A 22-Hour Solo Trip in Camiguin

Camiguin Solo Trip Blog

Camiguin was never part of the plan. It was just an option that I gladly took. A lovely happenstance, or maybe, a destiny. What are the odds that the owner of the inn I’m staying at has the same birthday as mine? And on my solo birthday trip too. What a way to celebrate my 40th year of existence.

As I mentioned in my previous article, My 40th Birthday Solo Trip in Mindanao, I was never that person who would celebrate their birthdays with parties or expensive gifts. I’m such an introvert that I wouldn’t want everybody’s attention on me at any given time. So for my 40th birthday, I told my husband, Christian, that I would like to go on a solo trip. And so I did. And it was my third time ever, the first one was when I went to Marinduque and the second one was a trip to South Korea.

My original plan was to fly to Cagayan de Oro City and then go to Bukidnon for a mountain retreat for a few days. But my original flight schedule was canceled and then I was given three options—reschedule, refund, or reroute. I chose the latter. And I chose to be rerouted from Manila to Camiguin with a stopover in Cebu.


  1. Camiguin Arrival
  2. Lodging In Catarman
  3. Sunken Cemetery
  4. Back In My Lodging
  5. Guiob Church Ruins
  6. Tuasan Waterfalls
  7. Kambusagan Waterfalls
  8. Vjandep Bakeshop
  9. Mantigue Island
  10. Benoni Port



Camiguin Solo Trip Blog

Camiguin is an island province in the Philippines located in Northern Mindanao. It is the second smallest island province after Batanes and consists of five municipalities with a population of 92,808 as of 2020. It is dubbed The Island Born of Fire because it is home to several dormant and active volcanoes that formed the island.

Cebu Lechon Belly Mactan Airport

I set out on the day of my birthday and my flight to Cebu went as scheduled. I specifically chose to have a three-hour stopover so I could satiate my lechon cravings. And indeed, I ordered 1/4 kilo of Cebu Lechon Belly (₱360) for my birthday lunch right outside the arrival area of Mactan-Cebu International Airport.





Camiguin Airport Clean Camiguin QR Code

­I arrived at Camiguin Airport a little past three in the afternoon. Everyone was required to sign up on their Clean Camiguin QR Code which is used to track the movements of tourists and residents on the island. It was easy to sign up and you should keep a copy of the QR code in your phones for when it’s needed.

I went outside the airport, hailed a local tricycle, and went to the Mambajao town center (₱10) where I took a jeepney to my lodging (₱40). You may opt to hire a habal-habal or tricycle for around ₱300 to ₱600 depending on where you want to be dropped off.

Camiguin Jeepney Commute




My home in Camiguin was Shenah Jhane Travellers Inn in Barangay Bonbon in the town of Catarman. I found it on Google Maps when I was looking for accommodations near the Sunken Cemetery as I was planning to check it out on my first day. They have great reviews from guests so I inquired through text message and booked a room right away.

The inn was located on a hilly area and I was greeted by Ate Sherlita, the owner, when I arrived. I was shown my room which had a simple bed and fan which I paid ₱500 for a night. The toilet and bath were outside and it was clean. A dining area can be found in the common area and there were free drinking water, kitchen appliances, and other stuff. They also have a reliable Wi-Fi connection and a standby generator set.

Shenah Jane Inn Camiguin




I left my stuff inside the room, walked downhill for five minutes, and reached the famous Sunken Cemetery. No entrance fee was collected at the entry point and there were several souvenir shops on the way to the path going to the beach.

The shore was shorter than what I thought it would be but it was quiet when I got there. Apart from four foreign tourists, I was alone on the shore. The cemetery sank under the water because of the numerous eruptions of Mount Vulcan in the 1800s.

Sunken Cemetery Camiguin

The huge cross was erected to mark the cemetery’s location. You may hire a boat if you want to go to the platform and you may even go and do some snorkeling there. I wasn’t in the mood to do anything that afternoon so I opted to just sit still on my chosen log and watch as the sun sets on the horizon.





I went back to the inn and was blown away. It turns out that Ate Sherlita’s husband was celebrating his birthday on that day and there were guests around. When I told her that I was also celebrating my birthday that day, everyone laughed and asked me to join in on an impromptu joint birthday celebration. We had lots of food, some beer, and endless chit-chat while singing with the videoke machine.

Camiguin Solo Trip Blog

I was awoken by chirping birds and screeching bats. It was five in the morning and I needed to prep my stuff ‘coz I was leaving early. I was having some coffee and biscuits when Ate Sherlita came to me and asked me if I wanted to have rice for breakfast ‘coz she’ll whip up something for me. Such a sweet gesture.

I asked her before coming to Camiguin if she could help me look for a habal-habal driver for a quick tour of the island. She recommended her nephew, Allan, who was at the inn at six in the morning, just like what I requested.

Camiguin Habal Habal Tours




Our first stop was the Guiob Church Ruins which is considered as one of the oldest church ruins in the Philippines. It’s around 500 meters away from where my lodging. The site is a popular sunset spot as the afternoon glow gives a romantic lighting to the ruined church. There’s an entrance fee of ₱50 but because we were there earlier than the gatekeeper, we got to enter for free.

Guiob Church Ruins Camiguin

The structure was built in the 16th century and was mainly made of coral stones, which was the trend in building churches during that time. It was badly damaged during the 1871 eruption of Mt. Vulcan.

Guiob Church Ruins Camiguin




The next stop was Tuasan Waterfalls where I had to pay ₱70 for the entrance fee. We beat the crowd once again as we were the only ones in the waterfall. The shops and food stalls outside the main entry were still preparing to open. The main waterfall is easily accessible from the main road, so it is a popular picnic spot for locals. I wanted to take a quick dip but I needed to move fast as I needed to catch the afternoon ferry back to the mainland, next time.

Tuasan Waterfalls Camigiun

And we’re back on the road. It was quite slippery because of the occasional drizzle and Allan was very careful in navigating the road. We were in the middle of our journey when mist started to cover the mountain road we were on. He then told me that we’re actually on the foot of the trail going to Mount Hibok-Hibok, an active volcano and a popular hiking destination in Camiguin.

Camiguin Habal Habal Tours

I told Allan that it was beautiful, going inside the clouds. He laughed, he said he really wanted to show me the view of the island from the top but the mist was not helping. I then told him that no, it was perfect as it was.




Our next stop was Kambusagan Waterfalls and the entrance fee to get inside was ₱75. There were a lot of food stalls and souvenir shops here compared to Tuasan Falls. There were several visitors already when we arrived and I needed to climb down some steps to get to the main spot.

Kambusagan Waterfalls Camigiun

The main waterfall was huge and grand but one thing I noticed was the concrete barrier they placed that made the basin look like a swimming pool. I didn’t like it, it felt obtrusive and out of place.

Kambusagan Waterfalls Camigiun




Allan wanted to show me more spots in Camiguin but I told him that I needed to catch the afternoon ferry to the mainland, so I specifically chose the tourist spots I really want to see that day. But I asked Allan to drop by Vjandep Bakeshop to grab a bite of their famous pastel. I got a dozen of their yema flavor for ₱300 which is a lot cheaper as compared to when buying in Cagayan de Oro City.

Vjandep Bakeshop Pastel Camiguin




Next on my list was Mantigue Island. I chose this island over the other famous one, Naked Island, ‘coz I can spend more time here because it’s bigger and there are more trees and plants that can serve as refuge from the sun.

Mantigue Island, also called Magsaysay Island, is a protected marine sanctuary three kilometers off the coast of Camiguin mainland. San Roque Port is the jump-off point to the island and you need to show your Clean Camiguin QR Code at the Tourism Office stationed at the docking area.

Here are the rates for the island tours (2024).

Mantigue Island Rates Camiguin

I was alone and a Filipino couple who are based in Australia approached me if I wanted to join their boat so we could split the costs, I readily agreed. This, however, only works if you plan to have the same duration of stay on the island.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

Judging from the photos I saw on social media, I imagined Mantigue Island to be a beautiful white sandy beach. But I never thought it would be so rustic, pristine, and almost untouched.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

I circled the island and found a spot where I laid my beach mat and rested a bit. And when the sea called, I took a dip.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

I had a quick snack and went back to the water for a snorkeling trip. I could’ve gone to the marine sanctuary for a better underwater scene but I opted to stay where I was.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

After some time, I went on a stroll again and explored the island. There were fallen trees that looked like they were damaged from a storm. I also found a rundown structure that looked like a former dive shop.

There was also an area where a swing hung from a tree. I stayed there for a while and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

My stay on the island was the perfect escape I needed. It was quiet, relaxing, peaceful, and beautiful.

Mantigue Island Tour Camiguin

I went back to our boat after a three-hour stay on the island—the couple I went with was in awe of how beautiful the island was. I told them that the islands in the Philippines are stunning and no two are the same. They then related how they married at an early age and now that their children are older, they now get to start traveling.

We bid our goodbyes and I met up with Allan and he told me that there’s a free shower area where I could take a bath before heading to the port.





Camiguin Ferry Rates

Camiguin Ferry Rates

I like Allan, ‘coz he’s an introvert like me. I advised him to resist giving in to anyone who would ask for discounts because what he's doing is tough and I thought the cost of ₱1,200 was a really reasonable amount for it. Some people request discounts at a price they deem reasonable just to feel that they are getting their money’s worth, but they should also consider how valuable each peso is to these people.

Camiguin Ferry

After saying our goodbyes, I proceeded straight to the ticketing desk at Benoni Port, where I bought a ticket for the ferry (₱360) and paid the terminal fee (₱15). I left in a hurry, making my way to the ferry, which departed at 1:20 pm, which was ten minutes after I arrived. The hour-long journey was pleasant.
I was in Camiguin for only 22 hours but it didn’t feel rushed. I specifically chose where I wanted to go and how I would spend my time on what’s interesting to me. And in that short period, I experienced the warmth and hospitality of the people on the island. People would even hail a tricycle for me and advise me to pay the minimum fee when I asked how to go to the city center after arriving at the airport. Of course, how can I ever forget the birthday celebration that I got to share with the owner of the lodging? I could write an entirely separate post to explain how caring and thoughtful the people of Camiguin are. This trip is definitely one for the books. My 40th birthday, celebrated with strangers who became my instant family.

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