Seeing our photos from our Canigao Island trip made me realize how busy have I become to have not the time to put into words my travel memories. It was one of the best memories I’ve had so far last summer.
My sisters and I have always wanted to spend summer on an island, camping. It was just so timely that I was assigned in Leyte for some contract of work, and the boyfriend is from Leyte too. So, we all decided to go to Canigao and you know, get back to the basics, with only our tents, food, booze, and friends.
And hey, the goal was to welcome my birthday on the island. 🙂 Off to Canigao Island we went.
Day 1 – April 01, 2015
My sisters, along with our cousin, came all the way from Cebu. We took Cebu – Hilongos route via Roble Shipping Lines. We took a bus bound for Maasin City and arrived at its terminal around 6 AM. Since it is still too early, we decided to visit Mama Mary’s Shrine and say our prayers first. I will write a separate blog for Maasin City’s beauty in the next few days.
Ivan and his crew were all coming from Sogod, Southern Leyte. We all decided to meet in Maasin City since they were bringing a car.
Breakfast at… where else? Jollibee! 😀
From Maasin City, we went straight to Matalom. Canigao Island is part of Matalom, a municipality which is roughly 45 minutes away from Maasin City. We dropped by their public market and bought: uling, rice, fish, spices.
From the market, to the mini pier, we went. Time check: 12:45 NN.
Caveat: Do not hop on the boat immediately with your friends. Wait for other tourists bound to the island for awhile. This will be helpful if you are going with a group but your number does not exceed 10. The boat must be filled otherwise, you pay for the entire trip which will cost you around P2,000 while a 2-way trip only costs P90.00
We waited until the boat was filled by local and foreign tourists alike. Finally, bound to Canigao!
We were sooooo lucky the island was ours that day. Not too many people were on the island, so, we had our chance to choose the best spot to assemble our tents during our stay.
The night arrived, and…
Day 2 – April 02, 2015
Ah! Let’s welcome a new day and a new age! It was my birthday and I have the best set of people to celebrate it with!
As we were kind of dizzy from last night’s shenanigans, we decided to wake up early and walk the entire island. We attacked the day with much enthusiasm!
The shenanigans continued and Ivan’s father arrived all the way from Sogod, too! We’re feeling kids needing some supervision 😀
My birthday ended with a lot of sensible talks and crazy convos too! With this bunch, one can hardly delineate one from the other 😀 And while they sang me a birthday song, people who were about to go back to the mainland gave their extra food to us haha! We created friendship on that island with strangers from different places and countries.
Day 3 – April 03, 2015
Time to go home. We had a taste of the sea once more and again, more crazy talks!
Here are some tips when going to Canigao Island for the first time:
- P90.00 – 2-way fare. You can either choose to stay overnight on the island but make sure to advice your boat driver around what time you will be going home the next day. In any case you cannot find your boat driver, you can just ask other boat drivers to allow you to ride on his boat to take you to the mainland. No need to pay as boats going to the island are likewise managed by the LGU. This is part of your P90.00 fare already.
- If you do not have tents, you can rent a tent on the island. There is a caretaker there whom you can approach. Tents (smaller ones which can accommodate 3 pax cost P180.00 while bigger ones which can accommodate 10 pax costs P500.00.) If you are going home, you can just leave the tent where you mounted it. The caretaker will be the one to dismantle it.
- There is a small market at the back of the island where locals sell their fresh catch of fish, shells, and other sea foods. Prices are not really expensive except that you have to pay for cooking charges (P30/fresh food.) If you want to avoid this cost as you are on a budget, you can buy your canned of goods from the mainland, or your ready-to-cook food.
- There are likewise not much of a charging station on the island. I highly advice you bring your powerbanks with you. Depending on the availability of sockets at this one store which accepts charging for a fee, you also have to pay P15.00/phone charge.
- Liquors, smoke, and other local spirits are available at this market at the back of the island too. Store owners likewise mounted umbrellas with tables and chairs should you want to stay there for a while or eat your breakfast there. Manage your expectations.
- Comfort rooms for girls and boys are available and clean.
- I believe there are also rooms for rent there but very limited. I think there are only 4 rooms for rent on the island. Usually, in order to avail of these rooms, you need to have contact with the caretaker and book really early. As for us, the adventure is in camping.
Well, if you have questions, fire them on the comments section below! In the mean time, here’s my reflection of our Canigao Island getaway.
It is easy to drown in life’s ocean of sorrows. Some of us were able to swim back to the shore, never looked back, and moved on. Others, never found their strength and got crashed by the wave of despair.
At some point, we probably have reached a breaking point in our lives. Whether we’ve chosen to chase the light or creep into the darkness, we all make choices that’ll suit us best.
Over a year of silence and solitude made me realize four core values in my life:
1. That there are things beyond my control. I have to learn to resign and surrender all my worries, fears, and hope for greater odds instead. Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.
2. That patience is truly a virtue. Everything has a perfect time no matter how solid my plans and strategies are. Impatience will only weaken the spirit and allows sorrow to eat the soul.
3. That I am allowed to fail but I am never a failure. Success is never final but, not trying is. It is important to achieve the right mindset and gather all positive energy to keep the spirit renewed.
4. That hope spring is eternal. There will always be an event in my life that will shake me up; always. But, what is life without a few bumps? We will never know what we are capable of without being tested by time.
I have been guilty of not knowing myself more and refusing to live life all the more. I was, until I finally found my way back home.
Today, I have never been so contented and blessed for having the chance to bask in life’s greatness. I am immensely grateful for a family who unconditionally loves me despite my almost unforgivable and self-inflicted scars, and for true and real friends who make life even worth living.
At 28, I found myself on an island with only the basic of things necessary to survive, staring at a magnificent blue sea, flipping my life’s timeline and assessing it, and realizing that the things I am grateful for outweigh my personal disappointments about life. I have been selfish and boastful despite me being one tiny spec of dust in this great universe. Nonetheless, I am still favored and loved by the Lord.
I have found peace. To life! Thank you all for the greetings. Life has been really awesome and it’s raining blessings everyday!