I’ve been to Camiguin the third time around for two things: a fiesta and a visit to Mantigue Island even it means going there alone. Good thing, Kurt Cobain was in the island, too! This is my Mantigue Island Photo Diary with happy and gay Kurt Cobain (because his parents are Nirvana fanatics!).
Going to a fiesta means food, music, people and couch surfing with family friends. That was yesterday, today I am going to a tiny island. Still amazed by a generosity experience from a habal-habal driver who gave us a free ride from Mambajao (you would be so honored and lucky to encounter this guy in the island, he seems to offer a free motorcycle ride to random strangers), I sit with Kurt in a bamboo chair at the port of San Roque while waiting for fellow passengers. After a change of plan of a group who’s supposed to be going with us, we need to find fellow island goers to pay less for the boat rides. Kurt, still drowsy and a little hangover from his last night disco and few drinks, I propose to wait only until quarter to ten and be better get going regardless of the expense. It’s around ten minutes before the alloted time, two foreign tourists arrive at the port and agree to share a boat with us. Good thing!
The water is calm despite the average pouring of rain earlier this morning. But finally, the sun smiles as we sail to the island. Here we come Mantigue Island!
Mantigue Island in Black and White
Mantigue is a place where you can set up a hammock under the shades of trees and a tiny mattress in the soft, white sand and lay your stuff at ease. In a moment you enjoy watching the view while having a good read as you lay down on your hammock. Later, you decide to swim at its pristine waters and enter the underwater kingdom as you snorkel at the island’s marine sanctuary. Hungry? They offer crustaceans menu and a variety of food available at the island store or settle with your packed food/meal. A tiny island with so much to offer, you explore the magical reserved forest of Mantigue that gives you a sense of adventure. You’ll never get lost, as every point of entry to the forest will lead you to a path to an end somewhere still within the island (of course) and the island is too small to get lost. You could end up to the side of the island where a community of people live. You can indulge yourself in this community where fishing is a significant subsistence. Or you could climb their wall-less tower that feels more exhilarating than trekking the forest (despite the old folks stories that Mantigue Island is a mystical place).
Some travel tips…
If you are set for a visit to Mantigue Island, the port of San Roque is around five minutes from the port of Benoni where you can take a habal-habal for 10 pesos each. In our case, we had to travel around thirty minutes away from Mambajao to San Roque through a habal-habal (normally you have to pay around 300 pesos for that with some inclusive but we were spared since the driver refused to get paid and it was just a one-way ride), you can always negotiate. Alternatively cheaper is to take a van or a jeepney for 30 pesos each or 24 pesos each for a ride from Mambajao to San Roque.
Boat transfer from the port of San Roque to Mantigue Island can go as long as 15-20 minutes with a cost of 550 pesos for a two-way ride, good for six passengers. A 20 pesos entrance/environmental fee per individual will be collected at the arrival and info station near the island store. You are only allowed to stay for four hours from your arrival, a 50 pesos fee will be charged hourly for an extension. If you want to stay overnight, you better find a local to deal with as we’ve been told by a ticketing staff that maximum stay is only until 6 P.M. Snorkel equipment are also available at the island store; we rented rubber diving goggle and life vest all for 250 pesos.
Snorkelling at the marine sanctuary comes with a fee, too, of 70 pesos each. But there’s no corkage here, we brought with us some light food and drinks as prices are expensive in the island (but please don’t leave your garbage).You may also rent a table or a shade but we settled near the marine sanctuary area under the shades of the trees along with the lovely fellows from Israel who perhaps like as we do the rustic way the island could offer.
Overall, Mantigue Island is a good place to chill or unwind, a place to see and experience. It has been
probably waiting for you!
2015 © From Utter Space With Peace & Love