A celebration of bountiful harvest
October 25-28 Camiguin
The Lanzones fruit is a major source of the Camiguin Islands' livelihood and it is for the annual harvest that they celebrate this thanksgiving day.
Houses, carriages, street poles and even people are decorated with lanzones and lanzones leaves. townsfolk dance in joy abandon in commemoration of the legend that a beautiful, unknown maiden took from the its former bitter flavor to leave only its luscious, sweet taste.
Camiguin, which came from the word “Kamagong,” the name of a tree in the ebony family, is a pear-shaped volcanic island lying in the Bohol Sea some 54 kilometers southeast of Chocolate Hills and 10 kilometers north of Misamis Oriental.
Camiguin have five municipalities -- Mambajao (capital), Catarman, Sagay, Guinsiliban and Mahinog -- and measures approximately 29,000 hectares with a circumferential road measuring 64 kms.
Old Spanish documents indicate that the great explorers, Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, landed in Camiguin in 1521 and 1565, respectively. But it was not until 1598 when the Spanish settlement was established in what later came to be the Guinsiliban town.
The first major settlement of the Spanish era was Catarman in 1679. This grew and prospered to what is now known as Bonbon. The 1871 Mt. Vulcan Daan eruption destroyed these towns, the remains of which are the ancient Spanish church and convent to the present center town of Catarman.
Among the tourist attractions of Camiguin are the White Island, Mantigue Island, Katibawasan Falls, Sto. Niño Cold Spring, Hibok-Hibok Crater, Ardent Hot Spring, Tangub Hot Spring and a number of beautiful private beach resorts.
But the island’s main come-on to tourists is the Lanzones Festival, normally held every third week of October. It is a four-day grand festival of the island’s agriculture and tourism industries highlighted by a tableau of local culture and a grand parade of lanzones, the golden sweet fruit found abundantly in the entire province. It is Camiguin’s contribution to Mindanao as a cultural destination.
The Lanzones festival is the residents’ way of giving thanks to a bountiful harvest not only for lanzones but other agricultural products.
How to Get There
There are three ports operating in the province of Camiguin. The main port of entry is in Benoni, with minor ports at Balbagon and Guinsiliban. Balbagon Port links Cagayan de Oro and Cebu, Benoni Port links with Balingoan and Cagayan de Oro, and Guinsiliban Port which also has a roro landing facility links with Balingoan and Cagayan de Oro.
Camiguin can be reached either by ferryboat or small aircraft. The fastest way to get to the island from Manila is to take any of the commercial flights to Cagayan de Oro City. In Cagayan de Oro, one can either hire a taxi right outside the airport terminal or take the bus in the city center to Balingoan Port in Misamis Oriental. The bus terminal is located at Agora, Lapasan. Depending on the weather condition, it takes about one hour and a half to two hours by land to reach Balingoan Port, which is 84 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro. This port is the nearest jump-off point to Camiguin. The ferryboat ride to Benoni Port in the Municipality of Mahinog takes about one hour. This port is 17 kilometers from Mambajao, the capital of Camiguin Province which can be reached by jeepneys. The six photographs portrayed below should give an idea about the Port at Balingoan and one of the ferryboats that regularly plies the Balingoan-Benoni route.
A new terminal building has recently been constructed and when the planned improvements are completed, 737 jet planes will be able to land in Camiguin linking major destinations as Manila, Cebu and Davao. Camiguin is only 35 minutes by airplane from Mactan (Cebu) International Airport. SEAIR is now serving the Cebu-Camiguin-Cebu route every Monday and Saturday.
Photo Credits :: http://www.camiguin.us/lanzones01.htm