I’ve been planning this vacation for how many months and I did some handful of research from other bloggers in the internet. I felt CDO and Camiguin is my next destination as per my research you will have plenty of options what to do in this area. But the thing is CDO is 9 hours away from Davao if you ride a bus via Bukidnon Davao (Buda) highway and 7 hours if you ride a van plus 2 hours to Balingoan port and 1 hour travel via barge from Balingoan to Benoni port of Camiguin. I have doubt if I will enjoy the long ride so I plan to make a stop over in CDO and try white water rafting adventure before heading to Camiguin.
My friends even starred at me when I said to them that I will visit this place alone, they have this “what and why” questions. Some of them warned me of risks, others told me I’m a freak! ouch, and some asks me how should I do that. I have no plan to do advance booking in this adventure my plan is to let things go when I get their. I want to know what will happen and how it feels to be a stranger in this place. I never did this before but since I want to detour my life in this path after a heartbreak loss in my previous relationship no one can stop me in this adventure.
Months before I felt very lucky I have this opportunity to travel, I have some cash to spare for myself. Unlike other people who is chasing day by day just to make ends met, I myself has nothing only me myself and I so I can go where I want and do things like this.
After I sent my vacation leave, I decided to travel last Dec. 21 I made some preparations, I bought midsize backpack and snacks. Night before my travel, I double checked my bag to make sure all needed things was pack. I was so excited and can’t even sleep that night I have this unique feeling of excitement that I never felt before I want to tell everyone that this is what I want being free to do things alone.
I wake up early as of 5:00 in the morning to catch up the first trip but I was late a little bit so I turned my head to passenger van, it was the same the first trip was left minutes before I arrived. But still I decided to hop on a van because this is 2 hours more faster than bus. Its already dark when I arrived in CDO, the traffic jam during rush hour is the same in Davao City. I made some Google search on where I should stay for the night before heading to Balingoan port to Camiguin, I did not make any reservation for this trip just like other traveler I only have a plan what to do in this vacation. I found a billboard in top of the building it says 200 for 12 hours not bad I ask the van driver to dropped me in that building and head directly to the attendant, they only have 250 left. The hotel is not quite elegant and the room is very small, of course what can you expect for 250.
I made a Google search to book white water rafting for tomorrow I sent messages to four different numbers asking for slot because I’m alone, only one replied and approved my booking. I ask the guard where I can have my dinner he point me to Limketkai mall just few meters away from the hotel, I smile when I found out how close it is to the hotel this is the famous Limketkai center in CDO. The place is quite big I eat my dinner and return back to hotel, I need to rest after the long ride and to prepare myself for water rafting tomorrow.
I wake up at 6:00 am and head directly to McDo in Limketkai after checking out this is my pick up point to river rafting. While waiting and drinking my coffee I noticed that many of the customers are also traveler they have this backpack, wearing jackets and under armor shirts. The only difference is that I’m alone in this travel and they have friends and families. I was picked up by the river guide and we are in route to Cagayan river it was strange feelings, my companion in this adventure are couples and families they are from different places I’m glad to be with them. I was surprised my companion in the rafting boat are from Basilan they just traveled to CDO to try this adventure. The water rafting is so much fun, we have more chatting than paddling, our river guide randomly throw some jokes after passing each rapids he is highly trained for his job. Sir Fredo (our river guide) can throw a jokes using every angle of the river we can do nothing but laugh. I remember when I traveled to underground river in Palawan last year the river guide also throw some jokes using rocks and bats located inside the river, they are amazing!
The river rafting run for 3 hours it was really a one of a kind experience for me, I met this humble people that I never expected to meet. They are awesome! I immediately hop a bus in Agora market to take me in Balingoan port, the ride is very slow and I arrived in Balingoan port at 5:50 pm too bad the last trip was left before I arrived. One old lady offer the pension house near the port but I turned it down, she offered me three different pension houses but I also turned it down, the place looks like vintage house of my grandma, there’s no running water and no toilet and bath inside the room. One lady offered a vacant room in her house, she said I can sleep their for 500 pesos. The room is big enough to accommodate 3 person it has toilet and bath inside but no running water, she promised to bring 1 drum of water for me. I have no choice but take it, I wake up 4:30 in the morning and slowly heading down the stairs, the light is off but I can see 2 person sleeping in the sofa I felt sad for them how in the world they can sleep like this in exchange for 500 pesos. I slowly open the door and leave the house quickly I know they are still asleep and did not noticed me while leaving.
I arrived at Benoni port in Camiguin I was heading the exit when few people approached me and offer their services. One driver offer me 1000 pesos for day tour using his Motorcycle but I turned it down, some offered 800 pesos others 900. I have no advance booking nor tour guide to help me explore the island I remember when I visit tripadvisor.com the hotel named GV in Mambajao for its lowest price. I ask one driver and he promised me to dropped in GV hotel so I ride his Jeep together with another passenger. After I check in the hotel I immediately made a Google search about available tour guide, I read some blog post and found one tour guide cellphone number. The tour guide is not available but he recommend his friend he offered 1500 for day tour using Multicab but later on he reduced it for 1300. I accept the deal and after 5 minutes his friend named Ramil is already waiting outside the hotel. I was amazed how easy it is to get a tour guide in Camiguin. While heading to our first stop Ramil told me that tourist in December is very scarce that’s why most tour guide are available. He said the pick season of tourist in Camiguin is summer.
Camiguin is a small island 64 km in radius, the second smallest province in the country next to Batanes. We completed the tour within 4 hours, Ramil advised me to try island hoping in white island and Mantigue but since I’m not a beach lover I did not visit the island and headed back to Davao City the following day. I got a chance to roamed around nothing special in Mambajao, majority of population is poor and has limited establishment to offer. The shoreline near public market is dirty the sand is black and you can smell the open canal not a good idea if you swim nearby. Ramil is right, you can only swim via island hopping in white island and Mantigue, beach resort in Yumbing is useless I don’t think you will enjoy that rocky sea shore in front of the beach.
This experience is an eye opener for me. I though traveling to other places cannot be done alone now I prove it wrong. I felt confident after this travel, I think I will do this again in other places. This travel is very important step of my life it makes me comfortable and happy where I am now. This thing makes me feel wonderful everyday after I came home. The pictures that I have, the places, and the people I meet all of them help me define my goal in the next coming years.