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A glimpse into… Camiguin Volcan Beach’s Hidden Treasures Eco Tour


Just south of Taguines Lagoon around a sleepy little bend in the road lies Katunggan Mangrove Park.  The obscure little gem is one of the many stops included on our ECO-Tour “Hidden Treasures of Camiguin”.  This wondrous collection of Black Mangroves is guarded by a lone watchman who can be found quietly sitting just inside the entrance.  Sign into the logbook before you proceed along the bamboo paths suspended over the wetlands and out into the myriad of roots reaching up through the dense substrate of the high tidal pools.

There are hundreds of Black Mangrove (Avicennia Germinans) marked for protection and countless seedlings among them growing out from the shoreline into the sea.  One can walk along the bamboo bridges taking in the views of this ethereal place or if brave enough even stay overnight in one of the huts looking out to the ocean.
Camiguin Island has always had a green vision.  This project, amongst others, shows the efforts being made by the Municipality of Mahinog to perverse the island’s natural wonders.  This opens up an excellent opportunity to educate the people so that future generations will continue their traditions and understand the importance of its protection.  
This species of mangrove differs from the red mangrove in that its roots extend out horizontally under the waterlogged sedimentary soil and then vertically up toward the surface. When the tide is low, these roots, or pneumatophores, supply air to the underground root system. This adaptation allows the Black Mangrove to live in a habitat where its competitor’s cannot.  The surface of these aerating roots is spongy.  Fishermen have been known to use these roots to make corks for fishing nets by shaping the roots into floats.

Another adaptation of this magnificent plant is its ability to excrete out absorbed salt allowing it to live on the edge of the sea or in brackish waters.  Each leaf has special pores that excrete the salt through the leaves often giving them a whitish color.  
Reproductive adaptations, viviparity and propagule dispersal, give the mangroves an increased chance of survival.  Seedlings germinate while still attached to the parent tree. Seeds sprout into 1 inch (2-3 cm), lima bean-shaped propagules before dropping into the water below.  The pods can float for long periods of time, sometimes up to one year, before the sapling finally finds a sedimentary bottom and takes root.
This collection of mangroves has the dual purpose of acting as a barrier protecting the coast and providing the coral reefs with a nursery area and food source.

Mangroves protect the shoreline area from being ravaged by passing typhoons, large waves and flooding. They help prevent erosion by stabilizing the sediment within their roots. They also maintain water quality and clarity by filtering out pollutants.

These mangroves host many species of fish, microorganisms, algae, crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians and birds, to name but just a few, some of which are threatened or endangered.  This habitat provides a constant supply of leaf litter, an essential part of the food web while offering refuge to young creatures from large predators. Many will spend at least some portion of their lives within the protective roots system, while others will continue to live out their lives feeding and nesting within the mangroves.

Without these beautiful plants out shorelines would slowly wash away.  Rainwater would bring land sediments out to the pristine reefs shrouding them and blocking out the sunlight they need to flourish. Many important fish, invertebrates and other wildlife would lose their habitat needed for reproduction. The fishing industries would suffer a dramatic decline as a direct result of the depletion of our waters due to the lack of healthy mangrove habitats.

Island in the Sun

Mantigue Island

Snow white, powdery, soft, sand beach
Palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze
Lush green tropical forest inland
Brightly shining Sun from the azure blue sky
The sea gleams in all shades of emerald green, blue & turquoise
Cristal clear water with a living coral reef and an abundant fish live

Can you imagine this breathtaking scenery?

With pleasure we can make this unforgettable adventure true for you and here it is....
Mantique Island, this little stunning islet of 4.4 hectares is one of the 7.107 islands in the Philippines and lies about 3.2 km in the south-east of the island Camiguin.
Visiting Mantigue Island is a must during your stay on Camiguin.
Whether it´s for Diving, Snorkelling, Swimming, Relaxing or is in any case a true paradise island.

The mushroom-shaped island inhabited in the north by fisher folks and the inland landscape consists of lush green forest. The south-west coast is the popular area with a pristine beach of soft, white sand and the marine sanctuary, where boats are not allowed, fishing is prohibited and the corals are undamaged and just awesome!

For the trip to Mantigue Island we get together around 8:30 a.m. in the resort and start into the day with a small island tour to the port of Mahinog. On the way we drive through the capital of Camiguin, Mambajao, passing local villages and amazing rice fields. The whole ride we enjoy the view to the sea and the sky scraping volcanoes. Arrived at the port, the local outrigger boat, also called “banka”, waits for us and we start the approx. 20 minutes boat ride to Mantigue Island. On the way there you can see already the clear, turquoise waters and you think you're en route to one of the Maldives Island and when you look back you have a stunning view over to Camiguin with its majestic volcanoes.

After landing on Mantigue Island we get ready for exploring the underwater life by diving or snorkelling. Descend into the crystal clear waters with at first sandy bottom, sea grass, loads of anemones in every colour and plenty of reef fishes – very special are there the blue anemones with orange clown fishes. At the edge of the buoy line out to the sea is a drop off where you can find schools of trevally, huge turtles, parrot fish, bat fish, snapper, sweetlips, frogfish, trumpet fish and many, many more. Even Eagle rays we have seen on several dives. We highly recommend Mantigue Island for diving, snorkelling or relaxing in the sun.

And for lunch we bring delicious food and drinks and enjoy our picnic in the shade under the surrounding trees. After the boosting snack and before we our next dive, you can explore the inland of Mantique Island on a bamboo walkway through the tropical forest.

Locals call Mantigue Island also Magsaysay Island – Ramon Magsaysay was the third president of the Republic of the Philippines and he was beloved by the people. After his death in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award foundation was called after him and given to Asian leaders who have shown greatness of spirit and selfless service that Ramon Magsaysay exemplified in his short public life. He stood for service for the folk, honesty and people called him the “big man”. So, no wonder that Mantigue Island is also beloved like this former president.

In the earlier days, turtles used the shores of Mantigue Island frequently and still they are using it as a breeding place. The island was declared as alienable and disposable land in the eighties, which meant it could be titled and sold as real estate. At this time many fishing families lived there and turtles disappeared from the shores.  End of the nineties its status was changed to forest land, with the meaning it could not be permanently inhabited by humans. The total resident population grew up to 300 and in 2008 the local government began a concerted effort to relocate the families living on the island, in order to preserve its environment and make it more attractive for the public.

Since that are only a few fishing families allowed for living permanently on the island, turtles are coming back to the shores for breeding, the marine sanctuary was established & the island got protected..

After a wonderful, marvellous, outstanding, superb, pleasing, splendid, beautiful, brilliant and all other synonyms for this word... day, it’s time to head back with our banka to the shores of Camiguin and when you turn round, you sure will have the wish already, to come back to this natural treasure soon again.

A day on Mantigue Island is for everybody an unforgettable and outstanding experience
Don’t miss it out!

Highlights of Camiguin or A day full of Love & Happiness!

Our guests Linh & Erik spent two nights in one of our Beach Front Villas and as a memory of their fresh love they made a romantic photo shooting with our photographer Christian.
Camiguin offers a lot of romantic and beautiful places, so they decided to do their photo shooting during our Eco-tour Island Round “Highlights of Camiguin”

A lovely sunny day, picnic and refreshments packed, camera loaded and the tour started to the first highlight….

KATIBAWASAN WATERFALL – the spectacular waterfall with over 70m is the tallest on Camiguin. Linh & Erik were overwhelmed by the high falling water into the clear, volcanic stone pool, surrounded by lush green jungle, wild orchids and giant ferns. The first step into the cold water was shy but afterwards they let themselves float into the refreshing water and splashing around.

After drying up our tour took Linh & Erik to the most famous spot on Camiguin – ARDENT HOT SPRINGS.
In that natural area, they enjoyed a delicious picnic and took a relaxing bath in the hot springs. The five different volcanic stone pools, constructed in steps under the roof of the surrounding trees, give you the option to find your favourite one. The sulphurous waters come directly from the heart of Hibok-Hibok volcano and offers for everybody the right temperature between 34°C to 39°C.

Happy and relaxed they continued to the historic highlight – THE SUNKEN CEMETERY!
A highlight you should not miss if you visit Camiguin. Historical remain of the Spanish history in the Philippines, which was destroyed by the 1871 volcano eruption. The only thing what remembers of the previous cemetery is the big cross in the water and is a famous motive for photos, so also for Linh & Erik.

Before the sun set down they were heading to the famous treasure of Camiguin – THE WHITE ISLAND!
With a traditional outrigger boat, called “banka”, you will be at this marine sanctuary within ten minutes. Walking over snow-white coral sand beach with stunning view over the Bohol Sea and the majestic volcanoes of Camiguin in the background, Linh & Erik had a lot of fun to make emotional pictures with Christian.

After such an exciting day, it was time to enjoy the stunning sunset from our sundeck by the sea, where Linh & Erik reviewed their experiences of the day with Love & Happiness!

Macro & Muck diving at its finest

That all the Philippines Islands are a divers paradise for Macro diving is well known already.
And when you hear about Muck diving, you initially think about Papa New Guinea, Indonesia with Ambon, Lembeh Strait, Komodo, Bali or Anilao & Batangas in the Philippines.

So we are happy and proud to introduce and ad now CAMIGUIN as another incredible Muck-diving-destination.

But what is this all about Muck diving, which make the Underwater-Photographer hearts leap for joy. The term comes from the type of environment. Muck dive sites often have a muddy, sandy bottom or large sand patches with areas with a lot of vegetation like sea gras. The rich volcanic sand areas here on Camiguin are great for muck diving, as are shallow areas with rubbish, natural or manmade. They sure make a cool home for any bizarre creature.

Camiguin offers dive sites where you can spend hours in the shallow water, with your nose just centimetre over the ground finding any type of wondrous creatures like:
Sea moth, ghost pipefish, countless nudibranch, seahorses, flying gurnards, snake eels, frogfish,  shrimps of all kind, different species of crabs and and and.......

And if you are not a Macro & Muck diving enthusiast yet, give it a try, it will open a complete new world of fantastic diving for you.

But now, let´s have a closer look about some of this hard to find underwater inhabitants, which Harry & Steffi, who worked many years in the diving business in Bali, captured with the camera on their Camiguin visit this time. They are both World Champion in finding even the smallest critter and already caught by the spell of Camiguin....”Come again” & again & again.....

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