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 has changed my 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.  Envious of the photos taken, I eagerly asked where the island was and to my surprise, the island is 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.  Planning then begun and I promised myself that the next time I go home, the said islet should be on the 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.  

The following day before the sun rises, we have prepared ourselves for the Kalanggaman experience.  

It was a 45-minute motorboat ride towards the island.  While on board the motorboat, we can't help but notice the panoramic landscape of the islands that surround and the way leading to Kalanggaman. 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.

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.  Endless story- telling, catching up and of course, a drinking spree while camping out will be the main activity. 

There were no tourists in the island except our group and the caretaker of the island.

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 on it. The islet is only of a few hectares and you can stroll the whole of it in just thirty minutes.  

Warning: apply sunblock as there are few coconut trees and trees which could serve as shade, so direct contact with the sun is inevitable and might burn you literally!

The long stretch of a sand bar on both sides of the island is what makes the island popular.  It usually appears at around 3 in the afternoon.

The sunset at the islet is a good subject, 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 just an overnight stay in the islet.  But since, we all enjoyed the stay, we extended our stay for another night.  

With a few tourist police and coast guards, we owned the island for three full days.  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.

With a few standing huts and 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 for its preservation.  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 and Malapascua.

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