by - 7:27 PM

Solace and freedom are the best ingredients of my dream travels.  With a lifestyle that seems to be at brisk every moment and trying to catch time as if it's the only means of survival, a visit to Palompon, Leyte's Kalanggaman Islet will surely change your perspective of what life should be.

Rural living at its best...this is what Kalanggaman Islet has to offer.

The first time I saw photos of this islet in the internet was through my brother's colleague in the medical profession who happen to be my friends also.  Envious of the photos taken, I eagerly asked where the island was and to my dismay, it was only in Leyte.  I grew up in Tacloban City, Leyte which made me realize I still had a lot of things to discover in my home province.  Thus, the planning begun and I promised myself that when I visit Leyte, the said islet is a must in my itinerary.

From Tacloban City, it takes approximately two hours to reach Palompon, Leyte.  We had side trips at Villaba and Leyte, Leyte first before heading towards Palompon as we have to visit our relatives there and had our overnight stay at my aunt's house in Villaba.  At 4AM the following day, we were now set for the Kalanggaman experience.  

It was a 45-minute motorboat ride towards the island.  Even while on board the motorboat, there are a lot of picturesque backdrop that will caught the attention of your camera lens. My relatives told me that for the safety of the trip, it is best to stay calm and avoid making noises and shouting due to excitement.  Superstitious as it may seem but there's no harm in following the advice.

Alas we finally viewed the long stretch of white sand from a far and realized we are now really in Kalanggaman Islet and the camera lenses are now all in action.  We had a relatively large supply of food and drinks of all sorts, as if we'll be staying there for a week.  There are no resorts in the islet and no electricity as well, so this is the perfect place to bond with friends and loved ones.  Pure story telling and drinking spree while camping out in a perfect backdrop - the blue skies with a clear and pristine waters and a not too crowdy environment.  This is really what relaxation should be defined.

After pitching our tents which would serve as our temporary refuge for the night, we then started to discover the islet and took a lot of photos as usual, including strange fruits and living organisms yet to be researched.  The islet is only of a few hectares and you can stroll the whole island in just thirty minutes.  Warning: apply sunblock as there are few coconut trees so direct contact with the sun is inevitable and might burn you literally!

The long stretch of sand bar was the major attraction in the islet.  It usually appears at around 3 in the afternoon but it's really worth the wait.

The sunset at the islet is also a good subject for photos, which most photography enthusiasts would definitely enjoy.  I only had a point and shoot camera so pardon the posts as it may not do justice, but I assure you this will be magnificent in a more advanced camera lens.

The original plan was an overnight stay in the islet.  But since, we all enjoyed the stay, we extended our stay for another overnight.  We were the only one's left in the islet during our first overnight stay, with a few tourist police and coast guards of course.  This is another adventure I would love to do all over again.  I enjoyed the company of my friends and the vacation was a perfect stress reliever from my practice of law back in Manila.

The kiosks were few and there are no advanced amenities on site.  This islet should be maintained as it is, the local government of Palompon should continue to implement existing tourism policies.  I just hope this would not be too commercialized even after five years from now, as this will make the islet different from the rest.  This is an alternative tourist destination for those who are tired of the nightlife and commercialized Boracay, Malapascua and the likes.

This is the exotic Kalanggaman Islet.
I'll see you soon.

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