complete and less-hassle tour package at practical cost.  Everytime we go for an out-of-town adventure, we see to it that everything is cost effective. And so in Camiguin, we spent our 3-days/2-nights Camiguin tour package  under the humble and good service of Mr. Teddy Pabualan. We availed his services amounting to only Php5,950 that good for 2 persons already. Package includes pick-up/drop-off at Benoni port and get into Pabualan Cottages, town tour, island hopping, pasalubong shopping and an accommodation with free wifi. Pabualan Cottages is located in Brgy. Yumbing, Camiguin near the entry point of boat terminal heading to White island. Sir Teddy provided us a standard air-conditioned room with free wifi, cable-TV, and bathroom with hot & cold water. He provided us his multicab with driver to bring us to different tourist spots in the province. Their services are great, their staffs are very approachable and accommodating. We really enjoyed our Camiguin tour thru their good services offered at cheapest price.

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Pabualan Cottage entrance gate

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Pabualan Cottage Ad.

Contact details:

Teddy M. Pabualan +63917-5219391/+63939-2440521

Website: http://camiguintransport.blogspot.com/

Email address: teddybird2005@yahoo.com

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Pabualan Cottages Rating (with 5-stars as the highest):

Room: 

Services: 

Location: 

Overall: 

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   After the 3D/2N tour package with Teddy Pabualan, we decided to transfer into another accommodation, since our scheduled flight back to Manila is on the next day. We preferred to feel something different on our last overnight stay in Camiguin after the 3-days of adventurous exploration in the amazing volcanic island province. From a simple home cottage to a quite expensive resort, the Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin or BBC. This resort has unique quality to showcase. The place is so peaceful, and very clean with plenty of amenities to utilize such as billiards, table tennis, spa, bar & grill, gym, swimming pool and many more. Their room rate is ranging from Php3,400 to Php4,950. At the entrance of the resort, you will notice at the front desk, a board showing of all posted photos of different Filipino TV personalities and celebrities who stayed in BBC with their corresponding checked-in type of room and corresponding room number. No wonder because the place is so relaxing with nice view of the open sea from the BBC’s pool-side and Ocean Grill & Bar with complete package of clean amenities, good service and accommodating staffs.

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BBC Reception Area.

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BBC’s Standard Premium Room, view from the outside.

Contact details:

Marnold: +63917-7212798

Website: http://www.bahaybakasyunan.com/

Email address: camiguinbbc@gmail.com

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Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin (BBC) Rating (with 5-stars as the highest):

Room: 

Services: 

Location: 

Food: 

Amenities: 

Overall: 

________________

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Camiguin Adventure Story

Day 1

   We departed from our home as early as 5:45am heading to NAIA terminal-2 with scheduled flight boarding to CDO via Cebu Pacific Airline at 8am. As we (Joanne and I) arrived at Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, we immediately took a multicab to bring us to Agora in Cagayan de Oro City and we checked-in at Win Min Transient Lodge along Agora bus terminal station since we arrived in CDO  at almost noon time and we’re kinda having uncertainties in travel time to Camiguin. And so we secured ourselves first to a cheap transient inn to flare ourselves for our upcoming long weekend escapade, thru buying our additional necessities, charging the batteries of our gadgets and preparing on what would be our game plans ahead.

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Transient Inn along Agora market for stranded passengers

Day 2

   After checking out in the transient inn, from Agora bus terminal, we rode a van heading to Balingoan port along side of the Agora terminal. Please beware of opportunist van barkers telling you that the fare from Agora to Balingoan port is Php130 or even higher, those foolish people are trying to take advantage tagalog tourists or even foreigners for their own benefit. The actual fare from Agora to Balingoan port is actually Php100 only. We were dropped-off at Balingoan port after one and a half hours of land travel along the province of Misamis Oriental.

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Van terminal at Agora market going to Balingoan port.

   From there, we took another one and a half hours of sea travel going to Benoni port in Camiguin. From there, we were picked-up by our tour coordinator’s hired multicab driver, kuya Junior, to bring us in our accommodation (Pabualan Cottage).

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Benoni port in Camiguin

   But since we’re travelling the route towards the accommodation, Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao is almost along the way and so we were advised by kuya Junior to first witness the 250-feet high amazing waterfalls.

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Katibawasan Falls

    Amazing high waterfalls? It really does. The behavior of waterfalls is inviting for a swim,  nice view, cold water and all the people spotting the place were seemed enjoying. Afterwards, we were directly brought to our accommodation to prepare ourselves for the whole day activities. The day-2 inclusion of tourist spot visit itineraries are as follows; walkway to old volcano via crucis, sunken cemetery, Guiob old church ruins, soda water pool, Sto. Nino cold spring, and Ardent Hibok-Hibok hot spring.

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at walkway to old volcano with station of the cross behind.

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at Sunken Cemetery.

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Ruined old church due to eruption of Mt. Volcano in the late afternoon of May 18, 1871.

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a pool that taste like soda according to them, at Soda Water Pool.

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at Sto. Nino Cold Spring.

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Ardent Hot Spring.

Day 3

   Our third day was another story, from town tour this time itineraries were more became adventurous and the places were so attracted to our eye-sight.  Places like White Island and Mantigue Island made our day so super relaxing. I don’t know how to explain but these two islands were so perfect to me.

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at Mantigue Island with view of Camiguin behind us.

    From the literally white pure powdered sand to super crystal clear water, as you could see the sea bed very clearly even some fishes beneath it. Volcanic views in the background played a big role as it was perfect for photography as what we definitely did. We really fell inlove and hooked-up by these islands of Camiguin.

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🙂

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at Mantigue Island.

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view of Camiguin from White Island.

   On this day, we witnessed and enjoyed the amazing scenery of these two islands, doing such unlimited swimming, and snorkeling were among the activities. Due to a long stay in the mentioned islands, we had our late lunch at Fishpen Lagoon Zipline. The ambiance of the resto is good, it looks like a native resto with a floating cottage within lagoon on the front view where many breeds of fishes were taking care of. Their food tasted so great, we had these pork sinegang and chopsuey along side with buko juice drink for the refreshments.

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at Fishpen Lagoon.

   After we re-energized ourselves, we next witnessed the shelter farm of gigantic breed of ostriches in Mahinog the Provincial Animal Breeding and Ostrich Production Center. We met the caretaker (I forgot his name) feeding those ostriches with feeds on his hand and offered us to try it too, but not fortunate on having a guts as we saw those big beaks almost bitten the hands of this feeder.

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feeding the Ostrich at Ostrich farm 🙂

   In the late afternoon, we also visited the spot where the giant clams is located. Unluckily, we’re almost tired and exhausted on swimming and snorkeling activities from our island touring and so we didn’t have enough energy to do a snorkel to witness the largest clam in the Philippines which is 30-feet underwater. Instead, we observed the exhibit display in the off-shore where some numbers of different clams were taking care by the locals.

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big clams taking care at Giant Clams Sanctuary in Guinsilban Camiguin.

   We learned some infos and trivias from one of the clams care taker such as the characteristics of different clams as well as the giant clam found within the area. We ended the day with weariness but had a big smile in our faces because of our wonderful day trip.

Day 4

   We started our day 4 with pasalubong shopping activity in the nearby area of our accommodation. I think these pasalubong shops in the nearby area of Pabualan Cottage (along the entry point of boat terminal bound to White Island in Brgy. Yumbing) are the cheapest among other shops in the province. We already tried surveying the province regarding on the items prices such as the tees, sando, and other souvenir items which were almost located in all tourist spot of Camiguin, and to found out that in Yumbing  were the most practical shops to be patronize. This is due to a  reasonable price that vary depend on the kind of tee cloth, design and color, as well as with other pasalubong stuffs.

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Pasalubong shops along Brgy. Yumbing near the entry point bound to White Island.

    Tees would cost around Php100-Php150, there were so many designs you could choose same as with key chains and ref magnets. Also we spotted this Vjandep bakeshop along Plaridel street in Mambajao where Camiguin’s well-known delicacy, pastel (a tiny bun filled with flavored yema cream inside on it), would be found. With a reasonable price of Php130 for a dozen of pastel, we didn’t hesitate to buy 6-dozens for pasalubong to Manila friends. Other flavored pastel are ube, cheese, and many more.

   After the pasalubong shopping activity, we finally ended the services of sir Teddy Pabualan  (3-days/2-nights) with good Camiguin tour experience. Last task of our multicab driver which was also included in our tour package was to bring us back to the port but since our scheduled flight going back to Manila will be on the following day, Joanne and I decided to bring us instead to Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin BBC in Balbagon, Mambajao. We were simply amazed with the entrance view of the resort, as in wow! The resort was so clean, equipped with different amenities such as swimming pool, billiards, table tennis, gym, spa and many more.

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have a break, have a game time.

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BBC resto along the seaside.

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swimming pool with the view of Bohol sea.

   Honestly, this resort is a bit pricey as compared to other resorts, however, staying here will make you relax. The place is so peaceful, no noise can be heard aside from the humming of the birds, dancing of the sea waves and blowing of the air from trees. BBC is located in the seaside and best place for a sweet couple doing a romantic lunch with a view of the open sea.

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play venue.

   No wonder that numbers of celebrities like politicians, tv personalities and news anchors were patronizing to stay in this resort. We were welcomed by the staff with free fruits offered to eat and to drink. We availed the standard premium room that cost Php3,400 (the cheapest among other rooms in BBC). We were really relaxed ourselves by utilizing their privilege amenities like playing billiards, table tennis and swimming in the 6-ft pool.

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BBC at night.

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Chill time at BBC seaside.

There’s a restaurant near the pool named Oceanside Bar and Grill which is located within the resort, where wide selections of dishes could be tasted. Filipino, Italian, American, and Continental dishes were among the options. Their foods were great and amazingly delicious.

Day 5

End of Camiguin tour. Travelled back to Manila.

“We killed nothing but time. We stole nothing but precious moments. We took nothing but photographs. We left nothing but footprints. We went back home and brought nothing but happy memories.”

EAT.SLEEP.EXPLORE.repeat.


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5 comments on “Camiguin Island: The Paradise of the South

  1. Kori Patawaran
    August 13, 2014

    Nice blog you have here, nice and easy yet really informative. Hoping I would be able to travel with a boyfriend next time (just sayin, hehe). Can’t wait for our CDO-Camiguin trip next week. Thanks for sharing and cheers to more travels! 🙂

    Like

  2. ian | going places
    March 10, 2015

    Great detailed info of Camiguin Trip… ‘Hope to visit this place soon.

    Like

  3. Rommel Cruz
    September 12, 2015

    Hello there! nice blog you got. Free style and straight forward! Reading this brought me back 2 years ago during a family roadtrip that me and my family called “summercruz2013” wherein camiguin was our last stop! it was really memorable because it was spur of the moment. We spent 3 whole days just exploring, swimming, eating and getting lost in that beautiful island. We brought along tons of stuff including stoves and cooking ware and we went to the market or buy fresh fish along the shore, cooking all our meals not only saved us money but also allowed us more bonding time.
    I would like to thank you for the inspiration and passion you ignite. Obviously you are not a writer, but to be honest with you, Your writing style is a lot more fun and exciting to read because what you say or talk about is unspoiled and can really paint a picture to simple readers like me. Please don’t change your style..
    Well done and Godbless!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. udjetheexplorer
    November 29, 2015

    Thanks for the appreciation and comment Rommel. 🙂

    Like

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