So many islands, so little time. Cuatro Islas consists of 4 islands (as the name implies) which belong to the municipalities of Inopacan and Hindang in Southern Leyte. The most popular and most visited by tourists among the four is Digyo Island.
|Digyo Island, Inopacan, Leyte|
The last time we went to Digyo Island in 2013, we stayed at a “private” area which is currently being disputed over between the municipality of Inopacan and individuals claiming to own the place. For this trip, our tour was arranged by Fran-Con Viaje International in cooperation with the Tourism Council of the Municipality of Inopacan so we stayed at the “public area”. Our island-hopping tour package includes the following:
You might be wondering why sometimes it’s called Tres Islas. It’s because Himokilan Island, the fourth island to compose “Cuatro Islas” actually belongs to the administrative jurisdiction of the Municipality of Hindang. So if you’re planning to go there, you’ll have to basically depart from Hindang, which is the next town after Inopacan.
The 70-kilometer travel from Ormoc City to Inopacan will take 45 minutes to 1 hour and if you wish to rent a 14 to 16-seater van, it will typically cost around Php3,500/day. The trip from Inopacan to Digyo Island, which is the smallest island in Cuatro Islas, takes about 30-40 minutes via motorized pumpboat depending on the water and weather conditions. A 20-seater pump boat ride to and from the islands costs around Php3,500 generally. If you’re lucky, you could spot dolphins and plenty of flying fish swimming around these parts.
|The name Digyo came from the Cebuano word, “digyot” which means tiny.
You can basically walk around this uninhabited island in just 20-30 minutes.
You’ve got to love the fact that the beach here is still pristine and I hope with the influx of tourists, people will be responsible enough to dispose of their garbage properly. Compared to the more organized Kalanggaman Island tour wherein the authorities impose the wearing of life vests during the boat ride and handing you a big black garbage bag to put your wastes in, some Digyo Island visitors still need to be reminded seriously about safety and environmental issues. Let’s just hope that this unspoiled gem will be preserved for future generations.
|Cottage rental is PHP200. Entrance fee per pax is PHP30.|
Because there are only open cottages in the island, it is recommended to bring your own tent if you want to spend the night there. They already have lamp posts installed so it won’t be pitch black come nighttime. A restroom is also available (with salt water for flushing); however, no fresh water can be utilized for showering. Yikes! I would suggest bringing extra water for washing up along with lots and lots of mineral or bottled water for drinking because the summer heat truly is unforgiving this time of the year. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
|You can contact Fran-Con Viaje International for Glamping Tent rental.|
|It took 3 grown ass men to pitch this tent but twice the number of them to take it down and keep it! LOL!|
And since it was my birthday, I get a cake and with candles, too! Here’s wishing for more island trips and beach getaways because life’s a beach!
|Celebrating life but failing a handstand at Apid Island.|
The next island we hopped to was Apid Island where mats and hats are woven by hand. Local women are trained at a very early age to do just that. The entire process of creating one full size mat takes up to a month (gathering raw materials, etc.) with weaving done in about 2 days. And wanna guess how much they’re selling it? Only PHP300! Oh my! And to think people actually buy it at twice the price at the marketplace.
|Mat weaving at Apid Island.|
It is a humbling experience. One that made me realize that I should not feel sorry for what I’ve witnessed because these people are happy. They are pretty contented with their lives. So once more, I am assured that happiness is not about how much you’ve got, but how you enjoy living your life!
|Catch of the day! And my father bought it for only PHP350!|
By the time we sailed to Mahaba Island, the tide was really low so we didn’t get to see the gorgeous lagoon this time. But during our previous visit to Cuatro Islas, I was able to take a photo of it. This was taken in 2013.
In addition to that, this photo below is the now so-called private area of Digyo Island, which has one the best sand bars I’ve been to. It’s just sad that we’re not allowed to go here anymore though. Tsk!
And last but not the least to comprise Cuatro Islas is Himokilan Island. Also it was too bad we weren’t able to go with our friends when they visited it earlier this summer. But here’s hoping someday soon we will get to see its beauty up close and personal, too.
|Photo by Marven Lagado|
For me the best thing to do is take a day trip to visit Apid Island then spend the night at Digyo Island, head out to Mahaba Island the following day to splash around the lagoon, then finally hop to Himokilan Island and watch a glorious sunset. So the next time you’re itching for a cool summer getaway, remember that Cuatro Islas in Leyte awaits!