If there’s something that could be considered as the crowning glory of my recent trip to Camiguin, that would be White Island, an immaculate sandbar off the coast of Mambajao. White Island enthralled me the moment my beach-hungry feet touched its powdery sands. It was absolutely chada, or beautiful in the vernacular!
From what I've heard, Camiguin’s renowned tourist attraction transforms itself into various shapes and sizes depending on the tides. Disappearing at high tide and then reappearing at low tide, the treeless, uninhabited sandbar can be reached via a 10-minute pump boat ride coming from either the shores of Yumbing or Agohay. Motorized boats can be hired from any of the beachfront resorts facing White Island.
Together with some coworkers, I went to the sandbar before the break of dawn. Why so early? The best time to go there is actually between 5 to 8 o’ clock in the morning since the current isn’t too strong, the sun isn’t so hot and the place isn’t very crowded.
Arriving at the spot after a quick trip, I was surprised to see quite a number of tourists roaming around White Island at that hour. And believe it or not, business was also brisk in that teeny-weeny piece of land at that hour. There were several itinerant vendors peddling foodstuff as well as beads, trinkets and other souvenirs made of shells. We hadn't eaten anything before leaving the mainland so we readily helped ourselves with hefty servings of coffee, boiled eggs, rice cakes, bread and sweet potato during our breakfast by the beach.
For a few hours, we had great fun swimming, taking pictures, laughing and talking in White Island. Then, our guide reminded us to get ready for we’d be leaving in a few minutes. Much as we wanted linger, we had to leave before the sun got too hot for us to handle. Besides, we forgot to bring sunblock so we couldn’t stay much longer lest we’d got home with sunburn.
I spent our remaining time strolling along White Island’s immaculate expanse. For a moment, I wondered why it took me so long to go to that slice of heaven on earth. Not wanting to lose to oblivion my memories of our moments there, I snapped all over the place to capture the best angles I could take of the spectacular shoal, which, on that day, took the shape of the letter C, as in Camiguin! :D