Friday, March 29, 2013

Nature Trip in Camiguin Island

After spending three days in Cagayan De Oro for an event, we headed to the nearby Camiguin Island for a much-needed rest. We took the early ferry boat to the island where we got to enjoy watching sunrise by the boat.

Upon arrival, we had to take a 30-minute drive to the Paras Beach Resort where we stayed. The resort welcomed us with a drink and a souvenir necklace. Once checked in, we headed out to explore the island but of course our first destination was a place for having brunch! We ate at Terrasse restaurant where we enjoyed fresh food. Beware, though, because the staff takes their precious time preparing your food-- you have to be patient as it may take a while before you can enjoy your meal.

Katibawasan Falls

We rented a mini-jeep for the entire two days to take us around the island. We headed to Katibawasan Falls first, since our driver / tour guide said it is most difficult to get to. I expected a grander waterfalls, but it was beautiful in its own way anyway. 

Sunken Cemetery

We also went to the Sunken Cemetery where we watched the sunset. 

It was a romantic sight. Well, this was a mandatory shot with my husband, who was then still my fiance. 

We took a small boat to the cross, for a small fee of Php20 each. My braver friends swam around the island to check out the graves beneath the clear water, which I did not dare to do. I'm a lot happier to pose in front of the cross for a photo op. The story of the volcano eruption that happened years ago, submerging parts of this island (including this cemetery) into the water is creepy enough for me. 

White Island

The famous strip of white beach in Camiguin was a 5-minute boat ride from Paras. We had to get up really early in the morning again the next day, around 7am, because we were told that this island disappears under the water when it's high tide later in the afternoon. It was worth the early rise! The 360 degree view from the island was amazing-- the horizon on one side and the mountains on the other, plus the waters are so clear. I just didn't like that the sand, although white, was kind of rough-- far from the fine powdery texture of the white sand in Boracay. The water was too cold for my liking too. Still, it's a beauty. The weather was perfect-- considering we went there in August. 

If you have a strong stomach, you can also try eating the sea urchin that vendors are selling on the white island. One of my friends tried it.

Church Ruins

I enjoyed the scenery up at the church ruins-- the volcanic eruption also buried the huge church. We stood on the top part of the church.

Bura Soda Water

We missed our chance of swimming into the famous Bura Soda Water because it was closed for maintenance. Apparently, they changed schedule of cleaning from Wednesdays to Mondays. We came on a Monday. Geez. 

Our two nights in Camiguin gave me a good rest. Being close to nature and breathing fresh air was all I needed before I can get ready again for the stress of living in the city. It would have been more refreshing to stay in the island for a little longer-- far from heavy traffic and fast food meals (and I mean slow meals, as the resort restaurant takes a while to serve food.) I wish we stayed longer, especially because we had to miss our 2nd breakfast on the island in order to make it back in Cagayan De Oro on time for our white water rafting schedule.