i booked plane tickets for my art department staff around august last year so they could join me in my mindanao birthday celebration this year. i planned out a week’s itinerary for them, most of whom never stepped on cagayan de oro before. this list of activities included white water rafting and ziplining. unfortunately, about a week before we were to fly out from manila, we received news of a tragic accident resulting to the death of a bohol tourist while rafting in cdo. i tried to tame down fear by explaining this is an isolated case–only 3rd death in 17 years since the rafting industry came about; happened also on friday the 13th (june 13 2014). yes, superstition but whatever. eventually i got the group to agree on no rafting and instead do a tour of camiguin.
ive been to camiguin in the 80s and then around the year 2000. this would only be my third time there. the place almost hasnt changed and that’s a good thing. what’s also great about the place is it doesn’t cost much to go there. here’s my attempt to persuade others to visit camiguin by listing what we spent for this year (june 2014).
to get to camiguin from manila, you can take the plane to cagayan de oro. promo fares on cebu pacific normally are issued out 6-8 months before the travel period. after taxes and surcharges, one would be paying PHP1500++ promo fare round trip manila-cagayan de oro (no check-in baggage). normal plane rates run around PHP6,000 round trip if purchased maybe a week before a flight, cebupac or pal (pal is normally more expensive by p200 haha). upon arrival at the airport, take a shuttle (ranges PHP 150 to 200 per head) to bring you to the city 30 minutes away (normal drop offs are at centrio mall or at limketkai mall).
from wherever you are in CDO, take a cab or jeep to agora market. ask to be dropped off at the bus terminal or where the vans going to balingoan pier are located. cab may be around p100. jeep is 7.50 per head.
there were 11 of us in the group to camiguin. the barkers struck up a deal with the driver (normally, you wouldnt be able to talk to driver until later not unless you have contacts) and explained to us the van had a 14-person capacity and they were charging us 1,650 package rate for all 11. we agreed, got on, and van immediately left for balingoan pier.
we wanted to leave CDO early and hoped to arrive at balingoan pier around 10AM (cdo to balingoan will take about 1.5 to 2 hours) but we got out of the house late. it’s always a challenge herding a large group especially on vacation where schedules are mere suggestions. the driver did assure us we’d catch the 11.30AM boat in balingoan pier. and we did.
upon arrival at balingoan pier, we headed straight to the ticketing office. ferry tickets to camiguin (benoni port) cost around P150 per head. plus P2 environmental fee. plus p2 terminal fee.
we arrived at camiguin’s benoni pier around lunchtime. a driver with a multicab was supposed to meet us there (i made reservations prior). right when the boat approached the pier, porters started coming up the boat including a guy who came up waving a sign with my name on it. “that’s us.” we followed the guy who led us to a purple multicab and endorsed us to the driver from the resort we were staying at.
the day before leaving for camiguin, my brother-in-law and i were already in contact with the owners of paguia resort (contact number 0917-310-7085, look for ruel) and we booked for a big room/house that would fit our group of 11 for only P2000 a night, including an extra bed. the same resort also sent out