I was not part of the original crew of this trip. The whole group was supposedly around 10 people.
For context, I barely availed my 2016 VL’s, and this one was such a breaker. I remember I was very engaged in my workload when somebody booked me for this flight. It was just a one-day VL anyway.
So from the original plan of big group tour, it was the three of us who made it.
It was a trip full of energy, powerbanks as the only source of electricity, eating packaged food, and awesome sceneries.
- Morning: Flight to Tacloban, Ride to Palompon
- Afternoon: Kalanggaman
1PM: It was raining hard when we reached Palompon Island. We reached Palompon at 1pm, a bit late for just a day tour. Tourists and travelers usually just do a day trip in the island, but we decided to spend the night in the island. What I realized that time is that despite Kalanggaman is made mainstream, it is not yet that much at par with expectations of managing its visitors.
Things that you should have before going to Kalanggaman:
Food: The good thing about the port is that the Public Market is just a few steps away. We bought crackers, canned goods, roasted chicken, soda, and other stuff.
Tent: We rented a tent.
2PM: We left Palompon by 2pm, and reached the island a bit past 3pm with a very sunny weather. We searched for a spot under the coconut tree, and started to mount our tent. While doing that, the boatmen brought 3 jugs of fresh water to us, and told us that it will be our water during our stay in the island.
And I am telling you, you should hold on to that water like it is your life. You need to manage it so you can rinse yourself, take a bath, and brush your teeth.
4PM: We fully settled around 4pm. The island was filled with tourists, so we decided not to go to the famous protruding ‘sandbar’ of the island as it was very crowded that time. We decided to play on the floater port instead until sunset.
After sunset, we returned to our place, and 90% of the visitors were gone.
- Morning: Kalanggaman
- Afternoon: Travel to Biliran, Sambawan
8AM: In the morning, we took advantage of the timing that the new waves of visitors are not yet in the island. We were able to own the sandbar just for ourselves.
We were thinking what to do once we leave Kalanggaman. I suggested to the team that we go to Sambawan, and they agreed. I actually found it funny that they agreed with less awareness that it was actually risky for our flights because Sambawan is not that near.
11AM: The boatmen fetched us at 11am, just in time for us to have lunch in the mainland Palompon. We had a quick lunch in a carinderia in the Public Market where the we had a bunch of laughter with the locals serving our meals.
1PM: By 1pm, we headed to Biliran with a 4-hour land trip.
Going to Sambawan:
- Regular Route: Passenger big boats are sailing from Naval, the capital of the province, going to the main island of Maripipi. This is the cheaper option, but this only sails in the morning.
- Special Route: Since we reached the Biliran in the afternoon, we headed to Kawayan Port (30 mins away North from Naval) where we rode a contracted boat.
5PM: When we reached Kawayan, the rain poured really hard. We prioritized getting a boat, then bought food in the grocery. Moving point-to-point in Kawayan town was a bit difficult due to the rain, and even more so when we were getting on the boat since the path was very slippery.
545PM: Our boat left the mainland a few minutes before the sunset, with the rain still pouring hard. It was already dark when we reached the island of Sambawan.
- Morning: Sambawan
- Afternoon: San Juanico Bridge, Fly back to Manila
530AM: We woke up early to witness the sunrise! It is perhaps one of the best sunsets I have seen in my life.
From top of the hill, we kissed back the sunrise. It slowly showed up, with the Maripipi island as its wingman. We also witnessed the nearby islets. Everything felt perfect that time.
8AM: After that, we ate our breakfast, and swam.
I liked the Sambawan Island. I wish I stayed longer in the island.
First, it has a sunset that perhaps I may never get tired of. Second, the beach. Third, I am surprised that it is tourist-ready.
There’s a Sari-sari store that sells food and beverage (just not cold). Though fresh water is scarce like in Kalanggaman, I was not forced to stick just with one jug, as there were many jugs there filled with fresh water. The restrooms were generally well-kept. They have a diving lesson (oh, I can actually stay there even longer!). The locals running the area were very nice.
10AM: We left the island at 10am, and by 3pm, we were already back in Tacloban. Before checking in, we dropped by:
- San Juanico Bridge
- McArthur Shrine
How much did we spend?
Let me recall this part! Will continue this. 🙂