Jul 13, 2009

Glimpse at Camiguin Island

Camiguin is a small island province of the Philippines off the northern coast of Mindanao. It belongs to the Northern Mindanao region. It is the second smallest province of the Philippines both in land area and population. With a population density of 232 people per square kilometer, it is the 16th most densely-populated province (base on 2007 census). The island of Camiguin is in the Bohol Sea about 10 kilometers north of Misamis Oriental, its capital is Mambajao Camiguin is accessible by air and sea, however trips are limited only. The name Camiguin is derived from the native word “Kamagong”, a tree of the Ebony family that thrives near lake Mainit in the Province of Surigao del Norte. The original inhabitants of Camiguin were “manobos” who migrated from Surigao. The old native language in Camiguin is called “Kinamiguin”, which is similar to the dialect spoken in Surigao.
The Sunken Cemetery in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman, used to be part of the old capital of Camiguin. According to local historians, Mount Vulcan had four recorded eruptions. It was the third eruption in 1871 that sunk Cotta Bato and its cemetery under the sea. Remnants of the structures and gravestones were still seen during low tide but the fourth eruption in 1948 buried the area deeper by around twenty feet. In 1982, a large cross was built to mark this old gravesite that has become known as the sunken cemetery. On September 2007, The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Camiguin provincial government for the implementation of a 5-year integrated coastal resource management system in 40 coastal barangays (villages) and 5 municipalities. Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said the 5-year project got Php116 million funding from the New Zealand Agency for International Aid (NZAID). The system includes granting of livelihood enterprises for small-scale fishermen and 10,378 households will benefit from the project. (Pictures courtesy of Janet C. Lopez)

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