Friday, February 10, 2012

meeting Ramon|Camiguin

2nd part
map of Camiguin for your guidance

Benoni is in the municipality of Mahinog while our accomodation (care of the ancestral house of Eme's family) is in the opposite side (Catarman town). Eme's cool parents who were also with us in the trip took the lead. We boarded on the rented jeep and we were really over loaded but it was more fun. Hahaha. It's more fun in the jeepney! We made our way to Mambajao the capital to buy the supplies we will be needing for our overnight and 1 day stay in Camiguin. There, I learned the the delicious Vjandep Pastel which I first thought is a CDO delicacy was originally Camiguin made and we had our visit to the first bakery who produced it. Pastel by the way is a bread stuff with yema inside and it's really famous pasalubong request if you go to CDO or Camiguin for that matter.

It was dark already that we started to travel to Catarman. The province is likely the typical countryside (no-streetlights-many-trees-on-the-roadside). Most of us were sleeping to in the jeepney to recharge after almost a day of traveling. Then it started raining, Ugh. We reached our destination past 9 in the evening and we were tired and hungry. 

The house was situated along the road and 70 meters from the sea shore. Since we were in a province, the road was not busy (not at all), it would take perhaps an hour before you hear a motorcycle or a vehicle passing and again silence. What we would hear were the waves in the sea washing the shore. Once we got inside the house our eyes twinkled by the sight - FOOD, lots of them and so we had a feasty dinner to fill our stomach that rainy evening plus some fresh coconut juices and meat. It's more fun eating in the Philippines.
The house - since it was the ancestral house. No one live there anymore and there are only caretakers who would check on it once in a while. It's a 2-storey house with a terrace, a lawn/garage and surrounded by trees. I saw for the first time an orange tree there (really? i wasn't hallucinating that. hmmmm. I'm having doubt with my memory now but I'll confirm that). The 1st floor has 2 bedrooms (I think those were just addition but originally the bedrooms were upstairs), living and dining room and the back was the dirty kitchen. Near the dining room, beside one of the bedrooms was the toilet. The 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms. The stairs are wooden and really the typical old houses and since nobody lives in there anymore, it made the big old house kinda creepy, scary and haunted (not so). According to Eme's mother, the room I occupied with my housemates was the oldest one. There was no bed, what was there was an old cabinet, an altar and some old photo frame. We were given 'banigs' (mats) and pillows/blankets and arranged our things on the floor.

But that was not our day yet, amidst the rain we continue our planned night swimming in a hot spring (Ardent). On our way, we stopped by an open souvenir shop in Bonbon Catarman. That shop is actually at the foot of the Walkway to the Old Vulcan & Via Crucis which is the top spot in Camiguin during Holy Week. They have this tradition called Panaad and not just the Kamagong but many Filipinos and tourists all over the world go there. On the east side (the sea), one could see the big cross or the popular Sunken Cemetery. I have bought some things in the shop including a souvenir tshirt.
Ardent hot springs, the entrance was 20 pesos and outside it were souvenir shops too still open when we came at around 11PM. The rain had somehow stop or just drizzles  for a moment so we enjoyed our swimming in the really relaxing hotsprings. The effect is soothing for the body and I was not surprised to see that there were also other people swimming there that late including a pair of lovers. Yes, the night swimming in hot spring is a romantic way I suggest. There were 4 pools of hot spring which are all connected from the source. As you get nearer to the sources, the warmer the water is. The last 2 pools are somehow mixed with normal water. There were shower rooms too. As the rain started pouring again, we packed up (sad cause the shops were already close when we got out) and called it a day, and another 45 mins to 1 hour of travel back to the old house.

The rain did not stop, it was hard to sleep with the raindrops noises on the roof or the wind bashing the trees or the worry of the weather but I eventually have fallen asleep praying that the sun will shine tomorrow. Only to my dismay, it was still raining when I woke up around 6 in the morning. This started to create a little more worry in me. The plan was for us to get back to CDO that day as some of us inlcuding me has flight back to Manila early Wednesday morning (10/12/2011) but by the looks of the weather it was unclear.

The worst thing is that my phone has no signal in there and I recieved a text from Mama when we were in Ardent that there is a typhoon and she was worried. I used Dor's phone since she has little signal in her network and replied to Mama. We continued our plan of packing our things already and proceed with our adventure which was to visit the White Island and some cold springs where after we would go to Benoni port to Balingoan.

The rain was unstoppable, it was Ramon and he went with us on our trip.

the house

along the road, the foot of the walkway to the old volcano

our night swimming

and oh pastel!
There's one more post on this - the last part.


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