Kalanggaman Island: Leyte’s Hidden Gem

Kalanggaman Island

I never thought that a place named Kalanggaman Island exists. Not until my friend Tatz posted some photos of the place in her Multiply in 2009. To my surprise, the island is part of Palompon in Leyte, the hometown of my mom. When I learned of it, I quickly approached my mom and asked if she knows Kalanggaman Island. She answered positively in Cebuano, “atbang sa Palompon” or off the coast of Palompon. Wow!

Kalanggaman Island
Perfectly turquoise water of Kalanggaman Island.

I excitedly Googled it and found some interesting articles and stories of the place – the contrasting shore of the island from mainland Palompon, the legal battles, ownership issues, the funny folklore, the mapping issue (since it is not in the Philippine map yet), coupled with some low resolution images. Very few  are the high resolution images of Kalanggaman Island like those posted by Tatz, nevertheless I was already hooked. I promised my self to visit the place one day.

The day came when my dive buddy Ate Claudia and I went to Malapascua Island for a dive trip in 2010. Kalanggaman Island is one of the sites that dive operators in Malapascua frequent, so we requested to schedule a trip there. We were so excited since we both dreamed to visit the place.

Kalanggaman Island
As the sunlight touches its sand, the island shines like a pearl – so beautiful, so tempting.

Going there from Malapascua is a two hour boat trip as part of the dive package. The package is P1000 per dive for locals, exclusive of the gears and equipments. But they require to have at least eight divers in a boat for a Kalanggaman Island dive trip. If you are coming from Leyte, the island is approximately an hour boat ride from Palompon. There is no public transportation going to the island so you need to hire a boat going there, rate ranges from P3,000-P4,000 per boat.

The place is declared as marine sanctuary in 2009, an environmental fee is collected for every visitor going there (except for residents of Palompon). The fee goes to the Municipal Office of Palompon for maintenance and protection of the island.

The eastern and western tips are sandbars that blend well with the color of the water.

From afar, one will already notice the two white sandbars on both end of  the island. As the sunlight touches its sand, the island shines like a pearl – so beautiful, so tempting. The clear turquoise water surrounding the island is so inviting, that you will want to quickly get off your boat to experience the paradise that is Kalanggaman.

The island is flat and surrounded by white sand with some rocky part. The eastern and western tips are sandbars that blend well with the color of the water. Dwarf coconut trees are scattered in the center, while rich and colorful marine life is resting underneath, unexploited. There’s no resort or hotel in the area but campers are welcome.

Kalanggaman Island
Kalanggaman Island beckons.

This is not the only island of this kind in the country, and this may not be as beautiful as Calaguas or as famous as Caramoan, El Nido or Boracay, but it has distinct charm and I have different connection to the place. Indeed, Kalanggaman is Leyte’s hidden gem.

How to Go to Kalanggaman Island

If you are not on a dive trip from Malapascua, you can visit Kalanggaman Island via Leyte and Cebu.

Via Leyte

Make your way to Ormoc City or Tacloban City in Leyte.

From Tacloban, catch a van to Palompon. Van leaves every hour from downtown, travel time is around three hours and fare is P160. Meanwhile, from Ormoc, you may catch a local bus or van to Palmpon for two-hour travel time, van fare is P120.

In Palompon, proceed to the Palompon Tourism Office and charter a pump boat to Kalanggaman Island thru the Ecotours Office. Boat rate is P3,000 for maximum of 15 passengers, P3,500 for maximum of 25 passengers and P4,000 for maximum of 30 passengers.

Via Cebu

There are boats in the town Bogo that are accredited to transport tourists to Kalanggaman Island. Going there from Cebu City, catch a bus to Bogo and proceed to Bantay Dagat near Siocon Elementary School to charter a boat to Kalanggaman Island.

Entrance and Conservation Fee

Foreign guests are required to pay P500.00 for a day tour and P750.00 for overnight. Meanwhile, Filipino guests are charged P150.00 for a day tour and P225.00 for overnight. Discounts are given to students, senior citizens and PWD. Fee is waved for Palompon residents.

For inquiries and reservation, contact Palompon Eco-Tourism Office at +63-053-5559731, +639268164005, +639268164007 or +639985551421.

*First Publication 23-April-2010; Updated 20-August-2017


  1. loladee

    As it stated that there are no hotels and resorts in the area, how can we go about restrooms? and is it close to the town or restaurants?

  2. Hi

    I just want to add the via Bogo City route from Cebu City

    Guest can book Joiners/group tours by contacting



    Sea to Summit Travelers Team

  3. Rhoel Ladera

    From tacloban to Palompon (drop-off point to Kalanggaman) you can also get a van from us at Haven’s Tourist transport, we are accredited by Dept of tourism and we offer safe and convenient travel by van from Tacloban Airport. We have an office at DZR airport and also at downtown tacloban just across Hotel Alejandro. Anyone can access our fb page https://www.facebook.com/Havens-Tourist-Transport-Rent-a…/ or call me personally at 0917 806 7275 if you need assistance. you can also email us at [email protected] or text our booking officer at 0926 649 8009. if you are going to kalanggaman you might as well go to other places in the island para mas sulit and you can only do that if you will rent a car or van, either with or without a driver.That way your travel will not be limited to just 1 destination, you can explore the island to your hearts’ desire. 🙂

  4. lemonpfeffers

    Amazing shots! Do you ahve any info about any boat tours from Bantayan to this magical place?

  5. Raul Marquez

    You may now go to this island directly fron Cebu City via Bogo. Contact us: RAMMtours 09062377860 / 09333464388.

  6. eivis

    hi everyone! can anyone give the cellphone no. of the kalanggaman/palompon tourism office? thank.

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