It is January once again and I found myself thinking about the trip I made in January 2009, while I was 28 weeks pregnant – a trip to Cagayan de Oro in Misamis and Camiguin with Travel Factor. It was the first ever TF trip I made with Tikoy Tan, and there, got to meet her own circle of TF friends. It was a really fun trip, made even more exciting by the presence of Maya, AJ and Ver! I love you guys. 🙂

H and I actually arrived later than the others. We were on a different flight with Kim. When we got to CDO, the first thing H and I did was find an Ob-Gyne to sign my Cebu Pacific Expectant Mother form for the flight back to Manila four days after. That was actually quite of an easy thing to do. We then spent whatever was left of the day eating at Bigby’s Cafe and Restaurant! My, my, Bigby’s is great. I love Bigby’s!

We left early the next morning on an hour- and-a-half van trip to the wharf in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental – about 86 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro. From there, we boarded a barge that took us to the port of Benoni in the island of Camiguin in an hour or so.

On the ferry with us were a lot of boy scouts going to the island to attend a Jamboree.

Excitement on a boy scout's face

Dirty feet don't matter

Color matters

Our arrival in the island of Camiguin was greeted by a view of the early morning mists slowly drifting away to uncover the green hills. I was in awe of this view for the simple reason that it was something I missed seeing.

The misty hills of Camiguin in the early morning

Grey skies as we approach Benoni port, Camiguin

We were picked up by our jeepney service and brought straight to Paras Beach Resort in the town of Mambajao, which was our “home” for the next two nights.

Our jeepney service in Camiguin

Paras Beach Resort dining area

Paras Beach Resort boat and dock

Vista at Paras Beach Resort

We had a hearty lunch with our friends in the dining area before heading to White Island which was just in front of our resort for an afternoon of beach-bumming.

Boat docked on the sand bar

White Island, Camiguin

The little “island”, actually just a sandbar, is a great place to wait for and take photos of the sunset.

Sunbathers in White Island, Camiguin

Going home at sundown, White Island, Camiguin

Setting Sun at White Island

When we got back to the resort, I turned around right back around after the boat dropped us off, and was just in time to take a photo of the boatman and the setting sun. It would turn out to be my favorite photo from that trip.

We had a bit of breakfast (coffee and some omelette actually to just sate my 28-wk kind of hunger) the next day on the balcony outside our room and had a view of White Island. It was great for enjoying a little chat with the coffee. (Yes, I had coffee while pregnant. A cup a day is not a wrong.)

The White Island in the early morning light

We did have a proper breakfast, courtesy of Travel Factor at a little place near the Mambajao lighthouse.

Light house in Mambajao

This photo was used in the Keso de Gallo 2010 project. View my blog about it here.

After breakfast, we were on our way to Mantigue Island where we spent the entire morning snorkeling and beach bumming until lunch time.

Mantigue Island

The community at Mantigue Island

The white sands of Mantigue Island

The part of the island where we docked and spent the morning at reminded me of Balicasag Island in Bohol. It was also a fishing community that had huts for rent and where locals can be asked to prepare food at cost. Being pregnant, I spent a better part of the day napping and sitting in the shade of trees, just enjoying the view and the breeze.

We proceeded with the tour the rest of the day, going to the Sunken Cemetery and other points of interest – even stopping to hoard Vjandep pastel. I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos because well, I got tired easily and more often than not, preferred staying in the jeep after exploring the place on my own. The entire itinerary is here, click to view. 🙂

Overlooking at the Sunken Cemetery

This boat can take you across the lake to the cross, if you were so inclined. One can also go diving around the area, but we did not take that up anymore since it was already late.

Boat to take you across and around the Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin

Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin

Coconuts at the Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin

We were headed home shortly after and had delicious buffet dinner in the resort. The rest of the night was spent singing videoke and just hanging out with our friends. Great times!

We were CDO-bound again early the next morning, as some of us wanted to do rappeling and ziplining back in Cagayan de Oro before taking the afternoon flight back to Manila.

This was a photo of the Balingoan wharf I took while we were walking away from the barge and walking towards our van service.

Boat and ferry at Balingoan Port - on the way to Camiguin

The TF trip was, as always, awesome. Sure it was not as comfortable as all my other TF trips, owing to the fact that I was traveling with child, but it was awesome nevertheless. We TF Friends like to call it Lia’s first ever TF trip. 😉

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