Mantigue Island is a small island located off the coast of volcanic island province of Camiguin. Mantigue Island is a nature park. It has a forested area rich with different varieties of trees. A trail was established leading to the deeper part of the forest, a 383 meter area where a huge number of bats reside.
Also known locally as Magsaysay Island, it is about 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of greenery fringed with a gleaming white beach of powdery coral sand. According to the fishing maps found on www.reelchase.com a fishing village is located in the northern side of the island has some of the best fishing territories left in the world. One side of the island is a white sand beach with corals offshore, and the opposite side provides a deep drop-off for snorkeling and diving.
Considered a marine sanctuary, it has been a frequent spot for diving enthusiasts. Within the island is a small area for tourists to camp. There are tables available for rental and fresh seafood for grilling. You can walk around Mantigue Island’s white beaches in less than an hour.
Getting to Mantigue Island is easy. Local tour operators will take you there. Mantigue Island can be reached by light water craft in 25–30 minutes from the town of Mahinog.
Located in Bonbon, Catarman a huge cross marker has been installed by the Provincial government to mark the community cemetery that sank during the 1871 volcanic holocaust. Years ago, gravestones were visible during low tide. Today, the sunken cemetery has become an interesting diving site.
As history tells about the volcanic activity from 1871 to 1875 in Catarman, on February 16, 1871, earthquakes began to be felt on the island, which increase in severity until April 30 when a volcanic fissure opened up 400 yards southwest of the village of Catarman, northwest of Hibok-Hibok Volcano. Mt. Vulcan was born and continued erupting pouring lava into the sea at the same time gaining in height and width. In 1875, the Challenger expedition visited the area and described the mountain as a dome, 1,950 ft (590 m) in height, without any crater, but still smoking and incandescent at the top.
The town of Catarman was destroyed and portion of the town sank beneath the sea. The settlement moved to where the town center is presently located and today, all that remains of old Catarman are the ruins of the ancient Spanish church, a convent and a bell tower.
The Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island marks the swept remains of the island’s rested locals. Driven underwater when Mt. Vulcan Daan erupted in 1871, the large cross erected in 1982 has served the town’s people, as well as the tourists, a scenic spot to memorialize the departed buried there.
The island of Camiguin is of volcanic origin composed of four stratovolcanoes. To give you an idea what a stratovolcano is, the video below is a documentary about the Krakatoa Volcano in Indonesia which violently erupted in 1883, just a few years after Mt. Vulcan’s eruption.
Most of the dive spots around Camiguin Island are also great Snorkel sites. Colorful coral-reefs in the shallow waters turning into walls with a lot of cracks, overhangs and small caves. It is a paradise for underwater photographers, as they have to decide to go for macro or wide-angle. Be aware of the occasionally ripping currents.
The Burias Shoal of Camiguin is pretty exciting, however the stiff current is good only for advanced divers. Burias Shoal is a series of slopes and small walls. There are huge brain corals around. Plenty of black corals are hiding points for snappers and long nose emperors. There are also resident schools of Jacks, Midnight Snappers Long Nose Emperors and Bonitos around the Burias Shoal of Camiguin Island.
It is among the favorite spots for high-adventure seeking divers. Although it is slightly smaller than Jigdup Shoal, another great diving spot in Camiguin, many fishes flock this area. Schools of jacks, tuna, surgeons, mackerel and barracudas can be seen here.
Burias Shoal is approximately a kilometer away from Mantigue Island and can be reached after breezy thirty-minute speedboat ride from the town of Mahinog, Camiguin Island.