How I Had An Overnight Stay For Free in Kalanggaman Island

(Palompon, Leyte, Philippines) – It was a usual Friday morning, my 17th day camping in Malapascua, April 3rd. I was lying on the hammock beside the concrete fresh water well under the shade of a Talisay tree within Dennis’ compound, reading the 99th chapter of Jackie Collin’s Power Trip.

Our ride
Our ride

Dennis, a local canvasser, was not his usual happy-go-lucky self. He was fidgeting, in a way uneasy, so I asked him what bothered him. He told me that his contact person for the Kalanggaman trip has not yet responded to his last text. The last time they communicated was yesterday morning. It was already 9am. He asked for their estimated time of arrival in Maya port so that he could hire a pump boat to fetch them ahead of time. No reply. The guests were probably unaware of the task’s complicated nature.


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Dennis maneuvering the boat using a bamboo pole
Dennis maneuvering the boat using a bamboo pole

We passed by Daquit-Daquit island along the way
We passed by Daquit-Daquit island along the way

Since it was peak season, the supply of boats was low and boat owners tend to raise their rates if you hire at the last minute. I told him to relax, work on other things and wait another hour. Then Dennis received a text that his guests will be in Maya by 2pm. What a relief, still enough time left.

Look at that natural wonder
Look at that natural wonder

By the way, Kalanggaman is an island off the coast of Palompon, Leyte famous for its natural sandbar and crystalline waters. The word “Langgam” means bird in English. It is a popular tourist destination, 1.5 hours away from Malapascua.

Too bad I didn't get to see dolphins
Too bad I didn’t get to see dolphins

Also Read: Travel Guide: Kalanggaman Island in Palompon Leyte

Dennis wanted to accompany his guests to the island but had prior responsibilities to attend to. So he asked me to go on his behalf which means I could go to Kalanggaman for free given that I accommodate and entertain the needs of his guests. In a way, I assumed the role of a tour guide to a place I’ve never been to. Sounds fun, right? Challenge accepted! So off we went canvassing for pump boats that would stay overnight in Kalanggaman.

Three restrooms with traditional water pump (saltwater)
Three restrooms with traditional water pump (saltwater)

Beach volleyball, anyone
Beach volleyball, anyone

The Hunter Hotel (the white one)
The Hunter Hotel (the white one)

Summer silhouette
Summer silhouette

We found Julad 8 with Udjie as Captain, assisted by Roel and Bam. I used my usual friendly self to bond with the crew and guests. Heck, my personal blog is all about talking to random strangers. A piece of cake!

A total of 13 rentable cottages (small - 8 pax_ medium - 15 pax_ large - 30 pax)
A total of 13 rentable cottages (small – 8 pax_ medium – 15 pax_ large – 30 pax)

Anyway, we left Maya at 2:30 pm and arrived at Kalanggaman at 4:00 pm, paid 2000 pesos entrance fee for the eight guests, pitched our tents then prepared for dinner.

The King of Sinulog in Kalanggaman
The King of Sinulog in Kalanggaman

Here’s a tip, before you go to Kalanggaman, bring with you enough food and water as everything on the island is overpriced.

Look at that beautiful moonrise
Look at that beautiful moonrise

I wish i brought a better camera
I wish i brought a better camera

A total of 11 solar lamps in the island
A total of 11 solar lamps in the island

I then took pictures of everything, natural and man-made. Aside from the maintenance and security personnel, we actually had the island all to ourselves. After dinner, we sang, laughed and drank to our heart’s content.

Improvised basketball court(coconut style)
Improvised basketball court(coconut style)

In case you run out of liquor
In case you run out of liquor

All I can say is that what happened in Kalanggaman, stays in Kalanggaman. So start packing. You have 7,106* islands left to discover.

Happy Summer!

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