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The Unknown Paradise of White island

Powder like sands and clear blue waters, this is what your imagination seems like when you hear the word, ‘Beach’. Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches but White Island is an exceptional. It is far from being
commercialized and remained unexploited. This tiny island is situated in the south seas of the archipelago. Miles away from the metropolitan area and it may take a flight, land and sea trip or all of the above to reach this hidden paradise. White island is part of Camiguin Province, a two-hour drive and a forty-five minute ferry ride from Cagayan de Oro City. If you are coming from Manila or Cebu, you have to take a domestic flight to Laguindingan Airport.Return flights may cost at average of USD115 and USD90 respectively. At the airport, there are both public and private transports heading to the town of Balingoan where the ferry terminal bound for Camiguin is located. Public transport is around USD5 and USD10 for private per head. The ferry ticket is
depending on the season and costs at USD12 average.

The land trip showcases the beauty of the south. The scenic rice paddies,lush mountains and the warmth of the smiles of the people are just the side dishes of the entire experience. Camiguin was or is still looked upon by the nearby towns as mystical. Stories of fairies and other elements are still being told by the old folks. They have a sunken cemetery that now is beneath their seas. It was depressed down to the seas when Mt. Hibuk Hibuk erupted decades ago. There are other beautiful spots aside from the fine sands of White Island around Camiguin. You have the choice to dip in a hot and cold spring, rent a boat and paddle towards the sunken cemetery or walk your way up to Mt. Vulcan.

It is only when low tide that White Island can be enjoyed by the beachgoers because it is totally wiped out from the surface when it is high tide. Ask the locals for the best time to sail to the tiny island. It is a no-shade island and beach umbrellas are not allowed to be erected anywhere on its sands so prepare your sunblock and sunglasses. There is this sense of scenic freedom as you lie down on its sands. Everywhere you look at is a sight of an untouched nature. I wish this tiny island could be known well of its beauty but at the same time to remain an uninjured paradise. White Island is truly a paradise that everyone is longing to see, to feel and to experience.

/// Written by Kathleen Valeros, The Philippines