“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
- Henry Miller -
Camiguin is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bohol Sea, about 10 km (6.2 mi) off the northern coast of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao. It is the second-smallest province both in
population and land area after Batanes. The capital of the province is Mambajao, which is a part of the Northern Mindanao Region of the Philippines.
The province of Camiguin is divided into five municipalities, the largest of which is Mambajao. Each towns is divided into a total of 58 barangays. The five municipalities are: Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Mambajao, Sagay.
The name Camiguin is derived from the native word “Kamagong”, a species of the ebony tree that thrives near Lake Mainit in the Province of Surigao del Norte. Earlier inhabitants of the islands are Manobos from the Surigao region. In an earlier Spanish geography book the island is called "Camiguing". There is reason to suppose the Spaniards dropped the final g.
Locals like to say that the name of the island comes from the English words "come again".
Camiguin is of volcanic origin and composed of four young stratovolcanoes overlying older volcanic structures. The last eruption was from Hibok-Hibok in 1953, and it is still considered as 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. Guinsiliban 581 meters (1,906 ft), southernmost Camiguin; and Mt. Butay north of Mount Guinsiliban. The other domes and cones are Campana Hill, Minokol Hill, Tres Marias Hill, Mt. Carling, Mt. Tibane, and Piyakong Hill.
The main livelihood of the people is fishing and farming, with copra providing the greatest income contribution. Other agricultural products are abaca, rice, mangoes, lanzones and other fruit trees.
Just outside the typhoons belt there is not a real difference between the rain season and the dry season, as the humidity coming from the sea goes up to the tops of the volcanoes forming clouds full of rain. Then, it often rains over the mountains while the sun shines on the beaches. Thanks to this climate the island is rich in water in the spring.
Lanzone is a typical tropical fruit and they say that the sweetest grows in Camiguin.
The festival begins in Camiguin every 3rd week of october to celebrate the fruit harvest, attracting a lot of tourists . Houses, people and streets are decorated with lanzones. 1 week of great celebrations, dancing competitions, parties, cultural shows and beautiful pageants in the streets of Mambajao.
Every year during the holy week thousands of people arrive in Camiguin from all the country and not only. In these days the island is in holiday and the believers walk (but also with the bicycle) the round of the island, stopping at the many refreshment stands, meeting and making friends with a lot of people. Another custom in this particular week is the walking (the walkway) at old volcano where are placed the statues representing the stations of the cross (via crucis).
Only a 5 minute boat to reach one of the most famous destination of Camiguin Island: White Island. A tongue of sand in the middle of a wonderful sea, ideal for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing looking at the volcano Hibok-Hibok and the island of Bohol in the middle of a wonderful sea. It' s better to avoid the hottest hour (12 p.m.-1 p.m.) but it's suggested instead the sunrise and the sunset to enjoy a unforgettable show of the nature.
Mantigue Island is another wonderful island, situated 3 Km. offshore Camiguin. Four
hectares of evergreen forest surrounded by a white sand beach. Mantigue is a protected sea sanctuary where you can practice unforgettable snorkeling and diving.
In the island there is a wide tree-lined zone, with a little kitchen and bar, where you can taste some excellent fresh fish just caught by the fishermen who inhabit this protected oasis.
Those who want to protect from the sun and enjoy the shadow can rent an hut with table and benches.
In the barangay of Cantaan, there is a beautiful beach between two promontories, called White Beach by the Europeans for its
Snorkeling and diving are strongly recommended in this area.
There is also a Giant Clams Sanctuary.
The Ardent Hot Spring, not so far from the resort, are natural springs coming from the sleeping
volcano Hibok-Hibok and the water of the warmest pool measures around 39°. A bath in these therapeutic waters (good for blood circulation) is recommended at night, with the cool mountain
In the area there are a good restaurant, a massage zone and some equipped barbecue and picnic areas.
It' s a volcanic spring of water flowing out from the seabed, a little area formed by a natural pool of rocks and corals. The water temperatures change from cold to barely warm and warm
depending on the tide level.
At present this area is can be reached only by diving.
The fresh water falls from 70 meters into a rock pool surrounded by wild ferns, trees and boulders, where have a regenerating bath.
These wild and powerful falls (25 mt high) tumble into a clear and deep pool. The peace spreads all around and the roaring of the falls is the only sound you can hear.
The Visayan word "bangawan",meaning rainbow, gave the name to these wonderful falls. Binangawan literally
translates to "rainbow", cause of the rainbow that forms when the sun light hits the gushing icy
The knowledge of Binangawan Falls has been limited to the locals and some mountain climbing enthusiasts for a long time. It changed when a paved road was constructed to make it more accessible to tourists. Getting to the falls still requires hours of walking.
The trek is among the best Camiguin experience you can take.
Situated 4 km. north of Catarman, at Sto Niño cold spring you can have a refreshing bath into a big natural pool (25m x 40m) of cold water flowing out from the sand bed. In the area there are pic-nic areas and toilets.
Saai is a spring of cold water sited at Mt. Hibok-Hibok feet in Quipasa, Mambajao. You can reach it
by motorbike, but the walk starting at Mabini street, Mambajao is more adventurous. Along the road you can enjoy the wonderful view of rice fields and coconut palms.
At Saai there are a small and a medium pool, 1.20m and 2.40m deep and the water coming from the mountain is clean, clear and cold.
The view of the mountain, where the sun shines bright,is amazing early in the morning.
The soda in this volcanic water is the peculiarity of these two pools, laying inside a wonderful park of trees, flowers and many types of plants, situated in Catarman, is the soda in this volcanic water. In the area there are a little bar and some picnic areas.
History tells us that in the past Catarman was the main town on the island but the eruptions of 1871/1875 by Mt. Old Volcan destroyed the town and the cemetery sank into the sea. So the monument
in memory of the victims represents a cross coming out of the water.
So, in this part of sea snorkeling lovers and scuba divers can admire the sunken tombstones besides the corals.
Mount Hibok-Hibok is a Volcano (1332m.) with three craters: Kanangkaan Crater, Itum Crater and
Ilihan Crater. The last eruption dates back to 1951.
To Hibok-Hibok belong the six hot water springs: Ardent, Tangob, Bugong, Tagdo, Naasag and Kiyab.
With the help of a guide it is possible to climb the mountain and from its top admire an amazing view on all Camiguin and the neighboring islands.
Situated 13 Km west of Mambajao, Old Volcano flows directly into the sea and is one of the six
volcanoes of the island.
Easy to climb, thanks to a path of big steps, it permits to enjoy a breathtaking view on the island and the underlying sea.
A man-made lagoon located at Benoni, Mambajao. Perfect for a fishing day or a dinner at the restaurant of the lagoon, well-known for the excellent crabs.
Now you can try also the Zip-line that running over the lagoon with beautiful view on Mantigue Island.