Kalanggaman Island: Please Help Keep the Island Beautiful and Pristine

Photo and text by JM Libero.

Kalanggaman Island tourism has never been this great. Thanks to social media hype, the click-and-share culture of Filipinos created ways and means to an easier, more convenient and affordable access to the island paradise.

Coming either from Cebu or Palompon, Leyte, there’s been an increase of tour group packages and boat operators. The long hours of travel is well worth it when you set foot on the island. You can either stay and camp overnight or just go on a day tour.

However, like any hyped up Philippine destination, Kalanggaman Island is starting to take its toll on uncontrolled and irresponsible tourism. Mind you, the culprits are mostly our fellow Filipinos.

Garbages are not well-managed and uneducated tourists dispose-off garbages without care. They only care about the pictures they share on social media. I snorkelled on the shallow waters, and low and behold, there are tin cans, plastic wrappers, bottles and who-knows-what on the sea floor. Some were too difficult to remove.

We paid an environmental fee as part of the package and my friends paid more for overnight camping, but the island caretaker is not active enough to promote cleanliness and responsible tourism. Isn’t that what the fee is for? Strict implementation must be applied and tourists must be fined huge amount of money to discipline them.

Kalanggaman Island

DENR and local government must do something to control overcrowding and boat operations. Unfortunately, its seems like locales and tour operators are not educated of the repercussions of poor waste management. This is their means of livelihood now and they could lose it. My friend with 20 others went there last weekend. When they left the island, they brought 4 garbage bags with them. One of them saw the boatman throwing the garbage bags one by one in the middle of the sea. Completely unacceptable! They weren’t able to stop them. That’s just one of the tour groups. Imagine the hundreds going there now.

These operators must be stripped off of their permit to operate.

This cannot continue.

With summer reaching its peak, I see more and more people sharing their pictures and plans going to the island. While there is a limit to the number or tourists who can stay overnight, I can only imagine the number of crowd going for day tour. Factor in the amount of garbage per person and lack of education of local tour operators, soon, Kalanggaman Island will become nothing but a garbage dump.

People, please be responsible tourists. Take care of our islands.

Photo and text by JM Libero.