Leaving the island with a heavy heart, I was not yet ready to leave Digyo island yet. Not now when the sun has finally shown itself which amplified the beauty of the island. But we have to. The time is ticking and we still have another beauty to visit. So by around 10 AM, our arranged boat fetched us from the island back to Inopacan. Taking few glimpses on the island makes me want to jump out from the boat. The clear waters and the white sands are pulling and luring be back. All I can do was to think and look forward to the next island we will be visiting. Canigao Island of Matalom, Leyte.
The transit from Inopacan to Matalom
From Digyo, it took around 30 minutes to get back to Inopacan. The sunshine hype did not last long for the sky hinted another moment of mourning. Indeed, the sky poured down its tears. The weather was moody. One time it’s sunny, then a moment after, rain starts pouring, then eventually it’s sunny again. Nevertheless, the adventure continues. Right when we arrived in Inopacan, we quickly bought our snack supplies for our next destination before we took a jeepney straight to Matalom. Around an hour of jeepney ride, we arrived at the intersection heading to the wharf just between the Matalom River and Matalom Plaza.
From Matalom to Canigao Island
Before heading to the wharf, we have to stuff our bellies first. Just right at the intersection is a karenderia a.k.a “cheap eatery” where we had our lunch. Then we headed straight to the wharf where we secured our boat tickets to the island and also paid our entrance/environmental fee. Since we were on the next batch of passengers, we waited for the assigned boat to be ready. Of course, we utilized our time by having a quick photo session nearby the wharf’s bay walk. Since it was a Sunday we already expected a high volume of visitors and tourists heading to the island. The boat ride to the island only took around 20 minutes. It was a quick one.
Few meters away from the island, I can already see the white sand beach and the crystal clear water. Of course, as we expected, there were crowds on the island already. Right after we disembarked, we hunted for a spot where we can just lay our bags down before heading out to enjoy the island. There were plenty of rooms, cottages, and table spaces for rent on the island but we did not bother getting one. Laying down on the sands will do for us and it’s free. No time to waste, we changed to our swimming attires and geared-up. We asked some of the locals for the best coral spots on the island. Unfortunately, the best spot is a marine sanctuary and the sea current on the area that time was ridiculously strong. We opted out to the other safer spots. We witnessed few corals but not as much as I expected. Though there were still vibrantly living corals, irresponsible waste disposal is evident underwater. There were plastic bottles and even rubber tires sunk underwater. Regardless, we were still able to appreciate the beauty of nature through the surviving corals and few sea creatures we saw down under.
What to do in Canigao Island?
Aside from the usual beach bumming, there are plenty of things you can do on the island:
Overnight stay is allowed on the island. There are hut accommodations available on the island but you may want to try out sleeping in a tent by the shore. Feel the sands and watch the stars glitter over the night sky. Tent space fee is also cheaper compared to room accommodations on the island.
With the island’s spacious white sand area, there’s no question why a volleyball net is erected on the island. If beach volleyball is not your game, no need to worry, there’s plenty of space for you to enjoy other activities like frisbee throwing and kite flying.
Roam around the island.
Canigao Island is so small that you can walk around it in less than an hour. Explore the less crowded sections of the island. Enjoy the ocean breeze while walking under the shades of the trees while listening to the chirps of the birds.
There is a section on the island which is a marine sanctuary. I am not pretty sure if you can swim in that area though. But there are still live corals already visible just a few meters away from the beach in the other sections of the island.
I did not notice how many minutes or hours we’ve been on the water because somehow we enjoyed swimming and floating while looking over the corals. Enough with the snorkeling, we burned the rest of our time enjoying the beach. I, on the other hand, found my personal time by going around and exploring the far sides of the island. I found this very peaceful spot where there is no crowd and where the trees meet the sands and the sea. It’s so peaceful. All I can hear are the songs of the birds, the gushing sound of the ocean waves, the clapping of leaves and cracking on the twigs as my feet traipse on the less visited trail. One thing that saddens me is the trace of vandalism on the island. Tree branches carved with names and plastic wastes left on the shores.
But I tap the back of the officials though as they are slowly observing proper waste disposal. They even have a giant net basket where they put all their collected plastic bottles. I guess we just need further education when it comes to preserving and protecting the cleanliness of the island.
Sunsets and Farewells
5 o’clock in the afternoon and the last trip boats heading back to Matalom arrived on the island. The island looked deserted as the boats departed from the island. About 20 minutes sail back to the main island, 20 minutes of thinking and pondering on when will I be able to get back and revisit this island. An island that can easily slide through my list of islands for quick getaways. The sun swayed with my thoughts as I started drifting in my imagination. The golden ray reflecting on the soft waves as the boat sliced through the sea. It did not take long before we arrived in Matalom. The sky gave us a sweet farewell as we stepped on the wharf grounds. The weekend is about to get over. A quick but a well spent one. Tomorrow we will be hustling again. Back on our daily routines and to the city surrounded by walls and smoky alleys.
As we arrived at the Matalom highway, we waited for a tricycle to take us back to Hilongos. Unfortunately, we found no tricycle that can take us straight to Hilongos. Instead, we triked our way to Bato and from there got another tricycle to take us straight to Hilongos. The ride took around 45 minutes. We did not bore ourselves as we were like a fully charged radio. We were talking and singing and joking until we arrived near Hilongos port where we took our dinner. After we had our bellies filled, we still have ample amount of time to spare before our scheduled 10 PM trip back to Cebu. We just sat near the port and continued talking about random things and our future travel plans.
9:45 PM and we decided to board the boat. With energies to replenish, we dozed off pretty early. Arriving early in Cebu City with a work week ahead, my heart keeps on pounding as I could not wait for the next adventure to come. Guess we really have to face reality. I cannot have an everyday travel day. Well at least for now.
My note for the future visitors of Canigao
We know very well that mother nature has really given us gifts and showed us beauties more than what we deserve. As humans, it is our duty to protect these gifts and preserve and nurture it. One of the simple things we can do and contribute is to observe LNT (Leave No Trace) principle.
Leave No Trace.
Leave Nothing but Footprints, Take Nothing but Photos, and Kill Nothing but Time.
What you bring, take it back with you.
Dispose waste properly.
Leave what you find.