Adventures and Sports

A New Adventure Sports Hub Emerges in This Philippine Paradise


Bernard Supetran
Bernard Supetran | Dec 27, 2014

The Municipality of Palompon, Leyte has emerged as a new adventure tourism spot in the Visayas with its recent holding of the first-ever Tri Race Triathlon.

The sporting event, composed of swimming, biking, and running, also included the fourth Eastern Visayas 15-km kayak marathon from the beach island of Kalanggaman.

Kalanggaman Island

Organized by the Palompon Municipal Eco-tourism Inc. (PMET Inc.) and facilitated by ProB Inc. Palompon Bikers, the Tri-Race also covered a stand-up paddle competition around the Tabuk Mangrove Park in the town’s bay.

Palompon Mayor Ramon Oñate said that the expanded sports tourney seeks to promote environmental protection through eco-water sports and help appreciation of the town’s precolonial maritime history.

He added that the Tri Race aims to make the town a haven for close-to-nature sports and generate livelihood activities for the locals.

Palompon Tri-Race

The triathlon evolved from the 15-km Eastern Visayas marathon which kicked off in 2011 to formally introduce Kalanggaman Island as its tourism gem.

Topping the kayak marathon are the duo of fishermen Diosdado Paradero Jr. and Arnold Panilag representing Team Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP).

Kayaking in Palompon

They were followed by the paddling tandems of Arnil Puntod and Ronald Puntod, and Julito Singson of Team PACCI who bagged second, and Lloydan Cabagte of Team Kalahi-CIDSS who settled for third place.

Stand-up Paddle

In the stand-up paddle category, Palompon National High School ruled the pack, followed by Lomonon National High School and Taberna National High School- San Guillermo Annex as first- and second-runners up, respectively.

So-called because of its bird-shaped sandbar at low tide, Kalanggaman is among the most-sought after island getaways in the Visayas because of its pristine powdery white sandbar and crystalline waters.

European Tourists at Kalanggaman Island

Oñate noted that the once-obscure island has already attracted two European luxury cruise ships in recent years.

He added that the municipality's tourism thrust shows that they have recovered from the damage brought about by supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.

Situated off Leyte’s northwestern coast, it is also situated near a marine sanctuary because of its diverse marine life, making it an ideal diving spot.

Buenavista Dive Site

Its location, two hours away from the famed dive island of Malapascua in northern Cebu, puts it in the island-hopping circuit in central Philippines.

In addition to the now-famous isle, the town also takes pride in the Tabuk Mangrove Park which protected the residents from Yolanda's storm surges.

Tabuk Mangrove Forest

Tabuk, which also has a marine sanctuary, along with Kalanggaman and Buenvista village are among unheralded but equally amazing dive sites in the Visayas.

Meanwhile, the mainland has interesting historic old houses and remnants of a bygone era dating back to the Spanish era.

Palompon Tri Race is part of Lawig Festival and the St. Francis Xavier municipal patronal feast which celebrates the town’s maritime legacy through a colorful street dance parade.

Masaba Falls

The event is supported by the Department of Tourism-Region 8, the Philippine Coast Guard, Metrobank, Cemex, PACCI and ALG Construction.

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