1. It’s largely undeveloped
With very few built-up structures and virtually no permanent inhabitants, Kalanggaman preserves its harmonious orchestration of sea, sand and sky. Although visitors have doubled since 2013 (there were 100,000 in 2016), the local government still controls the number of visitors to the island. There are also tourist police enforcing waste management and curbing development in general. “We want to sustain healthy movement, healthy surroundings and a healthy atmosphere on the island,” says municipal tourism officer Cleofe Rivera.
2. It’s small
Technically an islet that covers only seven hectares, Kalanggaman is a delicate parcel of land that can be circled on foot at a leisurely pace in less than an hour. “It’s big enough to hold a number of groups without getting too crowded,” says travel blogger Gay Mitra-Emami.
3. The beauty that lies beneath
There are tubular sponges and soft coral, which harbors a delightful menagerie of shy pufferfish, technicolor sea slugs and sinister scorpionfish. There are juvenile green sea turtle, and schools of trevally.
4. You can set up camp
You can spend the night at Kalanggaman Island. Rent tents from Hinablayan Outdoor in the Tourism Building (+63 998 999 4276), but pack your own sleeping bags and blankets.
5. And cook
Bring enough food and water for your entire stay. The town has grocery stores and a public market for your provisions. You can cook your food only at designated grilling stations. No campfires are allowed. While you’re here, you should try fresh delectable suwake, a variety of edible sea urchin.
How to get to Kalanggaman Island
Palompon is one hour by van, bus or jeepney from Ormoc City Bus Terminal. Pump boats to Kalanggaman island depart from the Palompon ECO Tourism Building. It’s P3,000 for roundtrip transfers for up to 15 persons. For inquiries and bookings, contact Palompon Tourism at +63 53 555 9731.