We were windswept as we went back to island camping at our fave Kalanggaman Island (shades of summertime!) taking in the sun and the sea for the 1st 15K Kayak Marathon (open invitational)  – a 15-kilometer kayaking marathon race from Kalanggaman Island to Palompon town proper last Friday, Oct 28, 2011.

It was island party time Thursday night, then up early at the crack of dawn the next day for the 6AM start of the race.

There were a total of 14 tandem registrants, some coming from Tagbilaran, Bohol; Basey, Samar and Tacloban, and one German tandem. The out-of-towners, however, were out-classed by the local fisherfolks who grabbed all the top prizes – their knowledge and familiarity of the race route undoubtedly serving them well.

It took the 1st placers, Lloydan Cabagte & Judy Singson (Kayak # 02) roughly 2 hours and 10 minutes to navigate the 15-kilometer distance from the island to the Port of Palompon over a relatively calm, early morning sea.

The winners:

Champion: Lloydan Cabagte & Judy Singson (Kayak # 02)

2nd Place: Willy Booc & Junior Bregildo (Kayak # 03)

3rd Place: Ariel Ilaida & Elmo Lagat (Kayak # 01)

4th Place: Alberto Yaon & Diosdado Parader (Kayak # 09)

Prizes: 1st Prize – PhP15,000 + trophy; 2nd Prize – PhP10,000 + trophy;  3rd Prize – PhP7,000 + trophy; and 4th Prize – PhP5,000 + trophy

The kayak race was the opening salvo of Palompon’s “Lawig ni Señor Iko” – a month-long series of activities leading to the town’s fiesta celebration honoring its patron saint, St. Francis Xavier.

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This time, we got to witness, albeit briefly, the 7th Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition held at Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar held 6-8 October 2011. We were able to shoot some on the last day, but reluctantly had to head back to Tacloban City mid-afternoon before the announcement of the final winners.

The last time we were at the Odyssey Waves surfing competition was four years ago, in 2007.

Surfing participants this year came all the way from La Union, Baler, Pagudpud, Manila, Siargao, Lanuza, and, of course Leyte and Borongan, Eastern Samar.

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There was no avoiding it – we just had to get back to the enchanting island before summer’s gone!

And so the family (minus the “new” mother – sorry Nani, next time when baby Kenji gets bigger) with Capt. Kitchie, the family pet, hied off last Friday the 13th to Kalanggaman Island (also spelled Calanggaman as viewed in Google), one hour boat ride away from the coastal town of Palompon, Leyte.

Sheer paradise!

Special thanks to the able island crew of LGU Palompon and to Dir. Karen Tiopes and staff of DOT 8.

Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte, May 13 & 14, 2011.

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View previous post on Kalanggaman Island: Prelude to Summer >>>

Up next: The Adventures of Capt. Kitchie. Watch out for it!

For more info, contact Leyte Gulf Travel and Tours based in Tacloban City, (053)3217966 & (053)5237966.

Email: leytegulf@callezaragosa.com

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Davao City viewed from Samal Island across Pakiputan Strait

Samal Island across Davao City is more popularly known for its beach resorts and dive sites. The island, however, offers more than just white sand beaches.

The Island Garden City of Samal (it’s a city and that’s the official name!) is bestowed with a lot of other beautiful natural resources, such as the Monfort Bat Colony, natural caves as well as enchanting waterfalls.

We got to visit the Hagimit Falls located at Brgy. Cawag, Peñaplata (a city district), about 2 kilometers away from Peñaplata proper.

Hagimit Falls is actually a series of small falls and ponds in its natural setting, scattered wide over a large forested area, with small natural pools and cascading waters all around. It is a haven for nature lovers, campers and picnickers – a great place to take a refreshing waterfalls “shower,” a dip in its very cool waters in a rainforest setting.

Since it covers a wide area privately owned by several families, the resulting “development” initiatives over the years have turned the place into a hodge-podge of huts, cottages, canteens and what-have-you. In fairness to the original owners, they have tried their best to preserve the natural settings, albeit the concrete mini dams and other old-fashioned, concrete structures built decades earlier can stand some renovation and face-lifts to make them blend more with the natural surroundings.

Still, if you come early, ahead of other campers and picnickers, you can go survey around and explore the wide expanse and find a private, undeveloped nook all to yourself.

And therein have a serious commune with nature…

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For more information, contact Leyte Gulf Travel & Tours:

(053)321-7966; (053)523-7966; email: leytegulf@callezaragosa.com

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