June 12, 2014

The City of Golden Friendship ( Day 1 and 2)

This is my first time to go to Mindanao. :D

Getting there (June 5, 2013):

We took a flight from Manila to Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro via Cebu Pacific. We chose to fly at night for us to have enough rest for the next day’s activities. But our flight was delayed for three hours and we arrived at Lumbia Airport around 11 pm. Whew!

From Lumbia Airport, we were fetched by my friend (who’s from CDO) and from there to their house was almost an hour drive. 

Day 1 (June 6, 2013)

Camiguin Island

We left the city at 5:30 am so we can catch the first ferry trip and we arrived at Balingoan around 7:15 am. The first trip already left so we waited for an hour for the next one. On the bright side, there were sari sari stores outside the port and we stayed there and had coffee: there were two choices, Nescafe 3in1 and Kopiko black. I had two Kopiko black; I hadn’t had enough sleep the last night that’s why.

Outside the port.
The island as seen from the port. This island has four stratovolcanoes.
After waiting for like forever, our ferry arrived. Woohoo!

Ferry ride from Balingoan to Camgiuin Island is around 1 hour. Upon arriving at the island, we were fetch by our guide then we just left our things in the hotel and explored the island right away. 

Our first stop was Katibawasan Falls (we ate lunch at the stores  nearby).

The Waterfalls was just breathtaking!

The water was very cold and clear and there were only five of us swimming at the falls at that time (which is good since I don't like crowds especially when I'm on a vacation).

Right after swimming at Katibawasan, our next stop was at the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross. On our way, we passed this very nice view and we took pictures (sayang eh :)).

I was actually hesitant to walk to the top of the Walkway but I went on as Ayan patiently waits for me. Our friend, Shine, stayed at the cab.

The pavement is not cemented after the 5th station.

I almost quit when I reached the 11th station, I felt like I'm going to faint. Bring a bottle of water when you decide to trek the Walkway. 

At the top of the Walkway

After the unexpected trekking, we went to the Underground Cemetery. The underground cemetery was the town's cemetery back when we were still a colony of Spain (I was thinking that you are familiar with Philippine history). It was subsided to below sea level in 1871 at the time of the Mt. Vulcan eruption. 
**You can actually see tombs underwater but I didn't get a clear photo of them. This is also the place where the horror movie of Judy Ann Santos was shoot. 

From the Underground Cemetery we went to the Old Church Ruins. This is the old church of Catarman town that was destroyed during the eruption of Mt. Vulcan.   

From the Old Church Ruins we then went to Sto. Nino Cold Spring.

The water was very very cold.

Sto. Nino cold spring lived up to its name; it was really cold! It is better if you go here when the sun is still up. We decided to eat dinner at Sto. Nino before going to our next stop, Ardent Spring: a natural hot spring resort. Some of the stores nearby offer home cooked meals although a little bit pricey (but it's worth the money).

Ardent Spring was very relaxing and the water is just hot enough. Although I'm not sure if it's the water that is hot since there were a lot of people at the spring. :) My camera was down when we were at the Spring and I never had the chance to take even just one photo.

Day 2 (June 7, 2013)

White Island

We decided to go here before the sunrise but some plans are just not meant to happen. The island is just a kilometer away from the shore of Mambajao, Camiguin. There are no trees here; it's just the white sands and the almost crystal clear water. Its shape changes with ocean tides. 

One of the vendors at the island joked that the island changes its shape because the Japs take the sands away then after sometime they bring them back. Hilarious!

Nahiya pa si Kuya

From the island, we hired a boat (P200 for us three) to take us in the middle of the sea to snorkel (snorkels/sea goggles are provided by the resort for free). It was very fun to watch the fishes and corals until one sea snake came to sight. Our boat almost turned around (I am looking at you Shine). Though the sea snake did nothing, it just swam below (I think the sea was 12-14 ft deep).

Ready for check out

Below is our itinerary (tour c/o Paguia's Cottages):

Day 1:

· 5:30 AM – 5:45 AM – Travel to Agora Bus Terminal
· 5:45 AM – 7:15 AM – Travel to Balingoan
· 7:15 AM – Arrived at Balingoan
· 7:20 AM – Arrived at Port
· 8:45 AM – 10:00 AM – Ferry ride to Camiguin
· 10:00 AM – Arrived at Camiguin Island
· 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Travel to Katibawasan Falls
· 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch and Swim at Katibawasan Falls
· 1:30 PM – Arrived at Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross
· 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM – Climb Walkway
· 3:00 PM – Arrived at Underground Cemetery
· 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Picture taking at Underground Cemetery
· 3:45 PM – Arrived at Old Church Ruins
· 3:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Picture taking at Old Church Ruins
· 4: 30 PM – Arrived at Sto. Nino Cold Spring
· 4:30 – 6:00 PM – Swim and dinner at Sto. Nino Cold Spring
· 7:00 PM – Arrived at Ardent Hot Spring
· 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Swim at Ardent Hot Spring
· 9:30 PM – Arrived at Paguia’s Cottages

Day 2   

· 8:00 AM – Boat ride to White Island (you can actually go here earlier, we were just too tired to wake up early)
· 8:30 AM – Arrived at White Island
· 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Swim/Snorkel and lunch at White Island
· 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM – Boat ride to Paguia’s Cottages
· 12:30 – 2:30 PM – Prepare for check out
· 2:30 – 3:30 Travel to port
· 4:00 – 5:00 PM – Ferry ride to Port
· 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Travel to Cagayan de Oro (we have to ride on a non-aircon bus since most air conditioned bus are full, travel time is longer)
· 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Dinner at Shine’s house (free delicious meals :))
· 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Travel to Divisoria Night Market (Only at Friday and Saturday nights)
· 9:30 PM – 10:00 PM – Roam around and bought shorts for white water rafting
· 10:00 PM – 10:30 PM – Tea and coffee at Coffeeworks (besides Xavier U)
· 11:30 PM – Sleep

Budget (per person):

Package Tour c/o Paguia’s Resort (includes accommodation, transportation, breakfast meal and entrances):
P1,750/per person

Fare (Including bus and ferry):
around P600

Day 1:
Lunch at Katibawasan – P80
Dinner at Sto. Nino Cold Srping – P230

Day 2
Breakfast (c/o Hotel)
Lunch at White Island – P50

 Total:  P2,710

***Paguia's Cottages contact number: 09175446311

Day 3 (White Water Rafting)

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