Friday, March 20, 2009

Camiguin in my heart

This photo courtesy of Irene

Last month the girlfriends and I got our collective asses together and flew south to a place called Camiguin.

Once again, I fell in love.

But not with anyone in particular. It was the island itself that captured a big part of my heart. A small island in the southern part of the Philippines, boasting of seven volcanoes and numerous hot and cold springs, waterfalls, and with white-sand beaches just a short boat ride away (about 15-20 minutes).

I'm a city girl born and bred, so Camiguin didn't capture my whole heart because it doesn't have the supermalls that I've grown so used to here in Metro Manila.

But still, notwithstanding the absence of malls, I didn't mind because the island had lots of pubs. I like pubs. Not only do they have great food at cheap prices, they also have cheap beer. Plus, free high-speed Wi-Fi. I could spend a whole day working online in a pub or restaurant near the beach, my laptop plugged in (for free!), sipping my beer, or eating pizza.

People who love city life will probably find Camiguin to be a little too laid back for their taste. Quite a lot of things I take for granted here in Metro Manila are missing there. For instance, I needed a new pair of disposable contact lenses but couldn't find any there. However, when I needed new alkaline batteries for my camera, I found them easily. There weren't any movie theaters, at least none that I could see, but satellite TV was pretty much commonplace. And did I mention the free high-speed Wi-Fi at so many bars and restaurants?

Camiguin isn't the easiest place to go to. From Manila, we flew to a city called Cagayan de Oro, then had to travel for two hours by land to Binangoan Pier, then took an hour-long boat ride to go to Camiguin itself. Given the island's relative remoteness and lack of noisy nightlife (despite the number of bars, it was still very quiet) I was quite surprised to see many young Westerners about. I saw them driving on scooters around the island, eating in restaurants, and using their laptops in the bars. It was a pleasant surprise to see that people from other parts of the world took the time and effort to go to this island and enjoy its serenity.

On our first day in Camiguin, after dropping our things off at a lodge that shall remain nameless (because we were so disappointed in the place, despite its international claim to fame), we rode a motorized canoe to White Island. White Island is actually just a sandbar, but it's so cool because when you face one side, you see semi-turbulent waters and noisy waves. Make a 180-degree turn and the water is suddenly still and quiet. The day was very cloudy and windy, but it was a lovely experience on White Island nonetheless.

After that, we headed back to the main island to visit one of the waterfalls. We had to hike quite a ways to reach it, and I was seriously thinking of giving up because my thighs were killing me. I just knew I wouldn't be able to get up and walk properly the next day because of sore leg muscles.

This photo courtesy of Irene

After the falls, we went to one of the island's hot springs. And man, that truly was a heavenly experience. As I settled my ass and the rest of my body in the lovely 40°C water (that's 104°F to you Americans) I swear it felt almost like having an orgasm.
Sweeet! I could hardly keep from moaning because it felt so damn good. I credit the hot springs for the lack of muscle soreness the next day. Sitting there, watching the mist rising from the water and being immersed in wet warmth was simply spectacular.

This photo courtesy of LAR

The next day, with hardly an aching muscle, we visited Mantigue Island, which is getting to be famous for its white-sand beach and great dive spots. There are no resorts there, though you can buy food and drinks from the locals if you want to. Again, it was a cloudy day with some rainfall, but it was still an enjoyable experience. We watched a local fisherman diving for sea urchins, which he and his family were having as part of their meal.

Above photo of me taken by Irene

A boatload of Western divers in Mantigue Island's waters

I loved Camiguin, and would love to go back again someday. My bestest girlfriend-with-a-penis feels the same way.

This photo courtesy of LAR

Thank you, Camiguin. May you forevermore remain natural and unspoilt.

*All photos by me unless otherwise stated. More of my Camiguin pictures on my Flickr page.


Travis said...

Looks fantastic!

Photo Cache said...

Oh this would be my utopia then, free wifi and peace and quiet and such fantastic views and the sound of waves crashing. You lucky dawg.

Kaya nawala ka ng matagal noon ano?

Mimi Lenox said...

The sky in the video is unbelievable and was that your little laugh I heard at the end? You took us on a journey with you.

The white sand was ....ummm....perhaps even orgasmic as well. Did I say that?

Thanks for sharing!

Terra Shield said...

Looks like you had a good time...

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Huh .... huh ...... and HUH! Very nice young Lizza and so thoughtful of you to be having a lovely time when Spring hasn't even sprung properly over here......tee hee ..... now, if only they had free wi-fi there.

In the top photo, are you *ahem* 'breaking wind?' - just askin'

Lizza said...

Trav: It was fantastic, indeed.

Photo: You would like the place, I agree. Pag uwi mo ulit, puntahan mo! Sandalu lang kami doon, iba ang dahilan ng absence ko. ;-)

Mimi: Guilty as charged. But my friend Rudy has a way of coaxing the laughter out of me, even when I'm depressed.

You can say "orgasm" here, no worries. ;-)

How are you, my dear Queen? I've been so remiss. Will catch up soon!

Terra: I had a great time.

DaddyP: Perhaps now isn't the time to mention I'll be heading off to another beachy-place in a few days?

And no, I wasn't breaking wind. It was just another of my famous off-balance moments captured on camera. And I wasn't even drinking at that time!

Julia Scissor said...

Whoa! Free wi-fi and sea and sand.
Btw, I just noticed that the link to my blog reads

Could you please remove the ' /index.html ' part?

Sidney said...

Why did you came back to Manila? Just for the malls?
Ask Mr. Sy to build one for you in Camiguin... ;-)

Bond said...

I so want to visit your part of the world