Starting Point : Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Pasay
LEG 1 - MINDANAO
1. Misamis Oriental – Cagayan De Oro City, Balingoan
2. Camiguin - Mambajao
3. Bukidnon – Malaybalay City
4. Cebu – Mabolo City, Mactan
5. Ilocos Norte – Pagudpud, Bangui, Burgos, Laoag, Batac, Paoay
I took the 4:25 AM flight from Manila to CDO. I was excited because it would be my first time in Mindanao.
Upon arrival at the Benoni Port, I went inside a mini grocery fronting the port entrance to buy water. There I asked a cashier how to get to Mambajao, Camiguin's. Pronouncing it as "Mam-badjao", the girl appeared confused. I repeated it about three times before she finally understood what I've been trying to say and corrected me - "ahh, Mam-bahaw". There you go, whew.
After crossing the street, still unsure where to go, a local in a hot pink jacket started chatting with me. She insisted on touring me around Camiguin. Haha, I wasn't really planning on hiring a guide because I had limited funds but she wouldn't take no for an answer so I relented. She was likeable anyway and she helped me find a super cheap place to stay. She contacted a friend with a motorbike and he drove us around. (For the bike and the guideship, I paid a total of 700 Pesos with the 200 going to the guide). First order of business was for me to get settled in a nice, inexpensive lodge.
We went to the Enigmata Tree House. Unfortunately, the cheap rooms were booked so we moved further down Mambajao. I toured about two other hostels until we finally landed at GV Pension House near the public market.
I got a fan room for 300 Pesos only (Promo rate!). I wasn't expecting much but when I got inside, I felt thrilled. I had two single beds all to myself, bathroom and cable t.v.! I decided the other bed would be just for my bag. After all, it deserves a treat after putting up with me and my crazy adventures.
After freshening up and snacking on cereals , (totally skipped lunch :(, had to save money), I met with the lady again and we started the tour.
There are a lot of things to do around Camiguin. Ardent Springs and White Island are a must visit. I went to neither because it won't be fun to get wet alone. :P The entire province is enchanting but my favorite destination was our first stop - the Old Volcano.
|Cemented steps on the first part of the trail. Lost my other pics so I couldn't show my fave parts :(|
|Photo taken while riding a motorbike|
I insisted on going to the foot of Mt. Hibok-hibok and stare at it from a distance. I felt attracted to it and wished I had time to climb it.
I got back to the hotel around 7:00 PM and I was so tired! My legs and butt hurt very badly from the motorbike ride. I felt abused but it was worth it, hehe! Camiguin was great. That night, I skipped dinner again and went to sleep. Boo!
The following day was my schedule back to CDO. But before I departed, I walked around town and passed by Cafe 1914 . It's dubbed as “Home of the best Halo-Halo in the island”. For 60 pesos, you get a heaping serving of yummy halo-halo, topped with ice cream and decorated with wafer sticks and marshmallows. I really love their halo-halo! The ice wasn’t as fine as that of the famous Razon’s but the mixture of ingredients is definitely a contender for the best halo-halo in the country.
Since I skipped two meals the previous day, I made up for it and grabbed brunch at RJ Fastfood. They served fern salad with their value meals. The fern salad looks really interesting – very green, like dead, little worms on a plate and its taste reminded me of the local dish – Kilawin; it was slightly salty and tangy.
It was a hot day and I took my sweet time just wandering around the streets where I saw interesting, old structures. Then, it was time to go again. CDO, I'm coming back!
This post is part of my 8-day birthday backpacking trip from Mindanao to Luzon :
Camiguin Travel Info. Here