Monday, January 31, 2011

Come Hell or High Water

That phrase perfectly describes my adventure last Saturday.

For the past weeks I've been begging for the rain to stop because I'm saving a trip.

Early last year I've been planning to visit Camiguin. I envied my friends who kept on going back while I haven't made a single, tiny step in that volcanic island. Yes, you heard it right. Camiguin is home to seven volcanoes. That's how it got the name : The Island Born of Fire.

But before I go on with my little story, let me tell you why I almost did not make it there. It's been raining for almost like a month now. Anyone in her right state of mind would definitely discourage a trip because the weather is unpredictable and not just suitable for travel... but, it's just NOT me. So I said to myself : If it's not gonna rain on Friday, then I'm going there! (huh! confident)

Friday came... And it was raining very hard. Damn! I conceded the fact that I'm going anywhere on the weekend. But wait. My lucky star is not giving up on me. The rain stopped and for the first time in weeks that I haven't seen the night sky dotted with stars, that was actually a good sign. So I went early to bed hoping it's not gonna rain at dawn and indeed when I woke up at 3AM, the stars were still up in the sky. I knew then it was time to go. I hurriedly packed my things and went straight to the airport.

We arrived at Cagayan de Oro by 6AM and took the 1.5-hour bus ride to Balingoan. There's actually a direct fastcraft from Cagayan to Benoni (camiguin) but since it will take us 2.5 hours in rough waters, we decided against it and took the 1-hour ferry ride in Balingoan instead.

We hired a multicab that will take us around the island as soon as we disembarked in Benoni. Our first stop was the Tanguines Lagoon. Unfortunately we didn't stay long coz it was starting to rain and our stomachs were growling. We proceeded to Sto. NiƱo Cold Spring for a cool, refreshing bath and a sumptous lunch. There we enjoyed the cold spring that sprouted from the sandy bottom of the pool. The area is full of native cottages for family picnics and a cookout facility that mostly serve seafoods.

Next stop was the Soda Water Swimming Pool. Well, yeah it's just a swimming pool but instead of using chlorine-treated water, they are using Soda. Don't ask me what it means coz I haven't figured it out even after the lady who was at the gate explained what is Soda. All I can remember is that she was saying it can heal diseases. But I'm still not sure if I heard her right, but anyway. The rain was incessant with its downpour, the coldness was growing and we were starting to shiver when we decided to proceed with our itinerary.

The Ruins of Gui-ob Church.
We're going down history this time. This is the remains of a 400-year old church that crumbled into pieces when the old volcano erupted sometime in 1871. Hundreds of homes and thousands of lives perished in that unthinkable tragedy. Even the city of the dead was buried deep into the sea when their cemetery sunk during the eruption. At present a cross marker was built along the area to commemorate their once community cemetery. Years ago, gravestones are visible during low tide. But now it is nothing but an interesting dive site.

From the Sunken Cemetery we went straight to old volcano. They made a walkway where you can climb to the top of the volcano. The volcano has been dormant for centuries. I guess there's nothing to worry about climbing it but I'm paranoid and I like to imagine the worst of things so I'm kinda hesitant to do it. Anyway, the walkway has the stations of the cross where devout Catholics flock during Lenten Season. This is the most visited spot in Camiguin on Good Friday.
Our last stop was the Ardent Hot Spring. It is located at the foot of Mt. Hibok-hibok, the only active volcano in the island. The water temperature reaches up to 34 degrees. Quite hot and is very ideal if you had a long day.

We were supposed to go trekking to Katibawasan Falls but we cancelled. Our guide told us that the way to the falls was closed because it's dangerous to go up there. The road is slippery and muddy because of the rain. Hmmp!! Maybe next time if I'll have another chance to visit Camiguin, I won't miss it.

And it was indeed a long day. I immediately hit the sheets as soon as we arrived at the place where we stayed for the night. One thing's for sure, Camiguin has an unspoiled beauty that would leave everyone in awe. It's very natural, historical and simply magnificent.


Gnetch said...

OMG! I haven't been there! It's so beautiful. I'm super jealous!!

Sey said...

I'm Envious with your adventures, again and again! So when are you coming and visit us? hahaha! we're Super Excited Jan, we can't explain it.


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