Habal-Habal Tour of Camiguin: Mount Vulcan’s Major Sites

Small boats cruising towards the landmark cross above the Sunken Cemetery for a closer look
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Full Day Habal-Habal Tour of Camiguin: Mount Vulcan’s Major Sites

From our reawakening visit at Mount Hibok-Hibok’s tourist spots, the Ardent Spring Resort and Park, which lasted around 2 ½ hours, we got back on our hired habal-habal and continued on our tour around Camiguin.

The spectacular seascape from the ruins
The spectacular seascape from the ruins

A few kilometers away from Mount Hibok-Hibok was its connective volcano Mount Vulcan.

Mount Vulcan or Old Volcano, the historical volcano that erupted in the late 1800s and submerged the whole town of Catarman, has captured a lot of visitors through three of its major sites: the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross, the Sunken Cemetery and the Old Church Ruins.

Towering trees guarding the ruins
Towering trees guarding the ruins

The Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross

We stopped first at the Walkway, as it was the nearest from Mount Hibok-Hibok. This pilgrimage destination has been paved at the foot of Mount Vulcan, granting visitors a scenic opportunity to climb up the volcano and offer prayers at the 14 majestic statues planted along the path.

The foot of the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross
The foot of the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross

The statues depict Jesus’ Stations of the Cross; a scenery that attracts a crowd of people during the Holy Week’s “Panaad”, which stands for a sacrificial walk, 64 kilometers around the island, concluded with the Walkway’s Stations of the Cross.

The Sunken Cemetery

Moving on along the island’s spectacular coast is the Sunken Cemetery. The huge white cross marked above the submerged cemetery is one of the most pictured scene in the Philippines.

Tour of Camiguin - Small boats cruising towards the landmark cross above the Sunken Cemetery for a closer look
Tour of Camiguin: Small boats cruising towards the landmark cross above the Sunken Cemetery for a closer look

History states that the old community cemetery, which Mount Vulcan lathered its lava on in 1871, further sank due to the volcano’s subsequent eruptions in the mid-1900s.

The souvenir-lined entryway to the Sunken Garden
The souvenir-lined entryway to the Sunken Garden
The spectacular Catarman coast en route the Sunken Cemetery
The spectacular Catarman coast en route the Sunken Cemetery

Now, the cemetery lies as a flourishing habitat of marine species with colorful corals thriving around the tombstones, making it a memorable snorkeling experience.

Old Church Ruins

A few meters down the road is the Old Church Ruins, the last pivotal evidence of Mount Vulcan’s historical rage.

The ruins of the bell tower sitting atop the hill's dry ground
The ruins of the bell tower sitting atop the hill’s dry ground

The Gui-Ob Church, as documented at the entrance of the ruins, was constructed in the 16th century Spanish era and was destroyed by Mount Vulcan’s eruption on May 13, 1871, the same calamity that has caused the Sunken Cemetery.

The flame beneath the cross in the ruins further triggers thirst in Luna during the hot high noon
The flame beneath the cross in the ruins further triggers thirst in Luna during the hot high noon

Now, 145 years after that massive eruption, the memory of this old Spanish church remains with the stone skeletons of the main church, the bell tower and the convent.

Visitors gather at the end of the main church's ruins
Visitors gather at the end of the main church’s ruins

In turn, this historical site renders a significant destination to light a candle in and offer prayers to, as well as a meditative spot that is engulfed with stunning old trees and the captivating seascape.

Thus, with Mount Vulcan’s rich history yet to be fully processed in spite of the scorching heat of the high noon, the need to be refreshed with a luscious serving of ice cream craves in.

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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