A Day in Camiguin (Part 1)

Mantigue boat

After ‘braving’ the beginner rapids in Cagayan de Oro City, we left early the next day for the island province of Camiguin.

Camiguin (pronounced ka-mi-GIN), is the second smallest province in the Philippines (after Batanes). It is famous for its islets with white sand beaches and the sweetest lanzones in the world.

From Cagayan de Oro, it’s a two-hour drive to the coastal town of Balingoan in Misamis Oriental where one can take a ferry to Camiguin. On board, we saw these boys calling out to us to throw coins at them which they would catch or dive after.

Camiguin part 1

The ferry left port at around 8:00 AM.

Camiguin part 1 (2)

The island of Camiguin, which has an area of only 92 sq. miles (238 sq. km), is of volcanic origin. Its most prominent geographical features are its seven volcanoes and volcanic domes.

Camiguin part 1 (1)

An hour after we left Misamis Oriental, we reached the town of Mambajao, Camiguin. We saw another group of boys preparing to dive for coins.

Camiguin part 1 (3)

The sun was already bearing down on us and our friend suggested that we go to Mantigue Island and not, as originally planned, to White Island where ‘there is not a single tree to shade us’. So delicate, we are. 🙂

From Mambajao pier, we took a ride to Barangay San Roque where we hired a pumpboat to take us to Mantigue Island. The boat ride took only 20 minutes and was “manned” by two kids who could not have been more than 15 years old despite their claims to the contrary.


Mantigue (1)

The boys let us off at the white sand beach. It was almost 10am and when I took off my shades for a few seconds, I thought I would go blind, haha.

Mantigue (3)

There is only a small strip of beach on the four-hectare island.

Mantigue (10)

But it’s a dazzlingly-white strip.

Mantigue (7)

Inside the tree-shaded area, a store sells fresh seafood, drinks and junk food and rents out tables. We ordered our lunch, walked along the beach and did our best to make our already sunburned skin even crispier.

Mantigue (6)

The Mr. lost no time in stripping down for my benefit going for a swim in the ultra-clear waters.

Mantigue (9)

Look, Ma, no jellyfish!

The lunch we ordered was served soon enough and it was so good it deserves a separate blog post. Smile

Mantigue (11)

An aside: We ate under the shade of this pandan tree. Yes, tree.

Mantigue (12)

We know pandan as a plant with leaves that are used as an aromatic and flavor-enhancer for rice. The tree, according to the island’s caretaker, has leaves that are tougher and are woven into mats. (You learn something everyday.)

Before noon, the boat boys came back for us and in less than 20 minutes we were back in the main island.

(Next: church ruins, a sunken cemetery, a sunrise, and some tips)

31 thoughts on “A Day in Camiguin (Part 1)

  1. The water color is beautiful – want to go for a swim NOW! What an adventure and your meal – YUM. Thanks for sharing. Have a Great Weekend.

  2. WHAT? You were in Camiguin? I was there two days ago! 😀 Right now, I’m in CDO and we will be having our water rafting at Bugsay later. Then Dahilayan tomorrow.

    Maybe we’ll bump each other here. The world is indeed small. 😀

  3. What always reminds me of Camiguin is ….. Aiko Melendez. Bwahaha. I’ve never been in Camiguin. She has one movie in her filmography that mentions highly of the place. She’s just so beautiful in that movie. Since childhood, I always dream of what Camiguin really looks like.

    • Ngek, haha. She’s a politician now. 🙂
      I haven’t seen that movie but I do know it showcased the best of Camiguin and made it better known.

    • Yup, it really is a beautiful place. They say White Island is stunningly beautiful but weren’t able to go.
      Ah, Boracay. We never go during peak season anymore. Stressful, haha.

  4. Wow, maganda rin pala beach sa Camiguin! Iba talaga ang lasa ng pagkain pag sa tabing-dagat ka kumain, mas sumasarap (or ako lang ba yung nagiisip non?)! 🙂

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  9. Oh no! I was considering this place, all because of tita bud’s blog, to go visit this year. But Mindanao is off-limits to us. 😦 I really wanted to go ever since I saw this post.

    • Mindanao gets a bad rep nga abroad. Sayang, no? I try to do my part in letting people know that it is a HUGE area, comprised of several regions and many more provinces, most of which are safe to visit, not to mention beautiful. Sadly, most foreigners still think of it as swarming with terrorists and kidnappers.

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  11. THis place looks incredible, the water is so clear and the sand sooooo white!
    So that’s a pandan tree – I’d never seen one and had no idea what it looked like despite being a great fan of pandan rice 🙂

    • That’s the first time we saw a pandan tree, too. It’s not the type used in pandan rice, though, according to the island’s caretaker.
      There’s another, more famous white sand beach (more like a sand bar) in Camiguin called White Island and it is as it’s called. I haven’t been there, which is why I intend to return to Camiguin soon. 🙂

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