Last summer, I got the chance to experience the clear and invigorating waters of Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte. This island was so popular on social media last year, that I decided to see it for myself. I rarely go to islands or beaches because I prefer the mountains. I would usually end up not doing anything because I do not know how to swim and I have this persistent phobia of the depths.
But I wanted to explore and set foot to the other parts of my beloved country, so I decided I would forget my fears for awhile.
The word ‘Kalanggaman’ comes from the root word ‘langgam’, which in local dialect means ‘bird’. The island is named as such because it looks like a bird if you look at it in an aerial view. This paradise also houses diverse bird species.
Kalanggaman Island is one of the islands in the Philippines with really pristine shores. For someone who has experienced the incredible islands of El Nido, Palawan, this island definitely joins its ranks! The long hours spent traveling to this island was so worth it.
Upon reaching the island, we immediately looked for a spot to pitch our tents. Kalanggaman Island, by the way, has several cottages but we chose to bring tents to avoid additional fees.
The island is pretty small, and you can actually tour around it in less than an hour. My friend, Charlyn and I didn’t know our travel companions when we went there so we decided to explore the island ourselves.
Kalanggaman island has a spectacular sandbar, which is pretty much the main attraction in this island. The powder-fine white sands in contrast to the clear blue waters and the cerulean sky are so perfect for barefoot walking. It actually felt like I was in a music video. Haha!
The waters of Kalanggaman Island are so clear, you can see your reflection in it. Times like this makes me hate the fact that I do not know how to swim. I am deathly afraid of the depths too so I spent my time wading near the shoreline. I know, I’m so boring. 😛
I’ve also experienced one of the best sunsets in my life on Kalanggaman Island. Charlyn and I spent hours at the tip of the sandbar to meditate while waiting for the sunset. It was such a surreal experience.
It has been a year since I visited Kalanggaman Island. If given the chance, I would love to go back there one day.
How to get there:
There are two ways on how to get to Kalanggaman Island from Cebu.
- Ride a Ceres Bus at the North Bus Terminal and head to Hagnaya Port in San Remigio. There are boats you can rent there if you want to go directly to Kalanggaman Island or go island hopping in Malapascua Island and Kalanggaman Island.
- Ride a Ceres Bus at the North Bus Terminal and head to Pulangbato Port in Bogo City. Catch a Ro-Ro boat bound for Palompon, Leyte.
- It is pretty much sunny all year round here in the Philippines, but there are months where typhoons are mostly present, so I would say the best time to go to Kalanggaman Island would be in summer (March – May).
- There is no electricity in the island so your source of light during evenings would be the moon and stars. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries or power banks.
- There are no stores in Kalanggaman Island. Purchase everything you need while you are still in Cebu mainland. This includes water, food, etc. I would highly suggest bringing lots of water as there is no fresh water on the island.
- Toilet and shower rooms are available, but the water available is seawater. There are those who sell fresh water per gallon there, but do not consume more than you should. As mentioned, fresh water is scarce out there.
- I would highly suggest traveling to and from the island on early morning to avoid the huge, monster waves. We left the island pretty late, and we had to endure the 2-hour travel time in the rough seas.
- Wear sunscreen or any protection from the sun. It gets pretty hot on the island, and your only shade would be the coconut trees out there.
- Please do not litter. There are designated garbage bins all around the island. If you can’t find one, place your garbage in your bag and dispose of it properly back on the mainland.
Kalanggaman Island Rates and Entrance Fees:
Day Tour Rates:
International Tourist – P 500.00
Non-Palompon Tourist – P 150.00
International Tourist – P 750.00
Non-Palompon Tourist – P 225.00
Private Pumpboat Rental
15 Capacity – P3,000.00
25 Capacity – P3,500.00
30 Capacity – P 4,000.00
Cottage rentals are available from P250 – P700.
For inquiries and reservations, please call Palompon’s Ecotourism Office at these numbers:
Landline: +63 (053) 555-9731
Mobile 1: +63 926 816 4005
Mobile 2: +63 926 816 4007
Enjoy and have a safe trip!