As I am writing this I am trying to think how we found ourselves in this very serene island off the northern coast of Mindanao. As I try to recollect I think our main trip was to Cagayan de Oro , Mj wanted to reunite her aunt with her long lost brother who she hasn’t seen in decades which he happens to live somewhere in Cagayan de Oro now.
With little reading on how to get to the Camiguin island, we took a taxi from our hotel to the Macabalan port in CDO to catch a 2 hour ocean jet ferry ride to the port of Benoni in Camiguin. With a small delay because of the ongoing storm and rain, we fearlessly boarded the boat once it subsided.
The port seemed fairly new and some construction was still underway, There are tons of vendors selling the famous pastel on one side and on the other side were the jeeps, minicabs, tricycles and motors waiting for a passenger. We were quoted with different kinds of prices and this annoys me all the time knowing that its only 25 pesos to catch a jeep to the town proper of Mambadjao.
When we got to the town proper, we took their version of tricycles which they call Motorela. We told the driver to take us where the resorts were. We checked out a few resorts and most of them were already fully booked or seemed a little overpriced. We told kuya we wanted a peaceful resort and he brought us here.
They had one room left and it was a cute ocean front bungalow. It was only 800pesos per night. What a steal right?! The only complaints i had was the bathroom needed more lighting and the shower pressure was weak. The linens were a lil old fashioned and the room was a lil dusty imo but overall these things didn’t matter so much because the view,the garden vibes, and the sound of the waves were a truly relaxing.
We rented a motorcycle from the resort as well and it was only 500 pesos for 12hrs already filled up and ready to go.
We rode around the island. Stopped over a couple spots and took pictures. Never seen an island so clean and almost litter free. We just kept following the 2 way road until we came across signs that led us to the sunken cross.
Our next stop along the way back was the walkway to the old volcano and stations of the cross. From the foot of this hike it seemed real easy but boy can i tell ya’ll, my heart was pounding halfway. Be careful because it is a steep climb.
It felt endless but at least you have the nice stations of the cross to look at. Heres a picture of my partner effortlessly walking while I on the other hand was dying.lol
On our way back we checked out the other resorts and restaurants along the way but we ended up eating dinner at our resort’s restaurant. Theres not much nightlife on the island, It really has that good o’l province vibes that once it got dark , everybody was inside the house.
The next day we were trying to get a boat from our resort to take us to white island but sadly their boatman was unavailable. The receptionist instructed us to head to the pier in Brgy. Yumbing, head to the police outpost where the cashier is charging tourists P450 pesos per boat for a roundtrip to the island.
FRIENDLY TIP: 1.BRING FOOD AND SNACKS IF YOU PLAN TO HANG OUT ALL DAY IN THE ISLAND
2.BRING AN UMBRELLA and A BEACH MAT
3. DONT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN!
4. BRING MONEY! YOU CAN RENT EQUIPMENT AND BUY FOOD ON THE ISLAND.
As soon as we stepped foot onto the warm sand, we could not wait to dip into the turqiouse waters. As the island was slowly filling up with people and the sun was setting in,we looked for the perfect spot to settle ourselves on. We did not bring an umbrella but we did rent one for P50
Now lets talk about the sand, how white is it?, how fine?. Well I hate to burst your bubble but the island does not have powdery white sand and the texture is rather coarse because of the mixture of corals, rocks, and sand.
Overall fine sand or not it’s definitely worth seeing and visiting.
As for snacks here is something to try,sea urchins or uni in japanese. You will see vendors with baskets of them, they will open it and prep it for you to eat for 50 pesos each.
The darker the water the deeper it gets, the sand bar does tend to erode on the edges so be careful when trying to go in the water esp the spots near the dark areas.
I can say the water is as clear as it gets.Its almost like swimming in a pool.
As for snorkeling there is a good amount of small fishes to see swimming around with different colors. The darker areas are where the coral life and beds of sea urchin are at. The swimming area is very shallow and only goes up to knees deep.
and because the filipino tan is life, heres a pic of myself sleeping under the sun.
How does one manage to smile underwater, i don’t know, i do not recommend it tho, but Mj does. lol.
After spending half the day on the island, we headed back to our resort,packed our stuff and headed to the port of Benoni. We were too early for the first oceanjet heading back so we decided to find a place to eat because we were starving. I’ve read somewhere that J&A fishpen had good seafood so we told kuya driving the habal-habal to take us there.
FOOD REVIEW: loved the view, ambiance and privacy part of the dining, the food tho overall needs improving, making the bill at the end not worth it. I think P950 for two tiny crabs is ridiculous.
After the shocking bill me and mj got, we laughed our way back to the port and got on the first boat back to cagayan de oro.