The Balingoan Port is a busy harbor in Misamis Oriental in which daily ferries going to the island paradise of Camiguin and nearby islands dock.
This port is a bustling district that thrives not only from the flocks of travelers and tourists who come and go from Misamis Oriental to Camiguin and vice versa, but also from the rich marine life off the Mindanao coast. In several occasions, dolphins may be seen while crossing the Camiguin channel. There are ferries scheduled to leave every hour across Mindanao Sea and dock in the ports of Guinsilbian or the much-popular Benoni, which serves as the main entry point for those who want to explore the beauty of Camiguin. Fare costs about 135 pesos (3$).
The ferry ride from Balingoan Port to Benoni Wharf takes about an hour. Upon arrival at the pier, you will be greeted by a group of polite baggage porters asking you to let them carry your luggage. There’s no fixed rate for their assistance, but giving them a dollar (45 pesos) is acceptable enough. Oftentimes, you’ll also see dozens of young boys diving and swimming at the port and climbing up the sides of the ship. But if you think these kids are out there playing and having fun, then you’re absolutely wrong. They are out there waiting for coins that will be thrown into the deep water from the ferry’s passengers. It’s appalling to see how these innocent kids risk their lives in exchange for 1 or 5 peso coins.
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