Camiguin: An island born of fire-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
THE National Commission on Music had its Board of Commissioners meeting in CAMIGUIN. Our flight to Cagayan de Oro airport and the 2-hour ferry-boat ride to reach our lodging place, BAHAY BAKASYUNAN SA CAMIGUIN, was tedious.
Camiguin is a beautiful pear-shaped volcanic island lying in the Bohol Sea and is tagged as an “Island of Fire”. It forms part of a geographical grouping of provinces comprising Region X or Northern Mindanao. The name “Camiguin” is derived from the word “Kamagong”, the name of the tree in the ebony family which still thrives in its natural rainforests. Because of its volcanic origins and eruptions, the islets, the cold and soda springs, and the waterfalls, came to existence. The province claims to have the sweetest Lanzones in the country today.
Our meeting the whole day was compensated with a sumptuous buffet dinner hosted by the Provincial Governor of Camiguin, Jurdin Romualdo.
The next day was an early 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to go to WHITE ISLAND – an uninhabited white sandbar with the picturesque Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Old Vulcan as its backdrop. The island is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkelling. Some of us swam while I relished the taste of the sea urchin bought on the island.
After breakfast, we proceeded to KATIBAWASAN FALLS - a beautiful, clear stream of water 250-feet high splashing into a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders. Its cold water provides a refreshing summer splash to bathers and picnickers. The OLD (GUIOB) CHURCH RUINS are remnants of the Vulcan Daan eruption in 1871. The monument with its thick century-old walls, belfry and convent stand reminiscent of the Spanish settlement established in 1679. A few meters below the sea are the SUNKEN CEMETERY. There stands a large white cross which marks a cemetery swept into the sea also by Old Vulcan Daan’s eruption.
Moving on, we reach the STO. COLD SPRING - a terrific huge pool of cold spring water measuring more than 1,000-sq m and about 5-ft deep. I opted to swim at the BURA SODA WATER PARK – a pool filled with natural streaming soda water. True enough, it tasted like soda water when I drank from its faucets. Best of the pools we visited was the ARDENT HIBOK-HIBOK SPRING RESORT, a real gift from nature. All of us soaked in the water with a temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius. Mist rising from the heated waters that run down the vents of the active Hibok-Hibok volcano was ideal for us to bathe in at night surrounded by the cool mountain air. This was pure bliss!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 01, 2012.