Kalanggaman Island (Palompon, Leyte)

““Let the sea water wet your feet, and the sand be your seat…”

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The moment I saw several photos of my friend on an island’s sand bar and its ever clear turquoise waters wayback 2013, it never left my mind. Every now and then, I would seek for opportunities as to when I could possibly make my way to this indescribably beautiful island.

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Fastforward 2015. July. Rainy season in the Philippines. And I found my way going to Leyte – the home of the very paradise-like Kalanggaman Island. This uninhabited island that is 753 meters in length, is now considered a dream beach destination, not only in the Visayas, but in the entire Philippines. Located in the municipality of Palompon and the province of Leyte, it is known for its stunning sandbar that seem to stretch endlessly into the cerulean waters. The white coralline and sand shoreline and crystal clear waters along both sides of the island adds more beauty to this pristine place.

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FYI: In 2013, the island gained attention after a big cruise ship stopped there to let its guest relax for a few hours.

There are no resorts on Kalanggaman Island. However, the local government of Palompon have established some basic amenities for the comfort of visitors. There are also policemen stationed on the island for the guests ‘security If you intend to stay overnight in the island, make sure to bring your tent and food as there are no available cottages for sleeping and store to buy food.

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So if you want to relax and perhaps, get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, take time to go and see Kalanggaman Island. Bring with you a book to read or walk along and capture how photogenic the island is. Wait for the sun to set or rise, or just laze around and get your skin some sunshine vitamin early in the morning. Of course, swimming and snorkelling are some of the usual activities one can do.

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*Take note of the following reminders: 

Regular Rate (Day Tour)
International Tourists – P500
Non-Palompon Tourists – P150
Non-Palompon College Tourists – P40
Non-Palompon High-school Tourists – P30
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil – P20
Non-Palomponganon Senior Citizen – P120
Overnight Rates
International Tourists – P750
Non-Palompon Tourists – P225
Non-Palompon College Tourists – P60
Non-Palompon High-school Tourists – P45
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil – P30
Non-Palomponganon Senior Citizen – P180

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The rates for pumpboats (round trip) are as follow:

P3,000 – for 15 people and below
P3,500 – for 25 people and below
P4,000 – for 30 people and below

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Where to Stay in Palompon Town:

Hutton Lodge
Cor. San Francisco St. & Evangelista St.
Contact number: (053) 338-3098Juan Titang Beach Resort
Brgy. Buaya, Sabang
Palompon, Leyte
Contact number: 0917 741 0259
PACCI House
Rizal Street, Palompon, Leyte
Contact number: (053) 338-2880Whispering Beach Mini Hotel
P. Del Rosario Ext., Brgy. Guiwan I
Contacts numbers: (053) 338-2135/555-8045

*I personally stayed at PACCI House as it is the nearest to the Liberty Park where one has to pay the necessary fees.

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How to Reach Kalanggaman Island?

Fastest way is by air. From Manila, go to Palompon, Leyte via Tacloban Airport or Cebu Airport (a.k.a. Mactan International Airport).

From Tacloban Airport, ride a van going to Palompon. Van rides are found at the Abucay terminal in Tacloban. Trip takes about 4 hours.

From Cebu Airport, ride a taxi and choose from among the following location of shipping lines:

Super Shuttle Ferry (Bogo, Cebu – Palompon Leyte)
– Bogo, Cebu to Palompon, Leyte at 12:00PM daily
– Palompon, Leyte to Bogo, Cebu at 7:30PM daily

Super Shuttle Ferry’s office is located at 38 Gorordo Ave, Cebu City

Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc. (Cebu City – Palompon Leyte)
– Cebu City Pier 1 to Palompon at 08:00 PM (Mon, Thu)
– Cebu City Pier 1 to Palompon at 12:00 NN (Sun)
– Palompon to Cebu City Pier 1 at 08:00 AM Tue, Fri)
– Palompon to Cebu City Pier 1 at 10:00 PM (Sun)

Once in Palompon, go to Palompon Liberty Park and pay the necessary fees for the Kalanggaman EcoTour. The boat ride from this point to Kalanggaman Island takes about an hour for regular boats .

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

White Island (Camiguin, PH)

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott

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Wanna get kissed by the sun as you bum around a sandbar that seemingly floats in the middle of the sea? With an unobstructed view of the sea and sky… with your feet being tickled by the very fine white sand and relaxed by the cool turquoise waters?

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White Island, an uninhabited sandbar, located about 1.4 kilometres off the coast of Mambajao (capital town of Camiguin Island, Philippines). Also called Medan Island or Medano Islet, the shape and size of the sandbar changes depending on the tides. At times, it looks like a boomerang or a horse-shoe, and at times, the center part is submerged making it appear like 2 separate pieces of land.

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Being unpopulated, there are no structures of any sort. Not even a single tree/plant can be found here. The mid portion of the C-shaped Island is a radiant, clear, cerulean lagoon-like body of water. The backdrop of the island is the verdant slopes of Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan on one side, and an ostensibly continual view of the sea on the other side.

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This is one of Camiguin’s main attractions, drawing in a large number of tourists all-year round. The island can be accessed from Brgy. Agoho or Brgy. Yumbing in Mambajao. Outrigger boats can be hired from any of the resorts adjacent to the island.

Boat rentals are available for P400 – P500 (two-way trip). The locals also rent out beach umbrellas for P200 each.

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Do not forget to bring with you food and drinks and your sunblock specially when you intend to spend several hours in the island. The place is indeed perfect for swimming, snorkelling, camwhoring, bumming or waiting for both the sunrise and the sunset.

Truly, White Island is an embodiment of a postcard-perfect tropical delight.

1,2,3... Jump!!!
1,2,3… Jump!!!

How to Get to White Island:

From Manila, you can fly to Camiguin via Cebu. You can fly to Cagayan de Oro City. Once in CDO, take a shuttle to Agora Terminal. From there, take a bus bound for Balingoan Port and ride a ferry going to Camiguin. Upon arrival in Benoni Port (Camiguin), you can either take a multi-cab or tricycle to Brgy. Yumbing or Agoho. Finally, rent an outrigger boat to White Island.