Camperspoint Philippines

The volcanic island of Camiguin

Tuesday 13 July 2004, by catseye

Camiguin is a small island lying in the north-west coast of Mindanao. It is a volcanic island hosting seven volcanoes of which one of them remains unpredictably active. Mt Hibok-hibok submerged Camiguin’s old capital, Bombon, in 1871 and suffocated almost 2000 inhabitants from its raging eruption in 1951. Since then, the volcano rested quietly giving its inhabitants an assurance of normal living. And due to its volcanic debris from previous eruptions, most of Camiguin’s beaches are covered with pebbles and dark sand.

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Katibawasan Falls, Camiguin

It’s capital, Mambajao, has a friendly small community of mostly Visayan and Chinese origin. Their source of livelihood comes from the produce of their land and the surrounding ocean. Every October, Lanzones Festival transform the island into an explicit sight of towsfolk dressed up in their traditional costumes to celebrate the harvest of this small, sweet tasting, light-yellow fruit that grows in bunches at the foot of Mt. Hibok-hibok. The festival is remarkably good-natured, filled with colors and properly organized.

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Camiguin Lanzones Fruit

Aside from these natural landforms huddling in the island, Camiguin is an area of forested mountains mixed with coconut trees along its coasts. Some stunning waterfalls are also good sights that should not be missed when touring the island.

The best way to enjoy the sights of Camiguin is by motor biking along the 64 km coastal road. Piercing into the dense forests of the island, plunging into the waters of natural pool down of Katibawasan falls and enjoying the warm waters of Ardent hot spring are worthwhile activities. Climbing the famous Mt. Hibok-hibok is tolerated but somehow requires strong endurance and trekking skills. It takes about 6 hours for skilled climbers to reach the summit and it is always advisable to take at least one guide for a hassle-free climb.

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View of Mt. Hibok Hibok, Camiguin from White Island

To get there, check with your travel agents for some route changes. Since the closure of ferries operating from Cagayan City, the only option this time is to cross from Balingoan, north of Cagayan, to Benoni. These boats have regular trips to Camiguin. There are no air transport yet straight to Camiguin. The nearest airport is in Cagayan De Oro.

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