Thursday, January 30, 2014

Old Church Ruins (Gui-ob Church) - Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin

When the tour guide told us that our next stop was the Old Catarman Church Ruins, I was like it might be a creepy place. From outside it looked like fortress with the wall covered with moss and surrounded by huge trees. The wall and posts are huge and thick; they show how beautiful and mighty the church building was. As we entered the main building, which was the church, the cool breeze kissed our skin, refreshing. Actually it is not a creepy place maybe at night it is but for me it was a serene place. It is perfect for those who are looking for a nice place for photography, pre-wedding photo shoots or simply nature photography.

I noticed there are floor tiles on the altar where candles were being lighted. Those tiles are not matched with the old ruins. According to the kids selling candles, after the earthquake the locals built a chapel inside the ruins but now it was removed that’s why there are floor tiles on the area of the altar.

Outside the church towards the area where the remnants of the bell tower and the convent are, is a stunning view so green, the breeze smells so fresh, the surroundings is clean. The coral stones are visible on the convent building. We were estimating the measurement of the thickness of the wall more or less it could be more or less 40 inches thick. Beautiful and stunning architectural design, although as we were exploring the place, we thought that for sure our forefathers were forced to work to build this beautiful project of the Spaniards. Erase erase lol that was just part of the history and hope we learn from it.

There is a white lighthouse at the back of the convent building, the only modern structure in the ruins. Odd but well that is needed to guide the ships and the people, wish they could find a place other than the Old Catarman Church Ruins because that lighthouse mismatched the beauty of the Old Ruins.

The church of the Old Catarman town was destroyed by volcanic debris during the eruption and formation of Mt. Vulcan from 1871 to 1875. It is also known as Gui-ob Church, located in Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin.

We took time to take pictures in every corner, we were all amazed with the beauty of this place, ruins but it represents how strong the people of Camiguin are.

 A brief account Mt. Volcan Eruption
May 13,1871
6:00 PM
Cotta Bato the capital of Camiguin Island was a quiet and attractive town verdant in its natural wonders. Its peaceful shores provided strolling grounds for its inhabitants as they basked under the gracious moonlight.  Suddenly

Tranquility came to a halt as a sub-terranean rumbling sowed undescribable lower hundreds of houses and the churches crumbled into pieces the ground rolled and broke into deep crevices with horrifying earthquake served only as prelude to the destructive climax a cataclysm never witnessed before Mt. Volcano gave out its hardest and most violent outbreak.  

6:20 P.M.

Cotta Bato was a dreadful pile of ruins. The single volcano eruption buried a beautiful town into obscurity.

Hundreds of lives were lost while the survivors sought refuge in the open ground that gave them hope for tomorrow.

Source: Old Catarman Church Ruins

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Sunken Cemtery - Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin

It was always been in my list to visit the sunken cemetery. Personally I want to see the place and experience what others say about the feeling of eerie when in this place. Mostly visitors who visited this place filled with enchantment. To our dismay the place couldn’t be explored because of the bad weather condition so we couldn’t be transported by the boat. What we did was just enjoyed the sight of the place. Took pictures and talked with the locals.

Sunken cemetery is located in Bonbon, Catarman, which was the result of the volcanic eruption of Mount Vulcan (Old Volcano) that was happened in 1870s. The whole capital of Camiguin, including the cemetery sunk under the sea during that destructive volcanic eruption. Part of the sunken land and the grave stones were still visible during the low tide, but in 1948 the Mount Vulcan erupted again made the whole area deeper. The gravestones can still be thru diving. That’s why today Sunken Cemetery is considered as one of the most interesting diving sites in the Philippines.

In 1982 the Provincial Government of Camiguin erected a huge cross to mark the site of the sunken graves of their ancestors. From then on it was called the “Sunken Cemetery”.

The history of the sunken cemetery is definitely tragic. It’s the way the people of Camiguin valued this historic site and its heritage that show the kind of people they are. This incident truly defines the people’s courage, resilience and faith to survive the challenges of time. 

Too many things to do in Camiguin, take time and plan.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mount Volcano- Walkway to the old volcano and Stations of the Cross


After our stop in Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort, we wanted to go to the white island, a sandbar, but we couldn’t because it was high tide plus the weather was so bad. Our next stop was the walkway to the old volcano, which has the 14 stations of the crosss depicting the passion of Christ. Located in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin. It is the memorial to the dead from the eruption in the 1950s.

This tourist spot is a famous tourist destination in Camiguin Island on Lenten Season; it is a pilgrimage site for Roman Catholic devotees. It’s their way of penitence, trekking on the 8 kilometer path while contemplating and renewing their faith. Every holy week locals and tourists specially the devotees observe the Panaad festival, which means a festival of promise. Usually devotees have that promise to visit and penitence for the wrong doings they done. 

Although one does not need to be Christian to admire the beauty of the pilgrimage site. Mt. Vulcan is also known as the Old Volcano which is a contradictory because it is the youngest volcano on the island; it was discovered during the 1871 eruption.

The environmental fee is very minimal P 5.00. We paid it after our trek. On the other side of the road, there are food stall and souvenir shops.

The walkway is covered with trees serve as the shades; the steps are concrete in the first few meters. Along the way there were vandals on the pavement, which are covered of moss. What we enjoyed most on our trek was the breath taking scenery over looking the Camiguin Island and of course the fresh air. It was relieving being kissed by cold breeze and smell of fresh air. There were just few tourists at that time so we had the time to frolic. The bad thing was we were hungry and we were just munching on chips and crackers after we reached the 7th station we resigned. Lol so we slowly went back. Lesson of the day eat first before embarking on the vigorous and time bounded tour. It’s great too because we have reason to go back to Camiguin Island because we have unfinished business. See you again Mount Volcano- Walkway to the old volcano and Stations of the Cross!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort Tagdo, Mambajao, Camiguin

Part of our tour is the Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort. It’s a hot spring one. I grew up in a place where we usually bathe in hot spring resorts; my expectation for hot spring is high. I always compare the temperatures of Mapaso Spring resort or San Benon Spring resort to any hot spring that I've been. To my surprise ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort matched my expectations of a hot spring. This resort is the usual jump-off point for the hikers, who want to explore Mt. Hibok-hibok.

This resort is being managed by the Local Government Unit of Mambajao, Camiguin, it has six natural hot swimming pools with different water temperature. It is nestled on the foot of Mt. Hibok-hibok, which is an active volcano that makes the water hot. The best time to go there and enjoy the water is in the morning or at night. It is open 24 hours a day. The amenities of the resort are bar and restaurant, cafeteria (canteen), cottages, picnic sheds and tables, garden, camping ground and rooms available too.

Outside the resort there are many shops selling souvenir items and comfort food.

We had a day tour so we decided to have just 20 minutes to explore and enjoy the water but since we love hot spring we stayed for another 10 minutes.

Entrance Fee:
Adult – P 30.00
Child – P 15.00

Facility and Accomodation Rates:
• Grill Station - 20Php
• Regular Size Shed/Table - 70Php (first 3hrs) ; 10Php/hr, in excess of 3hrs.
• Family Size Shed - 150Php (first 3hrs) ; 10Php/hr, in excess of 3hrs.
• 4 units - Duplex Cottage (AC w/ CR) - 1,200Php/room/day (good for 2 pax)
• additional bed - 175Php/head/day
• 4 units - Dormitory Rooms (w/ AC) - 3,080Php/room/day (good for 7 pax)
• Family Room - 2,750Php/room/day (good for 5 pax)

The swimming pools at Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort contain fresh and hot sulfuric flowing water. Temperature in every pool varies from thirty three degrees centigrade (33ºC) to thirty eight degrees centigrade (38ºC) to answer to individual needs and desire. Skin pores tend to open when expose to warm or hot water and close to cold water exposure. Thus, one is advised to have a cold shower after a dip at the swimming pool.
Sulfuric dioxide gas smells like “rotten eggs.” The higher the sulfuric content the more likely one smells it. The sulfuric content in the water varies from pool to pool at a PH of 6.4 to 7.2. Sulfur in water offers several therapeutic effect on skin disease, asthma (steam from pools provide bronchodilation effect), neuralgia (nerve pain) and rheumatism (joint pains on the shoulder, neck and wrist). Swimming, soaking or having a dip at the hot springs will soothe, relieve or ease the pain of your body.

Pool Guidelines
1. The pool opens 24/7
2. Pool cleaning schedule: every Wednesday  from 7:00am to 12:00noon.
3. Swimmers are encouraged to wear proper swimming attire:
women - bathing suitsor short pants
men – swimming trunk or shorts
4. Children without guardians are not allowed to use the pool.
5. Use of any soap or shampoo at the pool is strictly prohibited.
6. Indecent behavior/act, indecent exposure is strictly prohibited. It is punishable by law.
7. Do not leave your valuable things unattended. The resort will not assume responsibility for any losses.
8. Everybody is enjoined to help make the resort a clean and green place to stay.
            Avoid eating, drinking and smoking at the pool.
            Use garbage can for your waste
9. Violators will be evicted.

Source: Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort

Ardent Hibok-hibok Spring Resort
Tagdo, Mambajao, Camiguin
Tele fax no. (088) 3870508