Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

9/29/2006

Camiguin: An Island of Surprise

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

“Having no expectations can sometimes be good thing”, as a friend once told me, “it keeps us open to surprises.”

At Camiguin Island, off Misamis Oriental, that was certainly the case. I had no expectations since I was there only to visit a friend and hardly took a look at the guidebooks on the area. But, one look at the roro, a large barge that would take us to the island, and I knew it was an experience worth savoring even if it was for the novelty.

Amidst, hoots of young mischievous boys, all of us girls climbed aboard the barge that would take us into the island of Camiguin. It would have been a humdrum trip if not for the dolphins that squeeked past in the middle of the trip

I didn’t know it at first, but as the passengers clapped, whistled and clicked their tongues, a school of dolphins swam by. I didn’t even know there were dolphins to be seen in these parts of the country. It was amazing and exhilarating.

Already, I could feel the magic of the island towards us.

As we got down from the port, we arranged for a multicab that would be our make-do chauffeur for the entire 2 day trip. At about P1,500 for gas and facilitites and 24 hour service, I think it was well worth it.

The island, amazingly, only has one major road that runs a full circle around the island. The road wound up and down mountains entertaining all of us with a majestic view of the sea and the greenery of the island. There were almost no streetlights, making me jot down a mental note not to ask for any nightlife around these here parts.

Our accommodation in the Camiguin Highland resort was nestled on top of a mountain. The service people echoed the feel of the island, relaxed and laid back. If you expect quick, efficient, ready-as-a-whistle service, then this might not be the place for you. But, if you do need friendly, bend over backwards service with a smile, then you have hit the jackpot.

The service in this hotel is top quality. Requesting for a whole fruit platter of papaya isn’t exactly normal, but that we did because the papayas were simply so sweet. The waitress agreed to our request without even batting an eyelash.

But the true highlight of my trip to Camiguin was their White Beach. Our multicab took us to one of the many shores with bangkas going to this island.

Lo and behold, out of the blue horizon came this island… sand bar in fact, so blue were the waters and pristine the sand that it was breathtaking. White Beach is actually a sandbar, changing its shape and size along with the demands of the tide. Sometimes it would shaped like an I, or an S, or a C. Today, it was a C.

It was a narrow strip of island with no party feel or trees lined walks like that of Boracay. On White Beach, there was only the simple pleasure of playing in the water. In the early morning, it was a respite above all the technological junk of the city.

The island struck me as something so beautiful and true. Beside all of the hype of the world, there is one such place that could take you away from it all.

Sitting once again at the roro on our way home, with the dolphins by our side, I remembered those pristine sands and the magic feel of that island and smiled. I had learned an important lesson on that trip – the best thing about life is to be open to surprises.

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