Camiguin is known as Isla del Fuego or "Island Born of Fire" with seven active volcanoes within its 238 square kilometers. Its highest peak is Mt. Hibok-Hibok, standing at 5,092 feet. The island has a lush natural forest which is ASEAN’s newest heritage park, deep blue seas, white islands, numerous waterfalls, a sunken cemetery, and fiery sunsets.
The series of volcanic explosions has made its land rich and fertile, resulting in the sweetest lanzones which the locals celebrate every harvest time in October in their Lanzones festival.
In 2016, Camiguin Aviation opened its planes to a sightseeing tour and aerobatic flights to locals and tourists who would like to see the island from a different perspective and with an adrenaline pumping ride.
Your pilot, Captain Sean Clarke, is a geophysicist by profession but is a daredevil aerobatics instructor. Camiguin Aviation not only offers rides but also flying lessons. Before flying, there would be a briefing and you would be equipped with a life vest, a parachute, and will be strapped into your seat with a five-point hook harness. He would also make you go through the process of how to unhook yourself with just one motion and how to inflate your life vest.
Your plane will be an American Champion Super Decathlon that is steady and balanced and highly adapted for aerobatics.
With all systems go and a high five, you will taxi on Camiguin airport’s runway and fly over Mambajao and see the sports complex, the ricefields and the coastal road. A coastal road tour would take 3 hours while Camiguin Aviation’s tour would go from an hour to an hour and 30 minutes.
As you fly over Mantigue Island, you would get to see the tourists’ wave at you and you can wave back at them with your plane with a roll, simply meaning that your plane will move from side to side. This is an introduction to the aerobatic maneuver you will be doing later. The ride is smooth and relaxing as you fly over deep greens and blues.
We were lucky that as we looked down on the deep blue sea, several turtles were also making their way into who knows where. But they must have been big as they were visible from above.
From the air, Benoni Port, the Tanguines lagoon, the Kibila Giant Clams sanctuary, the roads leading up into the mountains, the green forest, White Island, and the sea were sights of Camiguin that you never would have imagined you could see had you not been on a plane. It is a different perspective of the usual tourist attractions of the island.
As you hover over the peaks of Camiguin’s volcanoes, that’s when the aerobatics happens. Captain Sean would warn you to keep your camera and cellphones secured in a bag with straps on and then you are on to an exhilarating aileron roll which is a kind of aerobatic maneuver where the plane turns 360 degrees.
Depending on the passenger’s condition, Captain Sean would ask for a second roll or not. I did two rolls. I was whooping with delight as it was an entirely new experience for me having done paragliding and riding on an ultra light plane.
We were up in the air for more than 40 minutes already and I was experiencing a little giddiness and so I requested to land.
After landing, Captain Sean told me that I did well and I am a fighter pilot in the making and I belong to the elite 1 in 30 million who have experienced the aileron roll. Great flight, Captain Sean!
So if you want to experience a different high, check out Camiguin Aviation when you are in Camiguin.
How to get there:
Manila to Camiguin (by plane)
There are several airlines with flights from Manila to Camiguin.
Cagayan de Oro to Camiguin (by plane then Roro)
• Flights from Manila to Cagayan de Oro are available
• Ferry from Cagayan de Oro to Benoni, Camiguin
Bohol to Camiguin (by plane then Roro)
• Flights from Manila to Bohol are available
• Ferry from Jagna, Bohol to Benoni, Camiguin
Cebu to Camiguin (by plane then Roro)
• Flights from Manila to Cebu are available
• Ferry from Cebu City to Camiguin
Camiguin Aviation is located in Lumad Tower, Airport, Mambajao, Camiguin. Contact them thru 0918-496-4888 or visit @camiguinaviation for inquiries.
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