CAMIGUIN: MANTIGUE ISLAND
*It is the island “Born of Fire” with 7 volcanoes and part of “The Pacific Ring of Fire”.
*It is the second smallest province in the Philippines by population and land area.
*It is the home of sweetest lanzones and Lanzones Festival every 3rd week of October.
*Mt. Hibok-hibok, an active volcano is a protected landscape that has been declared as ASEAN Heritage Park.
Behind me are Camiguin’s two highest: Mt. Timpoong and Mt. Mambajao as seen from the other side of the island on a sunrise.
From Laguindingan Airport/ Cagayan de Oro, ride a van to Agora market (200 Php). Take a bus or van (150-200Php) to Balingoan Port for around two hours. The Ferry port is just walking distance from Balingoan Terminal. We preferred to sleep at the nearest vintage homestay right at the terminal to catch the next day’s first trip. Trips are between 4:00 AM to 6:00 PM so it is possible to enjoy a sweet escape of daytrip itinerary for the busy people.
A. Balingoan Port to Benoni Port (5:45 AM to 6:00 PM): Heading to Camiguin
B. Benoni Port to Balingoan Port (4:00 AM to 6:00 PM): Return to mainland
Get on board for (150Php); the Balingoan Ferry to Benoni, Camiguin travel time is more or less 2 hours. Ride a multi-cab to where you are headed. Standard tour is 250Php depending on your itinerary. Their cute multi-cab has a seating capacity of 12 persons.
MANTIGUE ISLAND: On the other side of the province is a marine declared sanctuary with white sand beach and full-grown-mangroves located 2-3 km off-coast Camiguin. Mantigue Island is just a 20-minute-boat ride from the mainland. Some people refer to it as Magsaysay island. The island is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is best to bring packed food to enjoy the island fully. However, caretakers offer freshly caught fish at a reasonable price.
Hibok-hibok Volcano and Mt. Vulcan in the background as seen from the adjacent island.
Other places to visit are: Gui-ob Old Church Ruins, Sunken Cemetery, Clam Sanctuary, White Island, Mt. Hibok Hibok Ardent Hot Spring, Sto. Nino Cold Spring and Katibawasan Falls.
Must take home pasalubongs: VjANDEP Pastel ((pronounced with silent “j”) this box of bread stuffed with creamy, sweet yema is perfect with coffee. Don’t forget to try the unique locally produced Lanzones Wine.
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea!”