It’s not often that I’m inspired by a place in and of itself, so when I stepped out of my grandfather’s truck into a world of art, nature, and imagination, my heart basically skipped a beat. I just knew I had to share it with you all!
Camiguin Island’s Enigmata EcoLodge is a place where young minds thrive. A backpacker’s lodge situated in an ancient tree, this eclectic and colorful place is like a museum, treehouse, and hangout spot all in one. Dreamcatchers, paintings, and other artwork adorn the walls here and music is abundant. Unlike your average cement or wooden wall, most of the walls here are embellished with painted bottles, bottle caps, CD’s, and other recycled artworks. There is so much color and light incorporated into the architecture here, it’s no wonder I felt instantly cheerful when I entered this mysterious edifice.
On the first floor of the treehouse is a small area where people can go to relax, play music, or work on art. This area is labeled a “No Shoes” place and, like most of the rest of the building, is decorated with artwork and color.
In the building’s old pool rests a “shipwreck” of sorts, a colorful mural designed and executed by the locals.
In the upper stories of the treehouse, I viewed the boarding rooms, where backpackers, young artists, and families alike can stay for a night or two. Comfortable and creative, these rooms are also very affordable, starting at just 250 PHP ($6 USD) per night! Enigmata is perfect for someone looking to room in a place with a story.
Downstairs, I toured the gift shop, the redecorated pool area, and the art lounge area. Underneath that lies the supply room and children’s art gallery, filled with works by children of all ages. These pieces are all for sale and help support children’s art education in Camiguin. Ranging from wire sculptures to dreamcatchers to paintings to painted glass bottles, the work in here is definitely one-of-a-kind. The best part? Most of it is made using recycled materials, so it is nature-friendly and supports green initiatives!
Outside of the house, I marveled at the beautiful paintings, statues, and artwork in the garden. One notable piece is the hand-shaped labyrinth, a place of tradition and ritual located just outside the children’s gallery.
Other things that caught my eye were the statues, depicting mythical creatures and scenes that seem as if they’ve jumped right out of a storybook.
After our tour, one of the workers kindly taught me how to make a dreamcatcher. It turned out pretty cool!
Later in the afternoon, Ferdinand brought me to the gift shop area, where there is a collection of musical instruments free for guests to play. We definitely took advantage of this while we were here!
During my entire journey this summer, this has definitely been one of my favorite places. Why? Because it bridges the gap between art, nature, and humanity. It’s so easy to get lost in thought while here because, well, this place is full of interesting and innove things. It’s a place of peace, imagination, and inspiration. I haven’t had a chance to stay the night yet, but I’m hoping to do that before I leave the island. The Camiguin EcoLodge is truly an indescribable experience – to truly appreciate it you need to see it for yourself!