A Scenic Journey to Camiguin via Cagayan De Oro

Volcanoes rising above Camiguin
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Journey to Camiguin Island via Cagayan De Oro

The dream of exploring Camiguin Island with my young daughter manifested for me via Cebu Pacific’s flight to Cagayan De Oro.

Although Cebu Pacific travels from Manila straight to Camiguin via Cebu, I chose the CDO flight so I could catch a glimpse of Cagayan De Oro.

On board the big A320 airbus, Luna and I had our comfy seats at the back, near the rear end door and the lavatory. We soared up in the sky, through the clouds, thereby catching a view of the Visayan islands, such as the peninsular Cebu and the vast terrain of Bohol to the dense vegetation of Mindanao.

Journey to Camiguin - Taxis lined up at Laguindingan Airport
Journey to Camiguin – Taxis lined up at Laguindingan Airport

A few minutes before our pilot announced our descent to CDO, I saw to my left, a medium-sized island with three cone-tipped mountaintops emitting subtle whiffs of smoke. I had a strong feeling that it was Camiguin, the island with seven volcanoes.

As excitement built-up to the surprises that lay ahead of our journey to Camiguin, the pilot finally announced that we were approaching Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan De Oro.

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Safely and surely, we landed on the runway after an hour and 35 minutes flight time and deplaned smoothly down to the arrival area of the airport.

Cagayan De Oro through the bus window

There were uniformed porters waiting at the luggage deposit area of the new airport. I selected one of them and together we anticipated my violet luggage.

The kind drivers of Magnum Express
The kind drivers of Magnum Express

With my luggage carried by my porter, we went outside of the airport to the transport companies standing in line and look for a transport service that would take us to Agora Bus Terminal. I chose Magnum Transport, as I had been told that it was a company known for its fast and comfortable ride.

Balingoan Bus Terminal
Balingoan Bus Terminal

After paying the standard rate of 199php for myself and 159 Luna, we situated inside Magnum’s new mini bus, and in a few minutes, we were moving out of the airport and into the booming street of Cagayan De Oro.

The effect of El Nino was evident everywhere in the rural communities, with fruit-bearing trees, and fields carrying rice and corn succumbing to the weather’s lack of water, yet thriving to be restored to its rich green stature. Such is the effect in many more rural areas around Mindanao.

Further along the newly paved road, were small cafes perched off the coast and some family-run shops catering to transient travelers. As we moved toward the heart of the city, images of a developing city unfolded through small merchandising factories and a few national industrial factories situated along the roads. Then there were the big shopping malls by Gaisano and Ayala creating more traffic within the vicinity.

We arrived at Agora Bus Terminal about an hour after we departed the airport. There, we were hounded by conductors of transport companies headed to Balingoan Port, the gateway to Camiguin Island.

Balingoan Port's waiting area
Balingoan Port’s waiting area

With my daughter in my arms, we followed the conductor who led us to a white van, parked behind the station. The driver of the van charged me 100php for myself, with Luna on my lap, and 50php for my luggage.

When the van got filled with passengers, we commenced our journey to Balingoan Port.

From Agora, we traversed near the coast, passing one town after another, including the road that led to the White Water Rafting nature park , verdant valleys, flowing rivers, the adjoining road to Bukidnon, and to the greener pastures of Misamis Oriental.

In less than two hours later, we arrived at Balingoan Port.

The Verdant View on the Ferry Ride to Camiguin

We boarded the Super Shuttle Ferry bound for Benoni Port in Camiguin, an hour after we arrived at Balingoan. Though the written ferry schedule did not coincide with our trip, passengers could nonetheless rely that there’s a ferry crossing the island every 30 minutes or so from 5:15 am to 5:30 pm.

A happy child on board the ferry to Benoni
A happy child on board the ferry to Benoni

The ferry departed in low gradual speed amid a small island a few hundred meters across the port, to the vision of Camiguin Island, which continued to grow bigger as we approached the island.

Silhouetted Camiguin with the imposing figures of Tres Marias.
Silhouetted Camiguin with the imposing figures of Tres Marias.
Sunset beyond Camiguin
Sunset beyond Camiguin
Balingoan Port
Balingoan Port

As we neared, the silhouetted ridges of the island from afar became clearer. There was an impressive mound of flourishing trees coating the eastern coast of the island that hover about the romantic sight of waves splashing into small rocky coves. And in between the grandeur of the Tres Marias mountains was the sparkling sunset descending in the horizon.

White Sand Beach in Camiguin Island
White Sand Beach in Camiguin Island

A little over an hour later, we finally landed on Camiguin Island. We did not feel tired, hungry, and grumpy. On the other hand we felt excitement for the promise of a unique family fun adventure that awaits.

Volcanoes rising above Camiguin
Volcanoes rising above Camiguin

Cebu Pacific Air offers direct flights from Cebu to Camiguin. For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call (+632)7020-888 or (+6332)230-8888. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. Guests may also download the Cebu Pacific official mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.

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