Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Journey to Majestic Camiguin Island

         A  month before we set sail to the magnificent Camiguin Island, my good friend Dennes had been planning to conquer, explore and take the risk to such known island. A great plan and dream but yet foolish… The plan is to take on the challenge from our starting point Davao city
(,125.618362&spn=0.143261,0.154324&t=h&z=13) to Cagayan de Oro City (,124.644785&spn=0.071393,0.077162&t=h&z=14) via Buda. From Cagayan to Port Balingoan (,124.846187&spn=0.008912,0.009645&t=h&z=17) and to Port Benoni (,124.786395&spn=0.008909,0.009645&t=h&z=17) with the total of 581 km. and not exceeding to 12 hours of long trip to our destination.

Joey the brother of Dennes step-out in the shadows and offer his utmost time be our guide and protector to such foreign island, a man who live to tell the tale for what Camiguin shall bestow upon us, as we arrive. With the coordination of Joey and Dennes, the plan has finally establish and I as in charge of proclamation and announcement and also part time dishwasher, listed ladies and gentlemen with a requirement of strong will and willing to take on the risk. Many are called but few are choosen.

As time drew closer and closer, I finally form an elite group who will withstand the difficulties of such challenge. Here are the list of those brave men and women:
Dennes B. Abing = The captain
Marie Chris D. Cadenas = 1st Lady
Richie Abing = Head Cook
Chang Beltran = Guest Relation Officer
Joey Abing = Navigator  (Tourist Guide)
Klent Ian Santos = Wing man | Photographer
Lenton Montejo = Hmmm…. Ice breaker? (banga!)
Gladys Rafols = The one who will tame Lenton Montejo
Haidee = Muse
Lyndon Abing = Video Executive Producer
Cyril Madrones        = Official Photographer
Jek2x = Official Driver
Kassi = The dog
Loda Mytt(Ritche) = Entertainer, official clown and the head cook apprentice.
Robert Earl Guanco (Me) = News Anchor and also dishwasher.
Ate Xanthe and Derek = Bulilit Kids

        The long awaited day has come forth, equip with the state of the art lethal toothbrush, armored clothing, battle sandals, Xray shades, hat helmet, short and long armed camera, potion shampoo, ageless soap, Hi-end laptops, wealthy bunch of gold coins and a lot more put together in a travelers bag weighing more or less 20 kilos. Exactly 10:30 pm Philippine time, we are fully ready to take on the first step to our journey, as I look towards my fellow companion, all I can see was the burning desire in each other’s eyes. We are lucky enough that the God allow us to take on the last bus trip to Cagayan (almost run-out of sits actually). As the bus #2806 started to ignite its engine and maneuvering its way out of Ecoland, we bid farewell to our beloved Davao city for the meantime.

        We arrived to our 2nd destination Cagayan de Oro city with the time 5:20 Am particularly in Gusa. We seek refuge for a while in Auntie Nita’s house in which Joey and Jek2x are eagerly waiting upon our arrival. The elite group takes some rest and others check on their belongings, reloading their respective gadgets for the adventure of a life time. Dennes with his mighty stand as his words echoes in the room calling us to hear upon his words to layout the plans for the adventure, if not to prevent but to lessen the casualties of our journey. In his voice I can sense fear but the willingness to do this long awaited adventure overcomes such emotions. As the  saying goes “Don’t start your journey with an empty stomach”, Manoy Richie get on the spot light with the aid of Ate Chang and Buritche prepared a bountyfull lunch filled with mouthwatering Kinilaw!

        It’s time to start moving as we put our luggage to the green coated jeep with a signboard located on its front forehead, a bold word inscribe FREEDOM. The elite group bids farewell to Auntie Nita and we started our journey, destination Port Balingoan. It takes us at least 2 hours to get there and to our shocked it was filled with a jump pack crowed! Wanting to take on the last trip to Camiguin. If we were merely on our own it will take us decades to get on the barge but out of nowhere Joey makes his move, I don’t personally know what he did but miraculously we are among those who are listed to take on the last trip. As our jeep pass over those luxury vehicles you name it and it was there, people throw us there judging eyes and some others envy us for our luck. The time is exactly 5:23 pm and the barge still didn’t move an inch to the sea and a problem shows up that the barge is experiencing overload and it needs to lessen the passengers. God never abandon as, he spare us from the troubles. All the passengers are ordered to stay out of the barge to check on those tickets but we stayed on the jeep. Many passenger almost all of them are very much angry that they want to eat those barge staff alive and some others just give up on the trip. The time is 7:23pm and the barge started to blew its horn and slowly sway away from the port, we are happy that we make it through but the happiness was shortly cut off as we hear our stomach’s rambling… we are hungry!

Air blew so nice saying that the water is safe for our passage and no harm shall fall upon us. I stand at the top of the jeep looking ahead to the silhouettes of the island as my inner rhythm talks to me how god loves our country that I am now gazing upon his great work. It takes us at least 1 hour to get there and I can already see the port of Benoni, passengers started to make some ruckus above and the staff warned them not to do so, let them stay put as the barge finally lower its lower its deck bridge. Time is 8:10pm as the lower deck bridge successfully touched the concrete cement of the port and people rush to get out of the said barge, I don’t know if they are all excited about the island but one thing is for sure they are all dying of starvation! hehehehe…

From the port of Benoni, Jek-jek started to put the jeep engine to its humble slumber unto a bull raging state and we are all set to put our very first step in the land of volcanoes!. Still many people flocking away from the barge, it is like a scene in General Santos City Fish Port in which they are excited to get Tuna but it is actually opposite, people from all walks of life are excited to get their respective luggage. As our vehicle created some noise saying hello to the island for the very first time, I gaze back to the facial expression of my amigoas family, the looks of starvation had blown away and excitement once again restituted unto their countenance.

         We arrive to our very first pit stop to refuel our angry tummy and we stumble upon this very nice restaurant. If you mistakenly look at it, it is like a scene like in Macau. They serve all variety of dish from Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Filipino cuisines. We are starving to death and we help ourselves with nice food the problem was our rice taste like laundry soap but the staff of the said resto are resourceful enough to provide us a new set of rice (except for Denes hehehe nag kaon na lang xa ug chopsuey). The time is 9:45pm and we are done eating, we are considered as tourist so what tourist usually do? PICTURE TAKING! What else. We take pictures like there is no tomorrow.  We travel a couple of kilometers again to where we are staying for the day or two and it is located in Paras Beach resort (,124.661726&spn=0.004453,0.004823&z=18)

        Our room is cozy enough for our large pack accommodation and we rest our earthly body for tomorrows great event!. The morning sun greeted us a nice warm morning good thing Manoy Riche and Ate Chang is already preparing breakfast and our breakfast is consist of a heavy loaded Bihon with loaf bread, Milo and coffee for our heavy loaded schedule for the day. Our itinerary stated that we must went to the White Island, If you miss the white island is like losing ¼ of your life. We arrive at the island with people already there enjoying the white sand. I don’t know if we went there to swim to the beach or do some Model Picture Taking!. As my feet step on the very first time unto the shore I was amaze it is beyond words to describe and when I look back to where we came from I was stunned by the scenery a breathtaking view of the island. I lavish each scenery and burned it inside my coconut shell, in every direction I look I was left speechless!. The mountain forms like a drama on television, volcanoes soundly asleep setting on the island, well I don’t want to wake them up who would like to do so anyway? hahaha. Cyril did his job by making us models and the result was even more outstanding!, we look like indeed a model (ang mupalag pangit!) Look at our pictures and you decide :).

We tour around the island and in every breath taking view we stop over and do a lot more of undying picture taking, one scene was we are in this cliff and we can see the sea and I stand on the road edge column and do the UP oblation statue with my pants on ok! Kuya Ian’s picture of me was so great that I can believe that it was me! (ang mupalag pangit!). There are a lot of tourist spot we went to and if I may continue I can talk for days! of our great journey! Don’t worry there were no animals harmed in our journey (except for the starfish … blame Glady’s and Haidee for that).

        The road along costal side are all cemented, therefore it is easy for tourist like us to travel Kodus! To the local government of Camiguin for doing such priority. As we do all those road trip encircling the island, if I wasn’t in the roof of the jeep I was in the tail side with my never dying cowboy hat and old school shades while my hands extending on the right side of the road as if I was touching the face of the island how smooth it was gliding on my finger tips. It was indeed euphoric if not blissful of our journey and we live to tell the tale of what Camiguin did to us while we are at her embrace. We are very much satisfied of what we experience the sight and sounds of Camiguin and we can’t still get the full potential of the island, our time is limited so we must make haste to do so, if not all but most of the spot as we can. We went to the sunken cemetery were we dive to see if it is really true well I gave my word it is indeed true. If my mind serves me right on that day we have swim and dive 4 times in every tourist destination spot, we went to sto. NiƱo cold spring and it is really cold.

          After a tiring day and also we are hungry, we ate and dine to Arden Hot spring. I was so tired that I don’t want to move an inch or my body will fall into pieces I’d rather sleep on where I am at that moment, but the spirits of the spring called upon my name that she will heal my aching body by her warm tears. I was helpless and intoxicated by her soft voice, the place was enchanted when I look above all I can see is darkness but within the darkness a white cotton slowly fall unto the ground it was like snowing inside the hot spring!. As I put my foot unto the hot spring 25% of my aching body disappear and when I soaked my entire humanly body on it I was relieve of all those negative charge within my body. If only I have enough fortune I would like to stay there a month or two but we need to go back to reality and earn a lot more to satisfied our claims and wants. But one thing is for sure for that expedition we made if not all of them but million will agree to me if I say that Camiguin Island is beyond a beauty to barely hold upon. Total cost of the expedition 3000 Philippine Pesos, overall experience Priceless!.

         I will end my story here and let our pictures continue to bewildered you the sight and sounds of the majestic Camiguin Island and today we are back in Davao City and still dreaming to came back again, if god may kind enough to let me once again come there, I will make sure that I will bring a special someone with me hehehehe.

Facts and Figures:
Total Image Taken: 3000+ images
Total Length of videos covered: 3 hours
Total Tourist spot experience:  7
Total electronic Files covered: 9.71 GigaBytes