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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


In the mystical island of Camiguin stands its most famous volcano, Mt. Hibok-Hibok. Not many people know that Camiguin is a literally a hot plate with no less than seven volcanoes in the small island. Mt. Timpoong, at 1450 MASL is actually higher than Hibok-Hibok, but the latter has risen to fame because of its explosive history. Five eruptions have been recorded since the 1827. The latest, in the early 1950s, killed 600 people.

Today, although Hibok-Hibok remains an active volcano, it has no signs of activity. In fact, the only signs of volcanism are the hot springs that count among Camiguin's tourist destinations. One of them, Ardent Hot Springs, is actually the jump-off point for a Hibok-Hibok climb. A rewarding dip at the 37 C pools is a great post-climb treat.

Climbing Hibok-Hibok is quite challenging for a daytrip. It takes 3-5 hours to reach the peak depending on your pace. The altitude gain is quite rapid and sun cover is minimal.Yet the views are unique and spectacular. At the peak, on a clear day, you can see the mossy crater of the volcano. To your north is Bohol, and you can even see Surigao at the east, and Siquijor on the opposite side. Flanking the island of Camiguin is White island, which truly looks white from atop the mountain. Even more unique to Hibok-Hibok is the blade-sharp rocks at the peak area. The pitcher plants that grow on these rocks make the landscape a little bit eerie. All these elements make Hibok-Hibok a must-stop for hikers who are visiting Camiguin.

Officially, a permit is required from the DENR office to climb Hibok-Hibok. There is however no inspection for a permit at Ardent. Normally, they would only allow climbers to trek before 0800; they would say it is too late beyond that. However, a fast pace can manage a daytrip even as late as 1030. Wear sun protection because sun cover is really minimal throughout the trails. If you came late, it might be better to just stay in Ardent. There are private rooms and dormitory bedspaces there, for as low as P250-300 / night. The food is excellent too.

Hibok-Hibok is also known as Catarman Volcano. Aside from Ardent, there are four other hot springs at the foot of the mountain.


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