Going on a vacation may not be a sound idea for rest and relaxation especially if you do it on a Holy Week when airports could be so stressful. I experienced that last year when my three days stay in Davao had a horrible ending after I found out that my flight back to Cagayan de Oro was cancelled with the usual lame excuses of airline companies. The worst thing was they failed to inform me ahead and that I had to undergo series of exchange of arguments with the ground staffs… crap! So, this year, Holy Week for me means no airport. Instead, I chose to go to the Island Paradise of Camiguin with high hopes that my Holy Week would be much better and stress free this time. And I returned home…. guess what?
We arrived in Camiguin Monday afternoon around one o’clock. Actually, this is my nth time in this island but every visit of mine is always a unique experience. The Port of Benoni welcomes every visitor with inviting turquoise water lagoon and majestic mountains covered with greeneries. This breathtaking site makes me think that Peter Pan’s Wonderland isn’t found only in our dreams. They can be real as Camiguin. And as I stepped down from the barge, I knew that another journey in the paradise was about to begin….
Algen’s Dive Resort
Located in Catuhugan, Mahinog, Camiguin, this resort offers a homey experience. Actually, I just visited the place since my family were also in Camiguin and stayed here. They went ahead of me. It was my sister’s treat to my mom. I roamed around and found out that they have aircon and non-aircon rooms for P1500 and P1000 respectively good for two persons. Visitors can request for extra beds at an affordable rate. They also offer free breakfast and since it’s a dive resort, they can take you to the best diving spots in the island. Gears and equipment are available upon request.
The resort offers a quite environment ideal for meditation especially at night. I can still remember the rippling sound of the waves, the silvery sight of the sea enhanced by the moonlight and the stars. A song started to play in my mind… star starry night….
Refreshing! This is the word that best describes Katibawasan Falls. This waterfall is surrounded with lush wild green plants and volcanic rocks. Its freezing cold water is perfect for the scorching heat of summer.
I am confused whether this is an island or an islet, whatever. What really matters is it’s the most amazing tourist spot in Camiguin. Deserted with white powdery sand, this sand bar has a magnetic beauty that people are not contented to see it at the distance but allured to step, jump, and even lie down to it. This is the place where you should bring your swim goggles, a picturesque that is ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing. The best time of the day to visit here is during sunrise and sunset when the sun is not on its peak.
The primary reason why I have chosen Camiguin for my Holy Week getaway this year was to visit Walk Way. It is a steep hill that has the fourteen stations that commemorate Christ’s sacrifices on his way to Calvary. After all, this is what Holy Week is really all about. My faith taught me that it’s the most sacred time of the year when we honor the pains that Christ went through just to save us from the fires of hell.
It was already 4 o’clock in the afternoon when we went there and as I stood from my spot up the hill, I had the most dramatic view of the sunset and the sea perfectly matched with the overlooking view of Camiguin Island. I got a sigh of relief. Yes, it was a vacation but somehow I was able to observe what Holy Week is really all about.
Unlike last year when we had to pay for a five star hotel just to have a restful vacation, this year Camiguin offered me free accommodation. Thanks to the Abao Family of Mahinog Camiguin who always gives me a special treatment. They have been my host every time I visit the island. Camiguinons are hospitable by nature. They make sure your stomach isn’t empty. The seven days that I had was all about eating mouth watering traditional Filipino foods. Apart from meat and fish, I was served with Sauteed Shrimp, Kangkong, Okra, Binignit, Biko, Bula sa Lubi, Tablea, Buko Salad, and Buko Juice. Beat that? Those are worth thousand bucks in a five star hotel!
I returned home….
After seven days… I returned home with an extra smile, extra memories, and an extra weight. It was another great journey in the enchanted paradise of Camiguin. There, I experienced not having internet access for a few days. Instead, I communed with the sights and sounds of nature. Camiguin isn’t only a vacation spot perfect for Hawaiian Prints and Bikinis. It’s a volcanic island where you could appreciate God’s masterpieces through the beauty and bounty of nature. It’s a place where you could contemplate and strengthen your faith not only because it has some spots like The Walk Way but the people themselves are true to their religion. Yeah, I got what I was hoping for.
Camiguin… I want to be back there soon. There are so many beautiful stories and places in that island that make people come back. After all, Camiguin means Come Again.