Tangkaan Beach in Padre Burgos, S. Leyte is the only white sand beach that can be found in the whole mainland of Leyte. The beach in the eastern part of Leyte is made of black sand, while in the western part it is mostly of pebbles and stone and rocks. However, Tangkaan beach proves to be different. Not only has it white sand for the beach but it also has some beautiful rock formations. The sea is clear and surprisingly it has beautiful corals teeming with small fishes just two or three meters from the shore during low tides. The name itself has a story. 'Tangka" means to attempt. In the past, there have been several attempts by the Moros to raid the place, but they could not get to land their boats because of the strong currents. Hence, the name Tangkaan. This strong current, I found out when I went on snorkeling. I did not even have to exert any effort to swim as the current was fast. The good thing was that the current was not going out into the open sea but just along the island.
The people of Padre Burgos mostly belong to the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan). In fact, they have the Cathedral of the Aglipayans in town. When we went to Tangkaan, it happened to be their fiesta, so there were plenty of people by the beach eating and drinking. There is a marker and a monument of St. James the Apostle on top of a rock by the beach. The marker says that when the townspeople of Tamalayag, now known as Padre Burgos gathered together to choose a patron saint, a stranger appeared before them instructing them to pick up the icon of their patron saint, St. James the Apostle. The site marks the exact place where the found the icon.
Tangkaan Beach is 2.5 kilometers from the town of Padre Burgos. At the town proper, just before entering the small port which is the jump off point for the island of Limasawa, you make a right turn and just follow it until you reach the end of the road and you have already reached Tangkaan Beach. There are a few steps going down to the beach.