The "City of Golden Friendship" as it is described by many. Home of the friendliest locals, who without a doubt embodies their city's brand. Cagayan de Oro is one of the provinces of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and it is one of the highly urbanized cities there is located down the archipelago. It serves as a regional center and business hubs for Northern Mindanao. The place is most famous for their whitewater rafting as well as kayaking adventures along the Cagayan de Oro river. Apart from this, it can also be a gateway to one of the heavenliest places there is in the Philippines - Camiguin! Goodness cow, these two places when combined can give you a hell of a good time! It's surely one of my trips to remember!
Good news is I have planned this with my friends beforehand! Which means... there will be an itinerary waiting for you at the end of this lol and a budget! I hate to call it budget since I'm not a heavy budget person but it is what it is. Or maybe I should call it out-of-the-ordinary expenses list. Hmm hmm, let's see!
I have also decided that to shorten my entries (ahem* since most of my readers are working or studying) I will be blogging about places one day at a time! Should I explain this further? Day 1, Day 2, etc, etc... Going back! We arrived at Laguindingan International Airport at around 6 or past six in the morning. Yes because we took the earliest flight at around 4:40 or 5am, I think. It's a breeze when you arrive earlier honestly, since you have the luxury to walk in pace, especially if you were like us who dedicated half of their day on the way to an island 5 hours away from the airport. You might be thinking right now 'WHY THE HECK DID SHE SPEND HER TIME DESCRIBING CAGAYAN DE ORO WHEN SHE ACTUALLY WENT TO CAMIGUIN FIRST' lol pretty much because it's were we landed! Hashtag writer problems, sorry
Anyway, so we rode a cab to Agora Market where the bus going to Balingoan were all located. Travel time takes approximately an hour, rate ranges from P180-P200. From there, you ride a bus going to Balingoan Port (P130). Be sure to pick a comfy place for you to sit on since it'll take more than 2 hours - almost 3 if I remember it correctly. From the drop-off point of the bus, you can either walk going to the terminal which will take about 5-10 minutes or take a tric (like all of us lazy people) for P10 per person. From there you'll see a ferry which leaves every hour, earliest from Balingoan Port (CDO) to Benoni Port (Camiguin) is at 4:30am and the latest is at 2:45pm and fare is at P130/person. IMPORTANT REMINDER: Be there an hour before - you'd be asked to pay some stuff and have your baggage checked so no last minute wrap ups! Ferry ride takes an hour even if you can already see Camiguin from a distance lol something I would never understand.
We have made prior arrangements with Paguia's Cottages Camiguin for the tours. One reason we picked them is because you can customize the whole thing from deciding what will be the places for day 1/day 2 and they have affordable rates, a decent place to stay in, and your private multicab with the most upbeat songs! We basically forgot about our phones and just went through their music lol
See? Camiguin from a distance!
© Marianne Matic
Shall we begin with Day 1? After that long and tiring introduction lol we started off with lunch before we head on to our first destination which is Katibawasan Falls. Just a little bit of segway, food is cheap in Camiguin you can actually eat with P50 on your wallet depending on how #baboy you are. In my case, I prefer it within the P100 range.
The falls, even in its simplest form, is a sight. The green trees surrounding the cold water, the sound of the birds that go perfect with your ears, and the serenity that would make you want to stay for hours either swimming or just sitting there thinking nothing more than how some places can be this amazing - no matter how simple and plain it is. Too bad, we left our swimsuits inside our bags but we had a dip if that changes anything lol
Shortly after Katibawasan, we headed to Sto. Nino Cold Spring. But we made a quick stop as we passed by the landmark of Camiguin's Old Volcano. You'll know why when you finally get there! The view is gorgeous, as usual. I bet it's a natural thing for Camiguin having all these gorgeous places.
Camiguin's Old Volcano
The way the sun beams and reflects on the water is such a magnificent view. I actually like how Camiguin is surrounded everywhere with water. There's a sea on the side for every road you pass on. It glistens along with the radiating sun. Ugh I love this place I can be here for weeks!
Anyhow going back... So we went to Sto. Nino Cold Spring which is by the way as natural as the beauty of Camiguin. Everything here is effortless and pretty natural lol it's a great place to relax and chill from the long day that you just had. Pair it up with a buko juice and you're good to go!
Sto Nino Cold Spring
After our relaxing swim at the cold spring, we hurriedly proceeded to the Sunken Cemetery before Mr. Sun totally says goodbye. I don't know why but the huge marker cross on its own is already a sight to see. We weren't able to ride the small paddle boats anymore to go to the cross but we surely had magnificent pictures stored in our minds. I am in awe of how Camiguin was built into this really amazing location with nothing but breathtaking scenery.
We spent around 5-10 minutes just looking at the view and taking pictures. After that, we passed by at the restaurant where we'll have dinner before going to another relaxing swim at Ardent Hot Spring. The first step we had at the water, it was so relaxing we forgot to take pictures lol missed on the food for dinner too! But we ordered mostly grilled stuff like chicken and pork, it's actually good. However, the one thing that disappointed us the most is when we asked for another cup of rice their reply surprised us with rage. "Naubusan po kami ng kanin" and we were all like WHO DOES THAT? SERIOUSLY! lol you don't mess with hungry people in all ways more than one. We waited for a good 30 minutes because they said they would try to look for rice but ended up cancelling the order since they obviously didn't address the problem at all.
Anyway, we had beer night to cap off our first day! That is to celebrate on how amazing the place is ..and to lament on how the eatery we'd gone for dinner didn't have an extra serving of rice lol
DAY 1: ITINERARY
DAY 1: ROUGH LIST OF EXPENSES
DAY 1: ITINERARY
- 06:45am - Arrival at Laguindingan International Airport
- 07:45am - Agora Market - board the bus going to Balingoan Port
- 07:45am to 08:30am - Waiting time for bus to board passengers
- 08:30am - Departure from Agora Market Bus Terminal
- 11:30am - ETA Balingoan Port - ride ferry going to Benoni Port
- 12:30pm - ETA at Benoni Port
- 12:30pm to 1:30pm - Lunch
- 1:30pm to 8:00pm - Camiguin Tour: Katibawasan Falls, Sto Nino Cold Spring, Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, Ardent Hot Spring
- 08:30pm - Dinner
- 09:00pm - Socials/Beer Night
DAY 1: ROUGH LIST OF EXPENSES
(Please note that this is individually quoted and based on the number of persons who traveled which is on our case, 4)
- Cab from Laguindingan International Airport to Camiguin - P50
- Bus from Agora Market to Balingoan Port - P130
- Ferry from Balingoan Port to Camiguin - P130
- Half Day Tour from Paguia's Cottages (an estimate only since we had a customized tour on our whole stay; includes a multicab rental, going around the city and entrance fees that you'd have to pay) - P600
- Lunch - P100
- Dinner - P100
- Beer for socials (2 bottles) - P60
- Accommodation (1 night) - P375
I repeat these are rough estimates and based on how I budget my money when traveling which is not high maintenance but not strict either. If you're just like me, this is good to go.