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Camiguin in Memories

I feel the need to write Camiguin sooner than expected. More often than not, I let my trips sleep for a year or so before browsing through the notes again and letting memories resurface. And the strongest senses of Camiguin in my head are the overwhelming presence of Mt. Hibok-Hibok,  the calming presence of mayana varieties. On top of that, the experience of traveling around with a boyfriend outside my Visayan territory is different from the rest of my trips.

Traveling to Camiguin was not as smooth as I thought it would be. I momentarily forgot I would not be traveling solo and momentarily forgot people would not see a “boyfriend” with me but a pale foreigner with blue eyes.

I was accused of betrayal by my fellow Filipinos since I played deaf with the transpo prices they dropped. But we fell into the trap more than once.

Here are the photos with the collaborative captioning with Chad.

DSCN9248White Island is just a tiny little beach of pure white, melt-between-your-toes sand. We saw a religious group there, somewhat of an outlying sect, Jona explained, having a great time praying and frolicking in the water. I loved seeing some of the teenagers lay in the sand and put all their heads together in a circle for a cool photo op.—Chad DSCN9279This is the landmark of Camiguin: White Island. Camiguin is the second smallest island province in the country and most of its shores have black fine sand and volcanic boulders. But ten minutes by boat, here is an entirely “naked” islet, whose shape entirely depends on the wind’s direction. (Photo by Chad)DSCN9272Wherever you are in Camiguin, it is Mt. Hibok-Hibok that provides an amazing background to everything.DSC_0029The sea urchins sold at White Island are rather big! Three pieces for P50. It has to be cleaned up first since sea urchins are fed on sand. It was the seasoned hot vinegar that made me want to eat more! DSCN9165Katibawasan Falls. Noone is allowed to go beyond the rope a meter away from the fall’s central force.  DSC00436I guess Katibawasan Falls is one of the tallest falls in the country.  It looks like the fall’s force is not that strong in the picture. DSC_0388

Locally known as kiping: made from casava and latik (carmelized sugar with coconut milk). It is sold anywhere Camiguin. We tried it outside Ardent hot spring. DSCN9320One of the famous landmarks at Camiguin: Sunken Cemetery. We arrived here around three in the afternoon with the sun glaring behind the cross. I found the view from the viewing deck  rather dull, so we went down and walked along the black beach. I found the frames that I wanted to have.

DSC_0396I scored a three-day deal with Secret Cove at Yumbing, Mambajao in exhange of several photos. This is the sunset in front of the resort. DSCN9350Bura Soda Water Park.  Soda water eases the symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia) and constipation. It is also said that drinking it would reduce one’s appetite. I drank it! But my scary appetite stayed.

DSC_0360Ardent Hot Spring was tucked away and canopied by overhanging trees. It felt so calm and secluded from the world of commotion and greediness.  I wanted to stay floating in the warm water forever.—ChadDSC00466I could not handle the coldness of Sto. Niño Cold Spring. I took photos and wrote some notes instead while Chad enjoyed the water.DSCN9428We rode with 3 teenagers on a boat that was on its last legs and took a few minutes to get started on several occasions. I guess a lot of Americans would have insisted on taking a different boat, but I knew that these boys were probably very ocean savvy and could handle the situation safely. Unlike my spoiled self who rarely even steps into the ocean without water shoes on. (embarrassing)—Chad

DSC00481Mantigue Marine Sanctuary! My first to see a lot of clownfish! They are locally called bantay-butbot according to Papa after I showed him the photos. It also bears the same name at Sambawan Island. Anemone is locally known “butbot.” And the clownfish always guard their homes, hence they are called “bantay-butbot.” I find the name funny. The sanctuary is really alive. We spotted a lion fish, which we just watched a night before on National Geographic. One of the beautiful, elegant poisons in the world. DSCN9181I have really grown to love these humble marketplaces with their fresh produce and homemade meals. I tend to prefer the bakeries, where I somewhat know what I’ll be getting. Jona, of course, loves to find a family serving dried fish and rice or some type of seafood soup. Even though I don’t usually try different foods, I enjoy the friendly and quaint atmosphere of the town squares.—ChadDSCN9408It is just your typical resort. But if you want to stay here:  Secret Cove Beach Resort | National Highway, Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin Island 9100 | 088-387-9084DSCN9346I looked for a better angle of the church ruins and walked outside. I saw this man who crawled  towards me with his hand extending like a character’s in a horror movie. Perhaps he was drunk. Perhaps he was physically impaired. He diverted his attention to Chad. He felt bad for the guy and wanted to give him money. I said no. I gave my favorite mamon instead.

Yes, traveling with a boyfriend who happens to be American offers different perspectives on things. In retrospect, it was a crazy, lovely trip.

The essay, hopefully, would follow soon.

How about you, any fond Camiguin memories?

Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi, I'm Jona! I write stories and poetry and take a lot of photos, which I'm too lazy to upload. If you want to receive some photos that I don't share here on the blog, please leave your email here. I'm crazy about cats too. Feel free to browse through BWAB, and I would love it if you say hi! For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com For more stories about BWAB, check here. Connect with us through

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12 Comments

  1. Jherson Jaya says:

    I would love to visit this volcanic island soon especially during the lansones season. But i would rather travel with my girlfriend instead of solo. Shes from Camiguin. Im reserving this island for us until her parents allowed.

  2. A great post about Camiguin!I’m not much for adventure treks, so I’ll be quite content to gaze up at Mt. Hibok-Hibok. My interests lie in the island’s famous natural springs. Ardent looks like a great place to take a dip in.

    PS: I’ve just had a second look at the photos. The sea urchin looks delicious. I wonder if they’ll let you slurp it down with some dukot 🙂

    • I had three sea urchins. The vendors don’t have any dukot with them though. So you have to bring your own. Haha!

      • No dukot? That’s a shame. Guess, I’ll just have to compensate by adding more vinegar. Any special place where I can get these succulent sea creatures? Or is the local market brimming with different varieties of them? Any info you can provide would be highly appreciated 🙂

  3. Gilly says:

    The Philippines are high on my bucket list, everything I see is beautiful!

  4. dan says:

    swerte mo kay wala kaayo tawo pagadto ninyo, nindot kaayo ang sunset ug cold spring pics

  5. Andy says:

    That looks like an absolutely beautiful place! I’d love to check it out. It is always nice to reflect on old travels. I do it also.

  6. […] skin, of beautiful girls supporting my silliness, of falls jumping, of marine beauties, of Camiguin, of Terra Manna. June reminds me of distance suspended. Once more. June reminds me of not my here […]

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