Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tagbak Marine Sanctuary Travel Guide (from Tacloban)

tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte

Tagbak Marine Sanctuary, an emerging local destination, is located in Liloan, Southern Leyte which is a four-hour drive from Tacloban City. The best thing about this place is the chance of having the entire beautiful marine sanctuary all by yourself (or with your group) for a day! They can only entertain one group of visitors per day since they only have one cottage, which is specially located at the center of the marine sanctuary. Amazing! They also offer exciting activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling and many more (soon) for an affordable price. 

If you plan to go there, it’s always a good idea to use a private car since it’s a quite a hassle commuting to Liloan but let me share to you how we did it, the backpackers’ way:

  1. From Tacloban New Bus Terminal, we took a van going to Sogod (there were no vans directly plying to Liloan). It didn’t leave until it was full of passengers so we departed at 8AM (we arrived at the terminal at 6AM). Travel time is three hours. The other option is taking a bus going to Davao since it will pass by Liloan but I think it’s more costly (if not or if you have an idea, please let me know in the comments below) :D
  2. From Sogod Terminal, we took a jeepney going to Liloan. Travel time is one hour.
  3. From Liloan terminal, we went to the Municipal Tourism Office which is just a walking distance away. We just asked directions from the locals.
  4. We paid the fees at the tourism office and a lady led us the way. Ten minutes later, we were already at the viewing deck of Tagbak Marine Sanctuary. Whew finally!

We then embarked on a small boat going to the cottage. It only took us 5 minutes to arrive there. No need to worry about strong waves! The sea was very calm even at 5pm. Maybe because it was surrounded with mountains or something, I’m not sure lol. Life jackets are also available so you can be assured about your safety.

To go back to Tacloban, we asked the boatman what’s the best route and he suggested going to Himay-angan to wait for jeepneys en route to Sogod. It was nearly 5PM when we left the sanctuary and during this time, there were no jeepneys travelling from Liloan to Sogod anymore so we have to go to Himay-angan. If you’re lucky, you might also get a chance to ride a bus going back directly to Tacloban from here. 

  1. From Liloan terminal, we took a tricycle going to Himay-angan and waited for a public vehicle going to Sogod.
  2. We arrived in Sogod at 6PM and there were no vans travelling to tacloban anymore. The van drivers are only operating until 5PM. Luckily, there was still a bus waiting for passengers going to Manila which will pass by Tacloban. 

If you need to be back to Tacloban the same day, I suggest you leave at 3 or 4 pm so you can still catch more public utility vehicles going to Sogod and Tacloban. On the other hand, you can have an overnight stay in Liloan from Php600 per head (dorm type) to Php1,200 per room (hostel). This is according to the lady from the tourism office.


SAMPLE BUDGET

Group
Each (4 pax)
Van transport from Tacloban to Sogod (van - 3 hours)
n/a
P150
Sogod to Liloan via jeepney (1 hour)
n/a
P50
Liloan Municipal Hall to Tagbak via tricycle (5 mins)
n/a
P10
Cottage
P300
P75
Boat transfer (back and forth)
P200
P50
Paddle board
P150
P37.5
Snorkelling set
P100
P25
Food
n/a
P150 (estimate)
Travel from Liloan to Himay-angan (via tricycle)
n/a
P25
Himay-angan to Sogod
n/a
P40
Sogod to Tacloban
n/a
P150 (van) – only available until 5pm
P250 (bus w/ AC)
Total

P762.50 or P862.50 each
(if 4 pax in a group)

Some Notes/Reminders:
  1. Make sure to wear slippers or footwear when swimming to avoid dangerous encounters with sea urchins
  2. Shower room and comfort rooms are under construction but soon to be available near the viewing deck.
  3. They only have 2 paddle boards for rent and plenty of snorkeling set (includes mask and fins). I strongly suggest you rent these, it’s all worth it!
  4. Kayak rental will be available soon.
  5. They also offer island hopping but it was not possible for us because according to the boatman, the wind was coming from the Pacific.
  6. Bring food, water and utensils (plates, spoon, etc.) No Corkage fee.
  7. I suggest you bring bread so you can feed and see the bigger fishes when snorkeling.
  8. Make sure to reserve the cottage first. You have to pay 300 pesos in advance via ML or other payment centers. In case of storm or bad weather on your chosen date (and you paid already), you can have it rescheduled. You may contact them at 09973721452 or in facebook.

For me Tagbak Marine Sanctuary is an awesome place to visit with friends or family. I enjoyed paddle boarding and snorkeling especially because they have the full face snorkel mask and with fins too! 

While it was so great to see colorful fishes, we were distracted with some plastic garbage floating in the sea. I hope the locals will be more responsible in maintaining the cleanliness of their environment. It's them who will benefit in the end anyway. Nevertheless, Tagbak Marine Sanctuary is still a place worth your visit. If given the chance, I'd definitely come back! 😘

tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte
If you want to eat suwaki or tuyom (sea urchin) or other available seafood, let your contact person know a day before your trip so they can prepare. 



tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte


tagbak marine sanctuary liloan southern leyte
Love is like a sea urchin, it's deadly. Chos 😅


Tagbak Marine Sanctuary Travel Guide (from Tacloban)

Tagbak Marine Sanctuary , an emerging local destination, is located in Liloan, Southern Leyte which is a four-hour drive from ...