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Camiguin Dive Festival: Explore a Blue World Around an Island of Fire

Camiguin Dive Festival
(Photo credit: Bo Mancao)

Visit an alien world within our world. A world where only a few have seen! Let’s dive in Camiguin, one of the best frontiers for scuba divers, in their first ever Dive Camiguin festival, which runs from June 23 to August 31, 2019! We had this amazing opportunity to discover the world beneath the waves surrounding the Island of Fire.

Sweetie and I work in a semi-graveyard shift, so we only had a few hours of sleep before we headed to the airport to catch our Philippine Airlines flight. Goodbye, Lapu-Lapu City! We’ll see you in a few days.

Goodbye for a while, Lapu Lapu

It has been 6 years since we last visited the Island of Fire. And since our last visit, we have been looking forward to visit Camiguin again. So when we woke up from a short nap, we gasped in excitement as we looked outside the window.

Right outside the aircraft’s window is sandy White Island being the vanguard of the lofty and lush volcanoes of the fiery island. And underneath that emerald sea is an alien world that we will be exploring tomorrow!

Camiguin, it’s been too long!

It's good to be back, Camiguin

Our host Potpot Pinili of Travel Trilogy welcomed us. He is instrumental in organizing the very first Dive Camiguin Festival and helping the local tourism department lay out the exciting two-month long dive fest. We were also unaware that Aleah, the owner of Solitary Wanderer, was with us on our flight.

It was definitely an honor to be together with these amazing bloggers.

With Pinoy Travel Bloggers

Our first day was basically a free day, so we decided to catch up on our sleep at the cozy Villa Paraiso.

We woke up early and had a great breakfast the next day; we were super excited for the dive. We all headed off to Lambug beach where the launch was held. Already, there was quite a festive mood. The Dive Fest already coincided with the annual San Juan celebration, which is held all over the country. San Juan is known for being a “watery” celebration.

Registration

We also met with renowned Pinoy Travel Bloggers who went there to cover the event and enjoy Camiguin. From left: Potpot of Travel Trilogy, Gretchen Filart of Filipina Explorer, Aleah of Solitary Wanderer, and Team Sweetie of Adrenaline Romance.

We are also honored to represent Project BLUE during the festival.

Team Sweetie with Potpot, Gretchen, and Aleah

Media personalities, government officials, and professional divers were there to participate in this momentous event.

Local media and VIPs

The first Dive Festival in Camiguin was officially launched at 8 AM. Everyone listened to warm words of welcome, the objectives of this festival, and our role in developing the tourism industry in Camiguin. Most importantly, everyone was made aware of our responsibility as custodians and protectors of the marine world and—ultimately—the planet.

Camiguin Dive Festival has officially started

Fast and reliable dive boats, ranging from speedboats to traditional outrigger pump boats, were standing by to take us to dive sites around Camiguin.

Dive boats

We had our first dive experience in Camiguin at a popular dive site called Black Forest. And what a dive site it was! All around, we could see vibrant gardens of corals, schools of colorful fish, shards of crinoids, and lots of banded sea kraits!

Best of all, it was one of the cleanest dive sites we’ve ever seen! We’ll get into detail about our dive in Black Forest in the next article.

An underwater highway
(Photo credit: Bo Mancao)

If you are a water baby and your passions revolve around snorkeling, swimming, free diving, and scuba diving, then you need to be part of Camiguin’s Dive Fest. Explore healthy reefs, meet with friendly sea turtles, check out gaping giant clams, watch graceful sea snakes, and more!

Participating dive outfitters offer huge discounts of up to 30% on fun dives as well as dive courses. If you ever want to try out scuba diving but is turned off due to the cost of the activity, then now is your opportunity to dive without worrying about blowing a hole in your pocket.

Amazing underwater world
(Photo credit: Bo Mancao)

If you have the knack for professional photography, then you’ll find this event a boon! Underwater photographers can submit and showcase photos of corals, anemones, schools of fish, turtles, sea snakes, nudibranches, and other amazing marine life.

The Camiguin Dive Fest is held from June 23 to August 31, 2019. So you have plenty of time to submit those stunning underwater photos. We got to tell you, big prizes are up for grabs in the competition!

An alien world
(Photo credit: Bo Mancao)

We were very happy that the media fully supports this exciting and noble endeavor. Here’s a report—and a glimpse—of the action. Yes, I was interviewed!

Most importantly, by participating in Dive Camiguin Festival and diving in the reefs around the volcanic island, you will realize just how beautiful, special, and precious our world is. Hopefully, it will encourage you to be more responsible and take part in preserving our marine ecosystem.

Camiguin Dive Festival
(Photo credit: Bo Mancao)

Stays

Villa Paraiso is a great place to stay during your dive adventures in Camiguin. Their comfortable, fully equipped, and fully furnished villas are ideal for dive groups and families.

Best of all, they have a cool water park where you can enjoy a watery adventure! It’s a perfect way to spend time while having a surface interval or waiting for the next day’s dive.

Villa Paraiso

Eats

Diving in Camiguin can kindle your hunger pangs. Fortunately, there are lots of cool restaurants, bistros, and cafes that serve mouthwatering dishes to tickle your palate! Satisfy growling tummies with delicious meals from these recommended restos:

For a genuine taste of Italy in Camiguin, try out La Dolce Vita. Their mouthwatering pizzas are freshly baked from a brick oven! And their perfectly cooked pasta is totally wicked!

The restaurant is just across the airport!

La Dolce Vita

Kurma Eco Beach Lodge serves mouthwatering and healthy vegetarian dishes and drinks. The meals are so good you’ll be wanting for more even if you’re full! They also handle adventures in Camiguin, particularly free diving.

Kurma Eco Beach Club

After a full day’s dive, re-energize at Guerrera Rice Paddy Villas and Restaurant. They serve unique Asian fusion and classic Pinoy dishes. You should also order their mango-lime ice cream—it’s to die for!

Guerrera Rice Paddy Villas and Restaurant

Have tasty and filling brunches and lunches at the open-air and humble Hayahay Cafe. You will totally feel the island vibes in the cafe as it is adorned with tribal paintings, traditional home items, and cool bamboo floors. Their smoothies are a must!

Hayahay Cafe

Participating Dive Shops

You can enjoy diving in Camigion with any of these DOT-accredited participating dive shops:

How to Join

First Camiguin Dive Festival

  • The First Dive Camiguin Festival runs from June 23 to August 31, 2019. The two-month-long festival is organized through the efforts of the Camiguin Provincial Tourism Office and supported by Department of Tourism Region 10.
  • Participants may register online using this Camiguin Dive Festival registration form.
  • Certified scuba divers are entitled to a 30% discount on all participating dive outfitters in Camiguin.
  • Those interested in taking introductory DSD dives and freediving classes can avail of a 15% discount on all participating dive outfitters and resorts in Camiguin.
  • Underwater photographers can get a chance to win a total of Php 60,000 in cash. There will be two categories: macro and wide angle. You can use any kind of underwater photography gear.

Contact Details

For more information and details about the Camiguin Dive Festival, use the following contact information

About Gian and Sheila

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

16 comments on “Camiguin Dive Festival: Explore a Blue World Around an Island of Fire

  1. Wow. Amazing! The world underneath the sea is truly interesting. Been to Camiguin but didn’t get the chance to do diving (scares the heck out of me) but we did snorkle a lot and boy was it amazing. It was like an entirely new universe.

  2. This is something I am completely unaware of, and I am really glad to now know about something called a dive festival – that is really cool! I wasn’t aware of Camiguin either, but I am totally sold at the beauty of the place, plus the underwater pictures are lit. I would love to visit there.

  3. Oh wow the pictures of the diving look absolutely amazing! I’d love to try that someday πŸ™‚ I’m not sure if I’d be brave enough to dive though, I might just try the snorkling instead πŸ˜‰

  4. A dive festival sounds amazing! So cool that you met so many awesome bloggers! We recently visited the Philippines and it’s been one of my most favourite places ever! The Hayahay cafe looks amazing – that looks like my perfect kind of brunch!!

  5. Wowza this looks amazing! The Black Forest is particularly gorgeous! That’s really cool about the photography competition as well. I feel like I need to get my diving certificate now, knowing there are so many cool opportunities to use it with.

  6. Every time I see these underwater dive pictures it reminds me of how much I’m missing out on by not learning how to dive. I love the ocean and hope I get the chance to try it someday. Camiguin looks like it would make a great spot for a dive retreat!

  7. The 30% discount for every dive is a really good deal. Hope I can go back and check out their other dive sites!

  8. This looks like a perfect place, where travel photographer can try taking pictures underwater! I have an aqua bag for my DSLR, but I have never really used it. Oh, I wanna try it there.

  9. It is unbelievable how beautiful the marine life is there! Around the world we are seeing some sad losses. I applaud them for starting this festival and really focusing on eco-consciousness!
    Great trip report!

  10. Camiguin looks like a fantastic place to dive! I did my first ever dive in the Philippines and then the second one in Great Barrier Reef and I am not joking when I say, Palawan was so much better than Australia’s GBR! I really need to get my certification now so I can go for the unassisted diving and I would love to go back, specifically to Camiguin ater reading your post, for my experience.

  11. Camiguij is famous for its underwater paradise and I wish to visit it too. As soon as my schedule be arrange then Camiguin will be the next destination.

  12. The diving pictures look absolutely breathtaking and Camiguin Dive Festival sounds like a wonderful event to attend. I did a scuba diving only once a few years ago and it was an exhilarating experience!

  13. I thought Siquijor is the Island of Fire?

    • Hi Eric! I think Siquijor is something more on the island of enchantment, magic, or witchcraft. That sort of thing. Camiguin is more fitting as an “Island of Fire” because of the presence of numerous volcanoes.

  14. Looks Fantastic, I will have to try to do some snorkeling in the Philippines soon.

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