Yacht Cruise to Kalanggaman Island

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The best and the worst travel experience I’ve had so far.

Kalanggaman Island has become one of the most popular summer destinations here in the Philippines. It’s usually crowded, and for that reason, I never planned on going there. However, when someone invited me to go on a yacht cruise with buffet lunch and dinner, I told myself, “why not?”

Food is my weakness.

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Before I tell you the reasons why I hated and loved this trip at the same time, let me show you some of the photos taken by Mishael Ardona.

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Top and shorts from Zalora.

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On our way to the island, we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. Yay!

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I wanted to take a video, but my phone was inside my bag (as usual) and I really didn’t want to leave my spot. Guess I’ll have to depend on my memory then! lol

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When we arrived in the island, I didn’t have the same excitement as I had with all the other beautiful beaches I’ve been to.

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But since we were already there, we just had to make the most of it.

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A swarm of jellyfish invaded the shore. Although they didn’t sting, their presence still made a lot of people uncomfortable, making them abandon this side of the beach.

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The famous sand bar was mostly covered in dead corals, which made it painful to walk barefooted.

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My verdict? Kalanggaman Island is way too overrated. Yes, it looks great in photos, but I was’t that impressed.

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Okay, so why did I say that this was the worst travel experience I’ve had so far?

The cruise was facilitated by Seahorse Houseboats. THIS was what their package promised.

And this is what actually happened:

  • Departure from Cebu Yacht Club: 5:30AM
  • Arrival in Kalanggaman: 2:30PM
  • Departure from Kalanggaman: 5:30PM
  • Arrival in Cebu: 2:43AM (MONDAY)
  • When we were already in Kalanggaman island, a boatman told us that one of their engines was broken that’s why we were sailing at such a slow speed. Aren’t they supposed to do some prior checking?
  • When we were already heading back to Cebu at night, we heard from their so-called captain and boatmen that they didn’t have any functioning GPS or a compass at the time. SCARY, right? Isn’t that supposed to be illegal? Enlighten me! We were staying in the front part of the yacht that’s why we overheard these things.
  • The captain and boatmen were all CLUELESS with regards to their route. It was already 12:30AM when one of them kept saying that we were still near Carmen because they didn’t see any parola yet. But when my friend checked her GPS, we were already near Mactan. We even had to point out to them that we are already seeing the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, Mactan Newtown, and the Mactan Airport when we saw a plane that just took off. And that’s when they realized that they almost got us all lost at sea! Almost everyone else in the yacht was asleep. If it weren’t for my friend’s Google Maps app on her phone, we would have ended up docking in Olango Island, since that’s where the clueless captain looked like he was heading for.

It was scary and stressful. My anxiety was at the highest level and I do not want to go through all that ever again! FYI, I do not intend to ruin their business or anything. I am just writing down my real experience. They should do better next time for their future guests.

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Despite all the bad things that happened that day, it was also one of the best trips I’ve ever had because of the dolphins, the perfect sunset, and the shooting stars. The “funny” thing is… the things that I loved about this trip weren’t even part of the package that we paid for. Maybe it was a reminder that most of the time, the best things in life are free.

xo Faith Mari

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