Have you ever tried to visit a place, but you never know what it seems like? How do you feel about it? I guess you’ll definitely agree with me that it seems to be like a true love when it arrive, you didn’t expect it to knock at the peaceful door of your heart, but you just fell in love without a boat load of expectations. All I know at that moment was traipsing my two little itchy feet to an Island that I’ve barely heard of, but didn’t know what it looks like. I have not seen any photos before heading to this island and I have simply heard about this Island when my friend told me about it.
Yes, I heard the waves kissing the white sand coast of this Island while the wind wrapping me with a comfort of its own mollifying state. I’ve claimed it many times that I’m not a tropical paradise kind of person, but every time I tried to set my head up in the clouds while seeing the turquoise blue waters and the pebble like sand conflating with some fine white sand playing with the waves, I know, I know that I have loved that feeling that once a while I’ve satiated my hidden feeling toward my own paradise.
It’s like attending unfamiliar subjects way back in college for the first time. I don’t know what to expect and what will happen. I was in the boat while the strong waves were trying to challenge my fear of a deep blue ocean. I scarcely remember the last time I dance and that moment was like an effortless dance moves as the waves undoubtedly expressing its anger towards our boat. There was a sudden loud voice coming behind me while pointing his index finger toward the object that I can’t exactly figure out, some said it was a shark, but I would rather think of a dolphin as they transmit their joy for having us around.
I was with a group of terrific, but jaunty travelers from Luzon whom I have just met and shared happiness with. They’re all really awesome since I was having a difficult time saving my energy for the day because of the infinite heavy laugh every time they started to open their mouths with so much joke to laugh at while disregarding the infuriated waves. Eventually I made friends with them and got myself comfortable along the way.
Exactly like any Island in the Philippines there will always be an interesting history behind why they exist and how they got their name. Higatangan Island is clearly viewed in the map as a part of the Municipality of Naval, Biliran Province.
The name Higatangan Island was derived from the word “atangan” a Visayan word that signifies “to wait for.” There were old folks that say that Higatangan Island was used to be the place where pirate ships laden their goods and a place where the Moros wait for their enemies.
While we are getting nearer to the Higatangan island, I can view the white sand bar from afar and the crystal clear blue water. The moment our boat kissed the white sand coast of the sand bar, I heard the soothing sound of the waves as it freely touches the white fine sands and a small round stone worn by the drift of the waves all the time. I leaped off of the boat and my two little itchy feet is happily traipsing on the sand bar. The sea breeze has finally met me while enjoying the consolation that it brings. The sand bar is like a giant tongue being stretched out and move to the other side as its form a perfect curve line with a backdrop of a beautiful mountain.
The natural beauty of the Higatangan Island is truly an Island Paradise that everyone should visit before its getting crowded. I would definitely love to take a dip in the turquoise water, but we have limited time during our sojourn.
The other side of Higatangan Island is filled with coconut trees and I’ve seen some houses and boats as well. According to our boatman, there is actually a beautiful rock formations on the other side where you can leap off from the cliff to the crystal blue waters of the Island. There is also an existing Beach Resort that is situated very close to the sand bar.
HOW TO GET TO HIGATANGAN ISLAND
Via TACLOBAN CITY.
You can get a direct flight to Tacloban City via major airlines like Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Air Asia. The moment you arrived at the airport ask the locals where to ride a Van that travels directly to Naval. The travel time from Tacloban to Naval is around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Via ORMOC, LEYTE
There are daily schedule of boat and fast craft trip from Cebu to Ormoc. You can take a fast craft for 2 hours or a boat via Roble Shipping Line and travel by night for 6 hours. The moment you arrived at the port area, simply walk a bit to the outside of the port and you’ll see Vans there that travel directly to Naval starting at 4:00 am.
There are OPTIONS for you to get to the HIGATANGAN ISLAND from NAVAL.
Hire a private boat to take you directly to Higatangan Island. If you’re traveling with a group of friends or family I would suggest that you’ll take the option 1. A boat that has a capacity of 15 or more, it will cost Php 5,000 round trip Naval-Higatangan-Naval. For a small group of people up to 7 passengers Php 3,000 round trip. Prices are usually negotiable.
Solo backpackers are usually taking the option 2. The Naval pier is near the bus terminal and look for Higatangan Island boats. From there you can take a ride in one of the ferry boats going to the Higatangan Island. Travel time is roughly 45 minutes. There are two pump boats going to Higatangan-Naval-Higatangan in the same schedule. They travel daily, they leave Naval port at 12 Noon and travel back at 7:30 in the morning. During Sunday there is only one pump boat. Do overnight stay if you go the local way. Regular fare is Php 50 per passenger and discounted fare is Php 45 per passenger to the students/ senior citizens.
- You can opt to actually stay overnight on the Island.
- You should not travel after 5 pm especially when the weather is not good.
- You better purchased your supplies needed for the trip from the town of Naval especially if you’re going to stay overnight.
- You can actually take your tent with you or you can stay at one of the Resort there.
- You can as well bring your snorkeling gear since Higatangan Island has been a good spot for an underwater adventure.
- There is a Sari-Sari store on the island.
- Bring your dry bag with you if you have and make sure your camera battery is full.
- Bring enough cash since there has no ATM machine along the island.
- Bring enough water so you won’t end up being thirsty and would evade from being dehydrated.
I would like to extend my greatest gratitude to the group of travelers from Luzon, who have made this travel journey possible and fun though I have just met them and become friends with them during this sojourn. To Francis, Adenny, Aileen, Allan, Azul, Eklok, Jaymar, Jayson, Jem, Jeorge, JJ and Rhea thank you so much guys for the infinite fun, happiness and a great bonding. I truly had a great time with you guys and cheers to more travels in the future.