April 16, 2012

Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island

Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin is one of the most unique dive sites in the Philippines and one of the main attractions of Camiguin. It was formed by the 1871 eruption that submerged most of Camiguin, including the town's cemetery. It left the island with these breathtaking ruins and tombstones underwater, now marked with it's famous white cross.
Camiguin Sunken Cemetery
The Sunken Cemetery is located 20 feet underwater in Barrio Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin. It's 10 to 15 from Paras Beach Resort which where we stayed. This is actually the only tourist attraction here that does not require any fees.
Sunken Cemetery Entrance
The Sunken Cemetery is the result of 1871 eruption of Mount Vulcan which is now known as the Old Volcano. Before, the Sunken Cemetery was visible during low tide, but was buried deeper by 20 feet when there was another eruption on 1948. The white cross was actually only built on 1982 but later collapse. The one you see now is a reconstructed one, which is said to be bigger than the original cross.
Sunken Cemetery from the view deck
There are boats at the site that offers a ride to the white cross. Tourist go here usually for snorkeling. Because of time constraints we weren't able to try diving. But locals say that you can find ruins and gravestone covered with corals and more marine animals. The depth of the water is 5 to 20 meters depending on the tide with very calm waves. Be sure to check the weather and tide for best viewing underwater. Best time is 2pm, not that hot but best natural light. It is also the best time to take photos. The boatmen are also great photographers. They took and directed these photos of me and my fiance. Very cute photos.
Photograph ideas suggested by boat men there
The outrigger boats (Bangka) for rent costs 100 pesos to 200 pesos for a maximum of 5 people. Sometime they charge per head which costs around 50 pesos. So make your best efforts to get the best price. They do not allow tourists to enter after 4pm.

The sunken Cemetery is just 5 to 10 minutes away from Camiguin Walkway  and Old Church Ruins which was also affected by the 1871 eruption.

Haven't tried snorkeling yet so I can't say it would be worth it. But if you're not planning to dive, this is still a good place to drop by for a while and take photos. 

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