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‘Mountain tourism’ launched in Camiguin |

Travel and Tourism

‘Mountain tourism’ launched in Camiguin

Gerry Lee Gorit - The Philippine Star
âMountain tourismâ launched in Camiguin
Lush greenery surrounds Mt. Hibok-Hibok in Mambajao, Camiguin.

MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN, Philippines — Camiguin’s chains of volcanoes, especially Mt. Hibok-Hibok, will once again be on the radar of adventure seekers as the provincial government, the Department of Tourism-10 (DOT-10) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-10 (DENR-10) launched “Climb Camiguin” as a way of promoting the province as a prime destination for mountain tourism in the country.

“The province recognizes the potential of volcano tourism for driving the socioeconomic growth and development of the local community,” said Camiguin Gov. Maria Luisa Romualdo.

Mt. Hibok-Hibok and the adjacent Mt. Timpoong were recently declared by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center for Biodiversity as an ASEAN heritage park, now officially known as the Mt. Timpoong-Mt. Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument.

The mountain range is home to some of the endemic species of flora and fauna found in this part of Mindanao.

Some of the similar sites in the Philippines include the Apo Natural Park, Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park, Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The number of protected locations in the region – Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park and the Mt. Timpoong-Mt. Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument – has inspired the Department of Tourism-10 to launch mountain tourism in Northern Mindanao, said DOT-10 regional director Marie Elaine Unchuan.

She said mountain tourism is the latest addition to the products that DOT-10 has introduced, which also included packages for farm tourism, dive tourism, faith tourism and cultural tourism.

One of the concerns that the tourism department has considered before launching the project was on the crafting of legislation by local governments to protect the mountains in their areas.

“Legislation should be in place, and communities must be involved in this,” she said.

Mambajao Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo has appealed to climbers to help spread the word about Camiguin’s mountains to their respective families and communities.

“Wherever you go, please speak about Camiguin and be our spokespersons to promote Camiguin and help us in our conservation of this beautiful province,” the mayor said.

The trail starts at Brgy. Itum in the ASEAN Heritage Park known as “Nightscapes.”  This is accessible via Mambajao passing the Philvolcs station. Base camp is between Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Timpoong.

The trail approach is slightly inclined with lots of rattan along the path. Incline increases steadily as the trail progresses to a minor peak at 800 miles above sea level (masl) with a view of the base camp. 

The trail transitions from deciduous to mossy forest at 900 masl.  

The trail passes by the landslide area where there are sightings of luminous mushrooms and sulfur vents. At 1,100 masl one encounters the pandan forest and red ferns.  There is a huge vent that can be explored.  

Recommended stop is three hours into the climb where there is a panoramic view of the white island and about a quarter of the province. The trail then traverses into the old crater with huge boulders and sulfur vents.  

There will be a steep ascent to reach the minor peak of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. You will enter a pygmy forest and have a view of several mountain peaks in the horizon. Nearing the peak will be more pygmy forests with wildflowers and endemic pitcher plants.

Reaching the summit of Mt. Hibok-Hibok will reward you with breathtaking, panoramic views.

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