Tag Archives: Beach

Camiguin: Mantigue Island

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Located about 3.5. kilometers off the coast of Camiguin, this 4-hectare island features a forest, a white sand beach and a fishing village.  This is a must-see when in Camiguin because as you can tell from the succeeding photos, it offers exquisite views of the sun, the sand, and the sea.  That and of volcanoes with the blue waters at its feet.

Entrance to the island is at Php 20, while boat rental is at Php 550.  Here are photos of scenes taken from Mahinog, the jump-off point to Mantigue Island.  It’s mostly a mangrove-laden place with brownish sand.  I’ve also included a photo of all applicable rates when in the island.

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All these boats are waiting for tourists to bring to the island.  Tip, which is something I got from my guide, Kuya Criz:  Come early so that when you arrive at Mantigue, it’s not crowded with tourists (we were in Mahinog before 9 AM and true enough, I was their first tourist for the day).

These photos were taken en route to the island.  From afar, I could tell that the island is lush and has a long stretch of white sand.

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Mantigue is beautiful!  From the moment I arrived, I loved seeing the vivid blue waters with the outline of volcanoes as their backdrop.

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I loved its powdery white sand too.  And yes, I super loved the fact that when I was there, I had the whole island to myself (save for some locals)!

From the boat drop off to the island’s tourist information center, which is located in the center of the island, there were these welcome signs.  The view from the main arc was particularly beautiful.

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At the tourist information center is where the island’s tourist facilities like tables and sheds are located.  And yes, they do have decent comfort rooms here.

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Tip:  Kuya Ikoy, my tour guide in this island (see photo and his ID), was really so funny, knows the island so well and is a good photographer.  Request for him if you can, but be ready to be asked to climb trees, do a jump-shot and stuff when he takes your photos (see my collage of photos below).

Our first stop was the forest.  Kuya Ikoy pointed at trees and their names and uses (sorry, I wasn’t taking down notes so I couldn’t recap what he said, but I did take photos of what’s there).

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Note that since the local government is still working on improving the island’s nature park, not all trees are properly identified/labeled when we were there.

When we exited the forest, I was greeted by the beautiful view of blue-green waters lapping against a long stretch of white sand.  The coastline was dotted with pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) and other trees (the main photo at the beginning of this post was of my favorite view from here).

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This is where I spent most of my time at the island primarily because I enjoyed taking photos and secondly, because Kuya Ikoy kept on asking me to pose so I can have my photos taken.  LOL.

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Here are more photos taken from the same site, but at different vantage points:

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Our next stop is the fishing village where the most that I saw were some houses, fishing boats and fishing nets, and one fisherman at work.

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Note that as per my guides Kuya Ikoy and Kuya Criz, the local government is actually working on having the inhabitants of the island relocated since it was claimed that the growing population in the area is the primary cause of Mantigue Island’s degradation, but there are a few who resisted and refused to leave.  They’re still in a lockdown legal-wise so until this is settled, they were allowed to stay here.

On our way back to the island’s tourist center, we passed by the island’s glass bottom boat, which made a good focal point against the volcano behind it (lower right photo).

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Before we left the island, I took these photos and bid goodbye to Kuya Ikoy.

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Just beautiful!  Definitely one of the country’s islands that is worth visiting and going back to.

Camiguin: Sights and Sites from Day 1

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taken en route to Sto. Niño Cold Spring

Aside from seeing the Walkway to the Old Volcano, Sto. Niño Cold Spring, Tuasan Falls and White Island, which I have blogged about individually, here are bits and pieces of the sights I saw and the sites I visited during day 1 of my trip to Camiguin.

Old Vulcan
We had a quick stopover at the National Road to view the Old Vulcan and beach.

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Here, I was amazed at how tall the coconut trees were!

Bura Soda Water Park
This was touted as the one and only in the country where you can swim to a pool of soda water, but I read from various blogs that the name was just a misnomer because the water here does not taste like soda at all.

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Note that this was closed for maintenance and refill when I was there so I only took photos from its gate.

Guiob Church Ruins
This was built sometime in the 16th century.  Here, one can see ruins of a bell tower (upper right photo), ruins of a convent (center photo), and a century old tree beside the ruins o the convent (upper left photo).

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Entrance here is free, though there’s donation box if you want to give something to the community.

Lanzones (Lansium parasiticum)
Outside the ruins are some locals selling souvenirs and since I had been wanting to taste their lanzones (Camiguin is the Philippines’ lanzones capital), I bought 3 kilos for only Php 100.  Wow.  A hundred pesos for a kilo?  That’s really quite a bargain as elsewhere, lanzones is sold at Php 40-50 per kilo and they’re not even as sweet!

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Note that these lanzones photos were not taken at the ruins.  I chanced upon this tree en route to Tuasan Falls so I asked Kuya Criz to stop so I could take photos.  The photo on the upper right, though, is the photo of the lanzones I bought outside the ruins.

Sunken Cemetery
This large cross marks a cemetery swept into the sea by Old Vulcan Daan’s eruption in 1871.  This is perhaps Camiguin’s most famous attraction (it’s always featured in their brochures and my image of Camiguin has always been one of a beach with a giant cross).

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Note that there’s no entrance fee if you will be just by the viewdeck, but if you want to go to the cross itself, you can rent a banca for Php 100.  I chose not to do this since we were in a rush to get to White Island as Kuya Criz said there’s a cut-off for bancas going there.

More Sights and Sites
Whenever I travel, I make it a point that I’m comfortable so I always charter a vehicle for my tours.  One of its conveniences is that I can always ask the driver to stop by somewhere that has taken my fancy so that I can take photos.

Here are random photos from Day 1, which is of anything from a coconut-dotted beach to coconut-lined roads, to one dramatic leave-less trees with branches that extend towards the beach.

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I’ll end this post with a photo of Camiguin’s most known attraction.

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Surreal and serene, isn’t it?

Camiguin: White Island

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White Island is perhaps Camiguin’s best known beach.  With Mt. Hibok-Hibok as its backdrop, it is one picturesque uninhabited island.

Most people come here in the morning but my guide, Kuya Criz, suggested that we come here in the afternoon because then, it would be low tide so the sandbar is bigger.  Note that going to the island is dependent on weather and tide conditions.

After paying Php 420 as entrance and banca fees, we set sail to the famed White Island.  I loved it at first sight.  It was such a long stretch of sandbar (the longest that I’ve seen so far) surrounded by clear blue-green waters.

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When I alighted from my chartered banca, I was pleased to discover that its sand was fine, though still not as fine as Boracay’s.

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The best part about this visit?  White Beach was not crowded at all!  I counted only about half a dozen bancas and maybe only a dozen tourists.

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Kuya Criz was right.  Not only was it low tide in late afternoon, but there were so few people it was easy to find my own secluded spot and just watch the world pass me by while listening to some music  (I would have preferred listening to the crashing waves but the waves here were just gently  lapping against the shore, frothy, and almost soundless).

I didn’t feel like swimming so I just took as many photos of Mt. Hibok Hibok at different angles.  I loved watching the sea and the sand at its feet.

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I had fun too writing my name on the sand and doing my best to photograph it before the crashing waves could erase it.

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The sight of docked bancas was also beautiful to look at, especially since they’re colored yellow, white, blue, or red, thus blending well with the sea’s azure color.

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At around 5:30 PM, our respective banca drivers told us that it’s time to head back because once darkness settled, it would be quite a challenge to make our way back to shore.  Hearing this made me sad as I could already see the sky with streaks of yellow-orange and was looking forward to sunset.

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But safety always comes first so I grudgingly followed my guide.

Here’s a collage of how the island looked like as we were leaving.

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Our ride back was interesting because I could see the sun gradually setting and painting the sun in vivid shades of red and yellow.  It was beautiful!

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Here’s my favorite sunset photos:

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Isn’t it beautiful to look at the sun meeting the sea in the horizon?

Camiguin: Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross

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This was my first activity when I visited Camiguin late last year (yeah, I know, this is another late post, but since I juggle an 8-5 job, crafting, traveling, and reading books with blogging, I am always pressed for time).  But I promise I’ll catch up, fingers crossed.

As mentioned in this post, I was here as a solo traveler as to travel alone is one of the items in my wish list.

Camiguin is the Philippines’ second-smallest province.  It is an island province on the northern coast of the Mindanao archipelago known for its waterfalls, volcanoes and natural springs.  It is also dubbed the country’s Lanzones (Lansium parasiticum) capital.  I chose it for my solo travel since I read somewhere that it has almost zero crime rate.

I arrived in Camiguin at about 10 AM.  Since it was still too early to check in, I decided to tour the island first.  My tour guide was Kuya Criz (mobile number +63906 927 2420) who I found through a friend’s blog.  The tour cost me Php 1,250 per day (regular rate is at Php 1,500).  I was given a Php 500 discount since I booked him for 2 days.  Note that in Camiguin, as regulated by the local government, transportation and tour costs are uniform regardless of where you inquired/booked.  This is really convenient since you’re assured that you’re not charged unnecessarily or worse, scammed.

After paying the Php 10 entrance fee, I walked up the walkway, which is the province’s popular pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics, especially during the Holy Week.

at the entrance

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What makes it popular is its life-sized Stations of the Cross though personally, I found the statues poorly done.

Initially, I wanted  to just see a couple of the stations, but the locals, especially the ticket lady,  encouraged me to go all the way up to the summit.  “The view from there is breathtaking,” they assured me.

And so off I went to conquer Camiguin’s 8-kilometer path to reach the old volcano’s peak.

Here’s the view of the walkway and trees from the lower part of the path.  Note that after the 4th station, the walkway is no longer paved, which made the climb more difficult.

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Halfway through, I passed some climbers who were on their way down.  By then, I was already a little tired.  “Is the view from the top worth all this trouble?”  I asked.  “We turned back when we reached the 10th station.  It was too hot and tiring!” was their reply.  Uh-oh…

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and you say I have to climb all the way to the top?!

Though the trail was beginner-climber-friendly, the scorching heat of the sun was making the climb difficult.  What more, since I did this after leaving the airport where liquid over 100 ml is prohibited, I didn’t have bottled water.  Sheez!

I was about to turn back when the views shifted.  There were more trees so there was shade.  And I could already see the beach, and this spurred me into continuing my climb.

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There were interesting flora (and even fauna) too and taking their photos granted me some respite from my punishing hike.

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I don’t know what these purple flowers are called, but I’ve been seeing them in Agcawilan since I was a child.  I also saw them in my trips to Siquijor, in Osmeña Peak, and most recently, in Guimaras.  By the way, did you notice the white spider in one of its petals?

As I climbed, the view was getting prettier, and I took a liking to photographing cogon  grasses (Imperata cylindrica).  I thought cogon-fringed shots made the views more interesting.

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Aaand, finally, I reached the old volcano’s summit.   Oh, before I forget, here’s a photo of all 14 stations of the cross.

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Pardon me if it’s not chronological.  I wanted to arrange it, but it’s difficult to do so because of PhotoGrid’s layout (some grids are too small for the corresponding station so I just placed the photos where they fit).

At the summit was a statue of the risen Christ.  As there was a group of nuns praying, I did not intrude on their moment and opted to take photos of the views.

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The giant cross marks what is perhaps the province’s most popular attraction: the Sunken Cemetery.  History-wise, it was said that during the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan from 1871 to about 1875, some areas in the town of Bonbon subsided.  This caused the town’s cemetery to sink.  To memorialize the departed, in 1982, a giant cross was erected on the spot where the cemetery sank. Here’s a collage of more photos of it as taken from varying vantage points.

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The locals were right.  The views from the top of the old volcano were beautiful!  Seeing them was definitely worth being baked by the sun during the one-hour, eight-kilometer hike.

Lastly, here’s one of my favorite photos from this set:

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How wondrous it is to conquer an old volcano’s peak and look over the sea’s calming hues of blue while watching the clouds scurry by.

Plantation Bay: Red Sunrise

I took this set of photos on June 21.  Though it was a Sunday, I had been awake since 4:30  AM working on some crafts and watching my favorite shows on Fox Channel.  At about 5 AM, I headed out of my room to get some water and that’s when I noticed the very red skyline.  In my 5 years here, I have never seen it that way.  Not wanting to miss documenting it, I grabbed my camera and headed to the beachfront, which is where the sun rises in this part of Cebu.

And what I saw made me stop on my tracks as I took in the sight of the most dramatic sunrise I’ve seen so far in Plantation Bay’s Galapagos Beach.

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“Late na ka, Miss,” the guard who is very familiar with my morning photo walk told me as I started snapping photos.  “Ganiha, lingin kaayo ang adlaw.  Nanago naman na gud siya ron.”  Translation:  You’re late, Miss.  Earlier, the sun was a perfect circle.  Now, it hid itself among the clouds.”

I smiled.  “It’s okay,” I replied in the vernacular.  “What’s important is that I still get to see such a beautiful sight.”

And it’s true.  This particular sunrise was very beautiful.

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I stayed for about 30 more minutes and watched as the red skyline lightened to red orange then shades of orange and yellow.  I snapped more photos as fishermen in their boats passed by.

Here’s one of my favorites from this set:

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Isn’t it so dramatic?