September 16, 2014

The Adventurer’s Guide to Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte

(Quick Note: The Adventurer's Guide is a very trending feature in this blog. This travel guide series aims to give you quick, quality, and relevant travel information and tips regarding the featured destination.)

This time, I will be featuring a quiet yet beautiful island municipality in the province of Southern Leyte. Personally, I will say that Southern Leyte is just like the southern part of Cebu. Why? It is because of its tourism potential. Southern Leyte has a lot to offer like historical sites, islands, beaches, diving/snorkeling sites, and adventure spots.

The Destination: Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte

Limasawa is an island which is located about 6 kilometers off the coast of the southern tip of the province of Southern Leyte. It is also considered as the smallest municipality in the province. Measured from north to south, the island is approximately 10 kilometers long. Historically, this island was the site of the First Christian Mass in the Philippines and even in Asia where Ferdinand Magellan paved the way for Christianity in the country in 1521.

I had the chance to talk to an elder and a local resident of the island and he said that Limasawa got its name because long ago, there was a man (others say, a Rajah) who lived in the island with five wives, “Lima’y Asawa.”

According to local tourism officials, they envisioned Limasawa Island to be the next “Boracay Island” tourism site in the Visayas. Hence, Limasawa Island is indeed a great destination to explore!

Tacloban City to Maasin City – approximately PhP 220 (3-4 hours by van)
Ormoc City to Maasin City –approximately PhP 170 (3 hours by van)
Maasin City to Padre Burgos – approximately PhP 30 (45 minutes by multicab)
Padre Burgos to Limasawa Island – approximately PhP 50 (45 minutes by pump-boat)
Places to Explore

1. The National Shrine of the First Mass in the Philippines

Located in Magallanes, the National Shrine stands at the foot of the hill commemorating the first mass on March 31, 1521 and the visit of Magellan to the island.

2. First Cross Monument

Going up the summit of the highest hill in Limasawa which is around 450 steps, the first cross in the Philippines was planted in the afternoon of March 31, 1521.

3. The Barangays

I had the chance to stay at the house of Adventist friends in Brgy. Lugsongan, which is known as “A Barangay of Smiles” and “A Christian Community.” Lugsongan is just one of the six barangays in the island. The other barangays are Triana (the capital), Cabulihan, Magallanes, San Agustin (Tawid), and San Bernardo (Tigib). 

A morning view at Brgy. Lugsongan.

Lugsongan Barangay Celebration

Limasawa Port at Brgy. Triana

4. Natural Attractions

Limasawa offers many wonderful natural attractions too! If you like white sand beaches, you can go to Dakdak beach in Lugsongan and Gamot beach in Cabulihan. You can also explore caves in San Agustin and Magallanes. Or better yet, if you like the “underworld,” you can go snorkeling and diving in San Agustin and Lugsongan.

I have also read that in San Agustin, you can find relics of giant oyster or clamshells.

Dakdak Beach in Brgy. Lugsongan

For Your Taste-buds:

Limasawa locals are very known in making great tasting dried fish (or bulad / buwad). Try it and bring some as your pasalubong!

Dried fish

Travel Tips:

1. It is better to be in the port of Padre Burgos, the tip of Southern Leyte in the morning to catch the pump-boat going Limasawa Island.
2. The pump-boat going there is big and sturdy.
3. Summer time is the best season to explore the island. The waves going to the island are really big especially during the “off-season” months, the time in which there are typhoons or bad weather conditions.
4. In order to go around the island, you can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle). Just negotiate with the local drivers.
5. The people there are very friendly, talk to them.
6. Electricity in the island is very limited. It is provided to the community on a scheduled basis from 6:00 in the evening until midnight.
7. It is best to the leave the island going back to the mainland in the morning or at noon. Limasawa's port is located at Brgy. Triana.

Where is Limasawa Island on the map?
Map by: Wikipedia

I hope this Adventurer’s Guide is helpful to you!

If you have questions and inquiries, comment below or e-mail me at

View my previous posts of Limasawa Island:

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  1. I will soon visit the island bro - yep beautiful and of course historical

    1. That's a good plan bro! Enjoy and share your experiences!

  2. After reading this post, I really feel like i should write a post about Limasawa Island. The way you describe the island is amazing. I will surely read more of your posts sir. You are a great traveler and writer. awesome!
    My blog name is Tourist Spots Finder.

    1. Hey Tourist Spots Finder, thank you! I have seen your blog too and it summarizes the tourist spots in the island. Continue following my blog! There are more wonderful destinations coming up!

  3. thank you so much it is very helpful to all tourist, and it is very interesting, and i have plan to visit next week

    1. Hello Perry! You've been to Limasawa Island already? I hope you had a great time there!

  4. Visited this island municipality last April 26 and indeed it is a treasure. The beaches are nice. We've been to Dakdak and also to the historical sites. We went to the parola in the southern point but we can't go there because it is high tide then we just went to the unspoiled and untouched beaches and it is an awe.

    1. Oh, wow! It's great that you really explored Limasawa Island. I never had the chance to go to the Parola as well.

  5. Thank you so much for this information. Mayroon po bang limited schedules ang pumpboat going to Limasawa Island?

    Thank you!


    1. Hello Ann. Pumpboats going to Limasawa Island from Padre Burgos port usually leaves around 12 noon. You need to catch it because I think there are no boats going there after that. Or if there are locals or fishermen who will go to the island, you can request them and hitch a ride going to the island. That's what I did the first time I was there.

    2. Last trip is 1pm when we went there last June 2016

    3. Yes, that's the time. So better be there at the pier at noon, preferably at 12.

      Thanks for the information, Duni!

  6. I grew up in this Island, Magallanes to be exact. I remembered as a kid wanting to get out of this Island because it just wasn't for me. And now, after years and years later... All i wanna do is to visit this Island once again and see what has changed and maybe visit some old friends of mine.

    1. Oh, really? So you are really from the island. Yes, you're howntown is really beautiful and laid-back and simple. I love going there and just relax and unwind.

  7. Salamat Kuya for the great information offered! Very helpful,we will be there tomorrow! :)

    1. You're welcome! You've explore Limasawa Island already? How's your experience? I hope you had a wonderful time there!

  8. Had a wonderful time with the kids in Limasawa. We were offered boat tour around the island for 1K. Wished be brought snorkeling gear! Sayang...

    1. It's great to know that you had an enjoyable time there in Limasawa! I've never done snorkeling there. I'll try it when I get back there.