Kalanggaman Island is now a popular beach destination among travelers these days for its stunning sandbar and clear blue waters. The island has, by far, the longest sandbar I have ever stepped my foot on. The name came from the local dialect which means a “bird” because it looked line one from an aerial view. But since the Yolanda Typhoon, the left sandbar does not stretch as far out anymore and it’s become so elusive only capturing it during low tide.
HOW TO GET THERE
The island is situated in the municipality of Palompon in the province of Leyte, Philippines. It is an hour boat ride away from Malapascua Island in Cebu. If the said island is part of the itinerary (or have longer time to spare) then I recommend getting here via Cebu. I haven’t found time to return to Malapascua Island but this is a favorite of mine! Otherwise, I encourage everyone to get here via Tacloban so you can make a stop in the city and support their local tourism. The journey takes 2.5 hours to Palompon via van then 1 hour boat ride to the island. Brace yourself from the zigzag road ahead as this woke me up and got me dizzy when I tried watching a movie to kill time.
THINGS TO PREPARE
The Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours prepared most of our needs which include the roundtrip transfer (van and boat), area for tents, picnic hut, overnight stay fees and our meals. For a group of five, each person costs P3890. The package does not include tents. I recommend bringing your own than renting because you’ll never know the condition until you get to the island. As for the drinks (water, beer, etc) and snacks (chips, nuts, etc), I suggest buying this in Tacloban. Furthermore, there is an ice factory in Palompon where you can buy ice cubes and ice box Styrofoam for a minimum fee to keep your drinks cold until the next day.
There is no fresh water in the island for shower but there is a well to pump sea water for toilet use. There is also no electricity so fully charge your gadgets and bring power banks. But the island makes use of solar energy powered light posts in the evening so it’s not pitch black but bring your own flashlight as well when navigating your way to make shift toilets and around your tent. My friend’s husband brought a portable bidet. If you can find one, bring it!
The island does not disappoint. It’s picturesque and the water is calm and clear. I observed though that the sandbar is not powdery white fine sand. It’s made of crushed corals so better wear an aqua shoe to avoid hurting your feet. There are patches of fine sand but mostly it’s not. The popular side of the beach has a lot of small jelly fish! It could be the time of the year (March). Furthermore, the boats hang out there. It’s a nuisance especially during mid-day when a lot of boats coming from Malapascua arrive. Apart from blocking the view, they block areas for swimming too. So we spent our time on the rocky side which has less people. It was still enjoyable nonetheless.
Despite those little troubles, I deeply enjoyed the island and my time here. We brought home lots of funny memories to live by! And with data signal that hardly comes by, the trip makes for real conversations with friends as you connect in personal level without any distractions 🙂
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