Travel By Heart: Day 05 – Paradise Island 01/02

Paradise Island, Canigao.

Paradise Island, Canigao.

It was Christmas day, I thought all establishments and attractions will be closed as everyone was celebrating the holiday. Good thing I followed my gut instincts, the security guard from the hotel told me that there’s really beautiful island just south of Leyte, he even said that it’s way better than Boracay.

So I went on to find this mysterious paradise island. It was not that hard to find because a lot of locals know the place and they all say the same thing “It’s better than Boracay”. That got me really interested, they are comparing this island to one of the most popular tourist destinations here in the Philippines yet it’s not that popular, at least for me.

 

 

After looking for it for I think around more or less 2 hours, I finally found it. At first, I thought no one was there. There were a few vehicles parked, no line waiting to board a boat. A few people there then a guy the guy in a yellow shirt smiled and welcomed me. I then proceeded to ask them if it’s possible to get to Canigao Island. He then said “Yes, as matter of fact one of the boats will be leaving in 45 minutes to go there.” I then quickly asked as to where I can safely park my motorcycle.

Yes, it's open even on Christmas day!

Yes, it’s open even on Christmas day!

He then asked another person to take me to the covered court as it’s the safest place to park my motorcycle. I was a bit apprehensive at first, the thought of being away from my beloved motorcycle is a bit unsettling. But when I got to the covered court, there was a police station and army truck as well as their barangay hall. Hmm… not bad, I think my motorcycle will be fine if I leave it here for the night.

I then got my camping gear, DSLR, and GoPro’s so I can document this experience properly. I then went back to the port and paid the fee for the boat at the island fees. To my surprise I was the only one on the boat, I then asked if were going to leave with just me on it. They said, they will, but will wait a bit more as some people might still arrive. In 5 minutes a family arrived and got on the boat with me.

Proof that I went there.

Proof that I went there.

They got really curious and asked who am I and what I was doing there. At first, they thought that I worked for a TV station as they kept on seeing me using my GoPro trying to get different angles of the boat ride. I told them what I keep on telling everyone on this trip. This is just a personal endeavor, a kind of a bucket list for me.

The waters were very calm which made the boat ride pleasurable for me, around 30 minutes in I could already see the island and all I can say is “Wow”. There were already a few people in the island by the time we arrived. Kids were playing, adults were already eating and drinking but surprisingly everything was orderly and the beach was very clean and well maintained.

I then went on to find a place to camp. I choose a spot that’s far away from the families as they are a bit loud, I wanted to take this chance to rest and relax. My camping spot is under a foliage trees, so just in case there’s a downpour I wouldn’t get soaked and the spot is also cooler as the sun barely penetrates the trees.

A campsite that's a bit far away from everyone else.

A campsite that’s a bit far away from everyone else.

Most of my gear were wet because the rain hasn’t stopped, since I left Manila. This was my chance to hang them out to dry so I took all of it off and changed into my casual shirt and shorts. That’s when I realised that I have forgotten one crucial thing… water! I do have some in my bladder however that won’t be enough for me to cook my dinner. Coming here I didn’t see any stores so I’m not certain if I could get some additional wate, so I walked around to investigate as to where I can get some.

I ended up in a concrete structure that resembles a barangay hall, there I was greeted by a lady and a young girl. I asked them if they know where I can get some water, she said “Yes!” then she asked “Aren’t you the guy who came in motorcycle gear?” I said “Yes”. She then proceeded to ask if I was working for a TV station or something like that. Again, I explained to her that I was not. When I said I intend to use the experiences from this for a blog, she quickly said “If that’s the case then I will have our caretaker take you to that floating platform tomorrow morning so you can see our rich marine life”. I was surprised when she said this, I just said “Sure thing!”.

I then asked how big is this island and how long will it take for me to walk around it. The young girl then said “hmm… around 20 mins. No, wait more like 15.”  After thanking them for water and the opportunity, I went back to my tent smiling.

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