I’m a kind of traveler that wants to put add the “extra” to extra-ordinary. I always say to myself, “I will not go home until there a story worth telling a thousand time.” This particular trip on Camiguin Island is one of those.
During my Island Tour, I saw what they say as, “the most photographed icon in Camiguin,” the Giant Cross Marker planted on the Sunken Cemetery. So I was thinking, what will this offer aside from the usual sunset shots or jumpshots maybe?
I approached the site with a local’s mindset, I asked if locals can swim to the Cross, they said it is possible. It was just a few meters and a nice morning swim with be perfect as “all waters must be tested” by journeyingjames.
I swam the waters towards the Giant Cross marker (Note: This saved me Php25, because you must take a paddle-boat to cross from the shore to the cross). Immediately I noticed the colorful display of fish and soft corals down low. After a few strokes I reached the marker and I was surprised at the splendid beauty of the Old Vulcan on my east. Not yet satisfied with the adventure, I found my way to the top…
Good thing I left my camera to the locals on the other side and so they were able to capture me.
It was an exhilarating experience to be on the top, at that particular time it was as if all acrophobia was gone. Yes, my knees were shaking but just for a moment, I was enjoying the view, the blue sea below, the clear sky above and the lush vegetation on east. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, adrenaline is so up! Who said traveling is expensive if I got over the top for free!
But then, if the view for the top was commanding, the view down under was simply astonishing!
This Giant White Cross as I said is grounded on the Sunken Cemetery, feels kinda spooky. At first it was frightening- the thought of seeing white-washed tombs. But a minute below makes you wish you stay forever. Just about 1.5 meters below I saw 3 Nemos (clown fish), steadily moving their fins inside a soft coral. I wish I can ID all the fish I saw but I just doesn’t have the training to do it. But I would say it was one of the best snorkeling activities I did in my entire life.
I later learned that this is art of the Pamil Reef Sanctuary, fishing is not allowed and you have to ask for permission from the local government before you duplicate what I just did. Good thing, I came there with a local mindset, I experienced it without the redtapes and all.
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Locals I met during the duration of my visit here:
Note: If you happen to visit Camiguin’s Giant Cross Marker, do say my regards to Jeff, Mang Enteng and Mang Tonio. If you can, take a picture of them and upload it to my Facebook page: journeyingjames. Thank you!
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NORTHERN MINDANAO ESCAPADE. This post is part of a series born out of my adventures in Region X last January 19-25, 2011. I also challenged myself to live within Php500 or less/day budget (food, transportation, accommodation, etc.) as I am preparing for my “The Cheapest 100 Days of Backpacking around the Philippines.”
CDO- The Ride of my Year / Divisoria & Night Market
Iligan City- Ma.Cristina Falls: A Dream Fulfilled / Tinago Falls: The Best Waterfalls So Far