Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tangkaan Beach in Padre Burgos

         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.

The island of Limasawa is just across the Tangkaan beach.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baybayon ni Agalon in Albuera, Leyte

The newest and the most scenic picnic resort along the Ormoc - Albuera seacoast is the Baybayon ni Agalon in Malitbog, Albuera, Leyte just before entering the town proper of Albuera. With pebble stones for the beach, the waters are clear. There are two rafts moored a few meters from shore which can accommodate 20 to 30 persons. The rent is 150 per hour. They have a good number of beautifully made kiosks and two tree houses for group picnics. The resort has a sprawling lawn which is nicely landscaped. There is also a large swimming pool for those who prefer not to go to the beach. Entrance fee to the resort is at seventy pesos per person and the cottages go for 760 (promo price) for the tree house and 360 and 320 for the other kiosks. There is a restaurant inside, but one can also bring in food without having to pay corkage fee. Having just opened last summer, the resort had plenty of guests daily during the vacation period. Further from the beach just near the entrance by the swimming pool, there are also kiosks with fresh water cum fishpond underneath. They are at present building a mini hotel to cater to those who would like for an overnight or an extended stay. This is owned by the IƱaki Larrazabal Enterprises. Contact numbers: (053) 562-9362; cel 0917-7050691

The Sisters working at the Sts. Peter & Paul Parish of Ormoc together with the other parish workers had a day off for a short pilgrimage and excursion to Baybay ending at the resort.

Frs. Luis, Yengyeng and Lito enjoying the pool.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pu' Daku in Silago

Recently, the shortcut road going to Silago, S. Leyte has been opened to the public. It cut the travel time to just forty minutes from the three hour drive before. Silago which is facing the Pacific is the last town in Southern Leyte but sits just next to Abuyog. However, before, in order to reach Silago, one had to travel first to the west of Leyte passing through Mahaplag, Sogod, Libagon and Liloan and then through the pacific towns of St. Bernard, San Juan (formerly and popularly known as Cabalian), Hinundayan and Hinunangan before reaching Silago. In other times when the road in Agas-agas, that earthquake fault between Mahaplag and Sogod would be unpassable, one had to cross all the way to the west to Baybay and from there take the long trip through the western towns of Inopacan, Hindang, Hilongos, Bato and connect to Sogod. This last trip would have taken about five hours since the road then was not yet cemented. But now the newly opened Abuyog - Silago road is only 43 kilometers long. One also gets some spectacular views of virgin forests along the way.

We were excited to have our discovery trip to Silago and to savor the sights that the town could give us. When we visited Silago, it so happened to be the vesperas of their town fiesta. With the parish priest, Fr. Carlo Caracut, a very good friend and a former student of mine in Theology we were sure that we will have a good time there. That early morning before we took that leisure trip, I also ask Fr. Caloy if there is a good beach that we could go we would be very happy indeed. We were not disappointed. After a very hearty lunch of fresh seafoods including some very good sized 'banagan' (lobsters) which is common to the place, we were brought to a rocky island called Pu' Daku which is short for Pulong daku (big rock island). There was no beach front on this rock island but only a small portion of flat stone where one can get off from the boat. If the waves were strong it would have been difficult if not impossible to moor. As the island just seem to jut off from the sea, there was no shallow portion of water to speak of. It was ideal for snorkeling and for fishing using the 'pana'. There were lots of fishes on one side of the island which had calm waters.

The rock island was also the nesting place for seagulls. We saw some eggs lying around at the top of the rocks. It was no wonder then that some of the birds were trying to nosedive near us making threatening sounds at once. Another interesting feature of the island was the presence of sea snakes. In the crevices of the rocks we saw snakes curling inside trying to hide away from the heat.

Posing by Kilometer 1000 which was 35 kilometers away from Abuyog and 12 kilometers away from Silago with Fr. Lito Conejos, (right) and Marlon, our sacristan. About a kilometer and a half further away one reaches the highest elevation of the road. The parish church of Silago.
With Fr. Caloy, the parish priest (middle) and the Vice Mayor of Silago (right).

A recent look of the church and convent of Silago (March 2009)

Large acacia trees line through the perimeter of the parish property.
Silago is famous for its Banagan

The skeleton of a whale that was beached a few years back in Silago is kept near the Municipal Hall

Whale skeleton

The beach in Silago is made of fine brown sand. We helped put out the boat to sea. The small island of Pu' Daku is seen just above my head (left).

The rock island of Pu' Daku. Some would nickname the island as iceberg as it just protrudes out of the sea.

A sea snake could be seen resting in one of the crevices of the rocks. No one has been heard being bitten by these snakes.