Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A rare jewel in the Philippines – Camiguin's White Island!

{Trip from November 2010} Camiguin isn’t just any island. It's a rare jewel. Getting to this destination might take a lot from you (physically and mentally as you will have to endure a long travel by road and sea). But reaching it will all be worth it afterwards. And to top the whole trip off, staying at Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin made our visit in the island an even more enjoyable experience. 

Our third day in Camiguin was also our last. But Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin still made our last day one heck of a memorable one! Below was our last itinerary on the island:

Day 3 (White Island hopping)

06:00 Wake-up Call
06:30 Breakfast @ Ocean Side Bar & Grill (inclusive in the package)
07:00 Ready for the tou
07:15 Depart Bahay Bakasyunan and proceed to White Island
07:30 ETA/Agohay (entry point to White Island) take motorized pump boat
07:45 ETA/White Island (swimming snorkeling, sun-bathing, picture-taking)
11:00 Depart White Island and proceed to Resort
12:00 nn Lunch @ Ocean Side Bar & Grill (per pax account)
Pack-up ready for Check-out
Depart Resort and proceed to Benoni port

Our tour van was going to leave at 7 AM. But we were only able to leave at about 7:15 due to a few adjustments. We arrived 15 minutes later at Agohay (entry point to White Island), where an outrigger boat waited for us. The boat trip to the famous White Island took us 10 minutes. 

It's advisable that you bring an umbrella to the island, as there will be no cottages nor trees for you to seek shelter in, especially from the scorching heat of the sun. The white sandbar was completely void of plant life. Even the locals are prohibited from camping or staying long since the isle is known to be the kind that disappears when the afternoon draws to a near. I actually witnessed the sandbar sink further at around 11 AM.

Anyway, there will be locals stationed on the island, offering their beach umbrellas for a price (Php100/umbrella). But since we were only staying for a short while, we opted not to rent anymore. Besides, we came to the beach to get a tan, and not to hide from it.

We started walking by this beautiful island's shoreline right after alighting from the boat. The beach was fascinating, and the water was clear and bluish-green. The white sand was almost comparable to the one Boracay had (but Boracay has finer white sand). But despite that, the famous White island still had a lot of different things to offer, particularly the picturesque backdrop that Mt. Hibok-Hibok offered.

The adventure on the island started when we decided to get to the other side of the beach. To do so, one would have to go through 2-feet worth of water. We could actually feel the strength of the current when we were crossing the ocean, so we decided to just walk slowly through it. After a good 5 minutes, we were able to reach the other mount of the island. And since not many people visited this part of the beach, we opted to settle all of our things here.

We left the island around 11 am. But before proceeding back to the hotel, we made a quick stopover at the Phivolcs center (where we encountered an actual 'Bayawak') and 'by the viewpoint' (where we could see a panoramic view of Camiguin). We also dropped by the famous Centennial tree before heading back to BBC.

Since we already had our bags packed the night before, we decided to do a quick dip in the pool before getting our last meal in BBC. It was in fact, our last day to experience the beautiful pool in BBC, before heading back to Cagayan De Oro.

We checked out of BBC by 12 NN. Our tour guide Kuya Robert, who was also the resort driver, drove us to the nearest pasalubong shops. From there, we bought a few more Camiguin delicacies before heading back to CDO. 

We were able to buy several boxes of Tablea boxes (the best kind of home brewed chocolate drink that I’ve ever drank), as well as 2 kinds of Pastel bun brands (buns that were filled with a sweet sugary filling). As soon as we finished buying our pasalubong, we headed off to Benoni Port. 

We then bade our goodbye’s to Kuya Robert, and then boarded the Ro-Ro Boat back to Cagayan De Oro (a big sea vessel that allowed the boarding of trucks and other means of transportation). We arrived in CDO an hour and fifteen minutes later. Although the last 15 minutes of our boat trip consisted of light rain showers, CDO still welcomed us the second time with open arms. We were thrilled to set foot on CDO again, as we were about to start another journey in Mindanao.

As for the rest of our journey.. well, you’ll have to stay tuned for those last few awesome days!

Explore & Be Free!
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