Camiguin is one of the smallest islands here in Pinas, second only to Batanes Island (smallest) in land area. Camiguin has 5 municipalities namely Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Mambajao (the capital) and Sagay. It’s the home of Lanzones Festival held annually in October and Mt. Hibok-Hibok, still an active volcano that last erupted in 1953.
I was fortunate to have met a friend who has friends in Camiguin. We went there for the Holy Week which is one of the most anticipated events in Camiguin. Pinoys and tourists come here to meditate and relax especially on Holy Week. By then, the twelve stations of the cross are all wind up around the island. You can go around the island for a day and visit all the twelve stations. Some come here for the sun and water. Camiguin is a unique island for the fact that it’s an island in Mindanao, has an active volcano and lots of beautiful white sand beaches. Aside from the beaches, it has waterfalls, cold spring and hot spring. Fun, fun, and fun all in one island.
The first spot that we went to is the Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross in Catarman since it was the Holy Week. This is actually the Mt. Vulcan Daan that erupted in 1871 and which now has stations of the cross. It’s not that hard to reach the summit where the last station is located because stairs were built for easy access. Just a tip though – this is not for the faint-hearted and if you do want to reach the last station, bring water with you.
The entrance to The Walkway To The Old Volcano and Stations of The Cross
The stations of the cross light up just before dark
There are actually two waterfalls that I heard of in Camiguin. One is Tuasan falls in Catarman that we didn’t visit because it’s not easily accessible by vehicle. You have to trek and pass through Barrio Mainit in Catarman. The other one is Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao which is a really spectacular waterfall. The water goes into a icy rock pool and it’s perfect for those hot, summer days. It’s accessible by any vehicle and you won’t get lost because the government installed signs/directions going to the waterfalls.
On our way to…
The icy rock pool
We also visited the Ardent Hot Spring which is still in Mambajao. This is a perfect spot for those weary travelers who seek relaxation. This is your natural jacuzzi and is very therapeutic. There’s also a man-made swimming pool called Soda Water Swimming Pool and i don’t know why it’s called like that. Probably to attract attention. It’s water is cold and the scenic mountain landscape is yours to enjoy. There’s also a cold spring in Camiguin called Sto. Nino Cold Spring in Catarman if you want the opposite of hot. It’s your choice, really. Camiguin has it all.
This way to…
Ardent Hot Springs
Soda Water Swimming Pool
Camiguin has another tiny island beside it which is named Mantigue Island and is a part of Mahinog. This island is accessible by pump boat from San Roque, Mahinog. There’s no electricity and water in the island so you better pack a lot of food and water if you want to stay there for the night. I’ve seen a lot of starfish and sea urchins in the island and it’s a very good spot for snorkelling. Another island across Mambajao is White Island which doesn’t need any introduction because it’s really, really famous. It changes its shape from the letter C to letter I depending on the tide. You can also see Mt. Hibok-Hibok from here.
Land Ho! Mantigue Island
Just keep walking…
…in Mantigue Island
Camiguin is also known for the Sunken Cemetery in Catarman which sunk in the volcanic eruption of Mt Vulcan Daan in 1871. Its Cross Marker was installed in 1982 to mark the Sunken Cemetery. This place is actually one of the best dive spots in Camiguin and in Pinas.
The Cross Marker of…
Sunken Cemetery. Cool eh?
Remnants of the said eruption can also be seen in the ruins of the Gui-ob Church also known as Catarman Ruins. It’s located just a few minutes away from the Sunken Cemetery.
The Gui-ob Church Ruins or…
…simply the Catarman Ruins
The biggest and tallest tree that i can find in Camiguin
A white lighthouse near the ruins that adds romanticism to a historical place at night
There’s more to discover in Camiguin but i’ll leave it up to my next trip.
An old parola (lighthouse) in Mambajao
Photo Credits except those with copyright labels: Al and Marlone