Thursday, March 12, 2009

Katibawasan Falls, Camiguin, The Island of Fire (Part II)

The time we spent at Camiguin’s famous sandbar, White Island, was really amazing. But come midday, we all had to go back to our resort for  a quick lunch before we finally visited all the other notable tourist spots in the area…
Enjoying the natural scenery…
Taking a refreshing dip and relishing the greenery all around us…
Katibawasan Falls. It measures 250 feet high. The falls gushes to a pool surrounded by wild ferns, shrubs and boulders. Be careful when you visist the place otherwise you won’t totally enjoy your P30 worth of entrance fee no matter how affordable that is! A very frightening thing happened with my husband here. My parents and I were so busy admiring its beauty when Peter surreptitiously disappeared into the waters. It turned out, the majesty of the falls beckoned to him and so he threaded its waters with his floater (salbabida) and before he knew it, he was right below where the water falls. Imagine the magnitude of the force of the water falling down on him from 250 feet high! He got submerged and pulled down into a whirpool of bubbles. He was drowning! We didn’t even notice it. We thought he was just happily swimming in its natural pool of liquid ice. Thank God for his presence of mind, he managed to NOT fight the pressure of the water and instead swam way beneath the surface, towards the other side, until he couldn’t feel the pressure of the bubbles anymore. That’s when he surfaced. Whew! How ironic it was when he then saw this teeny tiny sign that says “bawal lumangoy dito” in Cebuano dialect. Tsk, tsk. Even I didn’t see that from where I was standing! They should’ve made the sign a lot bigger!

Just imagine how rich the history is of everything buried underwater…
Cross Marker, Sunken Cemetery & Stations of the Cross. It was already 3 p.m. when we reached this next spot. We could’v rented a banca for Php2000 to reach the cross marker itself and to do a bit of snorkeling but we were running out of time and we still had a few more other sites to see (we only had until the next morning before we were scheduled to go back to Cagayan de Oro City). So we instead opted to just view its beauty from afar. I figured that was good enough. Maybe we can explore it more next time. Same thing with the Stations of the Cross. My parents didn’t have the stamina to climb so we just had a photo op at the base of the mountain.

The whole capital of Camiguin, with its cemetery, sunk under the sea. In the following years, the sunken land and the gravestones can still be seen when the tide is low. But in 1948 until 1953, Mount Vulcan erupted again, sinking the whole area deeper, to around twenty feet. In 1982, a large cross was built on the solidified lava to mark the site that became the graves of the ancestors of the Camiguin people. It has become a sunken cemetery. Now, it is one of the world’s most unique diving sites.

Catarman Church Ruins (Gui-Ob Church). The Catarman Spanish settlement was established in 1697. After almost 200 years (1871), a major volcanic eruption devastated the area and left rubbles of the Old Spanish Church with its adobe walls. It is our only glimpse to the Spanish era that pervaded the island during that time. 
The water was indeed freezing!
…It was a nice refreshing welcome from alll that summer heat.
As for me, I’d rather enjoy the scenery. Ultra cold water is just not for me.   
Sto. Niño Cold Spring. Located also in Catarman, this natural site is a refreshing welcome from the heat after visiting some of the island’s tourist spots. The pool measures 25 meters by 40 meters, and sprouts cold water at a depth of  2 meters from the sandy bottom. The spring resort is complete with native cottages, picnic huts, cookout facilities and restrooms for guests’ use.
You can actually boil an egg in one of their pools!
Hot water…now that’s more soothing.
Even Peter thinks so…
Ardent Hot Spring. My last memory of this place was back in high school when my grandparents and cousins stayed one weekend to relax and unwind in its hot waters. When I visited again with my husband and parents, the place still looks the same — charming, serene and relaxing. We stayed until the early evening before we headed back to our resort.
The next day was spent simply enjoying the rest of the resort.  We toured their lush garden , checked out the Camiguin Action Center, bummed at the beach, watched from a distance the little white spark in the middle of the sea (White Island) …. Though we couldn’t wait to get to Cagayan de Oro to see our grandparents,  the island of fire will always have a special place in our hearts.  ^_^

‘Til my next summer summer pick!  
See all my posts about this trip here:  Vis-Min Tour

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