Camiguin Island, Philippines: A Vacation with a Purpose

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Sea & Sun Resort - View of Camiguin Island from the plane. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen
View of Camiguin Island from the plane. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen

A small belt of spotless white sand rests peacefully in a bed of clear blue waters gently kissing its shores with a turquoise hue. The peaceful waves seem to go on for an eternity until the peak of a volcano becomes visible between breaks in the wispy clouds and slowly widens until it becomes part of the island. Amongst the blue sky and crystal blue waters sits this little piece of heaven – Welcome to Camiguin Island.

Camiguin is an island province in the Philippines. Located in the Bohol Sea about 10 kilometers from the northern coast of Mindanao, the island is known for its beautiful seas and beaches. A friend had recommended I visit the Sea and Sun Resort, a unique resort created with the goal of helping those in need. I was excited to see not only the island, but the resort as well.

View from one of the houses at Sea and Sun Resort in the Philippines. Photo by Allison Pond
View from one of the houses at Sea and Sun Resort in the Philippines. Photo by Allison Pond

Sea & Sun Resort: Camiguin Island, Philippines

Sea and Sun Ministries and Resort was started after two friends — Wenche Thorkildsen from Norway and Edith Villamor from the Philippines — were on vacation in Camiguin. Despite the beauty of the island, Camiguin is not free of poverty.

The women saw the need and felt called to do something, thus the start of Sea and Sun Ministries International. Using the natural beauty of the island to their benefit, the two decided to open a beach resort as a way to financially support their ministries as well as provide more employment on the island.

The resort opened to the public in 2005 with five beach houses, a spa, and a restaurant. Now the resort provides employment for 10 people and all of the profits go to fund the ministries of Sea and Sun, which include a scholarship program and other community outreaches.

Children from the island that Sea and Sun International work to send to school. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen
Sea and Sun International helps to send many island children to school. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen

Sea and Sun has helped hundreds of students go to school and over 40 have already graduated college. They are currently assisting in sending 44 students to high school and 20 to college. The students not only go to school, but are also taught important life skills and values. Sea and Sun has also opened their home to 13 students, providing them with a healthy family environment where they are loved and affirmed.

Now guests can come and experience Camiguin in a unique resort that offers more than just relaxation and a good view. The resort manages to combine the feel of a luxury beach resort with the inviting vibe of a bed and breakfast. The hosts and staff are very friendly and love interacting with their guests, which makes for a light and homey environment. Guests feel like they are vacationing at home. Sea and Sun host guests all year round.

Dining at Sea & Sun Resort

The dining experience at Sea and Sun is excellent. Sitting out in the open beach air with the perfect view of the ocean, guests are served a feast of delicious traditional Filipino food. Guests can rest assured that their fish is fresh and their veggies haven’t traveled far, as the resort strives to provide local organic food.

The chef never fails to delight with dishes that bring together the local flavors and fresh produce in a way that leave your taste buds amazed and have you asking for the recipe every time. The food is only half of the dining experience, though. While enjoying a homemade meal, guests can enjoy a view that is just as amazing as the food. Nothing beats watching the sunset over the beach while enjoying a feast of Filipino food and fresh tropical fruits. Dinning at Sea and Sun alone is worth the trip.

Dining area at Sea and Sun Resort. Photo by The Sea and Sun Resort in the Philippines. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen
Dining area at Sea and Sun Resort. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen

House by the Sea: Camiguin Island

The resort currently has five small beach houses each with a balcony overlooking the beach. Each house has two bedrooms with double beds, though two more single mattresses can be provided to house if needed (fitting up to 6 people).

This makes it a great location for large groups and families. The houses also contain a living room and a small kitchen for those that wish to cook their own meals. The larger houses cost about $93 a night and the smaller houses $83. This rate includes daily house cleaning and laundry.

The Sea and Sun Resort in the Philippines. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen
The Sea and Sun Resort in the Philippines. Photo by Wenche Thorkildsen

Sleeping in these cozy rooms with the cool beach air and the sound of waves crashing upon the shore may be the most restful sleep of your life. The balcony is perfect for those lazy days when you just want to sit down with a good book and cup of coffee, or just kick back and enjoy the view. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a nice breeze. It is no exaggeration to say that these houses take relaxation to the next level. Whether it is the air or the lack of city noise, it is hard not to feel peaceful and carefree here.

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