TACLOBAN CITY – Kalanggaman, the top destination in Leyte, is closed to tourists for one month to pave way for the rehabilitation of the picturesque island.
The rehabilitation from July 1 to 30 includes cleaning and repair of damaged facilities on Kalanggaman Island in Palompon. Authorities will also conduct full assessment of the island.
“This is a multi-sectoral effort. Every day, we have different set of volunteers from the military and police, different groups, agencies, and civic organizations,” said Raoul Bacalla, chief of the Palompon Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office.
Since the island destination was opened to public in 2013, the local government unit regularly conducts rehabilitation every month of July. However, past closures only lasted a week.
“It would take more time to cope with all the problems such as physical and infrastructure damages, tainted social media reputation, and management system that needs to be revised,” Bacalla said.
In 2020, Kalanggaman was closed to all tourists for several months due to pandemic restrictions. It was opened last year by the local government to local tourists and for day visits only. Some 500 tourists are only allowed to tour the island daily.
In the first four months of 2022, the island has welcomed 3,954 tourists based on the data provided by the local government to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
As the prime tourist destination in Leyte, Kalanggaman is the first spot visited by international cruise ships in the region. In the past nine years, several international cruise ships included Kalanggaman in their stops.
Kalanggaman is located between Cebu and Leyte. The island is about 45 minutes sea travel from Palompon and about two hours boat ride from Malapascua Island in Cebu.
The island is called Kalanggaman because of its bird-like shape when viewed from above due to the long sandbar on both ends of the island. “Langgam” is a local word for bird.
The white sand in Kalanggaman is as fine as a powder with turquoise-colored water.