Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Camiguin in two days

Rustic Camiguin offers endless feast for the senses ( I was on top of the jeepney earlier that day and the 360 degree view was just great!) The pastels, yema-flavored, are succulent and sweet, and the Spanish and American colonial architecture added charm, and the people are too good to be true. Over-all, with the distinct character the island evokes, the beat, perfectly slow, I'd have to say that this island born of fire leaves a jaded urbanite like me wanting. notes and photo from my first visit, summer 2005

For the second time, in the next two days, I will hit the the road, the sea, the road again and then cross the rough waters of Bohol Sea before taking-in the beauty of Camiguin Island in Southern Philippines. The 8-hour transit will find me from the port of Dumaguete to Tagbilaran via Oceanjet (ETD 7:30am; Php650.00 one way), then take the van-for-hire to the eastside town of Jagna where Paras Seacat fastferry (ETD 1:30pm; Php400.00 one way) bound for the Port of Benoni in Camiguin will be waiting.

I will be billeted in Enigmata Treehouse, voted in 2006 as one of the top 5 most eco-friendly hostel in the world by Here's a snippet from the web:
Enigmata Treehouse Ecolodge, Camiguin, Philippines: "Channel your inner Swiss Family Robinson with a stay in this state-of-the-art treehouse, overlooking the ocean and surrounded by white beaches, soaring waterfalls and bubbling hot springs," says Hanratty. "Operated by a vibrant artist and environmental protection group known as the Enigmata Creative Circle, the treehouse's existence and operation is a testament to environmental awareness, offering biodiversity workshops and conservation seminars."

For starters, Camiguin, aptly called An Island Born of Fire because, as stuff of legend, rather geology would tell, was formed through underwater volcanic eruptions eons of years ago. There are four volcanoes in the island and several hotsprings. From the sea, the topography of the island is always liken to that of Hawaii with its rugged and sharp mountain peaks, swaying palm trees, fine beaches and clear blue waters sans the rows of the concrete jungle dotting the shorelines. Wkipedia has this to share:  
Camiguin is composed of four young stratovolcanoes overlying older volcanic structures. One of these, Hibok-Hibok, last erupted in 1953 and is still considered active. The other major volcanic edifices are Mt. Vulcan (671 meters (2,201 ft), northwest of Hibok-Hibok), Mt. Mambajao (1,552 meters (5,092 ft), in central Camiguin), Mt. Ginsiliban (581 meters (1,906 ft), southernmost Camiguin), and Mt. Uhay (north of Mount Ginsiliban). There are also domes and cones at Campana Hill, Minokol Hill, Tres Marias Hill, Mt. Carling, Mt. Tibane, and Piyakong Hill.

And then, there is the sunken cemetery (1871), white sandbar, church ruins and for the taste buds, lanzones and the succullent pastels!

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