I have been to Limasawa Island this weekend and the decision to explore the entire island on foot was a great one. Through running, I was able to witness first-hand the island life out there. Though it was only for a short time I was convinced that Limasawa Island is a very beautiful place every traveler should visit. I’ve been to many islands before such as Boracay, Guimaras, Camiguin, Canigao and et cetera but there’s something unique about Limasawa. Things like Humility, Promise and History.
Let’s start with History. Unless you skipped your history subjects in Elementary and High School, you probably heard of Limasawa Island. This little island according to our best friend Wikipedia is ” is where the First Mass in the Philippines and Asia was celebrated. .” Although until now it is still hotly debated if it’s really Limasawa or Butuan is the “Mazaua” port where Magellan landed and made BFF of the island chieftain. According to legends Magellan and that lucky island ruler with five-wives (thus the term Limasawa for Lima Asawa or 5 wives) grew close and fond with one another that they made blood compact (sandugo) with the European putting up a cross on the highest hill and conducted that infamous Mass. Nobody would know the exact location of that island because all the involved are, well, long dead. So let’s just stick to Limasawa, shall we?
So aside from that important part of Philippine and Christian history, what else is there in Limasawa? Trust me, History is only foreplay the real fun begins when you go out there and explore the island. I have a conversation with an officemate about my recent trip in the island, and I was taken aback when she proclaimed that island is dull and boring straight to my face. I was pretty sure Limasawa is Paradise. The island itself is a treasure to behold, you only have to look at the right direction. And that my friends is why I’m writing this.
Here’s my list of the what are the activities you should do in Limasawa:
1. Visit the Shrine of the First Mass in Asia – it’s located in Brgy. Magallanes. They have nice paintings and some sculptures about the First Mass inside. When I got there the shrine was still close because I’m too early. Down below is what it look like inside
2. Drop some coins and make your wish on the Wishing Well – it’s just nearby at the right side of the shrine. I dunno if it really worked but I did dropped a few coins and wished for a sign on a particular someone I want to go out with. Giloka oi! I just said if it’s for me then let it be, if not just send me a text the day before. I received the text as instructed. Coincidence? (Oh Im deadmeat, I still need to meet her since it’s a serious business meeting, God help!)
3. Visit the Cross Magellan planted – warning: to get there 450 steps ahead waiting for you. The view and the sight, however is all worth it!
4. Relax and unwind on the valley near the Cross – at the back of the cross there’s a valley on top of that hill. It offered one of the most relaxing spot on the island (under a tree) and a spectacular view of the whole island. Please forgive my Note 2 camera, it failed to capture its beauty out there (can I borrow your GoPro puh-lease!).
5. Visit the Valley on top of that cliff – it’s on the Northern part of the island. Remember just straight ahead. Or you’ll end up like that guybelow.
6. Pick your beach – on either side of the island there are beaches and all of them have white sands on crystal clear blue waters (Boracay can only wish for). The white sand are not really as fine as other beaches in Cebu and Borcay, perhaps that’s the Limasawa flavor. See for it your self.
7. Do the monkey pose at Dakdak Beach resort – IntsikChic’s a travel blogger from Tacloban and she did that pose last year. I was amazed of that shot so I made sure I do it too! The resort is on the eastern part of the island at Brgy. Lugsungan.
The You are From Southern Leyte facebook page admin sir Armando Gaviola also has his own version of the pose:
8. Camp out on the hills somewhere – once again you can pick where. I’m seriously going to camp out next time. Here’s a suggestion from http://bestphilippinebeaches.com/
9. Go mountain climbing! There’s a 704ft high point on the island that I was not able to climb because I was alone and lacked the time. But given the opportunity I’ll give it a go. I’m sure the view up there is to kill for. Kuyog nya ta ha!
10. Dive! – Limasawa is marked as one of the top diving spot in the province so don’t be surprised if you some foreigners on boats spelunking the area because we’re talking of whale watching, and dolphins, giant squids, healthy corals and etc! There are also fish sanctuaries in some parts of the island where one can go snorkeling to see the wonders of the sea. See pictures below courtesy of the Limasawa official website. (there’s even a cave to dive in somewhere…)
11. Train and explore – This I can vouch, Limasawa is just so perfect for training for a marathon and even triathlon. Whether you are a runner or a sportsman in vacation you will definitely find the entire island a welcome challenge. There are cement roads, off roads, trails, uphills & downhills, straight up shores that stretch kilometers and many more.
12. To relax – Ok it’s plain and simple, you go to an island not to go wild and bring your paperworks from the office. Go to Limasawa to relax and may you find for yourselves the Tranquility that you seek. I found mine that weekend.
13. Meet the people and experience their culture – with only a 24 hour visit to the island, I wasn’t expecting I’d be able to meet and great and even get to know the people in the island. But I did! The people there are so friendly and warm, I never had trouble asking for directions and I even make friends out there.
These are only 13 of the many reasons why you should visit Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte. Dont ask me why I cut it to thirteen its just a number for Magellan’s sake. I’m just too sleepy already. LOL. Feel free to add on the list after your visit. But for now we are praying you get to visit the island and I’ll be glad to be of service in planning your trip (it’s so near in my place).
Because I’m so sleepy na here’s a copy-paste post from IntsikChic on how to get there if you’re from Manila:
“The Municipality of Limasawa is located in Southern Leyte. From Tacloban, ride a van to Maasin (P220), go down at the terminal and ride a bus to Padre Burgos (P30) from the port, you can ride a pump boat for P50-P100 depending on your arrangement with the boat driver. The trip takes 45 – 50 minutes depending on the weather. For reservations in Dak Dak resort you can contact Debbie at + 63 906 730 9609.”
From Cebu, just ride a boat bound for Hilongos Leyte. It shold be just around P350. Then ride a bus to Maasin for P50.00. From Maasin ride a bus for Padre Burgos pier for P30. from the port, you can ride a pump boat for P50-P100 depending on your arrangement with the boat driver. The trip takes 45 – 50 minutes depending on the weather. For reservations in Dak Dak resort you can contact Debbie at + 63 906 730 9609.