Sunday, February 21, 2010

White Island, Camiguin



white island camiguinFrom Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental, it perhaps took another 2 hours before reaching the port of Balingoan. From Balingoan, it probably takes around 30 minutes before the ferry reaches the small island province of Camiguin (second only to Batanes in terms of being the smallest province in the Philippines).

Brace yourself when arriving in Camiguin. As a tourist, before you even step foot off the ferry, you will be immediately swarmed by locals who will try to get you to make a deal with them regarding transportation, hotel accommodation, sight-seeing packages, and the like. I'm sorry to say this, but if you are on a limited budget and trying to be frugal, stay away from Camiguin (like I should have done). It is just a pure tourist island. There are comparable places in the Philippines for a fraction of the price.

But if you are adamant about going, then you should check out White Island while you are there. And it's not actually an island, but a white sand bar. It's just a short boat ride off the coast of Camiguin, but it will likely cost you around 600 PHP. Unfortunately, the sand bar will likely be bombarded by tourists. If you'd like to visit it with less people around, then you might want to try going around noontime, as I would assume most people would want to avoid the midday heat.

White island is just a sand bar--a barren landscape crowded with tourists--so I wasn't quite in the mood to swim or anything. I guess the best part about the place is that you can get a spectacular view of some of the mountains/volcanoes of Camiguin (there are seven volcanoes on the island)--most notably Mt. Hibok-Hibok (the active one).

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