Just when I thought we won’t make it to Palompon because of the typhoon in Leyte last December, God gave us a good weather last January 6 so our original plan to go visit Kalanggaman Island was realized!
The day we left we flew back to Manila from our 2-week stay in my hometown, was the also the same day Dane arrived from KSA! We reunited with Dane at NAIA terminal 3 in December 30, we ate lunch and checked in for our flight to Tacloban. Nate is a great boy, kinaya nya ang mga mahahaba at nakakapagod na biyahe! All he did was sleep on almost all flights! lol.
• VISITING DANE’S HOMETOWN FOR THE FIRST TIME
Dane’s hometown is in Isabel, Leyte and since the place is just a few hours away from Kalanggaman Island, we didn’t want to miss experiencing the place. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? Sa pictures pa lang online, mapapa-wow kana kasi sa ganda ng Kalanggaman. So one early Saturday morning, we prepped to leave going to the splendid island.
Kalanggaman, in Bisaya, means a place with many birds (from the word langgam, which means bird in Bisaya). On the other hand, “langgam” in Filipino means ants, so if we say kalanggaman in Tagalog, it means a place with lots of ants, which is also true in this island, kasi andami ding langgam!
• HOW TO GET TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
Here’s a quick glimpse of how to get there. I got this complete info via their official website.
We got to Palompon via a service cab from Isabel, Leyte. We also arranged for the driver to pick us up in the afternoon after our tour. The travel time from Isabel to Palompon was only about an hour.
• TO DIY OR TO GET A TOUR PACKAGE?
This is completely up to you but to give you an idea, this was the rate that I got from the agency I asked online:
1,550/pax for an overnight stay (kids rate is half the price)
1,350/pax for a day trip (kids rate is half the price)
Both rates include the following:
-Boat sharing roundtrip
-Entrance fee day tour
-Water and soft drinks
-Ref Magnet Souvenir for free each pax
-Tent accommodation (for overnight)
-Emergency light (for overnight)
This looks like a good deal but for a family of 6 and 1 kid, it will cost us more or less Php 10,000 if we book with them. What’s nice about it though is you get everything you need and all you have to do is to show up in Palompon Tourism Office.
• PALOMPON ECO-TOURISM OFFICE
However, if you are on a tight budget like us, DIY is the best route to go, we were able to save 50% of the supposed expenses because we DIY’d. Oh, ‘di ba laking tipid?
Before going to Palompon, you’ll have to call to reserve first. ‘Pag hindi masyadong maganda ang panahon, posibleng di nila kayo pa-biyahiin sa isla at delikado. Once you get to Palompon Tourism Office, you are required to pay the entrance or conservation fee and then arrange a pump boat ride going to the island. Pwede boat sharing para makamura. In fact, may naki-share sa’min, nag-ambag nalang sila sa bayad. Rates are listed below, again this info is from the Kalanggaman Island website.
• BOAT RIDE TO THE ISLAND
The boat ride takes about an hour. Depending on the weather, the ride can be scary at times because of the waves but if you know how to look at the bright side, you’ll enjoy the roller coaster ride! Nate enjoyed the first few minutes of the ride pero katagalan, natakot na sya, buti nalang at nakatulog, lol. Si MIL (mother-in-law) on the other hand, medyo na nerbyos din. Don’t worry, it’s all worth it.
• THE MARVELOUS ISLAND
A few minutes before you arrive, you’ll already have a look at how wonderful the island is. White sand, clear and clean water, astonishing view, pleasant breeze. You’ll surely have great photos to keep after the trip (which reminds me of my corrupt microSD card, oh it breaks my heart! Ang sheket besh!).
Before ka kainin ng sistema at magpicture non-stop, make sure to settle first, get a cottage and secure your belongings. If you’re going for a day trip, be there early because the place can be very crowded sometimes. When you get there first, you’ll not worry about the photobombers, lol! Ang picture-picture talaga ang inisip, no? haha.
• A FEW REMINDERS
There are safe & unsafe areas for swimming so make sure to review the rules and regulations there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional swimmer, swimming in the sandbars is utterly dangerous. One side of the island is sandy but the other side is rocky and windy which is also unsafe.
The island is small, kayang kayang libutin! There are sandbars on both ends of it pero mas maganda yung bungad na sandbar. No, don’t go strolling on bare feet, the sand isn’t purely sand, it has lots of corals and shells, they can hurt your feet. Believe me ‘coz I tried walking barefoot, lol.
The beauty of the island, according to other bloggers, lies underneath. Unfortunately, we were unable to try snorkeling. Bakit nga ba? Dahil yata magwawala si Nate ‘pag di kami nakikita, that’s one, tapos ‘di rin ako marunong lumangoy, that’s two!
They are strict when it comes to waste, they will give you trash bags so you can keep all your garbage and take it with you when you leave. That’s supposed to be an easy rule but when we’re there, we saw an unused bottled water and some waste on the ground. Sad.
• ON BUYING STUFF
Bring everything you need before going to the island. When you get there, there’s just one store available at more expensive prices. At konti lang din ang binibenta nila. We learned by experience. We were too concerned about the water, we made sure we have enough. Alas! We forgot to buy soft drinks! haha. So we had to buy there na mas mahal ng 40 to 50 pesos each bottle.
Above all, just enjoy. Savor the moment, treasure your time on the island because when you leave. What you’ll have left are just memories. I am grateful that we made it there, everyone enjoyed the trip. Especially Nate na halos ayaw ng umalis sa dagat. haha. An overnight visit sounds like a wonderful idea as well. That way, you’ll have a view of the sunrise/sunset, which sounds lovely to me. I hope we can go back here someday, who knows.
There you have it, our Kalanggaman visit that’s worth keeping. I hope this will help you plan your trip to Kalanggaman if you are planning to visit there soon!