Kalanggaman Island is a small island paradise located in Palampon, Leyte. It is famous for its crystal clear waters, lush palm trees, and beautiful sandbars on both ends. The island is also considered one of the most beautiful island beaches in the Philippines. Its has captivated many Filipino and foreign tourists because of its pristine and untouched beauty. According to locals, Kalanggaman (the Visayan word for “bird”) got its name because it resembles a bird if viewed from above, not to mention the island used to be a paradise for migratory birds many years ago. Malapascua for Non-Diver’s Series: • MALAPASCUA: A Non-Diver’s Guide to the Island of Malapascua! • KALANGGAMAN: Leyte’s Island Paradise! (A Day Trip from Malapascua) • Where to Eat in Malapascua? (A Foodie’s Guide) You’re sure to fall in love when you see it. Trust me, Kalanggaman Island is the paradise you’ve always dreamed of. So if you’re still planning for that dream holiday vacation, then Kalanggaman island is the perfect place to visit. How to Get There Much like any other paradise, you first have to travel far to be gifted with the perfect prize getaway. Thankfully, you don’t have to journey that long to reach the island paradise. Lucky for us, we were already in Malapascua Island in Cebu, which is only 1 ½ hour boat ride away from Kalanggaman. Assuming that you are already in Malapascua, then many resorts offer Kalanggaman tours with free buffet lunch. There is only one tour package, and the price starts at P700 to P800 depending on where you availed your tour. The boat leaves at 9 am and arrives back at 4:30 pm. There are many ways to get to Kalanggaman Island but the fastest would probably be to fly directly to Tacloban airport and then travel for 3 hours to Palompon town. From there Kalanggaman is only an hour away by regular boat. Regardless of your point of origin, it is mandatory for tourists to register with Palompon Eco-Tours or coordinate with your guide if you’re coming from Malapascua. Local tourists would have to pay a separate fee of P150. The fee is P500 for international visitors. We arrived at around 10 am, and the tide was high, so we were greeted by this majestic view of a hidden sandbar. Sadly, due to hazards, tourists are no longer allowed to lay foot on the sand bar if the tide is high. Aside from a couple of huts and a police outpost, there are no establishments or privately owned resorts on the whole island. Camping is the only way to spend a night in this remote paradise, and you’d have to pay P225 for an overnight camping fee (inclusive of entrance). Staying true to its promise of a quiet weekend getaway, there is no electricity and barely any signal in the whole island. Obviously, there is nothing much to do aside from relaxing by the beach, swimming, and enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer. Kalanggaman is a tiny island and is only 753 meters of pure beauty, so exploring this island from end to end would only take less than an hour. The island is surrounded by pristine white sand on one side and smooth rocks on the other, making it the perfect snorkeling spot during high tide. Aside from snorkeling and swimming, tourists can also rent kayaks (P150), paddle boards, and a banana boat ride for P500 for 15mins. The wide coast line is also perfect for skim boarding. During our stay, we saw a couple of tourists who brought their own skim boards. Our tour package came with a buffet style lunch that was prepared on the island by our boatmen. The feast mostly contained grilled meat and fish, topped with fresh vegetables and fruits. There are no restaurants or food vendors on the Island. But there is a store that only sells mineral water for P30 and a 1.5L coke for P100. I highly suggest that you bring your own food if you plan on staying overnight on this island. You can also ask the crew from your pump boat for some water. Despite the notoriously high current that runs at the tip of the sandbar (which is why swimming is not allowed on the sandbar), Kalanggaman island is relatively safe. They have a 24/7 local police outpost and a small medical team on standby for your medical needs. The sandbar reappears at around 3 pm onwards, and it is only then when tourists are allowed to walk along the sandbar. The sandbar opened up like a bridge. It was one of the longest stretches of sand I have ever seen. The turquoise colored waters surround the sandbar as if highlighting a walkable narrow path to paradise. The waters were calm on one side and rough on the other. I immediately fell in love with the sight of crystal clear waters as they blended with the white sand of the sandbar. The only downside is that the sand isn’t fine sand. It felt more like crushed shells under our feet. Walking along the sand under the blistering heat wasn’t exactly heavenly. Nonetheless, the sandbar didn’t fail to take my breath away especially when I could see the whole picture from the sky with my drone. Sadly, our trip had to end, and we had to leave the island before the tide turned again. Final Thoughts Overall, my short but sweet stay in Kalanggaman will be a treasured experience. Up till this date, I still can’t describe the excitement I felt when I first laid eyes on the island from our boat. The calmness and remoteness of the island made me feel like I was having a retreat in a paradise, alone. I would highly recommend this trip if you are someone who wants to relax and is not a fan of crowded beaches. Kalanggaman Island has that Boracay feel to it before it was overrun by establishments and flocks of tourists. I can’t help but imagine staying overnight in this virgin island with only the moon and stars for light in the evening. I would definitely go back just to experience that. I just hope the local government will maintain the cleanliness and simplicity of the island and keep it away from commercialization. It is truly a perfect place to relax, unwind, and enjoy with friends and family. Malapascua for Non-Diver’s Series: • MALAPASCUA: A Non-Diver’s Guide to the Island of Malapascua! • KALANGGAMAN: Leyte’s Island Paradise! (A Day Trip from Malapascua) • Where to Eat in Malapascua? (A Foodie’s Guide) Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid for our Kalanggaman Tour. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. Take note that: – There are only common restrooms – No nightlife; only the moon and stars – No electricity; Bring a power bank or a solar charger – Barely any signal so inform your loved ones beforehand – No drinkable water; Bring your own or pay for P30 per bottle – No restaurants; Grills are provided, but you need to bring your own charcoal – Nothing much to do aside from swimming, kayak, banana boat, paddle boards, and snorkeling – Don’t forget sunscreen!