Beyond the powdery beaches, scuba diving sites, and waterfalls, Camiguin has more attractions up its sleeves.
Mt. Hibok-Hibok, the island province’s iconic peak, and Mt. Timpoong were recently declared by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Center for Biodiversity as an ASEAN heritage park.
Collectively known officially as the Mt. Timpoong-Mt. Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument, the two volcanoes are among the country’s few protected areas which are habitat to endemic flora and fauna species found only in Northern Mindanao.
In a bid to showcase Camiguin’s chains of volcanoes, the provincial government recently launched the “Climb Camiguin” campaign.
“The province recognizes the potential of volcano tourism for driving the socioeconomic growth and development of the local community,” said Camiguin governor Maria Luisa Romualdo during the event’s launch with partner agencies Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The climb program also explores a new and equally exciting trail in Itum village in the capital town of Mambajao. The proposed new path is a 6-kilometer trek which commences at the DENR Protected Area Superintendent station in Mambajao and winds up to the summit at 1,332 meters above sea level.
The PASU jump-off point is teeming with butterfly and avian life, while the whole trail is habitat to diverse flora, dominated by pitcher plants, wild romblon, and giant rattan.
According to the report by the Climb Camiguin expedition team submitted to the provincial tourism office, among the birds spotted were turquoise and rufous paradise flycatcher, Purple-throated Sunbird, yellowish white eyes, Everett's white eyes, Brahminy kite, Philippine serpent eagle, Yellow-vented bulbul, and Olive-backed Sunbird.
Also spotted were the orange-bellied and red-keeled flowerpecker, Coppersmith Barbet, Asian glossy starlings, white-eared brown dove, Philippine cuckoo dove, and the endemic Camiguin bulbul.
DoT regional director May Salvaña-Unchuan said mountain tourism is the latest product that the DoT-10 has introduced, in addition to farm, dive, faith, and cultural tourism, where tour packages have been prepared.
She said that a major point they considered before launching the project was the crafting of vital legislation by local governments to ensure sustainable tourism in the Northern Mindanao Region.
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