Sunrise at Cordova, Cebu
The sun was already up as we waited for the boat to arrive at the RORO (roll-on roll-off) port in Cordova, Cebu. It would be the boat’s maiden voyage from Cebu to Palompon’s Kalanggaman Island. We booked ourselves for this epic trip. Epic may not be the correct word to describe our journey (it was more of a disappointment actually) but in the course of telling you about my Kalanggaman experience, I rather not include the story of how the boat’s maiden voyage consumed most of that one fine Sunday of April 2016.
Epic journey with this boat
Between the islands of Cebu and Leyte lies Kalanggaman Island and its sand bar. It is one of most popular summer destination primarily because of its beautiful stretch of white pebbles and sand, its aquamarine to deep blue waters, and its horizon that promises both sunrise and sunset.
To get to Kalanggaman, you need to go to Palompon, Leyte. Fly in to Tacloban City. Get a ride to Ormoc and then transfer to a van or bus that is heading to Palompon. If you fly in to Mactan Cebu, take a fastcraft (seacraft) for Ormoc City then a land trip to Palompon. From Cebu, you may also fly in to Tacloban.
Another option is to get on the ferry boat that plies the Cebu – Palompon or Bogo – Palompon route. Whatever way and mode of travel you decide to get to Palompon, just make sure to get a prior arrangement for a banca or outrigger boat that would take you the island destination. Contact Palompon’s Ecotours Office to reserve for a boat. It is located behind the Municipal Hall. Just ask the locals for directions. Note that there are entrance fees to the island and it varies from Php 20 to 500, depending on the type of tourist. Entrance fees for overnight stay at Kalanggaman are higher.
An eternity to get there
Oppie has arrived in Kalanggaman
The Sand Bar
A mix of pebbles, corals and sand
The Sand Bar facing Leyte
It is about an hour ride to Kalanggaman Island. Ours was an eternity. We reached the sand bar when the sun had begun to descend beyond the island of Cebu. We had so little time to explore and enjoy Kalanggaman. But we managed to marvel at the beauty of the place. It is indeed a paradise. The tip of the sand bar was a good spot for photos. The almost teal water was a perfect backdrop for jump shots and squad goal pics. The water was very much inviting, we never missed to jump right into it.
Light and Shadows
Oppie one more time
Then the golden hour came. The sun went down behind the island’s camp site and overnight area, beyond the coconut trees where it created silhouettes of the boat and much of Kalanggaman. A few more shots of the sand bar, before we packed up and returned to the boat.
It was already dark when the boat began its journey back to Cordova, Cebu. A maiden trip that consumed so much travel time at sea yet so little time spent in Kalanggaman. Shortchanged and disappointed we may be, but we could always plan to return to that lovely island with a sand bar on a different route and means. Kalanggaman, we shall return.