Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Leyte is probably one of the most underrated provinces in the Philippines. When you get to know and discover the hidden paradises in Leyte you may not want to go somewhere else. One of its paradises is Canigao Island.

So I brought my Mom, my daughter, and my nephew to Canigao. Mom was not as excited as me, but when got to the Island, she suddenly did not want to go back. It exceeded her expectation. 

We arrived at the island around 5PM and not longer than an hour when we set up our camp that we decided to stay for another night.

This is our "Family Canigao Adventure"

It was Sunday afternoon, we took a van from Baybay and left from Baybay Terminal around 2:30 PM. We arrived in Matalom at around 3:45 PM. I expected that the port will still be the same, just near the Municipal Hall and the public market. So we arrived in Matalom, half prepared. I 'd say half because we did not bring food because we planned to buy food at the public market so we won't have a lot of trouble during the commute.

The new port is in Brgy. Itum, Matalom. We immediately registered when we got there. There are several souvenir and beach shops in the port but only a couple of convenience store there. After registering, we went to buy food because we thought there will be no more time to go to the public market. 

the convenience store is the one on the left

Here are some of the items we bought from the convenience store:
  • cup noodles
  • canned goods (corned beef and beef loaf for easy cooking)
  • drinking water (5-gallon of water is 50 php only, but you can leave 150 php deposit for the container and claim your deposit money when you return the container)
  • charcoal 
  • lighter
  • chips
  • soft drinks
  • ice
It was still around 4 PM, we don't have a butane gas yet because the convenience store doesn't have any left. I asked the lady from the port registration if we still have time to buy butane and few other stuff. She allowed us but just have to go in a hurry. Luckily, there are pedicabs just near the souvenir shops. A pedicab driver took us to the market and offered to wait for us and take us back. I gave my nephew money to buy meat while I bought butane, bread and fruits.
  • pork chop - 220 php/kg
  • butane gas - 35 php with canister
  • mangoes - 140 php/kg
  • Banana - 25 php for 1/4 kg
  • sliced bread - 45 php

I paid 60 pesos for the pedicab fare. We arrived back to the port around 5 PM. Paid the entrance and boat and went straight to the boat. If you don't have a tent. you can rent a tent for 300 php including the space fee. We have a tent so, we only paid 50php for the space fee. 
Canigao Island prohibited activities

Canigao Island Reminders

Canigao Island entrance fee and boat fare

We immediately set up our camp by the beach. Then we grilled the pork and ate under the starry sky. Mama enjoyed it so much. She said it's so great to eat by the beach, on a mat, with fresh air, and under a starry sky from time to time. I'm just so happy my mom enjoyed it

After dinner, Sofie and I stayed out and laid down on our pizza floatie and went star gazing. We slept there too, but when it got colder and started to drizzle we transferred to the tent.

The next morning, we woke up early. I really intend to wake up early because I want to see the sunrise and enjoy the beauty of the beach in the morning. It looks really peaceful. We made coffee and ate our breakfast.

It was getting hot on our camp, we decided to move near the shade and near the table. Canigao Island have tables made of old tires and cement. They also have portable tables and plastic chairs that are free to use. You can borrow them from the Visitor Center.

The Canigao Market

Since we decided to stay for another night, I took mama to their marketplace so we can order fresh seafood for lunch. They sell fresh seafood there and just charge you if you want them to cook it for you. We just had 1/4 kg of squid for 75 pesos and had them cook squid adobo. They charge 30 pesos for cooking. Oh, you need to buy the spices needed for the dish too.
A view of the Canigao Lighthouse on the way to the market

only 3 shops opened that day, the souvenir shop, convenience store, and seafood shop

Mama also bought some souvenirs from the souvenir shop. She bought a shell chandelier and some key chains. 

After lunch, the cool ocean breeze and warm sun made us sleepy. Mama slept inside the tent, Sofie slept on our hammock and I slept on the pizza floatie under the shade, and John went around the island 3 times. He said he was also able to sleep on the other side of the island too. 

Around the Island

AT around 3 PM, We decided to go around the island too and took some pictures. When we got back went swimming again. It was fun.

if you like Pizza floatie, you can also grab yours here -

 Cottages and Accommodations

Grilling Area

 Along the Island

 Public Rest Room

I love that they keep the public restroom clean

We cooked the corned beef that we bought from the port and just added egg from the Canigao Market, we also fried dried squid, that we got from the market too.

The next morning was time to go home. We did not want to, but we had to. 
We made coffee and instant noodles. We also fried the beef loaf and ordered rice from the market. 

We started packing our stuff after eating and waited for the boat. It was around 10, there is no boat yet and I felt sleepy again, so I laid down my sarong, then Sofie and I slept on the sand. It was 11:30 when the boat arrived. 

When we got to the port, we took a pedicab that took us to Bato Terminal. Matalom don't have a terminal so we had to go to Bato. We paid 100 PHP for the 4 of us.

All of us enjoyed the trip. Mama enjoyed it the most, she can't stop planning for the next time we go to Canigao Island.

Tips when going to Canigao

  • Prepare all the food and things you need ahead of time. Don't be overly confident that the Market is just near or you can just get all the things you need from the local market. It would also be cheaper if you prepare food ahead because the items at Canigao Market are sold at a much higher price.
  • Come early so that if you forget something, you still have time to shop at the local market.
  • Bring Snorkeling gears
  • Don't forget to bring sunblock. Make sure your sunblock has broad-spectrum protection with PA +++. Broad spectrum protects you from both UVA and UVB. Also, don't forget to reapply, reapply, reapply especially after swimming
  • Set up a hammock and enjoy the starry sky at night.
  • Bring a sweater, it can be so chilly at night and at dawn.
  • Bring a trash bag. Canigao has a policy of "Basura ko, dala ko", which means you have to bring your garbage to the mainland. IT will be collected at the port.
  • Don't forget your power bank.
  • Make sure all your lamps and flashlights are fully charged.
  • If you are bringing floaties, you might also want to bring your electric pump. You can use your electric pump at the market for a fee. Trust me, it's so taxing manually pumping air to a giant Floatie. 

How to get to Canigao Island
  • Take a flight to Tacloban, Leyte (Daniel Z Romualdez Airport). Choose a morning flight so you will have ample travel time to Matalom, Leyte.
  • From the airport, take a taxi going to the Bus Terminal or Van Terminal.  It may cost you around 100 PHP. 
  • Take a Van going to Maasin via Baybay. Tell The driver to drop you off at Matalom, at the port going to Canigao. Remember the port is no longer near the Matalom Plaza, it's currently situated in Brgy. Itum. The locals said it might just be temporary though. The journey may take 3.5 to 4 hours. The fare may cost around 200-250 PHP.
  • From the highway going to the port, you can take a pedicab for less hustle for only 7 pesos each.
  • At the port, register and pay the boat fare then wait for the boat that will take you to the Island. Travel time may take 10 - 15 minutes. The fare is for the round trip. 


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She is a self-supporting MBA Students while working as an online freelancer. She has been an online freelancer since 2010 and has maintained a 5 star-feedback and 100% Job Success Score. She blogs about the lifestyle of a freelancer and her passion for traveling. She is a Digital Nomad. Please see About Me page for more about her and the blog.



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