Once Upon A Time in Kalanggaman

Kalanggaman Island is arguably Leyte’s answer to Boracay of Aklan or El Nido of Palawan minus the exuberant price tags. The 753 m and uninhabited island gained a lot of attention lately, thanks to its remote location, crystal clear water, white powder-like sand, and the long stretch of sandbars on both ends.

The local tourism office of the Municipality of Palompon, Leyte are serious in preserving the beauty of this island by managing tour operations, implementing waste disposal and limiting footprints to a maximum of 500 tourists per day.

Kalanggaman is a Cebuano word that means bird, according to locals there were some species of birds found in the island when it was discovered, thus the name.

If you are planning to stay in this remote paradise and wish to take your experience a notch higher by staying overnight, remember that there is no fancy rooms in the island so camping is the only way. There is no access to potable water and electricity, so bring along with you bottled waters and battery pack. Tourist police are stationed in the island to provide you safe stay whilst you enjoy nature’s beauty.

 

THE EARTHWALKER’S EXPERIENCE

My curiosity of the Kalanggamn Island was ignited via multiple viral post in Facebook, and sure it did look promising. There are few tourist during daytime, probably 50 and 20 remained for overnight camping during my stay as it was lean season. There are several activities you can do in the area and albeit being somewhat develop the place still offers a tranquil and calming experience I was longing.

The beach is fine white sand and sandbars offer a long stretch of walk, though you cannot swim in front of it. The marine life is not that diverse underneath so snorkeling can be less exciting. But the standout in this island aside from sandbar is the night skyline. It was an amazing experience swimming at the pool-kind beach while staring at the gazillion stars at the sky. I could not recall my last view of the stars as those are almost absent in the city, and good thing Kalanggaman Island reminded me what I have been missing in life.

Unfortunately, during my stay at around midnight a strong wind and heavy rain hit the island. It destroyed my pinched tent so I have to take shelter at the pavilion. It was a rough weather that lasted for almost two hours. But aside from that, Kalanggaman was nothing but pure excitement and adventure.

 

Island Fees

Entrance / Conservation Fee
Day Tour Rate
Overnight Rate
International Tourist
Php 500
Php 750
Non-Palompon Tourist
Php 150
Php 225
Non-Palompon College Student
Php 40
Php 60
Non-Palompon High School Student
Php 30
Php 45
Non-Palompon Elementary Pupil
Php 20
Php 30
Non-Palompon Senior Citizen
Php 120
Php 180

*Discounts are given to students, senior citizens and PWD and fee is waived for Palompon locals

Boat Fees

Private Pump boat Fees
Rate
15 person Capacity
Php 3000
25 person Capacity
Php 3500
30 person Capacity
Php 4000

*For inquiries and reservation, contact Palompon Eco-Tourism Office at +63-053-5559731, +639268164005, +639268164007 or +639985551421.

 

How to Get to Kalanggaman Island

From Manila:

Route
Expenses
Book a flight to TaclobanPrices may vary depending on your airline of choice
From Tacloban ride a van/bus going to PalomponPhp 160 (2-3 hour travel time)
Ride a potpot to Palompon Tourism OfficePhp 10 (5 minutes)

*Van from downtown Tacloban to Palompon leave every after hour

THE EARTHWALKER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Go snorkeling or free diving for Php 200 per hour fee
  • Do kayaking for Php 150 an hour fee
  • Head to the west side of the Island to Jeter resort and rent a jet ski for Php 4500 per hour
  • Go Fat Biking for Php 150 per hour fee
  • Banana boat ride for Php 500 per ride for 5 pax
  • Pinch a tent
  • Explore Tacloban, or Samar
  • Head to Sambawan Island

 

Sample Itinerary

Good news, for any backpacker or solo traveler there is no need to worry as the local tourism office are the one that arranges the tour. You just need to enlist yourself and they’ll group you either day tour tourist or overnight stay tourist.

Time
Activity
0400Be at Tacloban
0400 – 0700Be at Palompon Local Tourism Office
0700 – 0830Congrats! You just arrived at Kalanggaman Island
0400 – 0530I’m sorry but you have to go back to Palompon
0530 (the next day)All good things must come to an end

*The earliest trip to Kalanggaman leaves at 0600 AM, and if you’re lucky enough you might find dolphins along the way.

Time
Activity
0600Be at Tacloban
0600 - 0900Be at Palompon Local Tourism Office
0900 - 1100Register at the Palompon Local Tourism Office and head to the nearby market to buy some supplies
1100 - 1230Congrats! You just arrived at Kalanggaman Island
0630 - 0700 (the next day)Wake up! You'll be going back! #SadLife
0700 - 0830Lonely boat ride back to Palompon
0830All good things must come to an end

*Trips for Overnight campers in island, boat ride usually leaves at 1100 AM and should you arrived at Palompon earlier you may buy necessities at the nearby market or explore the small province via potpot.

 

SOME EARTHLY FACTS

Dialect : Main dialects in the area are Cebuano, Waray

Language : Tour operators can converse both in Filipino/Tagalog and English

Food : Try Leyte’s most famous chocolate suman moron and the sweet binagol

Transportation : The main mode of transport in Palompon are potpot and van

Electricity : There is an electricity in Palompon. However, in Kalangman Island there are only few solar powered post so I suggest you bring with you camping lights or flashlights

Signal : There is LTE for Smart and Globe in Palompon, however in Kalangman Island both Smart and Globe are sporadic with zero hope of data connection

Water : Bring bottled water, no potable water source is available in Kalanggaman Island..

Establishments : No fast food or restaurant in Palompon, but there are local carenderia you can enjoy, head to the local covered court at night for local version of food pub. There are also hotels and homestay available in case you decided stay bit longer in Palompon.

Banks : There are banks and ATM outlets in Palompon

Nightlife :  Don’t expect too much, almost zero nightlife in Palompon. It’s a typical province with mostly laid back vibes

THE EARTHWALKER’S RATING

  • Accessibility – 3.5
  • Pocket Friendly – 4
  • Nature – 3.5
  • Experience – 4
  • Overall Rating – 4

 

OTHER PICTURES OF MY TRIP

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