We wanted to go this morning to that little islet fronting Camiguin island the municipality of Mahinog, with white beaches, called Mantigue Island.
We took from the J & A Fishpen Resort a ‘habal-habal’, that’s a motorcycle with driver who acts like a taxi. On the short ride I lost my cap. Martin went for it to bring it back to me. It was just a short ride and we arrived at the boat terminal.
The provincial government has made out of a chaotic situation at least an organzied one. All boats are in an organisation now. The price for a ride is fixed to PHP 550 and the boats capacity is limited to six pax. All boats have a crew of two and are stocked with life jackets.
Visitors to the island have to register, pay the boat fare and get an official receipt from the provincial government and off they are.
The boat ride will take approximately 20 minutes and is enjoyable, because the island is quickly coming closer.
Even the boat has not arrived on the island yet, there is already someone waiting with a short welcome greeting, but the next what he wants is, you follow him to the booth to pay the entrance fee of PHP 20 to this nature park, a little bit annoying. Here visitor will have to register again.
The very large pricelist is not to be overlooked and seems a big rip-off. So visitors should bring their own utensils for snorkeling otherwise you will not only pay a snorkeling fee, but also a hefty fee for the snorkel and fins if you want.
The snorkeling fee is only for the marked sanctuary and in the shallow area is not much to see until you snorkel at the drop. All the not marked areas are free for swimming and snorkeling and recommended. Along the white sandy beach are some sheds for rent for PHP 150.
The rent of the glass boat is just a waste. Users have to look through a small box where is a glass at the bottom, not what one is expecting of a glass boat.
They offer drinks and fresh fish to grill for visitors and you pay by kilogram. They want to charge the visitor for the tables from PHP 50 – 100. We refused to pay for the tables while we ordered the grilled fish, it was okay. The fish comes with plain rice and nothing else, no salat. Visitor bringing their own provitions like large Filipinos families does, will have to pay rent for the tables.
Anyway, visitors can avoid having their meals here. The visit to the island is limited to 4 hours only. Better have a nice meal and enjoyable meal at the J & A Fishpen Resort.
There is still time enough for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and to have a stroll around the whole island.
We went along the beach, but there is also a path what passes through the little forest and comes out at the other end of island by a mall fishing community.
This beach is what I call really in its natural state and just beautiful. The waters are crystal clear.
There has been for many years an ongoing dispute between the provincial government of Camiguin and the fisher folks of Mantigue Island. Seems the fishers are allowed to stay on the island, but they are not allowed to sell to the visitors anything. Just as we had almost rounded the island someone asked if we had any interest in a beautiful girl. So much for it, that they are not allowed to sell any foods or drinks to the visitors, now they offer their daughters to make some extra money.
In all, we had an enjoyable time of 4 hours on Mantigue Island. Time to go back to the island of Camiguin and spend the evening at the lagoon. Next morning, mission completed and we are heading back to mainland Northern Mindanao and Cagayan de Oro City.
After coffee and breakfast we are heading for the port of Benoni to catch a ferryboat. Friendly people look for our tickets and port fees. The usual problems occur when at the government operated port they can’t change a PHP 500 bill.
Somewhere on the road back to Cagayan de Oro we met this beautiful restored Volkswagen cabrio.
In Jasaan, we stop to visit Joachim in his house. We sit close to the sea at the Macajalar Bay and he offers us an ice cold beer. All what we needed. Thanks Joachim.
For inqueries and bookings go here to CAGAYAN DE ORO ECO & ADVENTURE TOURS