How My Eyes Feasted on the Beaut That Is Kalanggaman Island for Less Than $30

Remember last year when Kalanggaman broke my heart? Well, I didn’t learn my lesson but I was luckier this time. To start off, I almost missed my flight. I woke up 30 minutes before boarding time and surprisingly, I made it.

And of course, just like any other trip I’ve had recently, I didn’t have an itinerary. But you didn’t read this blog to hear about my stories, you went here to know what it’s like, and how I did it. And that’s what I’m going to do.

Our trip is 4 days long. Expectedly, this is too short (i’m saving my VLs). I suggest booking a trip for 7 days to truly experience Eastern Visayas. There’s so much more to see. Here’s a quick rundown of our itinerary:

Day 1 – Travel to Biri Island, Northern Samar

Day 2 – Explore Biri – travel to Palompon, Leyte

Day 3 – Kalanggaman Island

Day 4 – Travel back to Manila

Okay, let’s discuss Kalanggaman Island first as I’ve been being plowed to get this itinerary out fast. First, let’s set your expectations straight. It’s not an inhabited island. In fact, there’s a convention center erect. I was too disappointed to snap a photo but it’s smack in the middle of it all. Like any other rising island destination, Kalanggaman is not at all lucky in escaping human debris that is trash. Of course, the travel videos show you its magnificence. Like any other island, it has its downs.

Now here are some tips on how to experience the best of Kalanggaman:

  1. Be there early and make sure you reserve your spot. There are a lot of hostels and homestays in town that’s easily accessible from the Tourism Office (the jumpoff).
  2. A wet market is nearby. Make sure you readily have all you need. If you’re staying overnight, prepare everything.
  3. If you arrived late in Palompon and need a place to stay the night, I recommend contacting Ate Babylou (+63 975 138 4218). Their place is in San Juan, which is 10 minutes away from Palompon. The town has its own beach. Prepare 350PHP per person.
  4. Be wise with your travel date. I was denied of the island’s beauty once the first time I tried. And for some reason I can’t explain, I went back the same month the next time I tried. No worries, I was victorious.
  5. Be responsible with your trash. You do pay a minimal fee to the tourism office but please be mindful of your discards. You wouldn’t want to come back to a messy island, right?
  6. Enjoy.

Here’s how you can get to the island from Tacloban Airport (Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport):

  1. Take a jeepney to the terminal 15-20mins – 15PHP
  2. Ride a van going to Palompon – 150PHP **I asked around and was told that the earliest trip to Palompon is at 7AM. Vans leave every hour. And as we’re in the Philippines, vans leave whenever they feel like it. This is a 3-hr ride.
  3. From the terminal, you can either walk or take a padyak. I suggest talking the short walk as it’s just 5 minutes away.

When coming back to Tacloban, the latest trip is scheduled at 11:30AM as of February 2017. If you missed this, fret not. You can take a van to Ormoc (95PHP) and make sure you alight at Libungao (a junction in between Ormoc and Tacloban). From Libungao, van fare is 120PHP.

When at the Tourism Office, enlist your group as soon as you can. One pump boat can only allow three (3) touring groups (this is for the tour guide’s convenience).

They have new facilities in the area which are wooden teepees you can spend the night in. It can comfortably house 4. As of February 2017, one night in a teepee hut can set you back for 1500PHP.

As much as we would like to spend the night, our itinerary didn’t permit us to. We were supposed to spend one night but our trip was cancelled. We came back positive the next day, spending a day trip to the island with the sun so bright it’s like nothing happened the day before.

Expenses:

  • Roundtrip flight from MNL-TAC: 400PHP
  • Fare to terminal from airport: 15PHP
  • Fare to Palompon: 150PHP
  • Food: 250PHP
  • Day tour rate: 150PHP
  • Boat ride (divided among 10 passengers): 300PHP
  • Fare to Libungao: 95PHP
  • Fare to Tacloban: 120PHP

**Conversion: 1USD=50PHP

Total damage: 1,480PHP

The whole trip was an adventure. Not having a solid itinerary until landing, googling where to go while at NAIA, and bringing back my birthday luck, I almost got left by the plane. I came back to Tacloban for Kalanggaman Island and I sure did see it this time. Will I come back again? Fuck yes, I will.

 

 

 

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