Camiguin is a diverse island province some 10 kilometres north of Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao. Discovered by prominent explorers Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Ferdinand Magellan, Camiguin is the Philippines’ second smallest province, next to Batanes up north. The island is dotted by seven volcanoes and a number of volcanic domes and is said to be ‘born of fire’, with its natural attractions shaken into shape by volcanic eruptions and moulded by the outpouring of molten lava.
Once a Spanish settlement, American colony and Japanese outpost, the island now serves as one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Northern Mindanao, and is considered a gateway to the region, along with the neighbouring Misamis Oriental.
Visiting Camiguin from Boracay
Camiguin island has a diverse ecosystem due to its unique and varied terrain and rural situation. Visitors are pulled in by its majestic volcanoes, untouched caves and waterfalls, together with kilometres of striking beaches that are lined by coconut trees. The island is also known for its natural springs, diverse marine life and mixed cultures.
Many visitors are charmed by the creativity of the island’s celebrations and festivals. Two major feasts are frequented by tourists, including the colourful Lanzones Festival, celebrated as gratitude for the province’s natural bounty. Camiguinons are very religious people and as with the rest of the country, observes certain traditions honouring Lente. Panaad (literally ‘commitment’) is a Holy Week pilgrimage celebrated annually to commemorate Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind.
The market and farm life in the province is thriving, with Camiguin being one of the largest producers of indigenous products like coconut, banana, cassava, coffee, fruits and palay (rice). Camiguin is also one of the best sources of abaca fibre, used in a wide range of industries, from textile to cosmetics and many other useful purposes.
What to see and do in Camiguin
The island is one of the top tourist hotspots in the Philippines, and is also recognised as one of the top 10 diving spots around the world. Nature is its major attraction, and the region’s weather patterns compliment its green environment. The weather is generally good and dry throughout the year, except for some seasonal rainy spells during the wet season. The summer months of April until June ensure fine weather, while cool breezes are to be expected from November to January.
Various tour operators also provide a wide range of excursion options, whether you want to discover the rich marine life and the rich underwater treasures or experience nature through treks around mountains, hot and cold springs and other impressive natural landmarks. Among the most popular destinations in the island are the Katibawasan Falls, Ardent Spring, White Island, and for diving enthusiasts, the sunken cemetery.
Treks to the magnificent waterfalls around the island are scenic and challenging at times, although special skills are not entirely needed to get to these hidden beauties. Katibawasan Falls is located some five kilometres from the capital, Mambajao, and the park provides a wide range of hiking trails, some of which even lead to the slopes of majestic Mount Hibok-hibok. The Tuasan Falls on the other hand can be reached via a scenic hiking trail which passes through the old-fashioned barrio called Mainit in Catarman. natural products, but for their craftworks as well. With the region’s abundance of local materials, people showcase artistry and skills through basket making, metal works and pottery. Camiguin is the best source for abaca products, from chairs to bags, and other decorative and ornamental goods.