Friday, November 13, 2009

Canigao Island: Almost like Potipot but NOT quite

view of the whole island from Brgy Itom

View of the whole Canigao Island from Brgy Itom with the lighthouse at the far, right side.

Every time I go and explore a new place, I try to find certain uniqueness to it. Going to Canigao Island reminded me of my travel to Potipot Island in Zambales. The resemblance is hard to miss but Canigao has its own unique beauty to show off.

long stretch of white sand

The long stretch of white sandy beach.

Canigao Island is located in Brgy Itom, a fishing village in Matalom, Leyte (East Central Philippines). It’s around 4-5 hours ride from Tacloban City, the capital of Northern Leyte. In Brgy. Itom we hired a boat that would take us to the island. It took us less than 10 minutes to get there. Getting near the island, I got excited as I saw the long stretch of white sand and the blue clear water.

pristine water

The water is pristine in Canigao.

There is no electricity in the island. But it has a prominent solar-powered lighthouse that becomes prominent as our boat approaches the shore. The moment that we got off, I immediately looked at the quality of the sand in Canigao. It was off white. Boracay sand is finer and more bleached. What struck me are the “facilities” available in the island. There were sari-sari stores, huts and cottages. The resort is LGU-owned and requires everyone a minimal entrance fee. The huts and other housing facility range from 300-700 pesos but one is allowed to camp out if you have no money.

solar-powered lighthouse

The newly-painted solar-powered lighthouse located at the back of the island.

I looked around and found people enjoying the beach. It was Sunday when we arrived there so obviously a lot of people were making the most of the long weekend.

watching the sea

Beach bummers having photo op behind the signage. Oki and Deb are waiting for their turn.

Aside from the white sandy beach, the island is a sanctuary of coral reefs, sand bars, fishes, and other species. The island is also rich in vegetation so it’s nice to sit and relax under a tree and watch the sea.

sky sea sand

It was way passed noon and the sun was scorching hot. The contrast was nice though, a good opportunity to take more postercard-like photos of the island.

watching the sea

That's me enjoying the scene. I wasn't able to bring my tripod but I found a nice, stable spot to place my heavy camera. :-)

Just like what I did in Potipot Island, I tried exploring the whole area, taking photos of every thing and any thing that caught my interest. It took me at least an hour and a half to finish the 360 degree turn. You can walk around the whole island in 30 minutes (more or less). Half of the route, I decided to rest for awhile and enjoy what nature has to offer--the white sand, the pristine water, the blue sky, the lush vegetation, wild flowers, people passing by, dead trees, falling leaves, floating branches, seaweeds, shells, colorful pebbles...and more.


[To get to Canigao Island:]

Take the flight from Manila to Tacloban City Airport. From Tacloban City, go to the Van-Van's Terminal and buy a ticket ride going to Maasin City, the capital of Southern Leyte. This terminal provides an airconditioned van ride to Matalom which is more comfortable than taking the bus. Tell the driver to drop you at Brgy Itom.

From the highway, hire a pedicab that will bring you to MB San Pedro de Nonok and look for Sayong DaƱo. From there, you can hire a boat to bring you to Canigao Island. The boat ride costs 450 pesos (two-way, minimum fare). Entrance fee is 10 pesos for adult and 5 pesos for a child.


Anonymous said...

puntahan ko yan next year!


(nubayan.ang word verification ko, "dying")

luthien said...

ahhh...ang layo pala sa tacloban. uwi kami samar sa january, tacloban ang baba namin. kaya kaya naming suminsay dyan?

pieterbie said...

That sea looks very inviting.
Fotographing pretty girls, one of my favourite passtimes :-)

Andrea said...

A lot of beaches and islands in Leyte and Samar are really enticing and still very clean. It really is a pity that during my time we just look at them at a distance, just was able to visit very few of them. But i know how they really are, and i can fully relate to your feeling while you're savoring the experience. Mabuti na lang noon wala pang digicam! At least hindi ako masyadong nanghihinayang ngayon!

Ming Andrada said...

This is much better than Potipot. I like your article <3 I'll be in Tacloban on Monday with my mom, I'll include this in my list. Oh just one question, are there public ferry/boat? Coz I don't like to hire one :) Thanks

my gulch said...

Hi Ming,
There are no public boat. You have to hire them. Bihira kase ang bumabyahe so usually, kontrata yung boat, depende sa dami ng pasahero. hope you enjoy. =)

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