Sunday, March 15, 2015

Camiguin Island Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Catarman Church Ruins
CATARMAN CHURCH RUINS (GUI-OB CHURCH). The devastating volcanic eruption in 1871 wiped out the Spanish settlement of Catarman that was established in 1697. The remains of an Old Spanish church, ruins of adobe walls, belfry and convent are mute witnesses to the wrath of nature. It also allows us a glimpse into the culture of Spanish-era Camiguin.

Sunken Cemetery
SUNKEN CEMETERY. Located in Bonbon, Catarman a huge cross marker has been installed by the Provincial government to mark the community cemetery that sunk during the 1871 volcanic holocaust. Years ago, gravestones were visible during low tide. Today, it is an interesting diving site.

Tanguines Lagoon
TANGUINES LAGOON. A man-made lagoon located in Benoni, Mahinog. Its mantle of limpid waters, craggy cliffs and huge boulders standing like sentinels, gently rolling hills with peaks covered by creamy clouds and a perpetually restive sea provide visitors with a sense of serenity and peace. Truly a place to convene with nature. 

Katibawasan Falls
KATIBAWASAN FALLS. The 250-feet majestic beauty cascades to a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders. Its ice-cold waters provide an ideal summer splash to locals and tourists alike. Rock picnic tables, seats and cookout facilities are available for use.

Tuason Falls
TUASAN FALLS. The trek to the 25-meter high strong waterfalls is fun and exciting. One will have go through a very scenic hike passing through the quaint barrio Mainit before being refreshed under the thunderous falls. 

Tangub Hot Spring
TANGUB HOT SPRING. A volcanic spring by the sea. Water temperatures turn cold, hot and lukewarm as the tide changes from high, low and medium, respectively. Diving is good to about 1020 meters in a gradual drop off. It is an ideal site for scuba diving.

Macao Cold Spring
MACAO COLD SPRING. Located in Mahinog, the Macao Cold Spring is one of Camiguin's idyllic springs. One will be amazed with the cool splash of crystal blue-colored water. Swimming along the pool, one could be accompanied by a school of small fishes. Huge century-old trees surround the pool, keeping it cool and shady. 

Mantigue Island
MANTIGUE ISLAND. Three kilometers off the shore from Barangay San Roque, Mahinog is an island four hectares of evergreen forest fringed with sandy beach. The boat ride to Mantigue is quite exciting, as one has to contend with strong diverging currents due to the open sea. One side of the island is ideal for swimming as it is shallow and has few corals. The opposite side is a deep drop off ideal for snorkeling and diving.

Mt. Hibok-Hibok
MOUNT HIBOK-HIBOK. The only active volcano in the island, the 1250-meter slope is a challenge even to the seasoned mountaineer, as he has to contend with loose rocks and boulders. Mount Hibok-Hibok has a crater lake at the peak and has steam outlets abound. The peak also offers a breathtaking view of the islands of Cebu, Negros and Bohol. 

Ardent Hot Spring
ARDENT HOT SPRING. The local hot spa is a natural pool of about 40 degrees centigrade springing from depths of Mount Hibok-Hibok. The Municipality of Mambajao has provided cottages, restaurant and dormitory facilities that cater to local and foreign tourists. It has picnic huts, cookout facilities and restrooms for visitors.It is ideal for night swimming, a place to rejuvenate both mind and body.

White Island
WHITE ISLAND. Two kilometers off the coast of Agoho, Mambajao is the Camiguin's popular sand bar. At times it is in the shape of the letter C, sometimes the letter I, depending on the ocean tide. It has the picturesque Mount Hibok-Hibok and Old Vulcan as its backdrop. It is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling.

Sto. Niño Cold Spring
STO. NIÑO COLD SPRING. Located in Catarman, the Sto. Niño Cold Spring has a pool measuring 25 meters by 40 meters. It is 2 meters deep of cold spring water sprouting from the sandy bottom. The area has a restaurant, native cottages, picnic huts, cookout facilities and restrooms for visitors. 

Camiguin is an island province of the Philippines located in Bohol Sea, about ten kilometers off the northern coast of Misamis Oriental in the Northern Mindanao region. It is the second smallest province both in population and land area next only to Batanes. The province is composed of 5 municipalities with the municipality of Mambajao as the provincial capital.

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 since the earlier inhabitants of the islands are Manobos from the Surigao region. 

Camiguin is of volcanic origin and consists of young stratovolcanoes overlying older volcanic structures. These major volcanic structures are Mt. Hibok-Hibok which erupted in 1953 and is still considered as an active volcano; Mt. Vulcan (671 meters); Mt. Mambajao (1,552 meters); Mt. Guinsiliban (581 meters); and Mt. Uhay. The other domes and cones in the province are Campana Hill, Minokol Hill, Tres Marias Hill, Mt. Carling, Mt. Tibane and Piyakong. 

The people of Camiguin are called “Camiguingnon.” The original inhabitants of Camiguin were Manobos who migrated from Surigao. Currently, the general population of the province is of Visayan descent. The languages widely spoken are Visayan and Cebuano. A few still speak Kinamigin – the original dialect of Camiguin – which is similar to the dialect spoken in Surigao. Nearly everyone in the province speaks English fairly well. 

The main livelihood in the province is fishing and farming, with copra providing the greatest income contribution. Other agricultural products are abaca, rice, mangoes, lanzones and other fruit trees. 

Several centuries-old Spanish colonial churches are found in various parts of the island. Among these are the famed Santo Rosario Church which was built in 1882; the old Catarman Church ruins and the Baylao Church which is claimed to be miraculous by saving many lives during the last volcanic eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok.

Each year in October, a festival is held in the province called the Lanzones Festival. Lanzones is a small grape-sized tropical fruit grown all over the island. The week-long festival is one of the colorful events in the Philippines.

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