“Envelope patriotism and nationalism good enough to stay within thy country”
Features: Sunken Cemetery, Gui-Ob Church Ruins, Bura Soda Water, Tuasan Falls, Sto Nino Cold Spring, CheckPoint, Ardent Hot Spring, Vjandep Pastel, Luna Ristorante and White Island
Part 2 of our Cagayan de Oro – Camiguin – Bukidnon Backpacking Trip: Beast Mode Itinerary
Part 1: Cagayan de Oro Article: http://lenlenmanlalayag.com/2015/10/07/cagayan-de-oro-less-than-24-hour-adventure/
The WHITE RAFTING experience in Cagayan de Oro lifted our spirit so high that we do no longer want to stop this madness. After more than 24 hours of sleepless escapade from my office to our ordeal in CDO, I finally succumb in slumber. Wake up call 0330, finished the pack and head out to Agora Bus Terminal to catch a trip to Balingoan Port. From Sogo to Agora, we took tricycle for Php10.00 per pax for a 5-minute ride. You can take van or bus bound to Butuan to the port. Van fare cost Php120.00.
From Agora to Balingoan Port take 1 hour and 30 minutes – 2 hours travel time. We took off around 0500 and made it on time for 0630 Ferry Ride to Port Benoni in Camiguin. Fare cost Php 180.00 and Php 2.00 terminal fee. Gates open on time, ferry is consist of 3 decks (ground deck for vehicles, 2 decks for passengers) we set ourselves in the uppermost deck. The ferry sail away around 0715. It was my first time to ride RORO (Roll On Roll Off), it was not fancy and slow. It took 1 hour and 30 minutes travel time. The sky is gloomy all throughout because of the typhoon hitting Northern Philippines.
We reached Benoni Port around 0900, the weather is just right even though the sun seems to be sullen that day. Regardless, this will be the marked of our Camiguin Escapade. The island is brimming green and Mt Hibok-hibok is just around the corner, the diversity of the island seems to be maintained properly by its government and locals. From Benoni Port, we ride a multicab to Mambajao Terminal where our habal-habal (motorcycle) is waiting for us to start our tour. We met Kuya Nilo, fancy he look like goon from an action movie. Hehe. Our contact Kuya Ramil wasn’t able to accommodate us because he have larger group guest to tour. But, he was calling us throughout the tour and always asked if we are enjoying our trip. Kuya Rodel Contact: 09362494760 Php 800.00 for Camiguin Habal-habal Tour which is good for 3.
From Mambajao, I took the most uncomfortable motorcycle ride of my life for 30 minutes. My bag is pulling me back and my back is getting numb. Still, need to endure it until we reached our inn. Camellia Home Stay, a decent inn with air-condition for Php 600.00 per night good for 3-4 with queen size bed and extra bed. There was no electricity when we arrived so we we did notice that the bathroom was dusty which infuriate my couple buddies. Beast mode when it comes to cleanliness. Haha! They were annoyed until the stay last. After setting our pack down, we change clothes and hit the road to our OFFICIAL CAMIGUIN TOUR!!
First stop, Sunken Cemetery. The enveloping feeling surrounding me, as a child I see this view through the movie scene and now glancing it LIVE. It’s also my first encounter with Camiguin Lansones which cost Php 18.00 – 25.00 per kilo here. As I chomped down my fruits, I marveled myself with the Cross in the middle of the sea and underneath is the cemetery swollen my earthquake due to Mt Hibok- Hibok eruption. Nature indeed create what it wanted. The cross is a commemorative symbol of the sunken cemetery.
Next, Gui-Ob Church Ruin. Almost pulverized by volcanic eruption. The church foundation still stand on its ground.
Imagining this powerful structure as a solid Catholic Church near a cliff and with astonishing view of the sea will make you want to travel time to experience the grand architecture.
Catholic influence is very upright in Camiguin even though its part of Mindanao. Islamic influence is minimal unlike in Cagayan de Oro.
The rain pours as we head to Bura Soda Water Resort. The resort is very clean, entrance fee cost Php 30.00. They will not asked for nipa hut rent if you are just going to swim for a few minutes. It was getting colder but the water is inviting but I skip the chance though. It was getting late, we need to rush to cover the other sites we need to see. We are curious about the soda water.
According to the staff, its a carbonate water that springs from the mountains. They were very accommodating with our questions about it. They also gave us a bottle of soda water, it was not that carbonated like Sprite. Haha. It’s like Sprite in a bottle kept open for three days.
In a hype, laughing all the way to Katibawasan or Tuasan falls. Mild rain shower on our faces did not matter. The entire town is covered with lush coconut and lanzones plantations. It was pretty sight to capture.
Camiguin is winning my heart all the way! There is no entrance fee in Tuasan nor donation box, you just need to register. On the entrance we bought KIPING for Php 6.00 with caramelize coconut sauce on it. The awesome taste of sweet and crunchy taste of KIPing will KEEP you here.
Unfortunately, we were unable buy another one because we’re always on a run. The falls is majestic standing tall and mighty. The water is cold like feelings towards my ex boyfriend. LOL! We tried to swim but the water is ice-cold, we decide to skip another dip.
The highway and traffic system in Camiguin is 95% success! Truly nice for a road trip. We head to Sto Nino Cold Spring Resort. Entrance Fee is Php 30.00, tube rental is Php 20.00 and souvenir shops are available here. This time we swim and the cold will punch you in your gut at first dip but it will eventually dissipates after a few minutes. The water is crystal clear, no chlorine and its flowing water. It was worth the try to freshen us up from non-stop road trip. Time check: 1230. Buchi for breakfast and water from the Bura landed on my stomach. I am hungry and its time to take our breakfast/lunch.
Backpacking Tips: If your planning a road trip with swimming activities. Make sure your geared up with clothes that dries fast so that there is no need to switch clothes which will consume time. E.g. Rash Guard, Dry-fit shirts/shorts, sports leggings, trekking pants/shorts and shawl to dry your hair.
Before taking our lunch, we were notified that boat trips to White Island is only up until 1500. It’s already 1400, it was not anticipated this is due to high waves. We decide to move the White Island trip on the next day which actually delay us big time on our itinerary. Anyway, we made it even though time constrict us cruelly. For now, its time to eat and feed this voracious tummy.
Lunch at CheckPoint, it’s bar restaurant beside Luna Ristorante. We ordered Shrimp Sinigang, Calamares and Sizzling Squid with tons of rice to quenched our famished souls. They have big servings enough to feed the 4 of us. Food expense around Php 300-500.00 which is good for 2. After the humongous meal, we continue our trip.
Arriving in Ardent Hot Spring, both awesome and sleepy at the same time. Entrance fee cost Php 30.00, the spring was just right for our tired and cold bodies. The warmth that you wanted when your about to collapse from food coma and lack of sleep. Guests list is full due to touring college students, the right field trip by rich universities.
The pools consist of 4 parts; 2 mini pools and 2 large pools. The shouts of youngsters remind me of my own school trip way back in college. Anyway, the spring water was warm enough and made us instantly comfortable. The cold wintry air will electrified you once you get out of the water! Haha
We finished our day in Camiguin at 1700. We went back to on our inn, there still no electricity. I always bring my head lamp wherever I go on a trip. It was very useful because power outage is still issue in the Philippines.
The day trip ended quickly, after taking my nap and washed up. Our contact Kuya Ramil, sells us Lansonez for Php 150.00 for 8 kilos for our pasalubong. Very cheap compare but the ordeal is to travel along with the Lansonez. Hehe!! We went to Luna Ristorante for our dinner. We ordered pizza and seafood pasta. The brick oven pizza is really good, the crust was just right and it was not that oily type of pizza. Olive oil, pepper, salt and hot sauce condiments are available. Dinner is done and we found ourselves back to our inn for a good night sleep.
I woke up around 0530, changed to swimming attire and walk to the bay for our boat ride to White Island. It was a good thing we were near Paras to catch the early boat ride to White Island.
One boat cost Php 450.00 good for 4-6 pax and Php 20.00 environmental fee. We were able to ride with a group consist of 3 and settled for a 2 hour stay. They will need to catch a plane ride and we need to go back early in CDO for our Dahilayan Park Tour. We rented snorkeling gears and life vest for Php 150.00. I highly discourage renting snorkeling gear because there are no coral reefs in White Island. Phew!
We arrive in White Island around 0615. The vendors are settling their stores when we arrive and few groups are ahead of us. The sun is peaking slowly across the sky and the beautiful Mt Hibok-Hibok is just as grand along the sea. It was high tide, the famous sand bar is not showing.
Regardless, it was splendidly pretty and lucky enough to get the morning sun. We bought sea urchin from a local vendor, Php 50.00 for 3 yummy seafood with vinegar. We swim along the waves and marvel until it was time to go back. Before we left the entire island is jam-packed with groups and it was not a pretty sight. You need to be very early before its CROWDED.
We need to catch the 0930 ferry ride to Balingoan Port, otherwise we will be too late to take our Bukidnon ride. From Paras to Mambajao via Tricycle took a good 30 minutes for Php 10.00. We purchase Vjandep Pastel for Php 120.00 per box (dozen) before taking the van to Benoni Port, fare cost Php 30.00. Arriving at 0930, we were able to catch the Ferry ride on time. Reaching Balingoan Port at 1130, catch another van to CDO without further a do. We ride an old filthy Starex Van to CDO for Php 100.00 in 80-120 kph. With this I end our Camiguin tour, next will be our whirlwind romance in Bukidnon. Happy Yippee Yey!!
Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copright
Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.