Planning a trip and booking a flight earlier has ups and downs. It is good to plan beforehand, where do you want to go, buy a ticket during seat sales and do some research about the popular tourist destination in the place. But one of the downsides of it is the weather condition especially nowadays due to climate change, you never know when will a low-pressure area be spotted in a certain place.
How to get to Camiguin Island
We had an early flight to Cagayan de Oro. We ate our breakfast at the Agora Bus terminal and rode a bus bound for a 3 hours drive to Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental. Earlier that evening, a low-pressure area was spotted in the east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Norte according to PAG-ASA. It was not raining in Cagayan de Oro when we arrived, but as we get near Balingoan, it started to rain and had cloudy skies.
We arrived around 11AM at Balingoan Port, and we bought our ticket towards Benoni Port in Camiguin. There was a parked ferry boat in Balingoan. They told us that within thirty minutes the boat would sail to Camiguin. As passengers flocked the port, strong winds and heavy rain were seen outside the terminal. Locals of Camiguin assured as that there would be a ferry boat that would take us to our destination. Then we started to check our watches, and at 2PM, they decided to board us to the ferry amidst the strong winds and rough waters. While we were waiting for our boat to sail, a very huge wave struck us and the ferry went sideways towards the docks, slamming us to the side of the ferry. I got scared but looking at the locals, they seem calm. My friend and I decided that if ever the ferry was in its right position, we would go down and head back to Cagayan de Oro. The crew of the ferry where vigilant that they managed to turn the boat again to its docking position. We were about to go down but the ferry sailed to the waters toward Camiguin.
The boat ride was supposedly only 2 hours, but because of the LPA, we sailed at a very low paced. My worries about the weather altered when somewhere in the sea, I saw dolphins swimming. We arrived at Benoni Port at 6PM, where we don’t have a place to stay. It was supposedly a do-it-yourself trip, but due to unforeseen event and we were already tired, we decided to ride a van and told the driver to take us to Bahay Bakasyunan, an expensive resort in Mambajao.
Bahay Bakasyunan was really a very nice and cozy place to stay. The amenities were good and the staff was very friendly. We had our lunch in the bar, the room was spacious in a modern Nipa hut setting. My friend and I just laughed at what happened the whole day and decided to enjoy our stay in the resort. The following morning we availed of their van rental for the island tour.
The following day, it was still raining and cloudy. Our first stop after our breakfast was the White Island of Camiguin. We road a small boat near the famous Paras Beach Resort towards the island. The shape of the sand bar of White Island differs depending on the weather. When we got there, the waves were rough and we weren’t able to have a glimpse of the famous Mount Hibok Hibok from the island.
We headed to Katibawasan Falls, where raging waters were flowing from the top. It is one of the beautiful falls of the island.
We had our lunch J&A Fishpen, a fishing restaurant in Barangay Benon, Mahinog. We ordered seafood and fishes that could be seen and caught in Camiguin.
The driver asked us if we wanted to go to Mantigue Island, but because the coast was also from the side of Benoni Port, we decided not to try the rough waters there.
Santo Nino Cold Spring and Soda Water Park
Then we went to Santo Nino Cold Spring and the Soda Water Park.
After which we went to Guiob Church Ruins and view the Sunken Cemetery. The Guiob Church was damaged due to the volcanic eruption on May 13, 1871 while the cemetery was buried under water. The church was built from coral stones.
Mt. Hibok Hibok Ardent Hot Spring
We stayed in the Ardent Hot Spring for more than an hour to enjoy the benefits of the water from the hot spring coming from the mountain of Hibok Hibok.
Our last stop was the Vjandep bakeshop where we bought Camiguin’s famous pastel.
Sunday morning of February 13, the sun was up but it was time for us to head back to Cagayan de Oro, for us not to miss our flight in the evening to Manila.
For some people, it would have been a disaster trip. But not for me, I believed that it pushes me to my limits, that I can brace all the storms. I was reminded of one of the travel quotes I read somewhere..replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity. And when the time comes, I might head back to Camiguin again, to experience it with the sun, and to view the four stratovolcanoes within the island..and to get the chance to explore the Mantigue Island, the one we skipped from our island tour.
And up until now, I never stop having my adventures.