2022: A day in Camiguin Island, Northern Mindanao

For almost a year I’ve been trying to book a passport appointment for myself however all of it were unsuccessful. This year, I had the chance to snatched an appointment but guess where? It’s at Cagayan de Oro!

That means, another adventure awaits for me. Yeyy!

Fast forward to the day, weather’s not cooperating in Cebu. I got worried as I may not be able to fly out but He listened and ta-da! Safely arrived in Cagayan de Oro.

Got nothing to do on my first day as I arrived evening in Cagayan de Oro. I met up with my friend, John (a Couch Surfer: just realized we forgot to take a picture), catch up a bit and ended the night with a smoothie and sandwich (don’t forget to visit the place STATION 29 when in Cagayan de Oro City).

I had a spare day so I chose to visit the island of Camiguin instead of bumming around and wait for Monday.

There are still other people stereotyping female solo traveler but oh well, what can I do? I’m that independent woman whom you can’t easily put down. Haters gonna hate anyway.

Fast forward to the day, Kuya Dodong (tour guide helped me made my Camiguin Island visit worthwhile: +63 926 8681-318)

Just a brief introduction: Camiguin is a small and peaceful island province in the Philippines located in the Bohol Sea off the northern coast of Mindanao. It may be the smallest island in Mindanao and the second smallest province in the Philippines, but it has surprisingly a lot of tourist spots to offer.

You will be able to visit a lot of spots in Camiguin Island for a day but then again, it depends on you on how you’re going to spend time per place and if you’re not in a hurry like me then you may opt to slow it down.

Come Monday, I had my passport appointment. I’m supposed to visit Dahilayan after but weather got on my way telling me to come and visit another time. Basically, day went by so fast. My Airbnb host was so generous that she let me stay until late afternoon to rest and wait for my flight in the evening back to Cebu.

Now back to reality. Uh-oh!

HOW TO GET TO CAMIGUIN ISLAND?

You may fly directly to Camiguin however if there’s a budget constraint then go fly to Cagayan de Oro (usual entry point)

If you’re not gonna stay in Cagayan de Oro then go ride a van to Agora Terminal (P200/ $4)

From Agora Terminal ride a bus or van going to Balingoan Port — you may tell drivers that you’re headed to Camiguin Island (P200/ $4)

From Balingoan Port ride a RO-RO boat to Benoni Wharf, almost an hour boat ride with a free caroling from the seafarers as it’s almost Christmas (roughly $10 including the environmental fee, terminal fee and other fees)

WHERE TO STAY IN CAMIGUIN ISLAND?

As mentioned, I spent only a day at the island, so I’m sure Agoda/ Booking sites will help you find a good place to stay but you may always ask locals around perhaps they can suggest a place for you to stay

WHERE TO EAT IN CAMIGUIN ISLAND?

Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to food places much during my stay. I only ate lunch there somewhere in Mambajao (Quick stop — not sure of the name but food’s great though and prices are reasonable)

WHAT TO DO IN CAMIGUIN ISLAND?

  • Visit the island sand bar – White Island (P600/ $12 boat to the island in less than 10 minutes)
  • Go and see the Sunken cemetery (P100/ $2 to the cemetery itself via boat but if you want to swim or take a picture, all free)
  • Visit the marine protected sanctuary – Mantigue Island (P800/ boat to the island 20-30 minutes) **wasn’t able to visit the place due to limited time
  • Take a dip at Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring and Soda Water Pool (P100/ $2 entrance fee)
  • Visit Katibawasan and Tuasan Falls (P100/ $2 entrance fee for each)
  • Contemplate and hike the walkway — stations of the cross (P20 fee)
  • Check the ruins of the old Gui-ob church and be in awe of the Centennial tree (P50/ $1)

TIPS?

  1. Please see to it to check the weather whenever you go travel
  2. Do not forget to bring a cap, shades, and a sunblock for protection
  3. Research about the place beforehand for you to get a grasp of what the place is like and the possible expenses
  4. Reach out to a friend who has been there or from there
  5. Camiguin do have cash withdrawal machines so do not worry in case you ran out of money however as much as possible please bring extra cash with you
  6. Not sure if there’s motorcycle for rent but plus points if you do know how to ride a motorcycle, roads are beautiful in Camiguin
  7. Buy t-shirt souvenirs in front of the walkway (stations of the cross), it’s cheaper there; for the other items like ref magnet or key chain buy it at the Sunken Cemetery
  8. Do not expect so much in White Island – Camiguin, well it’s a sandbar island however it’s not made of pure sand, too many white sharp pebbles that you need a footwear to walk
  9. The walkway to old volcano and stations of the cross is not well maintained nevertheless the view above is beautiful even though it’s quite far and steep plus uneven rough road
  10. Every spot I went to comes with a prices ranging to P20-P100, please prepare exact amount
  11. If you’re going back to Cagayan de Oro, please check the schedule at the Benoni Wharf before taking that adventure so you won’t be left out
  12. Entering Camiguin, please check Camiguin tourism first as I did registered myself before going. They still have travel protocols to follow
  13. If you’re in Cagayan de Oro going to Camiguin, do not go early at the bus/ van terminal. Less buses going to Balingoan Port and Van usually departs almost 5 in the morning or depends if there are lots of tourist during your visit
  14. First time in Cagayan de Oro? Stay somewhere in Corrales Avenue, it’s nearby to all places: malls, restaurants, coffee shops, terminal, restobars
  15. Laguindingan Airport is an hour away from Cagayan de Oro City, do not worry there are shuttle vans that will take you there for P200 ($4) per way or if you opt to stay somewhere like in Iligan, there are shuttle services there as well

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