KALANGGAMAN ISLAND: A VISAYAN TRANQUILITY



I've been to Leyte several times but only to visit some of my relatives and I did not really get the chance to roam around. This year is a bit different though. Not only did I get to meet some relatives but I was able to somehow travel with them as well! Our quick itinerary for our Leyte trip, Kalanggaman Island!


Most of the locals in Leyte really take pride of Kalanggaman Island's beauty. Located in the Municipality of Palompon, Kalanggaman Island is well-known for its clear waters and gorgeous sandbars that stretch on both sides of the island. In bird's eye view, the island resembles the shape of a bird which is "langgam" as what they call it in Bisaya (Visayan Dialect). That's why despite our busy schedule, I'm so glad that we still managed to go on a day trip to this summer hot spot!

TRIVIA: "Langgam" means ant in Tagalog while it means bird in Bisaya. That's how cool Filipino dialects are!

HOW TO GET TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND:

From Manila, you may take a direct flight to Tacloban City. Then go to Tacloban City's bus or van terminal where you can take a ride bound for Palompon. The bus or van fare is around Php 150.00 and the travel time would take around three to four hours.

If you're coming from Ormoc City, they also have a bus or van terminal that can take you to Palompon. The fare would be around Php 110.00 and the travel time would be about a couple of hours.

If you're coming from Cebu, there are ferry boats (like SuperCat and Weesam Express) available at the Cebu City Port that are bound for Ormoc City. The travel time would be approximately two hours as well. Alternatively, there are also flights available to and from these places.
Palompon Eco-Tourism Office

Once you've reached the municipality of Palompon, Leyte. Head for the Ecor-Tourism Office as you need to register first and rent a pump boat which will take you to the island and vice versa. During the peak season, it is advisable to contact them ahead of time as they are trying to limit or control the number of visitors per day to make sure that the island doesn't get overcrowded.

ENTRANCE / CONSERVATION FEES (as of May 2017)

Day Tour Rates
International Tourist: Php 500.00
Non-Palompon Tourist: Php 150.00
Non-Palompon College Student: Php 40.00
Non-Palompon High School Student: Php 30.00
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil: Php 20.00
Non-Palompon Senior Citizen: Php 120.00

Overnight Rates
International Tourist: Php 750.00
Non-Palompon Tourist: Php 225.00
Non-Palompon College Student: Php 60.00
Non-Palompon High School Student: Php 45.00
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil: Php 30.00
Non-Palompon Senior Citizen: Php 180.00
Palompon Pump Boat Round Trip Tariff

You may also refer to the above photo for the pump boat rental fees. Please note that these are round-trip fees. If you are a big group, you can rent the boat exclusively and you can advise the "bangkero" (boatman) at what time you'd like to be picked up back to Palompon port. If you're a small group like us, you may look for other groups at the port and negotiate to share a boat with them. That way, you'd be able to save money. You won't have a hard time looking for joiners as most travelers prefer this set-up. It would take you about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the island by boat.


If you're up to a more convenient, hassle-free trip and you're willing to spend more, then you may also want to consider getting travel packages. There are a number of poster ads found at the entrance of the Eco-Tourism Office that you can choose from. We did not do this though as we went DIY and we brought all of the stuff that we need for our day trip.


On the island, if you're just planning for a day trip, you may rent plastic chairs for Php 10.00 each and tables for Php 30.00 each. You can set them up under the trees which are perfect if the weather permits. If you have a bigger budget, you may also rent some of their cottages depending on its size:

COTTAGE  RENTAL FEES:
Small: Php 250.00
Medium: Php 500.00
Large: Php 700.00


For those who are planning to stay overnight on the island, you may feel free to pitch your own tent, however, if you don't have any with you, you may inquire to rent a tent at the Hinablayan Outdoor Shop just in front of the Eco-Tourism Office.

TENT RENTAL FEES:
6-person Tent: Php 400.00 per night
4-person Tent: Php 300.00 per night
2-person Tent: Php 250.00 per night

Heads up: They would require a deposit of Php 200.00 plus a valid ID for the rental. There are also no electricity on the island so it's best if you can bring a portable camping lamp with you or you can also rent one at the Hinablayan Outdoor Shop.


I was in awe when we reached the island. It is indeed a place of tranquility. It's so peaceful. The place is not crowded and everything around you seems to be so fresh!


I also felt lucky that the sandbars are quite visible during our visit as they only show up when the tide is low. This is also where most people are having their photo ops.


Some parts of the island have powdery white sand and for the most part, however, is coarse with a mixture of tiny shells especially at the end tip of the sandbar.


I can even see some streaks of pinkish sand which add to the island's beauty as the sun hits it.


Aside from swimming, you can do a number of fun activities on the island like kayaking, snorkeling, aqua biking, beach volley and others.


There is also and henna and permanent tattoo station here for those who want to get inked!


One or a couple souvenir shops have been spotted on the island as well. Though as you may know, prices might be higher than those items for sale nearby Palompon Port.


This is also what I liked about the island. The local government of Palompon was able to build decent basic amenities on the island like this public bathroom/shower area. This is by far, the most decent public amenity that I've seen compared to the other islands that I've previously visited here in the Philippines.


Sea water runs through the faucets of the bathroom/shower area so if you don't want to use salty water for showering, you may request from your boatmen to provide you with fresh water (not for drinking) and they can give you about a gallon or two so you can wash off well after doing some water activities on the island.

   
The most important thing to remember when visiting the island is to leave no trace. The local government strictly implements the CLAYGO (Clean As You Go) system so I highly encourage everyone to bring their own garbage bags and make sure to clean up before you head back to Palompon Port. Be responsible travelers guys! Not unless if you'd like to be penalized or worst, be banned from visiting this beautiful place.

HEADS UP FOR THOSE WHO ARE PLANNING THEIR TRIP TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND

The local government unit of Palompon has announced that July 01-07, 2017 would be the annual "Nature's Rest and Recover Break" for Kalanggaman Island. This means that general cleaning, repairs, and upgrades will be done during the aforementioned period. This is to also note that Kalanggaman Island will be closed and will not be accommodating guests during this period.

I've listed some contact details below that might help you further with your Kalanggaman Island related inquiries:

Palompon Tourism Office
Telephone: 555-9731
Mobile Phone: 0926-816-4005 or 0926-816-4007 (Globe); 0998-555-1421 (Smart)

There you have it guys! I hope this blog post somehow helps you in planning your Kalanggaman Island getaway. I've only visited for a day trip so if any of you have had a longer stay in there, feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. 

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