Old Spanish documents indicate that the great explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Camiguin in 1521 and 1565, respectively, but it was not until 1598 when the Spanish settlement was established in what was later to be known as Guinsiliban (now one of the municipalities).
The first major settlement of Camiguin during the Spanish era was Catarman in 1679. This settlement grew and prospered to what is now known as Bonbon. The 1871 eruption of Mt. Vulcan Daan destroyed those towns, the remains of which are the ancient Spanish church and convent in the present town center of Catarman.
Sagay was formally established as a town in 1848; Mambajao in 1885 and Mahinog in 1860.
The name “Camiguin “ is derived from the word “Kamagong,” the name of a tree in the ebony family. Original inhabitants of the island were the Manobos from Surigao.
Camiguin is a pear-shaped volcanic island lying in the Bohol Sea some 54 km. north of Misamis Oriental.
Camiguin is about 300 sq. km. or 29,000 hectares; its length measures 33 km.; widest point is 14 km., with circumferential road of 64 km.
Politically, Camiguin used to be a part of Misamis Oriental Province. It became a separate province in 1968.
The province consists of 5 municipalities: Mambajao (Capital Town), Mahinog, Catarman, Sagay, and Guinsiliban.
The island has an estimated population of 70,000.
LANGUAGE / DIALECTS
Dialects spoken in the island are Cebuano and Hiligaynon, but a few people in the municipalities of Sagay and Guinsiliban still speak the old Manobo tribe dialect, Kinamiguing.
Cool climate is attributed to vegetation and natural springs, daytime temperature averages at 26.9° C, coldest months are December, January, and February. Maximum rainfall had been recorded on the months of June to December; dry season starts in April and sometimes lasts for one to three months.
The main occupation of the people is fishing. Plantations include coconut, abaca, lanzones fruit trees, and rice.