Beer, Chill and Urchins at White Island | Camiguin

Camiguin is known as "island of volcanoes" because of the seven volcanoes dotting this tropical paradise. The most popular is Mt. Hibok Hibok, believed to be the only active volcano on the island today with the rest being classified as inactive. Although in 1871, Mt. Vulkan Daan erupted and sank nearby places including the now "Sunken Cemetery". Camiguin is an island that almost if not entirely, matches one's protruding expectation of a paradise-like place.

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Not far from Camiguin, a dreamland of sand bar Earth can be found and it cannot be named more appropriately; White Island.

Celine Murillo

White Island is a circling sand bar whose shape varies depending on the tides of the sea, and is found near the coast of Agojo, Mambajao in Camiguin. One can easily reach this island by a 10 minute boat ride. Approaching the island from afar, you could already see the blinding white island forming a letter "C" from above and sometimes, the letter "I" depending on the tidal conditions. The island itself submerge underwater by late afternoon when it gets high tide. That makes early morning to mid-afternoon, as the best time to visit the island.

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There were no trees or any man made structures at White Island, bare as one can see–perfect for me. We arrived there and saw only a few people on the island. Most of them were fisherman who have docked their fishing boats for a brief rest, while some of them awaits visitors to whom they will offer to sell sea urchins that can be fished out of the surrounding waters.

Sea Urchin

After picking up a spot to drop our things down, we sat and conversed while downing a few Red Horse drinks. After a while, we figured there's no more holding us back from jumping unto the crystaline waters of White Island.

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The waters surrounding the island is an ideal spot for snorkeling. One does not need 20/20 vision to see the corals and other fishes. After swimming for half an hour I explored further and walked towards the other end of the island where I was met by a flock of birds who flew over me every time I inch close to them. It wasn't a surprise to see a party of birds choosing the island as their chill-out place from flying all over Camiguin Island.

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However, as I write this trying to recount my visit to White Island. I can't help but be grateful that I've gotten the chance to go there. Traveling to other places really brings comfort to my mind, that regardless of what life is throwing out at me, I still feel like winning. There's always a time and place that resets everything to its rightful place just perspective.

Ana May Badilla, Reese Belarmino and Karl Kaufman

After much frolicking on the beach, we consumed a few more bottles of Red Horse. On any other occasion, I'd ran away from Red Horse, but during that moment It didn't mattered as It sure beats getting drunk on some over crowded bar in the big city. I lost the slipper I was wearing as I really can't remember where I left it, but it's alright as I gained another unforgettable nomadic experience. This time, it was on my birthday weekend and with the company of great friends. Hands down, it goes up there with my top 3 birthday celebrations.

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A thought crossed my mind while walking back to our spot from the other side of the island. My dog Jack would probably enjoy running around white island, then it occurred to me everyone will surely do, animals, humans, and who knows, even Martians. The feeling of the sun shining on your back, your bare feet kissing the million speck of white sands hard enough to leave sets of foot prints; and with the sea wind billowing against your face. Ultimately, the experience becomes so satisfying it'll leave a lasting image in your mind.

Sophie Gianan

This is nature at its best. I really do hope that such places like White Island continues to amaze visitors and for people to do their share in making sure that the nature around us wont be sacrificed, abused and neglected in exchange of development, so the next generations would enjoy it as much as I am doing so right now.

This is part of my 2010 Birthday trip in Mindanao series

-         - The Museum of Three Cultures | CDO

-         - Zipline at Dahilayan Park | Bukidnon

-         - On the Road to Camiguin Island

-         - A Wild River Rafting | CDO