Camiguin Bee Farm Bistro
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The heavenly rush of sweet luscious ice cream taunted us to proceed on our habal-habal adventure around Camiguin at the height of the scorching sun on high noon.
So after taking off early in order to take a lengthy swim in the nature springs resort at Mount Hibok-Hibok, where we also witnessed the state of animals in the zoological park nearby, and visit the major sites around Mount Vulcan like the Walkway and the Stations of the Cross, the Sunken Cemetery and the Gui-Ob Church Ruins, all within the first half of the day, we ventured along the southwestern coast of the island, mainly to look for ice cream.
We stopped at every sari-sari store we saw along the way. Surprisingly, we did not find one store in the little towns of Catarman selling ice cream.
Yet, for the love of my daughter who was in dire need of something sweet, creamy and cold to revitalize her from the heat, I was confident that we would find a store selling ice cream just around the bend.
At a fork in Barangay Catibac, there was a big yellow sign with the words “Visit Camiguin Beefarm” written in black and a bright red arrow pointing to the right.
We followed the road where the arrow led and stumbled upon a rustic island cafe masked as a mini bamboo carnival of beehives, called the Camiguin Bee Farm Bistro or the Beehive.
I was attracted by the rustic seaside vibe, tropical trees and the vibrant colors of the place, even more when I saw the signs at the entrance, which read “The Beehive Fast Food”, “Honey Super”, “Camiguin loves Bees”.
Discovery of Gold in Homemade Ice Cream
We went inside the breezy place to check the menu and see if they have ice cream. There we found gold in a cute sign where a list of organic homemade ice cream flavors, blended with golden honey and fresh native fruits were written, such as Wild Raspberries, Dragonfruit, Mango, Cocoa and more.
We ordered a serving of Wild Raspberries, which was gathered from the forest near around the volcanoes and a piece of their mini Honeycomb Pizza, which is made with healthy grains.
We situated ourselves on a wooden sofa where we could savor our food and the distinctive seascape of the rocky shores beside us.
My daughter, Luna was enlivened as the café’s lovely staff approached us with an enticing serving of two full scoops of Wild Raspberry ice cream topped with colorful candy sprinklers and a biscuit, plus my healthy pizza.
After our rewarding food, I laid Luna on the sofa and read to her from the stack of books laid on the tables, at which she dozed off almost instantly. I then tucked her in comfortably and was free to wander about the place.
As I admired the clever depictions of honey painted on the walls, as well as the bee-keeping accessories and boxes adorning around the wooden furniture, I met the owner, Raphael Lemmens.
Camiguin’s Bee Guy
Raphael, a passionate apiarist (honey cultivator and beekeeper) from Belgium, showed me his small honeybee houses around the cafe. He had seven boxes and a big clay jar that sustain a colony of honey-making bees in the café, and around 40 in the inland forests where the bees’ favorite wild flowers grow.
Following an environmentally sound procedure of apiculture, Raphael explained that they let the bees fly freely out of the boxes regularly so that they stay healthy and produce healthy honeycombs when they return. He and his assistants harvest the honey one at a time, every quarter in order to transition the bees gradually.
Aside from the honey, Raphael also utilizes the richness of Camiguin’s volcanic soil by cultivating many more delicious produces in support of local farmers. They grow Robusta and Arabica coffee beans, cocoa, cashews, macadamia, cinnamon, lemons and coconuts, which he makes into coconut sugar and flour, and as ingredients to his homemade jams, cookies, waffles, muffins and healthy dishes.
So while Raphael returned to his work and Luna continued to sleep, I enjoyed my solitude with some brewed coffee served in a small French press and a macadamia and cocoa cookie, soft and freshly baked from the oven.
Two hours of relaxation at Raphael and his partner Princess’ bee-loving café, Luna woke up in time to witness the warm hues encompassing the quiet rocky shore by the café, to catch a glimpse of the honeybees, and to eat some healthy food.
Soon after, we set out for our next destination, but not without trying some of Raphael’s Native Cocoa and Dragonfruit ice cream, which certainly packed us up with more cheers and more memories to cherish.
Next on our habal-habal tour is the Katibawasan Falls.
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.