I’ts summertime once again in the Philippines. This summer is different, as we have been experiencing more than 35′ Celsius. It seems the hot weather we have now is dangerous to the skin and aside from that we are experiencing the El Nino Phenomenon, and its gonna be happening for a long time. But despite all of these, Filipinos are unstoppable in enjoying the summer, just like me,and this year was enchanting…
A month ago, my office mates were looking for a best deal to go to this very popular island, Kalanggaman Island, it was considered as one of the most beautiful Island in the Philippines located in the municipality of Palompon,Leyte, as advertised on different blogs, the pictures and the descriptions were so enticing. And it had already gained much popularity when a German luxury cruise ship made a stopover earlier this year.
We were able to find the best deal, under Galore Tours, where we only have to pay Php1,100 inclusive of pump boat ride and entrance fee to the island. Since all of us are from Cebu we thought this deal was the best considering that we just have to travel 20 to 30 minutes in going to the port area in Mactan or Cordova from Cebu City. Instead of going far north of Cebu by bus and ride a pumpboat somewhere in Bogo or travel to Palompon, Leyte. The trip took us almost 5 hours of pump boat ride. The moment you reserved with Galore Tours you have to pay for the full amount in order to have a secure slot at the pump boat.
The night before our scheduled trip, we were informed that we need to transfer to Roro/Parola Cordova port from the original port in Angasil and call time was 6 in the morning. There were 11 of us all in a group, eleven very excited souls who are very eager to see the clear blue waters of Kalanggaman Island. And at around 5.30 AM all eleven of us are already at Cordova port waiting for our turn to hop in our assigned pump boat.
The lady in charge kept on ensuring us that we just have to wait as the boat needs to dock properly, until around 7 a.m, we were already called to hop in to our assigned boat, since it was still low tide we still have to pass through another boat to get to our assigned boat, and mind you the struggle in going to our assigned boat was for real, I was bringing three heavy big bags with me and we have to pass into this very tiny and thick plywood and just one mistake you would slipped and fell into the deep waters, a little scary actually on my part I even had a quick shout when I was a little out of balance but good thing I regain back my balance in an instant. While all forty passengers were already inside the boat, a personnel in charge from Galore Tours made an announcement that we need to go down to the boat as the coast guard did not allow for the boat to sail, boat’s name was “Maricar”. We were instructed, that if anybody would ask where are we going, we just have to reply that we were already going home as our trip was cancelled and will just be rescheduled. He informed us that as Plan B we need to transfer to the original port “Angasil Port” and that the boat “Maricar” will just meet us all there. Galore tours will be the one to shoulder our transportation going to Angasil as it is also a 20 to 30 minute ride by jeepney. Out of curiosity, one of my companions secretly asked the coastguard the reason why the boat was not allowed to sail, and the reason was shocking, the boat was a “colorum” and unregistered. With this information all of us already started to doubt if this long time planned summer escapade would push through. But still we kept our calm and still was hopeful.
While at Angasil port, we have to wait almost an hour for “Maricar”, but we have learned that the boat was put on hold and was blocked to even sail or go away from the Cordova port, good thing a new boat arrived named “Atmosphere”. In going to ride the boat would be another challenge, since it was still a bit low tide we have to ride a box type “kayak-like” boat that will transport us to “Atmosphere”, it was funny because around almost 30 people was inside that box and just being pushed by one person. Finally, when everyone was on board, everyone was thankful that finally the long-awaited summer escapade is going to happen.
The trip was around 4 to five hours, and majority of the passengers were sleeping, good thing i got the best part of the boat where I was able to lie down and had a comfortable nap.
Upon arriving the port we were welcomed by a captivating clear blue water of the island, the long stretched sandbar was so inviting that everyone was so eager and excited to go down the boat and let our tired feet touched the serene waters.
After hopping off the boat, we went directly to the camping area of the island and started to build our tents. After building our tents we eagerly changed to our swimming outfits put sunblock and proceeded to the sand bar. Of course before diving in to the waters we have to capture the beautiful scenery. let us just say pictorial for more than an hour before we enjoyed the waters.
After the pictorial, we all went swimming and we were all really enjoying the waters and not minding the heat of the sun, we went swimming until 5 PM. And since we got hungry we went back to our tent and grab some food. Oh, by the way, since the island has no fresh water and you can’t buy food, you have to bring your own food, that is the reason I was carrying lots of bags as one bag was intended for my food, I had to bring three liters of water, 10 boiled egg, one loaf bread and one can of century tuna, this is already my meal for two days. You can actually bring some cooking equipment like butane, but we chose to carry each our own food we thought its a hassle to be bringing lot of things already.
So around 5.30pm to 6.30pm, we went to the other side of the island and explored it and waited for the sunset.
After sunset, we have to go back to our tent for dinner, and refreshed ourselves. There were comfort rooms at the island, and since there were a lot of campers at that time there was a long queue who wanted to use it. Honestly, I never used the comfort room as it was very dirty and can’t be flushed. This is something that the tourism government in Palompon had to improve.
To make our night productive at the island, we had some games and chitchats, and some food, one of our companions were fishing for sea urchin that afternoon, and he was able to get lots of them, it’s actually a very yummy treat. We even had to buy a Red horse beer to go with the sea urchin.
At around 9pm we went to the sandbar, prepared our yoga mats and went on stargazing. Stargazing at the island is one of the astounding experience I had. I even saw some falling stars. A very good activity to just relax and forget about problems. So, at exactly 10pm we went back to our tents and bid goodnight.
I had to set my alarm clock at 4a.m., so I could do some walking around the sandbar and also prepare for the sunrise.
First I went to the rocky side of the island as it was nearer to the camp site where we set up our tents. And I was so enchanted of what I saw, glowing waters, I was not able to take a picture of it though. But my friends told me they are jelly fishes that glows in the dark. But I call it beach fireflies.
We were at the beach until 9am, enjoying the last hours before we depart back to Cebu.
Below advisory was posted at the island, and we are so lucky to have at least planned our trip before it is effective.Life at the island was so simple, but with Kalanggaman I was able to Jump with Enchantment!!!
Lastly, I hope everyone who visits the island must be responsible enough to keep this very wonderful creation clean. Bring home you garbage. And oh, always be vigilant as some boatmen tends to throw garbage at the ocean upon going back to mainland. It happened to us but good thing we were able to stop them from doing it.