2016 has been a delightful start for nerd kids who were finally out of college. We nailed college, there's no wonder why we've nailed this 4-day adventure in Southern Leyte and Leyte, Philippines as well.
Today and in my last post, we will be exploring the Province of Leyte, which is just basically adjacent to the Province of Southern Leyte.
Last time I asked you if you're familiar with this famous island in Leyte where I'm going to take you today. I bet you thought of Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte. Nope! I actually haven't been to Kalanggaman Island. You didn't see that coming but yes, I haven't been there.
So where are we heading today then? Today's amazing destination is Canigao Island in Matalom, Leyte. The Municipality of Matalom is just 17 kilometers or about half an hour's drive away from Maerose's place in Hilongos.
A Black Saturday Adventure
It was Black Saturday when we went here. During the Lenten Season, especially the Holy Week, people who are working in the neighboring Provinces such as Bohol and Cebu usually go to their home Provinces to have a short vacation and be reunited with their family and friends.
This trip on the island off the shore of Matalom felt like a reunion with Maerose's high school friends and family joining us in this trip. Oh, wait! We were the ones who joined their trip. And not the other way around! Haha! 🤣
You can see Canigao Island even at the port. At the port, this long narrow bridge made of bamboo welcomed us with colorful flags attached to lined poles that told us that summer is indeed here.
In no time, we found ourselves riding the boat that will take us to the island. Even if the island is just a few minute boat ride away, we're required to wear lifevests. As you can see, there were many passengers that day, mostly families and friends making the most out of the national holiday.
Then before we could even blink again, we reached Canigao Island. I admit I felt I was floating somewhere beyond this universe when I first laid my eyes on Canigao from afar.
On top of that, I couldn't believe I was finally free: free to be where I want to be, free to be who I want to become. And Canigao reinforced what I mentioned in Part 1 that it was time to live the life I deserve after years of hardship at school.
We're so lucky to be adopted by Maerose and her family during this trip. We don't have to spend any money for food. The least we could do was to help them unload the food and other things we brought on the island.
These were the fees and other charges that the Canigao Island Tourism Office collected five years ago. I guess the fees might be higher now but certainly not the kind a local couldn't afford. Traveling in the Philippines is really cheap if you just unleash the researcher and resourcefulness inside you.
Now, where were we? When we arrived on the island, we helped organize the food and other things. Then the exploration began! We wanted to explore the island from end to end, leaving not a single unexplored area. First, we explored the core of the island where unexpected lush green trees and vegetation abound.
We couldn't stop ourselves from taking silly photos and to be consistent, we took another 'The Beatles' pose right in the middle of the forest! 🤣
We walked through the shades of the trees in Canigao until we reached the other end of the island and this unparalleled view told us that exploring was the best thing to do in any new place.
Here's what we found in the other side:
Did you see those photos? Isn't Canigao such a beauty? ❤️
Now after exploring the island from end to end. It was time to take more photos with my college buddies at the Canigao Island Arch/Signage located near where we set up our table and chairs earlier. Maerose's two little sisters joined us as well.
More groups photos:
The thing I love the most about Canigao is its pristine uncrowded waters. Once you're in the water you'd think you're in Maldives because of the crystal clear waters. And it's not as crowded as the other mainstream tourists spots in the country leaving you picture-perfect landscapes wherein you don't need to edit out the crowd just to get beautiful photos. Here, what you see is what you get.
And what better way to show our gratefulness than taking more pictures, right? We look like we own the entire stretch of beach! 🤣
And speaking of the crystal clear waters, we surely didn't miss the chance to indulge ourselves with Canigao's open water. This time, I still don't know how to swim so I just swam in the not-too-deep part with the kids.
We asked the boys in our group to take photos of us. the girls who were too shy to show our entire bodies. We submerged half of our bodies in the water so only the upper part is captured by the camera as shown below.
Body positivity was something unfamiliar to me back then, it was only about two years ago when I conquered my fears of being ridiculed in public by wearing a two-piece or one-piece. Today, I'm confident more than ever and no one's going to take that away from me. I just wished my younger self could've been more confident and empowered back then.❤️
It's crazy how we were able to keep our energies as high as Eiffel Tower since Day 1. And at Day 3, our energies have never been as high as the sky because of what our eyes saw and our souls experienced.
Here are some photos proving the consistency in our energy level. Haha! 🤣
Something I am not proud of
Before we end exploring Canigao, let me share with you something I'd rather not share before, but I feel like sharing it today.
I hate to say it. but my sense of fashion back in college until some time in 2018, was let's just say, something I'm not so proud of. I wear the kind of shorts you can see in the photos below. I wear big shirts that everywhere I go it feels like I'm always ready to sleep. It was only when I started to care more of myself that I realized that what I wear is important. It's not that I should always go out the house as if I'll attend a fashion show, the point is to be more intentional.
I realized that what I wear reflects the kind of person I want to become. And today, I only wear clothes that signal empowerment, confidence and bliss for myself and for the people around me. You'll notice the difference if you've read through my last travel blog about our 2020 Pre-Christmas Celebration in San Remigio, Cebu.
And just like that, we're leaving Canigao. It was an absolute pleasure to here with friends and family and it was disheartening to be saying "hello" and "goodbye" to Canigao at the same day. But we still have another place to explore the following day so staying here for the night wasn't an option we considered. Nonetheless, we had an amazing day in Canigao Island. ❤️
Can you believe it? I've already shared Day 1-3 of our Leyte Peninsula Adventure and we're finally down to the last one.
I'm excited to finish this Leyte travel series because I still have 39 other Provinces to show you! I hope I'm giving justice to the beauty of the Philippines by sharing my very own adventures here in Hive.
In our next travel series, I'm thinking of bringing you up North. How about Ilocos or the Cordilleras? Sounds fantastic, right? But before that, I hope you still drop by in my last Leyte travel blog.
See you! 😉
Living life intentionally every single day, she believes that there’s no limit to one’s potentials. Right now, she’s on the loose for the pursuit of endless holistic self-growth and development. She wants to light the way for others. She believes there’s no better way to leave a legacy than to pay it forward.
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