We woke up the next day very early to catch the ferry going to Camiguin Island (see previous post). We ask locals the previous night on how to get there and the directions got all mixed up because we asked for the ferry on Misamis Oriental. We were supposed to ride the one on the port on CDO which according to blogs, is a much more recommended way of going to Camiguin.
At 6am, we checked out at New Dawn Pensionne and just outside, a cab is waiting, we asked him of he know the Paras Sea Cat and fortunately, he gave us the right directions. He also explained the other port which is the alternative way to go to Camiguin. He was also very kind to teach us how to get back to CDO from there.
The cab ride cost about P30-40. He dropped us off at the pier. We looked for Paras Sea Cat ticketing office but it was still closed. only 2 people are in line that early. We waited there for the office to open.
The boat ride going to Camiguin leaves CDO at 8:30am. This is the only time it goes to Camiguin so you really have to go there early. From Camiguin to CDO, it only leaves at 4pm, so for a hassle free ride, you need to remember those time else, you need to know the alternate route.
The ticket boot opened at about pat 7am and we all bought tickets. It was P400 for a one way ticket to Camiguin Island. We all went to the waiting area after and waited for us to be called. We ate breakfast there and rested.
We boarded the Paras Sea Cat at about past 8am. The craft was big and spacious inside. We are assigned at the lower deck where there are several rows of chairs for us to occupy. There are only a few passenger so it was free seating. We selected our seats and rested. The whole area is air conditioned and it is very comfortable. What I didn’t like is that it smelled like fuel inside, It makes me sick, good thing it faded away soon. We all went to sleep as we journey to Camiguin Island.
Camiguin is a small Island near Misamis Oriental. It is the second smallest island in the Philippines next to Batanes. You can actually circle the whole island in two hours. There are volcanoes in the island and so, there are hot springs in the area. There are also lots to see in this small island and you can actually go to all of them in just one day.
It took us about 1-2 hours (I am not sure ‘coz I lost track of time) to get to Camiguin. It was a sunny day and we planned to tour the island for the whole day. We already talked to a guide back in Manila and he would pick us up at the port and bring us to the resort we will be staying and also tour us for two days and back to the port when we get back. It was quite a good deal for us since we will not think of the hassle of all the stuff just to see the whole island. Here is the complete deal we had with Kuya Chris:
- Fetch us to the port upon arrival at Benoni
- Get us to the resort where we will check in
- Tour us around Island (Walkway to Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, Old Gui-Ob Church Ruins, Sto. Nino Cold Spring, Soda Pool, Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring, etc.)
- Get us back to the Resort
- Arrange for the boat that will take us to White Island (Boat fee not included)
- Fetch us to the resort and bring us back to the port for our return to CDO
All in all, the fee is P2,500 for 2 days. It was really good deal, thanks to Ai for arranging it for us.
From the port, a man holding up Ai’s name came to us and lead us to a multicab where Kuya Chris‘ brother is waiting (we didn’t know that he wasn’t Kuya Chris since none of us asked because we were all still tired of the boat ride and lack of breakfast, we just learned it later). We all boarded and we went to Paras Beach Resort to check in for the rooms we reserved prior.
We had two Family rooms with two queen size bed and a sofa bed each. It has one toilet and bath plus cable TV and air conditioning. The room has a 2nd floor where the other queen size bed is placed. A maximum of 6 people could fit there since the sofa bed has a pull out at the bottom. But the two queen size bed could actually fit 3 so you can have more people in the room if you like.
They served us refreshments upon arrival and they gave us a souvenir necklace with their contact number on it.
The place has a pool and they have a recreation area fro the guests. They have table tennis and billiard tables where guests could play for free. They also have a restaurant which we decide to check out later. The place is clean and well maintained and the staff are friendly. It is a nice place to stay and the rates are affordable especially if you travel in large groups like us.
After placing all our stuff in the room, we head back to the multicab waiting for us. We asked the driver to drop us off at an eatery because we are really hungry. He led us to a small carinderia. We had lunch there. The food was not that good but for hungry people who didn’t have breakfast, it was just fine. Enough to energize us for the rest of the afternoon.
After the quick lunch, kuya lead us to the Walkway Old Volcano where there is a station of the cross on the way up. I don’t know what came to us but we climbed it all the way to the top. It took us an hour or so but climbing up there is not that easy. It is for those who seek adventure or for those religious who want to sacrifice on holy week.
The view up was really good though. You can see the waters that surround the island and the roads on the side. The Sunken Cemetery is also visible up there. After we rested, we went back down, which is much easier walk than climbing up. We got down exhausted. We bought drinks on the stores across. We headed to our next destination, the Sunken Cemetery.
This is the reason I wanted to see Camiguin. I watched a horror movie years back and it featured the place. It was really creepy in the movie but as I saw it personally, it was peaceful out there. It was not the kind I imagined but it was really good.
The place is an old cemetery long time ago and when the volcano erupted, The place sunk. People there placed the cross as a marker for the old resting place of the dead.
Today, you can cross the waters and get to the base of the marker for P20. We didn’t try it since the sun was very high and it was so hot. We just took photos from afar and that was enough. We got back to the multicab and headed to the Gui-ob Church Ruins.
The place is an old ruin of a church that was destroyed by a volcano eruption. It has a small chapel now besides the walls that were the remains of the old church. At the back is a field where you can have picnics and take pictures. We rested there and took pictures. A lanzones vendor offered us to take our pictures on the century old tree at the far end just beside a creek. He was very friendly and really know the angle on which the tree could be clearly seen on photos. In return, we bought his lanzones.
We ate the lanzones going to our next destination. The fruit is so sweet. It is the first time I get to eat a lot of it. I usually don’t like lanzones because most of what we bought in Manila is sour but this one is very sweet!
We almost finished it when we came to Sto. Niño Cold Springs. We got our stuff and payed the entrance fee and got inside for a swim.
The people there offers rental of salbabida for P15 (P10 for the smaller one). Most of us availed but I preferred to stay at the side of the pool. It was really cold there, you’ll freeze instantly as soon as the water touches your skin. You need to take some time to adjust to it. There are also fishes in the water and if you stood long enough, you can feel them nibbling at your feet. It’s like fish spa!
This is where we spent most of our time. We decided to play using the salbabida. It took us more than an hour before realizing that it is getting late. We ate buko before finally deciding to go. We had so much fun there that it was the most memorable part of the trip.
Our next stop is the Soda Pool. We paid the entrance fee and the resort has two pools, one for the kids and the other for adults. They say that you can drink the water in the pool but I didn’t dare. They also said that it is the only soda pool in the country but I had already tried one in Hidden Valley. I guess they are saying that for Mindanao area only.
We didn’t stay long here and we all went back to the multicab. We wanted to go to the Katibawasan Falls but it was already getting dark and they don’t have any light on the area so we decided to go to the hots pring instead.
We went back from where we started and up to the Ardent Hot Spring. It was a long ride and I can feel the cold seeping in. I am not feeling well at that time.
The water from the spring came from the mountain. It is flowing into several layers of pool. We decided to go at the bottom pool but quickly went out of the water when it smelled mapanghi on it. We went to a higher place. It was deeper there so I decided to just stay at the side. It wasn’t as hot as the hot spring at Coron but it sure takes away the coldness of our bodies. As you stay longer, the steam makes you dizzy so be careful in staying long.
As we felt hunger we decided to go back to the multicab and go home for dinner. I really want to go back since I am already not feeling well. Good thing the trip back is not that long.
Before we went back to the resort, we talked to kuya and agreed to pick us up early the next day for our White Island Tour. We gave him part of the payment for his gasoline and after that we all went to the resort’s restaurant to eat.
We settled at Paras Beach Resort‘s restaurant and ordered some food. I had Carbonara and the rest had their own orders. These are our food fest that night:
The food was really good although you have to wait long because they will cook it upon ordering. However the wait is worth it because they have big servings and yummy food. It is quite pricey but it was okay since we liked the food.
After dinner, we freshen up and some of us played at the recreation area, we all went to sleep upon agreeing on what time to wake up. We all rested after a whole tiring day of touring the island.