Faith is not something we always see in tropical island destinations. The island of Camiguin, however, is different. After all, in a land where seven volcanoes lie, faith goes a long way. The faith and devotion of the people of Camiguin is apparent in many of its most popular attractions such as those in Catarman — the Walkway to the Old Volcano and the Sunken Cemetery.

Seated comfortably in the multi-cab that we hired for the day, I moved closer to the window to let the wind blow my hair dry. Coming from Ardent Hot Springs and Katibawasan Falls in the capital Mambajao, we were now headed for Catarman. But the wind was not the only thing pleasant about this trip. The road to Catarman provided spectacular view of Camiguin’s coastline.

Camiguin’s coconutty coastline

From the road we could see the island’s rocky shores where coconut trees lined up and swayed like giant arms waving to us. Although at times I felt the drive was a little dangerous as we drove on the edges of the cliffs, none of it mattered the moment we caught a glimpse of the scenic landscape.

The Walkway to the Old Volcano (Mt. Vulcan)

The slope of Mount Vulcan gets filled with prayers especially during Holy Week when the Panaad Festival happens. Devotees and tourists alike climb a series of steps which eventually becomes a mildly difficult hike. Along the way are statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross. These figures are about life-size and painted white, very easy to spot. Although the start of the trail was under the canopy of trees skirting the walk way, there were parts where they disappeared and we had to face the heat of the sun. It got tiring as we went on but the view from the top was simply breathtaking and was worth every step.

The first, bottom steps of the walkway
Start hiking to the top! It was easy at this point…
The first station: Jesus is condemned to death.
I honestly do not remember which station this belongs to…

The Sunken Cemetery

Mount Vulcan has erupted so many times before. Also known as the Old Volcano, Mt. Vulcan erupted in 1827 and 1862, which claimed hundreds of lives. In 1871, it had another eruption, this time causing the island’s old capital (during the Spanish era) sink underwater. One of the places that got soaked was the old community cemetery, which still emerged when the tide was low in the years following the disaster.

But the story doesn’t end there yet.

The cross that marks the spot where the cemetery used to be
The cross that marks the spot where the cemetery used to be

In 1948 and 1953, the old volcano demonstrated its immense power again, sinking the cemetery deeper under the sea. Today, it lies 20 feet below the surface. Corals has grown on and around tombstones and marine life has flourished, making it a unique and extraordinary diving destination. Marking the spot is a giant cross built on hardened lava in 1982.

CAMIGUIN GUIDE


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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Ma Aireen Sejas Berico says:

    In camiguin island may hot spring swimming pool s mambajao
    cold spring and sulfur water swimming @ sto nino catarman withn the municipality u cn vsit the Ruin of Guiob church,walkway to volcano and the sunken cemtry,
    may white sand beach pa.. With dlicious Pastel of camiguin..:)

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Whew! Thanks for enumerating Camiguin’s top tourist destinations! :)

  2. Singkit Lagi Puyat says:

    Been there during the Lanzones Festival last year, not much harvest though, but it was great. We’ll definitely return :)

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Aw, we haven’t experienced Lanzones Festival! We’ll try to go back!

  3. Dale Pearl says:

    not that impressive. I love Camiguin but this place is no more than a tourist trap.

  4. agree the place is just too small, i just like the fact n naalala ko ung creepy scene sa Ouija plus ung sskay k ng maliit n bangka in order to get there

  5. rein says:

    Any recommended hotel or hostel around?for a poor traveler?im planning to pay a visit. By plane or bus ride?

  6. Charmane says:

    Haven’t been there yet.. I’m so excited already by just the thought of paying Camiguin a visit.. Pretty soon.. :)

  7. Jhanna says:

    Been here once (or so I thought and remember) just last summer. The fact that this little island has 7 volcanoes in it is just A-MA-ZING. i mean, it might be scary but God’s wonders are just.. uhh speechless! Plus, you get to see and swim while in the white island (with nothing in it, not even trees, just WHITE sand surrounded by the clear blue sea!) Majestic view of the clear waters while on a boat ride, sobrang ganda ng corals and starfishes! :> Wanna go back there and get to feel the ‘rural living’. Sarap! <3

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