It’s probably because it’s freezing/raining/windy in Antwerp at the moment that I deeply need to write about the wonderful Philippines and a place where the sun shines all year long (okay almost).
Even if it wasn’t a long time ago, I deeply miss the funny Philippines, the easy-chill way of life and the beauty of the islands. I spent 6 months over there. For work. Hard work. It’s hard to imagine someone hard working when you have an incredible view on the ocean everyday and you do island hopping on Sundays. But it’s reality over there.
Philippines it’s another post and a big and intense chapter in my life, and I’m going to write about it another time. Let me just talk about Camiguin. Also known as the little Hawaï of Asia (no, it’s just me who call it like that)
We went on Camiguin for the 4th of July – working for an American company gives me the incredible chance to have american holidays, which are like… 3 days in the year?- and we were a bunch of expat going there for 3 days. Camiguin is one of the Babuyan islands, which is here :
We flew from Cebu (where we were based) to the wonderful and unforgettable Camiguin. Just 30 minutes in a plane which looked more like a toy than anything else.
As soon as we arrived, we were all wondering if we didn’t jump in a transportation hole and landed in Hawaï. No kidding. The second smallest island of the Philippines is volcanic. Like… super volcanic. There are like fifteen volcanos. Some of them are totally sleeping, some others not.
We rented bikes. The best way to discover the island and discover hidden paths along the way. We stayed in a lovely hotel called The Camiguin Volcan Eco Retreat & Dive Resort, hidden in the jungle and close to the ocean. Yes I know, you’ll ask how it is possible ? Well…. it is. It’s Camiguin !
The very first thing that we did was the Sunken Cemetery. I can see your face « the WHAT ? » yeah. It’s a cemetery, underwater. Why is there a sunken cemetery you’ll tell me ? A long time ago (prepare the pop corn) when one of the volcano appeared, some part of the town called « Bonbon » (how cute is that name?) subsided, sinking the cemetery of the town in the ocean. To find it today, it’s pretty simple, you just swim around a huge cross, built for the commemoration of the cemetery.
After that crazy experience, we drove around the island stopped to a lovely place. So quiet. The ocean was so calm and we were the only ones in the area having lunch witch was more about calamari, fish, rice and chicken (always rice and chicken in the Philippines you can’t avoid it).
We continued the road, passing through small villages, unbelievable landscapes, adorable people and much more. When I look back at it, I was lucky to be a passenger and not riding the bike. I was able to enjoy the ride all the time. Taking pictures, feeling the wind on my skin and the little rain drop on my face. Daydreaming on a passenger seat is definitely something that I enjoy.
It gets dark at 6pm in Asia. Around 5, we decided it was time to chill a little and try the Ardent hot springs which are naturally heated by the active volcano. 40° celsius of hot water. Yes, pretty warm. It sounds cool like that however, in reality I didn’t enjoyed it that much. Probably too many people breaking the magic of the place. So we didn’t stay that long and hit the road again, back home, enjoying wine and dinner with friends and laughing about our Camiguin adventures.
The day after, after a delicious night enjoying the sound of the waves and wind in the palm trees, we woke up with on a wonderful view and a more than welcome breakfast.
This time, we went to the White Island, which is one of the most splendid thing I’ve seen in my life.
It’s not really an island. More like a huge sandbar in the middle of the ocean, with a view on… the volcanos. We took a banka (filipino boat) which was so small that I wondered at some point if we were not going to sink. But we made it. Safe and sound. And after realizing where we were… we just couldn’t talk. Impossible to say how magic, incredible, wonderful and unreal the landscape was. We were there, on an island which will disappear in a few hours, having this breath taking view.
Looking at these pictures now makes me want to go back. Like right now. All of these pictures reminds me of unforgettable time with amazing people that I met on my way in Asia. These days in Camiguin, were ones of the happiest. Life was sweet, delicious, easy and everything was a piece of pleasure. I should thank all of these people for making these moments magic. But I guess the one and only to thank for that is the Philippines.