One of my boyhood fantasies is to have my own tree house, where I can pretend to be like Robinson Crusoe, living off the land and having a great time communing with the monkeys up in the canopy. This was enforced further when I watched the movie Avatar, in which the blue Na'vi tribes people live in a giant tree house.
During the trip to Camiguin, the volcano island, we are fortunate enough to book in Enigmata Ecolodge, which to my delight, happen to be a hostel built on a century-old acacia tree. Run by environmentally-conscious artists, Enigmata - located in the capital town of Mambajao - exudes a charm that emphasizes communal living and respect to the environment.
We were billeted in the three-story main lodge, so we were afforded with a great view. The place is open air, and protection from mosquitoes and insects are provided by linen mosquito nets (which harks back to my childhood in the province when we also use mosquito nets ). The water for the gravity operated shower comes from a mountain spring, and the decor has a bohemian, eco-friendly vibe to it - recycled wine cork turned into a cork board, plastic bottles recycled into translucent skylight, bamboo slats for floors and thatch for roofing for the full effect.
Conspicuous consumption is discouraged, though, so if you are looking to be served like a diva in a spa, then this is not for you. Smoking is a big no-no (a fine of PhP100 for every cigarette butt), softdrinks brought from the outside are levied with high corkage, and guests are encouraged to put the lights out by 11 pm. But if you were guilty of the carbon footprint that your travels have generated so far, then a stay in Enigmata would be perfect.
How to Get there: Enigmata is in Mambajao town. Take a tricycle or minivan from Benoni port to Mambajao, and get off at Maubog Bridge junction. A sculpture at the side of the road serves as a landmark. The lodge is located about 500 meters up the road. The staff may arrange a pickup from Benoni, if requested. An overnight stay for 2 is PhP 950, PhP200 for each additional guest.
Contact Info: Tel. no +63 88 3870273 or at mobile +63 918 2304184. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
pics, from above: treetop view from our room; the dining room/library called Balay Kalipay; the tree house; the wooded spiral staircase going up to the second floor.