Another relatively unknown island we went to was Kalanggaman Island, off the coast of Leyte. (See, we were actually that far away from Cebu City that we ended up in Leyte!) I remember my dad telling me about this boomerang shaped island with a very long sandbar that he had seen before when he was still flying planes. Who would have thought that one day I’d actually get to be on that island?
Kalanggaman is a popular place to go to for visitors to Malapascua. It’s not your typical island hoppingtrip though. Kalanggaman is two hours away from Malapascua; quite far, if you ask me, so most tourists end up just seeing Kalanggaman and not the other islands around it. However, you will be travelling through really, really calm waters. If not for the boat making waves, you can actually see your reflection on the water’s surface!
Seeing the island from afar was a real treat. Imagine, after seeing kilometers upon kilometers of just water and sky for two hours, you see a mirage-like vision of palm trees and white sand in the horizon. And of course, it totally did not disappoint.
My friends and I got a package which included the boat ride, lunch, and snorkeling gear for PhP 800/person. I was initially happy with the deal because this is cheaper than what I was used to, but as it turns out, the guide we talked to was some con artist in the area. (Which was why the hotel owners got pissed with him being in our hotel to pick us up.) First, when we got to the boat there were only 4 sets of snorkels, meaning one of us will have to sit it out. And two, he didn’t tell us that there was an additional Php 150 entrance to Kalanggaman. Had he told us of this extra charge, I would’ve haggled for a cheaper rate per person.
Lesson learned – when in Malapascua, never talk to these “tourist guides.” The hotels will be more than happy to arrange trips for you at no cost.
Anyway, Kalanggaman was every bit of the paradise that it looked like from afar, especially the sand bar. It was a long strip of white sand, and crystal blue waters perfect for underwater pictures because of how clear it was! Just be careful of the current at the tip of the sandbar though – apparently, just minutes before we came in, a guy drowned trying to save his girlfriend. The other side of the island was full of people when we came it, probably because it was a Saturday. The far side of the island was where the big rocks were.
The food for the trip was also very, very good! If you know me, I’m not usually a fan of picnics and eating with your bare hands. This time around though, I ended up on a beach picnic, eating roast chicken and roast pork with my bare hands, with ice cold coke. Of course, if you’re used to the kind of vacations where you’re all pampered and stuff, this might be a bit of a shock for you. However, the beauty of the island’s sandbar will still make the trip worth it.