An Escapade In Palompon, Leyte
I first heard about the beauty of Palompon, Leyte last May of this year. But I really have no idea of what it looks like once we go to the source of its pride. Until one day, when my discipleship group was talking about a possible outing, one of my disciple suggested to try Palompon. And so it was.
It took us a couple of months to plan for team building outing for the Men’s group. However, along the way, our wives won’t allow us to go without them. And so it was.
There were also trials in the planning. Some of the original people who joined the planning backed out several weeks just before November 2. But there were still some who pursued the plan since this is their only time to escape from their laborous work. The next holiday will still be months away.
Palompon, A Jewel Of Leyte
Palompon is a 2nd class municipality located in the North West part of Leyte. Decades ago, it is one of the biggest towns of Leyte. In fact, Ormoc City was just formerly a part of the municapility of Palompon. However, time passed and Ormoc continued its economic and population progress due to its strategic location. Now Palompon remained a municipality, and still a home for the treasures of nature.
My very first impression of Palompon the first time I saw it in 2006 was that, it’s just a huge subdivision in Leyte with really nice big houses. This is because many of their male residents became Sea Man who earns more than the average earning of a local employee. I don’t see huge commercial buildings, and the city hall seems to be just fit to a small town.
This peaceful small town is much more than what it seems to look like. Behind all these, there are some few things that Palompon was renowed.
Palompon is popular in producing highly skilled, professional Sea Men. Some of them even made it in the topnotcher’s list in Philippine Board Exam for Sea Men. Palompon Institute of Technology is one of the most well known maritime school in the Philippines.
Palompon and the Mother Nature
After going around Palompon, I still can conclude that the municapility was still able to preserve some of its wild life sanctuaries.
The Bat Kingdom
Just across the town of Palompon lies a “Bat Sanctuary”. The Mangrove Islet has become a home for more than 10,000 fruit bats. The bats starts to fly in groups at around 5-6 pm going to the mainland to look for fruits to eat. Then they come home to their peaceful sanctuary in the islet.
These bats seems to claim a portion area in the heart of the Mangrove Kingdom.
The Fish Kingdom
The “Fish Kingdom” is in between the town and the islet where the bat kingdom is located. There was a small raft fixed in between the islet and the mainland. Under it is the hidden sanctuary of fish.
When we started to look what’s underneath the raft, we’ve seen the beautiful and quite kingdom of adorable fishes. The fishes were cloth with different colors and of different sizes signifying a peaceful and joyful home. There were also giant clamps and starfishes that made it more beautiful.
Some of the corals seem to be guard towers of the magnificent coral castle. And the feelings has become more exciting when the king of the coral castle came out, a huge fish which is as big as human body. He seems to be the king fish of the coral castle that oversee all other fishes within its boundaries. That was my first time to see a fish that big live in an open water, with just about 2 meters away from my reach.
The only regret that I have is that I don’t have an underwater camera to take pictures of what I have been telling you.
The Lighthouse and the Mangrove Kingdom
One of the features of the tour is going to the Lighthouse. The lighthouse is not that huge as those that you can find in other countries, but that tower is already enough to see the neighboring islets and the whole town of Palompon. But the lighthouse seems to be more like a guard tower for the three main kingdoms, the bat kingdom, fish kingdom and the mangrove kingdom.
The Mangrove Kingdom covers the whole islet providing a refuge for different kinds of animals, birds, fishes, bats, and even sea snakes. There is also a footbridge built across the islet, going to the other side. Along it lies some rest stations where you can take a breath from the long walk.
It’s time to go home. The day has just ended. Yet my memories of this adventurous day will become immortal. At the end of the day, all I can say is “Thank you God for allowing us to take a glimpse of your marvelous creation.”