Those wanting to escape the fast-paced routine, the humdrum of daily life, may find comfort here in San Pablo Island, a place hidden in plain sight off the coast of this pacific town.
Time seems to have stopped here, especially when you arrive on a moonless night, and you have no idea where to go, initially disoriented, until you get your bearings right.
The generated-by-generator light, we were told, upon reaching our cottage under the name La Ala Beach, will only be from 6:00 to 10:00 in the evening, but no worries, for the owner bought a solar-powered lamp, so our cottage was still lighted as we passed the night to morning hours, two Emperadors down.
Lamps in solar-powered posts installed in key public points also took over after the generator went off.
The weather at daybreak was as cool as the dawn, soothing to the bones as the midnight icy breeze. Lo and behold, the scenic sights revealed when everything was bathed with the natural glow of an emerging sun.
“There are some seven resorts here,” the lady caretaker at La Ala resort said as we started inquiring. She has a sari-sari store, so all our trivial needs were duly responded to.
Punong Barangay Sandy Ligid added some facts: the whole island covers an area of 82 hectares, its population is 96 households consisting of more than 400 individuals.
Bathers, swimmers, visitors in general that came here are increasing every year, most of them coming from Tacloban, usually on weekends, the peak season during summer, Ligid shared, giving us an idea of the come-and-go population seeking variety from the daily grind.
But Hinunangan Mayor Reynaldo Fernandez has plans to limit the arrivals this early, especially in preparation for the 500th Limasawa First Mass anniversary on March 31 next year, where the boom in tourists and visitors coming in is expected to swell into the island as well.
Arnie Estillore, municipal tourism officer-designate, said the LGU had submitted to the Department of Tourism (DOT) a package tour to those looking for more sights to see other than the Limasawa celebration.
And in Hinunangan this involved visits to Pungkay point, where one can see a 360-degree view of the whole area, then up the mountain in barangay Calag-itan to see the heart-shaped view of the town’s coast, and the Calag-itan sanctuary to feed and even have a foot massage of the fishes.
The prime attraction included in the tour is at this sandy beach, here in San Pablo island, where one can relax to his/her heart’s content, enjoy the all-around scenery, have wholesome fun with family and friends, and take limitless dips in the waters.
Talk about pampering or spoiling one’s self in sky-blue seawaters? Come here and do just that. (mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)