Cuatro Islas

Leyte Travel Blog

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Can you imagine an island with no other tourists?

Last May 22 I went with a group of seven to Cuatro Islas, four small islands that are part of Inopacan and Hindang towns of Leyte province. Actually we went only to Digyo Island, the smallest and prettiest, and the outrigger boat made a sweep of the other islands before landing at Digyo.

From Manila, I took a Philippine Arilines first flight to Tacloban, where the group was waiting for me in a rented van at the Daniel Z. Romualdez airport. It was a bit less than two hours to Baybay, the big town in the western shore of the island.
There we checked in at the Palermo Hotel, before we went to the bus and jeepney station. A jeepney charged us 350 pesos to Inopacan. More haggling with the outrigger boat people, before 2500 pesos was agreed upon for the trip to Digyo, about 45 minutes away.

We bought more supplies before we left the town.

The island was so pretty. The sandbar had fine white-pink sand, and the water was crystal clear. No other tourists were around. One can walk around the island in 20 minutes.

(Downside: amongst the seaweeds and corals around the island were some bits of trash, that irresponsible campers probably left. The caretakers and the boatmen told us that there were a number of campers during holy week. I am glad we didn't go during that time).

Our two boatmen were very hospitable. They told us that from the 2500 pesos that we paid, 500 would be commission for other boatmen who led us to them.
The first group of boatmen offered their boat for 3500 pesos, but I wouldn't agree to that, because I had read in a blog that the boats are available for 2000 pesos only. It turned out that the blog entry was correct. Of that 2000 pesos, the main boatman would get 250 pesos and the assistant, 150 pesos, their wages for the day. The rest would go to the boat owner. The first boat is a fishing boat for deeper waters and can accommodate 30. In fairness, it would have been faster also.

I gave the boatmen 300 pesos tip. One US dollar is roughly 50 pesos. As reference point, the minimum wage in the Philippines is roughly 350 pesos, and 200 pesos for agricultural workers.

The boatmen brought with them tuba from the main island, and I was persuaded for a tagay (a round from the same glass). Tuba is slightly fermented sap form the coconut tree immature spike (main stem for the bloom, from where coconut fruit would come later). This has some alcohol content, and one can get pleasantly buzzed.

We left before 5 PM so we can catch the sunset from the Inopacan town wharf.

The hotel was a dump. The lobby was OK, but the rooms were definitely substandard. For the price of the deluxe room, the room at Hotel Alejandro in Tacloban was a steal.

After breakfast at Jolibee the following morning we left for Tacloban.

Definitely a great trip. I would recommend it.

OK for people to send me a message, for further information. And impressions. And definitely, gossip.

ntgerald says:
@swetnastygurl: For the van rental, we just asked for the number of people it can accommodate and paid for it like it was full.
@sheralyn: I dont think any of us got the contact number. I had assumed I would not be back, since there are lots of places to see in the country.
Posted on: Jun 10, 2010
sheralyn says:
Hello ntgerald, thank you for providing this info, we will be going to Digyo island also on June 27th, i just would like to ask if you still have contact number to the boatman? Thank y9ou
Posted on: Jun 07, 2010
sheralyn says:
just a contact number of boatman pls!! thank you!!
Posted on: Jun 07, 2010
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photo by: baliw-katok