Monthly Archives: August 2014

Camiguin: Ostrich Breeding Farm

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Our next stop after our lunch at J & A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant was Camiguin’s Provincial Animal Breeding and Ostrich Production Center.  This is said to be the only facility in the country that breeds ostriches.

Here’s how the facility looks like:

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Entrance fee was only at Php 5.  After paying this, the caretakers told me that I was free to roam the farm by myself.

Of course, my first stop was to the enclosure where the ostriches were kept.

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Some ostrich facts:

  • They are the largest flightless bird in existence.
  • They can only kick forward.
  • They do not have teeth and often swallow pebbles or sand to help with food digestion in the gizzard.
  • They are able to go without water for several days due to the fact that they can survive on the moisture from plants instead.
  • They are capable of making their own water internally.
  • They can be ridden, but it is a lot trickier than riding a horse.

For more ostrich facts, click HERE.

As I watched them ran to where I was, I couldn’t help but be amused at how their face seemed to be smiling.  See?

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Still, I was afraid to reach out to them for fear of getting pecked (as a child, I experienced being chased and pecked by a turkey, Ouch!).

I love animals and though it was not my first time to see an ostrich (Cebu’s Bigfoot used to have them), it was my first time to get up close to them so this was quite an experience for me.  I’m sad though, that it was not breeding season when I went there so I was not able to see  and hold an ostrich egg.

Aside from ostriches, the farm is also home to other farm animals like cows, turkeys, pigs, chicken, goats, and ducks.

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I did enjoy my short visit here and it is mainly because I love animals and grew up in my sister’s farm where the same animals save the ostriches were cared for, but I hope that improvements will be in place soon.  That is, they make the experience more interactive by having the caretakers/vets conduct the tour themselves while giving out quick facts about each animal.

I wish too that the animals will always be well taken care of as I noticed a couple of cows that were thin.

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I also couldn’t help but think that there’s no need for these animals to be roped off since they were already in an enclosed area.  Why not let them roam free as they’re supposed to?

Before I left, I shared my sentiments to the caretakers.  I just hope they listened and took action.

Camiguin: J & A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant and Tanguines Lagoon

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Camiguin’s Tanguines Lagoon is a man-made lagoon that features limpid blue water and, when viewed from the main road, gently rolling hills at its foreground.  It has a zipline too (note the wire in the succeeding photo).

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I did not come here to do the zipline, or to go fishing, which is another popular activity when in the lagoon.  I came here to eat lunch at J & A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant.

I loved the entrance of the restaurant.  I don’t know what the hanging roots-like plant and hanging leaves are called, but they make the entrance interesting.

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Ambience-wise, I loved the idea that there were individual cottages on stilts overlooking Tanguines Lagoon.  I also appreciated the fact that the place was not packed with diners when we were there.

For my lunch, I ordered fish kinilaw (ceviche), shrimp (half a kilo was fried and the other half was made into sinigang), rice, and a liter of coke.

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The serving was generous and even for two people, it was a lot.  I loved my kinilaw and sinigang, but I was disappointed with the fried shrimp because it was overcooked and too oily.  Still, it was one good lunch.

 While waiting for my bill, I wandered around and took photos.  Here are my favorites.

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I loved looking at the placid blue waters.  I would have loved to go fishing, but our tight schedule did not permit as to linger here.

J & A Fishpen is located in Tanguines Lagoon, Benoni, Mahinog, Camiguin.

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Contact them via +63 919 753 8999 or +63 88 387 4408.  Note that for those who will not dine in the restaurant, a Php 5 entrance fee applies.

Camiguin: Giant Clam Sanctuary and Kibila White Beach

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These attractions are next to each other and located in Barangay Cantaan in Guinsiliban, Camiguin’s smallest municipality.  Both are managed by Cantaan Centennial Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CCMPC) .

Entrance fee is only Php 25, which already includes an educational tour of the clam sanctuary.  Note that this tour is done only around a man-made pool where some clams are housed.  If you want to view the clams on their natural habitat, you have to pay an additional fee of Php 150.

Here are all applicable charges (bottom left) when in the island, as well as some reminders.

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I couldn’t help but be amused at the PDA (Public Display of Affection) and morality notices.  They’re everywhere, from the entrance to the garden to the trees by the beach!

At the same time, I was sad at how some people do not respect the culture and norms of the people in their destination and worse, at how some destroy this destination by taking away its flora or fauna.  In this case, a foreigner and his Filipina girlfriend were banned at the sanctuary for collecting cowries (upper right photo in the above collage).

On the way to sanctuary, we passed by this beautiful view of a coconut-lined beachfront.

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At the sanctuary, I was shown a pool with clams.  Here, my teenage guide enthusiastically explained everything she knows about them.  I remembered 2 things:  One, that Giant Clams are the largest mollusks on earth (they can reach 4 feet and weigh more than 500 pounds) and two, they mature as males then eventually become hermaphrodites.

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Further reading as I was working on this blog revealed that once a giant clam settles onto an area on the reef, it remains in the same spot for the rest of its life.   All giant clams are also in a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, algae that feed off the clam’s waste and makes food for the clams using the energy from the sun.

All around the pools are shells displayed on driftwood, which initially made me sad as I thought they harvested all those clams to come up with this, but one of the ladies from the cooperative explained that these clams actually died because of typhoons that struck their island.  She said they decided to gather them for display purposes in a showroom that was still under construction during my visit.

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The same lady added that once their showroom is done, they will add identification tags and quick facts about the different clam species that can be seen in the island.

After I was done discovering what I could about clams, we walked to nearby Kibila White Beach (often mistaken for Kabila, but I asked the locals and they said it’s Kibila).

It’s a beautiful beach with white-yellow sand (coarser than Mantigue’s and White Island’s) and clear, blue-green waters.  I was there on a weekday so I was again lucky to have the beach by myself.

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Kibila White Beach is one tranquil beach.  There were no waves and the water just looked so calm and inviting.

I spent quite some time here just resting underneath the shade of trees that lined the beachfront.

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For those interested to stay here for a long time, or go on a picnic, there are tables for rent (upper left photo in the succeeding collage).  The beach is a popular snorkeling site so they also offer snorkeling sets for rent.

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Do you see the big rocks at the far end of the photo on the right?  Ever the adventurer, I climbed over them and was very happy to see this view.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Here’s a collage of more photos from the same vantage point.  I loved how the rocks and tree branches framed the beautiful view of the blue sky and the bluer sea.

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Once I had completely crossed over the rocks, the view was just a beautiful!

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This part of the beach is actually a fenced-off portion (upper right photo) so the only way to get here is to go over those big rocks, which was quite a challenge, since some of the rocks were slippery, but I didn’t mind.  Who would when after your trouble, you will be rewarded with this fantastic view?

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This is one Camiguin destination that’s worth visiting so make sure to drop by here when you’re in the island born of fire.