Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Camotes Islands are a group of four islands that form part of the province of Cebu, in the Philippines. The island group is located east of Cebu, southwest of Leyte, and north of Bohol It is the collective name of the islands that made up Camotes and its towns: Pilar, Tudela, Poro, and San Francisco.
Camotes Island's topography is hilly. The highest point of the island is 386 meters above sea level. Its climate is characterized by distinct dry season. Camotes Island has a total size of 20,964 hectares. Famous for its unspoiled natural beauty, rich culture and heritage, hospitality, and smiling faces — the Camotes Island is regarded by many as: "The Island of Enchantment!"
Camotes as a whole enjoys tropical weather the whole year round. The dry season is from March to June while the rainy season is from July to February. The nippy air of "Amihan" or the northeasterly wind blows from September to March. From June to August, the southwesterly wind or the "Habagat" turns up.
The "Habagat" wind normally goes through an eight days cycle, which means, eight days of storm and rain. After 8 wet days, the weather abruptly changes to sunny and dry, consecutively. During this season, Camotes Island is frequently visited by typhoons and low depression, wherein it floods the whole island, and blows the native houses' rooftops away.
The predominant economic activities on the Camotes Islands are farming (including corn, rice, pigs, chicken and cattle), fishing and tourism. Palm trees are the dominant plant on the islands. There are also numerous native varieties of fruit trees and other plants. A number of beach resorts have been established, catering to both domestic and international tourists.
The word camotes is Spanish for sweet potatoes.
Porohanon or Camotes Visayan is spoken in the town of Poro only. The dialect is very similar to the dialect of Cebuano that is spoken in the rest of Camotes Islands and throughout the province of Cebu, Northern Mindanao and other parts of the Visayas. Porohanon is distinguished by the way the locals substitute the /y/ sound for /z/. Example: Maayong buntag (good morning) in Cebuano would be changed to Maazong buntag in Porohanon.
Camotes Island Transportation
Access to the island is by boat. There are daily boats from mainland Cebu to Camotes Island.
E.B. Aznar Shipping:
The travel time is a leisurely 4 hours on a clean and comfortable large boat. The boat docks at Poro Island port. You can board on this boat at Pier 2 in Cebu. The Aznar boat leaves daily at 9:00pm from Cebu and arrives in Camotes Island at 1:00am. From Camotes Island, the boat leaves at 11:00am and arrives in Cebu City at 3:00pm.
Fares from Cebu to Camotes Island and vice versa:
However, if you miss this boat, you will have to travel north of Cebu to Danao City, which is about an hours' drive north of Cebu. There are other smaller outrigger boats, which takes you to the island, in 2.5 or 3 hours depending on the sea's temperament. This is not the most comfortable ride. You will have an opportunity to sit next to chickens, cows, and pigs, and people vomiting out of nausea, and motion sickness.
Pumpboats to Camotes Island:
From Ouano Wharf, Mandaue City daily at 1:00pm; Fare: P200.00
From Danao City to Camotes Island; Fare: P 180.00
Travel Time - 3 hrs.
Bukilat Cave was named after the founder Bukilat. This cave was used as a shelter from the Japanese during World War II. Camotes Island has 8 natural caves. But this cave is breathtakingly beautiful on a high tide when the water flows in. The water in the cave flows out to the sea.
Until today, the people are still constantly searching for the lost buried treasures, hidden during the second world war. It has been rumored to be hidden in this area.
Lake Danao in Camotes Island is known to be the largest lake in the Visayas and Mindanao. The total size of the lake is 680 hectares. The shape of the lake is a number 8 or some say, a shape of a guitar. This place used to be full of crocodiles until they were all hunted down and their hides were sold in Mindanao to produce bags, shoes, and belts out of crocodile skin. It contains fresh water and still is abundant with fishes. Meanwhile the Bureau of Fisheries hold their office here. And we can still buy a variety of fresh water fish that is also dried and sold as a dried fish specialty from the island. Prices of the properties vary from USD1.00 - 3.00/sq. m. depending on the area or location.