According to folklore, Camiguin used to have white sand beaches until the eruption of the volcano happened. It killed thousands of people and made the beaches rocky and having dark sand. One area which has not been destroyed by the volcanic eruption is White Island. It is about 2 kilometers away from the nearest beach of Camiguin.
The grains of sand at White Island is comparable to other white sand beaches in the Philippines like Pandanon Island in Bohol, Virgin Island off Panglao, beaches and islands of Boracay and many more. The only difference is that it is of pure white sand without any establishments, cottages or plants.
White Island is located in the northwestern part of Camiguin’s jurisdiction. It is nearest to the coast of Agoho, Mambajao. White Island is a white sand bar which forms the letter C or I depending on the mood of the waves that hit the island. It is ideal for swimming and snorkeling but not for those who have sensitive skins as there are no shades or shelter in the area. Outrigger boats for rent are available at Caves Dive Resort (P400), Paras Beach Resort (P500) and nearby beaches.
Before March 1 2009, the entrance of White Island is free. But now, both locals and foreigners spend P20 as entrance to the island. According to the locals, it will be used for marine life protection and cleanliness drive. Up until now, many are still questioning why there is an entrance fee in White Island and that the marine life preservation and cleanliness budget should be handled by the LGU’s of Camiguin. Getting some sands in White Island for memento is strictly prohibited as locals are afraid that the island will no longer be visible even during low tides.
Tourists enjoy at White Island for an hour or two and take pictures of the beautiful Mount Hibok-hibok, Tres Marias and the Mount Vulcan as backdrop. Beautifully designed and handcrafted souvenir shells can be bought at P50-P200 but the vendor rarely stays in the afternoon because of the excruciating heat of the sun.
When going to White Island, be sure to bring a sunblock and/or beach umbrella. If you choose to swim in the clean waters, prepare your goggles and snorkels and you’ll see small fishes and other wonderful creations underneath.