THE PROVINCE OF CAMIGUIN is a small island province located in the northern coast of Mindanao, Philippines. Its capital is Mambajao and is considered as the second smallest province in terms of population and land area. The island of Camiguin also known as “Born of Fire” is in the Bohol Sea about 10 kilometers north of Misamis Oriental. The Island has seven volcanoes unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia.
The province’ name was derived from the native word “Kamagong” referring to a family tree that stands near lake Mainit in the Province of Surigao del Norte. Early settlers were manobos coming from Surigao. In the 15th century, Spanish explorers landed in Camiguin and established a settlement known as Guinsiliban. This is the oldest settlement in the Island and in 1950 it became a municipality. In 1679, the first major Spanish settlement was established and called Katadman that is now known as Catarman. A few years later the settlement grew and eventually became Barangay Bonbon. However, on May 1, 1871 a volcano erupted and destroyed the town, sanking a portion of the said town beneath the sea. After the eruption, the settlement moved to where the Catarman town center is presently located.
In 1901, American colonizers arrived and assumed political governance in the Island and constructed a first public school in Camiguin and public water system. On June 18, 1942, the Japanese Forces landed in Camiguin and revolutionists also fought hard for the Island’s independence. Camiguin was part of Misamis Oriental from the years 1946 to 1958; it became a sub-province in 1958 and later became an independent province in the year 1968 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4669.
The province is a pearl-shaped island covering an area of approximately 238.63 square kilometers. It is the smallest province in Region 10 representing only 1.70% of the total land area of Northern Mindanao. Camiguin has four young stratovolcanoes overlying older volcanic structures. There are also domes and cones in various hills in the area.
Currently, Camiguingnons has an estimated population of 70,000. Predominant dialects used are Cebuano and Hiligaynon, but a few people in the municipalities of Sagay and Guinsiliban still speak the old Manobo tribe dialect, Kinamiguing.
The Island generally has good weather with mean annual temperature of 23.64 °C. The province has a pronounced rainy season between the months of November and February and the absence of a definite dry season. Fine weather is from April to June and cool months are November to January.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN CAMIGUIN
The main occupation of the people is fishing and farming, with agri-based sector earning P 28.027 million as of 2001. Agricultural products are abaca, rice, mangoes, lanzones and other fruit trees.
The province also now has various firms and establishments ranging from services, consumer manufacturers, and banks and trading businesses. Since 2001, Camiguin has generated 195.645 million pesos revenue.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN CAMIGUIN
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Lanzones Festival This is celebrated every 3rd week of October showcasing trade and exhibits, barangay beautification, indigenous sports, tableau of local culture, grand parade of golden fruit.
San Juan Hibok Hibokan This is celebrated every June 24 in honor of St. John the Baptist. The festival highlights water sports, fluvial processions and beauty pageantry.
A pilgrim’s yearly trek around the island in observance of the Lenten season.
May Festival This is a month-long fiesta celebration of all barangays and towns in Camiguin, featuring Santacruzan.
Camiguin is famous for its craftworks such as baskets, bags or nito weaving, pottery, metal works and bolo making. Best native delicacy buys here are turrones de mani which is a tube-like wafer with powdered milk inside and tablea which is a native chocolate.
MUNICIPALITIES OF CAMIGUIN
The province is composed of 5 municipalities and 58 barangays:
CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES
Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery
There is a huge cross that was installed here in 1982 to mark the community cemetery which sunk during the 1871 earthquake. Coral encrusted tombstones can still be explored by snorkelers and scuba divers.
Waterfalls which measures 250 feet high cascades to a rock poll surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders. Ideal for bathers and picnickers.
This is the only active volcano among the seven others in island. Ideal for trekkers.
Old Catarman Church Ruins
This is situated in Barangay Bonbon, and remains of the old town of Catarman during the 1871 earthquake can be found here.
The Island is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and shell collecting.
Other places to visit:
BEACH OR RESORTS
ANCESTRAL HOUSES /MUSEUMS / LIBRARIES AND HISTORICAL LANDMARKS
Station of the Cross / Walkway (Old Vulcan)
HILLS AND ISLANDS
FALLS AND SPRINGS
Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Tangub Hot Spring
From Manila, you can take direct flights of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, or Air Philippines to Cagayan de Oro City. Flying time approximately takes one hour and 20 minutes. From the airport, take a cab to the bus terminal located at the Agora Market and get on a bus for Balingoan, a town 88 kilometers outside the city. At Balingoan, take a ferry bound for Camiguin Island approaching Camiguin by sea.
There is also a regular sea transportation from Cebu to Camiguin and vice versa. One can also take ferry trips from the North Harbor aboard the ships of WG&A, Negros Navigation, and Sulpicio Lines. A ferry trip to Cagayan de Oro City usually takes 28 to 36 hours. Another choice is to take a three-hour ferry ride from the Cagayan de Oro Ferry Terminal to Guinsiliban, also in Camiguin on board M/V Yuhum.