Backpacking in Eastern Leyte


Kalanggaman Island

Through social media, I met like minded individual who are passionate in traveling. In fact, they’re more of a seasoned traveler compared to me.

I was invited by a friend whom I met through Facebook for a 4-day backpacking trip in Leyte together with his friends who he met through Couchsurfing.

There were awkward moments at first, but we became friends after the trip. In fact, we still keep in touch.

The original plan was to go for a 4-day backpacking, but I have to cut it short due to work. Not only that, we also met some circumstances that we were not able to follow the original plan. You can checkout the itinerary and expenses here.

Destination#1: Kalanggaman Island

  • We booked a round trip ticket bound for Ormoc via 2Go Travel.
  • From the pier of Ormoc, walk your way to the bus terminal. Ride a van (v-hire) going to Palompon, Leyte. Fare is only P110 and two hours estimated travel time.
  • You can ride a trike going to the Tourism Office from Palompon bus terminal.
  • Boat rental will cost P3000 (round trip) good for 15 persons. You can also share the boat with fellow tourist and divide the cost. Just inform the tourism officer.
  • Make sure that you bring “everything” that you need. ‘coz there’s no convenience store in the island.
  • Flashlight ‘coz there’s no electricity.

For further details, visit

Destination #2: Sambawan Island, Biliran Island, Leyte

According to Drew of Byahe ni Drew, Sambawan Island is a must see in Biliran with its rich marine sanctuary. Plus, the first Blue Sharks sighting in the Philippines were found on the said island.

Biliran Island is two hours drive from Ormoc or Tacloban City. There are many ways for you to reach Sambawan Island but the most common route are as follows.

  • Naval – Brgy. Kawayan – Maripipi Island – Brgy. Ol-og – Sambawan Island

Supposedly this is the route that we are going to take as its shorter compared to the third option. From Naval, we need to ride a PUJ or motorcycle that would take us to Baranggay Kawayan. We will then transfer to a pump boat that would take us to the Maripipi Island with approximated 40 minutes travel time. Another motorcycle ride from Maripipi pier to Baranggay Ol-og where the jump off point is located. Then hire another pump boat that would take us to Sambawan Island.

  • Naval – Brgy. Kawayan – Sambawan Island

This is the route that we toke. When we arrived at Baranggay Kawayan, boat owners approached us and offered to take us to Sambawan Island for a day tour that would cost P1500 (round trip). But some of my friends would love to stay overnight so they charged us P2, 700. We negotiated the price and agreed to pay P2,500.

Things to remember:

  • Day tour is definitely possible! I would highly suggest that you catch the first trip going to Naval because the estimated travel time from Brgy. Kawayan to Sambawan Island is around 1 -2 hours and 30 – 45 minutes travel from Naval to Brgy. Kawayan. You can contact Kuya Walter (our boatman) at +639494842153.
  • There is no convenience store where you can purchase your food or anything that you need. So, bring everything! A portable cook set is also advisable.
  • Of course, snorkeling gear and underwater camera are must! Who knows you might witness a sardine run or another blue shark sighting in the island since its rich in marine bio diversity.
  • The other side of the island is restricted because of the Blue sharks and other type of sharks that would show up once in a while. So, follow the guidelines.
  • Rooms and open cottages are available for rent.
  • The good thing is there’s an electricity through solar panel.
  • Climb the cliff and have a better view of the entire island.
  • It’s best that you leave the island after lunch maybe around 2 – 3 PM because water gets rough later in the afternoon. Also, most of the transportation going to Tacloban or Ormoc are until 6 PM only.

Disclaimer: Information that you can found in this post are base on my experience. They are still subject to change, and it is highly advisable that you contact Biliran Tourism Office for further information.


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