Kalanggaman Island is Palompon Leyte’s hidden treasure and a secret haven to the more adventurous of spirits. It was for the longest time unknown to many until late 2015 when stunning photos of it surfaced the internet, making probably everyone in the travelling world going gaga about it. By gaga I meant went totally crazy over it that barely a week from the time I first got a glimpse of it online followed hundreds or even thousand more photos of people looking so satisfied posing next to the infamous sandbar of this sensational island. Oh how I wished I have the luxury of time and money to snag me a plane ticket right then and there to see Kalanggaman Island but heck! I had to keep drooling over it for more than a year. Yup. That’s how long I’ve waited to get the opportunity to see this stunner with my very eyes and I gotta say, it was all worth it.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, I really gotta commend you for putting up with my blabbing! Haha But seriously what I’m trying to say is you probably have come across my Leyte & Biliran Travel Guide and read how underrated these two provinces are. More often than not, travelers overlook Leyte and Biliran in favor of their more famous neighbors like Cebu and Bohol but little do they know that there are a myriad of reasons why these two should be on their bucket list. Kalanggaman Island happens to be one of the countless treasures hidden in the beautiful island province of Leyte. To some, Kalanggaman Island is just another patch of sand typical to the Philippines but for me it is more than just that.
HOW TO GO TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
- From Manila – Fly to Ormoc. From there, ride a van going to Palompon, Leyte (1.5Hrs ; P110). Walk to the tourism office for 10 minutes. Hire a boat going to Kalanggaman Island (1Hr ; P3000/15-20Pax).
- From Tacloban – If you will fly in to Leyte via Tacloban, you can ride a van going to straight to the town of Palompon (3Hrs ; P170). Walk a little to the Tourism Office from the final stop and hire a boat going to Kalanggaman Island
- From Naval – Ride a van to Lemon Junction (1.5Hr ; P80). From there ride another van going to Palompon (1Hr ; P50).
- From Cebu – There are several options from Cebu City going to Kalanggaman Island.
- Via New Maya Port – Ride a Ceres Bus at the North Bus Station going to the Old Maya Port (5Hrs ; P180) then a tricycle to New Maya Port (20Min ; P20). From there, you can rent a boat going to Kalanggaman Islandr (2Hrs ; P3500/20pax/way).
- Via Polambato Port in Bogo – From Cebu City, ride a bus at the North Bus Station going to Bogo (3Hrs ; P140) then a tricycle to Polambato Port (25Min ; P150/tric). In Polambato Port, ride a Super Shuttle Ferry going to Palompon. Please note that there is only one schedule daily at 12PM.
- Cebu via Cokaliong Shipping – From Cebu City, ride a ferry vessel going to Palompon (5Hrs ; P320). Kindly check website for schedule.
EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY
I read one article by a blogger depicting Kalanggaman Island as overrated and a complete waste of time, energy and money. Now I’d like to set the record straight for the benefit of those still planning to go to the island but are having second thoughts. Let me shed light on some areas which might catch up to you by surprise.
- Powdery White Sands – This is one of the biggest blunders surrounding Kalanggaman Island. This island is charming and beautiful beyond compare but it doesn’t have a stretch of powdery white sand shores. The beach and the long sandbar is a stretch of creamy white sugary sands and rough coral stones. You can’t lay flat on your back or walk barefoot on the beach as it will most likely hurt. I tell you. White powdery sands are a thing of Boracay and Calaguas Islands but Kalanggaman Island? Nope!
- Food – Food and water is hard to come by in the island. There are no eateries there. There is one store but it doesn’t sell food. Bottled mineral water can be bought in the lone store there so as other beverages like soda and coffee but they are seldom cold. If you don’t want to starve and thirst, bring with you enough food and water before you go to the island. Just make sure to bring your trash back with you when you go home.
- The Beach Water – The waters surrounding Kalanggaman Island has one of the most beautiful shades of blue. From clear turquoise to azure then further away are the darker blues, this stunner prides itself in its pristine and rich waters teeming with life and colors down below.
- Amenities – The municipality of Palompon is doing its best to provide satisfactory experience to tourists visiting Kalanggaman Island. In fact, a pavilion intended to be used as tourists lounge was under construction during my visit. It was an eye sore for me actually as I’m more into preserving the natural beauty of the island but despite the on-going developments, the island still lacks the amenities typical to a beach resort. Toilet and bath rooms are poorly maintained and they stink! (I’m cringing to the thought) Although they have newly build ones. Some day tour cottages were not in a very good state and they looked as if they are about to fall apart.
- Accommodation – Some of you might have already seen those wooden cottages shaped like an indian tent. Yes you can rent those for P500/night but that’s just it. You will need to shell out more for renting mattress, pillows and sheets. I’d say bringing a tent and camping at the beach is still the best option for those who are staying for the night.
- Cleansing Water – “Salty air. Salted hair.” A quote all beach lovers like to flaunt in social media along with a beautiful photo of them frolicking under the sun looking at the vast ocean but as we might all be, we hate going to bed with that nasty hair and sticky skin. Unfortunately in Kalanggaman Island, you might need to endure that sticky feeling until you get back in Palompon since there is no fresh water available in the shower so you could clean up.
TIPS & OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
- Bring enough food and water. You can shop for supplies at the supermarket prior to going to the island.
- Most of the boats there are big and can accommodate up to 20 passengers and priced at P3000 for a roundtrip transfer. If you are travelling alone, you can share with other passengers to save cost.
- Travel to the island are normally prohibited during unfavorable weather and sea condition. It’s best to check the weather prior to travelling to Palompon or better yet check with the local tourism office if travel to the Kalanggaman Island is possible on your preferred date.
- Bring snorkel gears. The beach is great but the real paradise lies underwater. If you don’t have snorkel, you can rent one in the island for a price of P300 for one full day of use.
- Day Tour cottages aren’t free. They are to be rented for P500/day which comes with a table and four chairs. If you are staying overnight, bring with you tents and camping gears.
- There is no electricity in the island so better get your gadgets charged to full battery before going there.
- Some tour/boat operators in Palompon offer a combined tour to Kalanggaman and Malapascua Islands. For this, prior arrangements must be made to ensure smooth and hassle free travel.
WHERE CAN YOU STAY IN/NEAR PALOMPON
If you don’t want to spend the night in Kalanggaman Island but missed the trip to your next destination then you can stay in these budget accommodations. Please bare in mind that the municipality of Palompon is pretty small so choices of places to stay at for the night are also very limited.
Asayas Pensione Plaza
Address: Burgos Street, Palompon, Leyte
Address: Leyte Rizal St., Palompon, Leyte
Phone: (053) 338 2880
Address: 339, Mabini St, Palompon, Leyte
Phone: (053) 555 8524
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES & OTHER ESSENTIALS
My visit to Kalanggaman Island was part of my Leyte- Bliran Adventure. Check out full travel guide to learn how I was able to unravel the secrets of both these provinces during my visit.
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES|
***DIY Solo - Coming from Ormoc
|Round Trip Van Ormoc-Palompon - P260
Environmental Fee - P200
Registration Fee - P60
Boat @ P3000/9pax - P333
Food - P150
Total <<>> P1003
For a more detailed summary of cost, check out my
LEYTE-BILIRAN TRAVEL GUIDE
|THINGS TO BRING||Overnight
-Flashlights with extra batteries
-Cookset & Food Supply
-Fully charged camera/gadgets with
-Sunblock & Sunnies
-Fully charged camera/gadgets with
|FEES TO BE PAID||Registration Fee: P60
Environmental Fee: Overnight - P300 ; Day Trip - P200
Boat - P3000 (20 pax cap)
|CONTACT INFO||Boat/Tour Operator: Ate Mae - 09069753053|
FUN MEMORIES IN PARADISE
There you have it lovelies! Let me know what you think of this island paradise. Leave me your comments and let’s have a chat. Until next time. Ciao