The Philippines has celebrated “Todos Los Santos” quite differently from other parts of the world. While it is only recent when candled pumpkins, trick or treats and cute-monstrosity items adorn some houses. But behind those masked commercialism, many Filipinos still observe the traditional practice of visiting departed loved ones during All Saint’s Day. I remember our usual visits to clean up the graves of our relative and also the talks of supernatural, the regular horror segments at Magandang Gabi Bayan and even a time when Mananangal (half-bodied flying female creatures with bat wings) flew over Manila. Those were interesting times, but traveling brought me to discover places which somehow exude the feel and connection to the otherworld. Here are some places from my archive which I think would be nice places to visit during the Halloween Season.
Coming from Mantigue Island, we headed back to the main island of Camiguin and stayed at the Islet Resort in San Roque, Mahinog near Benoni Port. We got a good price there for very basic accommodations, but the Kho family owners are very hospitable and has lots of stories to tell. We rested a bit and then decided to head to one of the off-beaten-track destination in Camiguin, the Tuasan Falls.
It was a few days before our Camiguin travel when I saw a Howie Severino feature on Mantigue Island on TV. The island has a controversial issue regarding long time island residences who refuses to leave the island since the local government and tourism wanted to convert the whole island into a protected area. Since we were in Camiguin, we decided to check this out on ourselves. Things fell easily on place as our habal-habal driver, Jun, is a neighbor to a relative of a residence on the island. We easily secured a boat and a place to stay there for the night.
The early morning downpour have deterred our original plan to visit White Island just off the cost of Yumbing where we were staying. Since it was raining and there was nothing left to do, but catch back some sleep. There’s no use fighting the weather. But waking up mid-morning to a sunny day was surprising. So after a quick breakfast at the nearby eatery, we headed off to Camiguin’s White Island.
Getting into Camiguin was fairly easy, by mid-day we were already at Benoni Port. We got hold of a multi-cab who agreed to wait for us while we had lunch. We had a very satisfying lunch at J & A Lagoon at the nearby Tanguines Blue Lagoon. We had to pull ourselves from one of their huts lest we lull into sleep from the tranquil view of the lagoon and afternoon wind. Soon we were off to Yumbing.
Camiguin Island has captivated not only local travelers but international tourist eyes as well. It has even earned itself a place on Lonely Planet’s Blue List 2008 on its Next Tourist Attractions list. It has also been a target destination for me for quite sometime as well since I got an art map of the island before. This small island which is second only to Batanes in land area and population is found in Northern Mindanao just off the coast of Misamis Oriental. Here’s an easy guide on traveling to Camiguin Island.
2008 has been blessed with so many travels. I actually had a very very hard time deciding the best-of-the best on all the destinations visited on 2008. While each destination offers something unique on its own, each decision is based on my deep experience which characteristics resonates most on the place. So this ‘best-of’ is based on my personal opinion but feel free to share what you think. So here goes….