Camiguin is indeed a small island. It is small enough that runners try – and often succeeds - in conquering the 64 kilometer road that goes around the island while being bewitched by volcanoes, mountainous terrain and the spectacle of the ocean. Camiguin immediately captivates and I can only wish that the island’s simplicity remains forever and that somehow I should have discovered it years before.
|Camiguin's Contryside - a fusion of blues and greens|
Camiguin’s countryside seems to be a fusion of green consisting of lush forests and vegetation while the ocean surrounding it provides a bluish contrast. With its volcanoes, Camiguin has been blessed with waterfalls, hot and cold springs, challenging mountains, white sand beaches and lavish underwater marine life. Its natural wonders are further complemented by historical and religious sites and relics.
|Ardent Hot Spring|
While a day is more than enough to travel the whole island, it is not enough to fully enjoy what Camiguin can offer. It practically has everything any traveler would like to see and experience. But as we explore Camiguin, it is like racing against time to be able to see and enjoy what used to be fresh, clean and simple.
|Sto. Nino Cold Spring|
After breakfast and after appreciating Paras Beach Resort coupled with a few quick rest on the hammock, it is time to head for the day’s “Camiguin Countryside Tour” courtesy of e-Philippines Travel. Our tour with e-Philippines has been doing great so far. The moment we arrived at the airport in Mambadjao, our driver was already there for the drop-off at Paras and patiently waited for us to do the tour.
We toured the whole of Camiguin. In other words, we went around the island. Our first sudden stop was a fruitless Lanzones tree along the road. In this kind of road trips it is not unusual for the driver of the van, car or jeepney to take the role of a tourist guide, thus our driver whose name I can no longer recall acted as one.
Our driver’s and tourist guide stories about how volcanoes have formed Camiguin awed us. It was nice to know how volcanoes or mountains have created a very amazing island. While in transit and excited for our next destination, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction on how Mt. Hibok Hibok’s vent and crater shifted to a new location.
As we have expected, Camiguin is generally clean with very few garbage on the streets. The drive around the island is an escape from that horrendous traffic of Metro Manila. We moved around in ease. While the van is moving fast, Camiguin seemed to be in a slow state - but in a good way. Yet facets of urbanism can be seen in some tourist spots such as in the Sto. Nino Cold Springs, Catarman Church Ruins and the Sunken Cemetery where settlers are definitely a vain to the area’s sanctity.
We enjoyed Ardent Hot Spring and Katibawasan Falls – the former being reminiscent of hot springs in Laguna and the latter a great prelude to similar majestic waterfalls of Mindanao. White Island and its beautiful sunset ended our tour - definitely an experience to remember!