Fire and Nice
Written on 07/03/11 at 19:43:36 WPST by Admin
AnnouncementsFire and Nice It’s an island with fiery origins and a history rooted in
adventure, but travelers who come to Camiguin also find that it’s a fantasy island that offers peaceful haven.
An hour’s car ride from Cagayan de Oro’s Lumbia Airport takes you to the northern coast of Misamis Oriental, to the Balingoan pier; from there, you can get the first view of the island of Camiguin as it rises dramatically on the horizon.
The island is made blue and gray by the distance, and with the volcanoes of Mt.
Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan its most prominent features, Camiguin radiates
equal parts menace and promise. It takes an hour-long ferry ride to cross
the 10-kilometer strip of Gingoog Bay that separates Camiguin from Misamis Oriental, and as the island grows closer, the landscape only looks more and more
rugged and dramatic. It’s a relatively small island-province; at only 29,187 hectares, it is the smallest, in fact, in northern Mindanao. Camiguin claims to have the highest concentration of volcanoes than any other land area on earth; and there are more volcanoes, in fact, than there are towns in Camiguin—seven volcanoes, two of which have been fatally active, to only five towns.

Volcanoes always look primordial, but remembering that Mt. Vulcan Daan broke
out of the ground just a few generations ago—in 1871, after destroying the town of Catarman—makes it all that much more fearsome. And, still in living memory, the larger Mt. Hibok Hibok was active from 1948 to 1951; the last and biggest of its long series of deadly eruptions forced nearly half the population of Camiguin to flee and find more peaceful shores.

Indeed, it seems as if the island’s entire history is fraught with action and
adventure. The earliest written records about the island show that both Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi both landed in Camiguin in the mid-1500s, heralding the first Spanish settlements in 1598 in what is now Guinsiliban—the place name refers to the watchtower, which still stands to this day, where the soldiers were on the lookout for marauding pirates.

On throughout the centuries, Camiguin has figured prominently in battles big and
small, perhaps the greatest of which was the fierce Battle of Camiguin in 1945,
which resulted in the liberation of the island from the Japanese Imperial Army.
Despite that belligerent and adventuresome past, however, today the province makes bold claims as to being “one of the most peaceful islands in the
Philippines,” on its official local government website. “Though the province
had registered some criminality, but it is only minimal and manageable. There is no indication of dissident terrorists, local and foreign threats to national security noted.”

The island’s small size also means that its attractions are concentrated and accessible. The island is rife with all sorts of natural springs (hot, cold, even soda), waterfalls, caves, rock faces, dive sites, mountains. It’s a
sort of dream destination in its way, and the guidebook rightly warns that because Camiguin is yet “uncorrupted by large numbers of tourists, those who do come tend to feel proprietorial about this little jewel and guard news of its treasures like a secret.”

To read the complete story click herehttp://www.camiguinisland.net/guide/Nice.pdf

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