Limasawa Island: An Outsider’s Guide to Paradise

Posted: June 18, 2014 in Journals, Travels
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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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. According to legends Magellan and that lucky island ruler with five-wives (thus the term Limasawa) 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 famous 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?

A detail of Carlos V. Francisco’s First Mass in the Philippines painting

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 office mate 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

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That’s the shrine. Lovely place and garderns nearby. 🙂

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. It worked.

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Yes, you have to ring the bell. It kinda worked on me.

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!

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You might as well call this Stairway to Heaven.

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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 camera, it failed to capture its beauty out there.

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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.

Limasawa Chronicles cover

 

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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 Bantayan and Boracay, perhaps that’s the Limasawa flavor. See for it your self.

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7. Do the monkey pose at Dak-dak Resort!monkey king

The You are From Southern Leyte facebook page admin sir Armando Gaviola also has his own version of the pose:

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8. Camp out on the hills somewhere – once again you can pick where.

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!

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10. Dive! – Limasawa is marked as one of the top diving spot in the province so don’t be surprised if you see 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.

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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.

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A volunteer teaches some lessons to the young ones of the island. It’s one of the random moment you’ll see there. Meeting those kids were simply priceless.

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).

How to get there:

By air:
– Book a morning flight from Manila to Tacloban City. (Tacloban airport only caters flight from Manila and Cebu).
– From the airport go directly to Abucay terminal via motorcycle or jeep.
– Ride the V-hire or Van for Maasin City. The price is around P150-200. Travel time is 2 hours
– From Maasin City terminal, ride a bus or a multicab for the town of Padre Burgos.  Fare is usually P50-70. Travel time is 20-30minutes. Makes sure to drop off at the port, not on the Municipal grounds.
– Ride the ‘lantsa’ or passenger boat to Limasawa island. There are daily trips to the island at 8:30am and 1:00pm. I’m not sure about special boat trips. Travel time is 1 hour. Fare is P50 only

By sea: (especially if you’re from Cebu)
– ride a night trip to Hilongos, Leyte at Pier 3.  Shipping lines like Roble Shipping and Gabisan departs at 9am and arrives in between 3Am to 4:30Am. Fares starts at P250-400 depending on accommodation type.
– from the Hilongos Pier, you must ride the boat service buses going to Maasin City, or ask for the buses that goes directly to Padre Burgos (via Maasin). Travel time is 1hour+. Fare is P70-90.
– Once in Padre Burgos, ride the ‘lantsa’ or passenger boat to Limasawa island.  daily trips to the island are at 8:30am and 1:00pm. Travel time is 1 hour. Fare is P50.

 

Where to Stay:

Dakdak Resort – Contact numbers 0915-520-3660 and 0906-642-6868. I am not sure about the price range but it’s definitely P1,000+ minimum. They have huts and room accommodations.

Evashore Resort – Contact number 0917-874-1302. Price of rooms are P2,000 good for 6 persons.  You may visit their facebook account here:

Billiones Residence – (where I stayed) Contact number 09169261266. They have rooms for accommodation at P200 per head a night. [Update: it’s now P350, as of April 2018]

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Comments
  1. amazing nga lugar, sleeping pa in terms of development, watch out if these sleeping island will be awake, but for better in this way but needs development sa ila power……..

    • Lapiskamay says:

      Nice place jud sir. Hopefully with the help of the government and the private sectors we can turnaround Limasawa ang make it a beast of beauty.

      and somebody pls light up the island! 🙂

  2. […] Source: Limasawa Island: An Outsider’s Guide to Paradise […]

  3. PM says:

    ang cool ah. looked like you had a fantastic time!

  4. […] to write a trilogy about the island myself on my blog: Limasawa Island and The King of Summer and Limasawa: An Outsider’s Guide to Paradise. I’m still working on the finale because it will be a socio-political/historical essay on the […]

  5. Agnes says:

    wow..thats our place….

  6. jelian says:

    heyy i’ve been there twice. every fiesta sa san bernardo to be exact since we know a family nga lumad taga limasawa hahaha. I love the place, the beach, the people, the lechon, seafood, dakdak, buwad pusit, sus tanan2x! 🙂

  7. edward says:

    wow…
    sana maka punta ako dyan.. para din ma e.dag2 kuna sa listahan ng limasawa sa mga isla magandan na puntahan ko..
    taga limasawa fin gf ko.:)

  8. Mermaid Wanders says:

    hi do you have any contact number sa dakdak beach resort. I tried to contact debbie’s number pero wrong number daw sabi nung sumagot. pwede po ba walk in lang?

  9. cherry says:

    Hi! I’d like to add this blog as a resource in our wedding website. Please let me know if this is alright with you.

  10. Hermen Rein Espinosa says:

    Hi, akong apohan si Esperidion Rein taga Limasawa, pero bata pa ning tabok sa Panaon ug didto naminyo. Ninglangyaw ngadtos Mindanao, sa Agusan. tibook pamilya. Naay apelyedo nga Rein diha? Salamat.

  11. Hey guys! I’m planning to go to Limasawa this weekend. I just would like to ask where is the best part of the island to go on snorkeling and swimming? Thanks! 😀

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