Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, you can see Bio studes measuring and lining up quadrants after quadrants from the shore to the deep waters on this dark sanded beach. Well not really deep. Just enough to view the specimens within the quadrants. Imagine leveraging yourself on a tombstone, a cross, or simply trying not to get your foot on them. I don’t know if the allow that still for students but this site is one of the unique dive sites in the island because of its’ history.
Other than the old charm of ancestral houses and churches, Camiguin is known for white beaches and its’ white island bar. But there’s this dark sanded beach that equally gets a number of visitors as its’ white beach counterparts. It was during the 1871 volcanic eruption that shooked and changed the face of this island province and sunk several areas to below sea level — this beachfront included.
THE SUNKEN CEMETERY AND THE CROSS MARKER | Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman
Outrigger Boat / Bangka Fare: 20Php/pax
Located at Bonbon, Catarman and a few meters off the seashore is a cemetery during the early times, now, submerged and lies deep under the sea water. Today sea current batters about it, algae growing on it’s tombstones, and where fishes swims around and calls it home as the cemetery is reclaimed by the sea. A very large imposing cross stands on solidified lava that marks the site.
The same Cross Marker can be seen from a vantage point at the Camiguin’s Stations of the Cross. I wish I could give you clear blue skies and reflective sea surface but I went there putting weather conditions aside. I just went off just to be off somewhere.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS & WALKWAY | Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman
Environmental Fee: 5Php/pax for 12y.o. and above
Located at Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman at around ~5mins away from the Sunken Cemetery, the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross weaves hillside the Mt. Vulcan. Philippines being predominantly Catholic in religion, this one is the usual destination in observance of the Lenten Season. Coincidentally, the province’s annual festival: Paanad in Camiguin takes place on the Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The locals call this the “hundred steps of the history of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.” The first two thirds of the way is paved and cemented but moss had taken in with the wet season and shades from the trees and it can be slippery sometimes. The remaining one third is a dirt path as it makes it’s way to the steepest part of the walkway.
The view is incredibly awesome that over looks the western coastline of the island province. I was invited to visit Camiguin on the Holy Week, it would be a bit different then with all the pilgrims on this Walkway. For now, Camiguin will be that easy-go-to-escape island that I made of it.
+ You can take outrigger boats to the Cross Marker and back.
+ The locals are nice enough to take shots of you and your friends.
+ Both spots are on the western coastline, it would be nice to cap off a day and watch the sunset from the Walkway. A straight trek can take you 30-45 mins. to the top, depending on your pace. Stopping for prayers and some photo ops will take you longer.
+ You can check out the Pasalubong shops down the short road at the Sunken Cemetery and the lined up stalls just front the start point of the Walkway.
“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind,
merely lengthens the conversation”