Five months ago I decided I should travel to Vietnam this year. But I think I might have to skip on that. I recently accepted a new government position and it would be very tricky to avail a week-long leave on the third week of September. The second reason, I still could not convince anyone to come with me. And lastly what I’ll save for that foreign trip I’ll just spend to buy some important stuffs and gadgets and for local travels instead. Vietnam can wait, she can wait.
That was winter, and here comes summer promising even greater things to explore in nearby places. And it asked me this question: Why travel far when you have everything you wanna see just around the corner? Me and my colleagues have been spelunking for waterfalls in nearby towns (which were super awesome) for two straight weekends.My facebook account has been teasing me for quite a while of beautiful beaches and fun summer activities to try. I made a little research and Google-Earthing the locations and at the end of last week I said to myself: Dude, we’re in for a backpacking adventure! Our destinations are places you’ve never been, places you’ve never heard of, places not in the map, and places needing of revisiting. All near, and absolutely no plane tickets needed.
So here are my shortlist:
1. Calanggaman Island (Palompon, Leyte) – This island isn’t even in the Map! It’s located in the Palompon town of Leyte north of Ormoc City. Look at the sandbars and those gorgeous white sands! This is an uninhabited island, still virgin and practically untouched. It used bot ignored by most tourist on boat travel from Leyte going Malapascua Island just pass by this island. A decade ago this island was nowhere near conversation when I visited Palompon to compete for an SCUAA Meet. I was a high school baseball player then competing in a college tournament, but now I’m just glad that in my return I will only bring a volleyball, a frisbee disk and of course snorkeling gears.
2. Malapascua Island (DaanBantayan, Cebu) – This island is famous for underwater diving, but I just want to come here for one reason: Cliff Diving! It’s a 50ft jump and certainly my dream destination for a year now. Definitely a must-visit for the fearless. I think my Hawaiian friend Miss Frances went here last year, so I better ask her for tips aside from enjoying the beach and avoiding the temptation of under diving (because I can’t afford it). Hahaha
3. Digyo Island (Inopacan Leyte) – I don’t where this is (I think it’s only a 1.5 hour drive from home), and I have never even heard of it but the beach and the sand bar is so nice man! Again bring the frisbee and beachvolleyball!
4. San Pablo & San Pedro Islands (Hinunangan, Southern Leyte) – there’s a twin set of islands that can be found in Hinunangan. Both are perfect for camping, island hopping and skimboarding. And I think I’ll trek around either island on foot, I shall conquer this.
5. Pilada Rock (Silago, Southern Leyte) – I’ve never been to Silago, but that could change pretty soon. The town’s at the tip of Southern Leyte facing the Pacific Ocean. My dad got his first teaching there and it would be nice to visit the town and check out that dude jumping off a cliff. Epic! Muambak lage ko diha, more pa! (It’s quite notorious of having snakes, so I hope they don’t like to bite fat guys like me). Hehe
6. Canigao Island (Matalom, Leyte) – This island is my favorite island. It’s in my mother’s hometown. And it is very accessible. Bring your sunscreen, some balls, some frisbees. The lechon is optional.
7. San Juanico Bridge (Tacloban City, Leyte) – Have you ever tried to cross from one island to the next without swimming? I have one idea, let’s go to Tacloban City and run the entire 2 kilometer long San Juanico Bridge, it’s the longest bridge in the country. And there’s one particular interesting development brewing around out there. People now have the option to jump off the bridge, well almost. It’s called rapelling. Mark Nelson and Diane Castellejo recently went there and covered the activity, check out this link.