It was a dream come true for a beach enthusiast like me to visit this beach which is called Kalanggaman Island. It is one of the hidden gems found in Leyte, Philippines and is situated in the municipality of Palompon, Leyte.
We left Manila at 4am and arrived in Leyte Airport at around 5am. The drive from the aiport to Palompon was 2-3 hours. We went straight to the Palompon Ecotours Office to register and pay the required fees.
When we got back to Palompon proper, we went to Pacci Pension House where stayed overnight. We got a Twin Bed Room with Cable TV and add an extra mattress. Here are the list of their rates:
Single Occupancy with Cable TV and private bathroom – 800php for 1 person
Double Occupancy with Cable TV and private bathroom – 1300php for 2 persons
Family Room with Cable TV and private bathroom – 1500php for 3 persons
Dormitory Type (cap 6 persons) – 400php per person
On our second day, we hopped on a ferry from Palompon, Leyte to Bogo, Cebu which lasted for 4 hours. We arrived at Bogo Port at 11am. From there, we rode a tricycle going to Hagnaya Port. Another ferry was waiting for us to bring us to Santa Fe Port in Bantayan Island.
We checked in to Anika Resort. It is one of the white sand beachfront resorts in Bantayan Island, Cebu.
After our lunch at the resort, we rented a tricycle to bring us to Omagieca Obo-ob Mangrove Garden. It is located at Brgy Obo-ob and is 15-20 minutes away from Sta Fe (from our accommodation). It was being promoted by the locals aiming to raise environmental awareness on how mangroves play a significant role in the marine ecosystem. It has been well-maintained by the locals to make sure that others will appreciate it even more. We paid 50php for the entrance fee.
Also, if you want to see the famous "Camp Sawi" signage from the movie of the same title, it was relocated to this area. They also use that as a way of promoting the garden to other tourists.
Virgin Island Resort is a privately-owned property but they are allowing day tours and overnight stays in the property. When we got there, there were some construction going on since they were building more cabanas for people to stay in to.
There are different activities that the tourists can enjoy here like cliff diving, snorkeling, relaxing etc. The island really has a lot of things to offer.
How did we get there? From Anika Resort, we rented a boat for 1000php which took us to Virgin Island.
Ogtong Cave is situated at Sta Fe wherein the famous subterranean cave pool can be found. The water is fresh and not really that cold. It is under the care of Ogtong Cave Resort where people can take a day tour or overnight stay. We paid 200php each for our entrance fee.
The Ruins is one of the locations used in the movie Camp Sawi. This is where the cliff diving spot located. We just spent a few minutes there to take some photos and to appreciate the place. We did not try the cliff diving as it was so hot and we were all afraid of heights. But when we got there, the locals just kept on jumping to the cliff like it was not that high.
Paradise Beach is one of the white sand beaches here in Sta Fe. This is my personal favorite because of its serenity. There were a few people strolling and swimming around. The water is so clear that even small fishes come and swim with us. Entrance fee is 15php per person. We stayed there until 5pm. We went straight to Kota Beach which is 5 minutes away from Paradise Beach to catch the sunset.
Kota Beach is another beach resort here in Sta Fe. The area is not really that exclusive but still beautiful. It has a long stretch of white sand beach but there are also a lot of people since most of the resorts are just next to each other.
We also saw someone who was doing a skydiving activity and chose Kota Beach beach as his landing spot.
It is said that the best sunset in Bantayan Island is found here. I guess, they were right.
It was our last day in Bantayan Island so we took a morning stroll and just appreciated how nice the beach was.
After 6 hours of ferry ride plus bus ride, we reached Cebu City and we checked in at Robe’s Pension House. This is one of the cheapest pension houses in Cebu City which is near to almost everything like restaurants, malls, tourist spots like Temple of Leah, Sirao Flower Farm etc. It was a long travel from Bantayan Island to Cebu City so we decided to take a rest for a few minutes before dinner.
Larsian is denoted as the home of the original Cebuano street food. It is situated in Fuentes, Cebu City where you can get barbeques, seafood, desserts etc. It was really one of the most recommended places to visited in Cebu City.
On our last day in Cebu, we decided to go around the city. One of the tourist spots we’ve been wanting to visit was the Temple of Leah. This temple was a Roman-inspired shrine which was a symbol of undying love and never ending devotion of Teodorico Adarna to his wife Leah Adarna.
Tabo-an Market is one of the busiest and famous markets in Cebu City where tourists can get dried fish and seafood for a very reasonable price. After we visit the Temple of Leah, we went straight here to but some pasalubong.
After buying some pasalubong (souvenirs) from Tabo-an Market, we went to visit Magellan’s Cross. It is a Christian cross planted by the Spanish and Portugese explorers who landed here in the Philippines. From the Philippine history, the Spaniards conquest brought many of their culture as part of ours. One of these is their religion.