Camiguin Day Tour

Technically, it was a half day tour.

Upon arrival at Benoni Port, our driver for the day Cris (+639268576620, if ever you want to employ him) to us to our first order of business, lunch!

IMG_1416

J&A Fishpen is located in Mahinog, Camiguin. It’s a very short ride from Benoni Port. What makes this place special is you will have the chance to catch your own meal.

IMG_1420

Food is definitely fresh and service is not bad at all. Prepare to have your mouth washed with gingery taste but it is definitely delicious. After a whole morning of traveling, a place like this could really soothe the senses.

IMG_1429

We ordered a bowl of sinigang, gambas-style prawns, and pork sisig (not in photo). What struck me most is that it’s cheap! You won’t get this much food for the same price in Manila!

IMG_1461

Our next stop was Katibawasan Falls. Katibawasan Falls is found in the town of Mambajao, Camiguin. Camiguin has one circumferential highway so following that road will allow you to circle the island.

It’s hidden on the mountains / volcanoes in the middle of the island. It’s really tall and has really cold water. We didn’t swim because the pool is too shallow and you’re not allowed to go to the deeper parts of the pool.

Entrance is cheap at PHP 35.

20151028_155106

Around that area, I found my first Camiguin love, kiping. Kiping is made from cassava flour and then smothered with a lot of coconut jam. It isn’t as brittle as it looks and it is very filling!

One shell costs PHP 10.

IMG_1492

It was getting a bit late but we stopped to enjoy this view. Camiguin countryside is very beautiful. It relaxes you because of the natural air, cool weather, and non-existent pollution.

There were other stops along the way but we didn’t stay that long. Our last stop was the Sunken Cemetery that is in Catarman, Camiguin.

IMG_1518

To get to the Sunken Cemetery, you have to employ boatmen that will bring you to the cross. The price for it is PHP 100 per boat which accommodates at most 6 passengers.

It was really windy at that time so it was a bit scary especially that it’s starting to get dark, the water is a bit deep, and we don’t have life vests on.

IMG_1514

The Sunken Cemetery is a real life cemetery. It was once above the ground but was pushed to the sea when the island gave birth to Mount Vulcan. If conditions were better, they will let us snorkel and see the existing tombstones under the ocean.

To end the day, and to collect the key for our house, we had dinner at Checkpoint Bar.

20151028_185303

To be frank, Camiguin food does not disappoint at all. Their main strength is seafood because of their lifestyle and resources. Prices are definitely cheaper than their counterparts in Manila.

We had seafood curry, chicken and pork adobo, and lechong kawali. The seafood dish had one big crab, a lot shellfish, prawns, fish, and squid. That’s good for three people and costs PHP 300. There can be no deal better than that.

We went home to the Turtle Beach Cottage. It’s a house just in front of the ocean. I had a rocking chair that moves to the tune of the waves and the wind is singing me a lullaby. Life could not get better than that.

Advertisements

Going to Camiguin from Cagayan de Oro

There are a number of ways to get to Camiguin from Cagayann de Oro:

  • Land travel via car
  • Land travel via public transportation
  • Direct ferry from CDO

On our trip we decided to use public transportation because (1) it’s cheaper, (2) you get to experience the Misamis Oriental countryside, and (3) you get to see Northern Mindanao in all its glory.

IMG_1311

To get to Camiguin using public transportation, you have to make your way to the Agora Public Market in Cagayan de Oro. It shouldn’t be hard to find it because it’s a known area and it’s a terminal for buses going to the east of the city.

IMG_1312

To get into the bus terminal, you have to pay a terminal fee of PHP 3. The proceeds of which are used for the maintenance of the terminal itself. You have to get on an air-conditioned bus bound for Butuan (pronounced: Boo-twan – a different pronunciation may mean a different thing) and ask the assistant that you’ll be getting off at Balingoan (pronounced: Ba-ling-wan). There’s also a regular bus (without air-conditioning) that’s also going the same destination. The fare of the air-conditioned bus is PHP 148; and, the fare for the regular one is PHP 85. It’s your choice but I suggest that you take the air-conditioned one for comfort.

IMG_1315

You will get off at Balingoan Market. This shouldn’t be hard because it’s the first stopover of the trip. To get to the port, you get on the highway, walk a few meters on the direction of Butuan-bound buses, and you’ll see the sign welcoming you to the Port of Balingoan.

On the road to the terminal, you’ll see the booth of different ferry / boat companies selling tickets. You should be careful about buying tickets because these have different travel times. Based on the size of the boat, your travel time could extend from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. The fare, though, is standard at PHP 170 regardless of the boat company you choose.

Before entering the port, you’d have to pay the PHP 2 for the environmental fee and PHP 15 for the terminal fee.

IMG_1324

This boat took us a little over an hour and fifteen minutes from Balingoan to Benoni port.

IMG_1337

From the boat, you can see the island of Camiguin.

Ride the boat / ferry to Benoni Port that’s located in the town of Guinsiliban in Camiguin. From there, you can ride a jeepney or multicab (that’s what they call it) to wherever you’re going. Or, for better mobility, rent a multicab beforehand so he can tour you around the island.

If you’re going back to Cagayan de Oro from Camiguin, you can just follow these steps in reverse order.

5D4N CDO-Camiguin-Iligan Itinerary

In 15 days, my friends and I are going on another adventure. This time, we’re going to the Land of Promise, the island of Mindanao. We’ve been to Davao before so we’re exploring the north this time.

Day 1

4:25 AM – ETD of flight via Cebu Pacific

6:00 AM – Arrival in Laguindingan Airport

Rest

12:00 NN – White Water Rafting Adventure

5:00 PM – Tour of CDO

7:00 PM – Dinner

Day 2

5:00 AM – Bus to Balingoan Port

7:00 AM – Ferry to Camiguin Island

8:00 AM – Camiguin Day Tour

5:00 PM – Rest and Dinner

Day 3

8:00 AM – Enjoy the beach of Camiguin

1:00 PM – Ferry to Balingoan Port

2:00 PM – Bus to CDO

4:00 PM – Tour of CDO

7:00 PM – Dinner

Day 4

7:00 AM – Bus to Iligan City

9:00 AM – Tour of Iligan City’s Falls (Tinago Falls / Maria Cristina Falls)

5:00 PM – Bus to CDO

7:00 PM – Dinner

Day 5

9:00 AM – Bus to Laguindingan Airport

11:25 AM – Flight back to Manila via Cebu Pacific

We’re looking for a lot of rest and relaxation so there isn’t a lot of items packed into the trip. We talked about where we want to go and this is the result of that brainstorming.

Do you have suggestions for us?