Solitude at Kibila Beach (Guinsiliban, Camiguin)

Kibila Beach

On April 12, Holy Thursday, we checked out of Dayon sa Cabuaan Beach Resort and proceeded to Kibila Beach, in Sitio Kibila, Brgy. Cantaan, Guinsiliban where we were to stay two nights. This 750-m. long, coarse white sand beach, the only one in the mainland, has a well by the beach and a seabed that slopes gradually.

We all stayed at the DENR Training Center and Dive Camp, managed by the Cantaan Fishermen’s Assn., CBFM Scholarship Foundation, Inc. and the DENR.  It has a canteen, dining hall, cottage with bath and a seminar hall.  Our stay was spent sunbathing, snorkeling, dining al fresco, chatting (and playing Taboo) by a bonfire at night and sleeping in folding beds by the seashore.  We also visited a nearby Clam Culture Farm funded by a PhP120,000 grant from the Foundation for the Philippine Environment.  One of our evenings was capped by a marriage proposal (with the accompanying engagement ring hidden in a crab shell) coming from Jake to his girlfriend Tey.  How romantic!

We departed Camiguin on an early Black Saturday morning , April 14,  on board a very delayed and hopelessly overcrowded ferry back to Cagayan de Oro City for an overnight stay.  After last minute shopping for pasalubong at Cagayan de Oro’s Cogon Market (mostly Indonesian batik products) Jandy, Vi and I left the city for Manila on April 15, Easter Sunday, on the 11:35 AM Cebu Pacific flight, arriving at Manila by 1 PM.  The others followed suit on the 3:30 PM PAL flight (They almost missed it).

Camiguin or Bust

The island province of Camiguin

I was still deciding on where to go with my son Jandy this Holy Week when my 2 companions from a previous climb up Mt. Makulot – Ms. Lourdes “Lulu” Siguenza, a Warner Bros. advertising executive, and free-lance artist Ms. Rosevie Sevilla – invited me to join them, with some other companions, on a week-long trip to the Northern Mindanao island province of Camiguin, an invitation I simply can’t refuse.  This would be my second trip to Mindanao, the first being in Zamboanga City way back in 1976.  I promptly secured plane tickets for me and Jandy.  

On board the ferry MV Royal Princess

We left Manila on April 8, Palm Sunday, on the 5:15 AM Cebu Pacific flight.  Joining us was Mr. Henry Chua, a Pizza Hut advertising executive and Lulu’s boyfriend.  Upon arrival at Cagayan de Oro City’s Lumbia Airport (Misamis Oriental), we waited an hour for our 8 other companions arriving on the incoming Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight.  On that flight were advertising executives Mr. Carl Allen and Begonia “Goni” Gonzalez of McCann Ericksson, Mr. Jake San Diego of Ace Saatchi, Ms. Tey Abonador of Harrison Communications, Ms. Rose Pantoja and Mr. Nubbin Beldia of Aviacom, Ms. Karen Rosel of Publicis-AMA and Mr. Randy Ypon, a balikbayan from Canada.  Carl and Randy brought along their own diving equipment minus the oxygen tanks which they intend to rent on the island.

Shuttling by jeepney

From the airport, we were picked up by a hired (for PhP2,000) Nissan Urvan to take our party on a 83-km. (1-hr.) trip to the Misamis Oriental ferry port town of Balingoan, the gateway to Camiguin.  Upon arrival, we all boarded the 11 AM ferry MV Royal Princess. Fare was PhP20 per pax  for the 45-min. crossing to Brgy. Benoni in Mahinog.   The boat was filled to the brim with passengers out on holiday, many crowding on the unshaded deck.  The trip was smooth all the way until we reached sight of Benoni. Or so we thought …. We heard a loud crash and were tossed about as the ship hit the pier head-on just when we were docking.  As if it were not enough, the crash was followed by a scraping sound as the ship sideswiped the dock ala Titanic.  What an exciting way to start a vacation!