Cuatro Isla: A Paradise Untouched

It was a week after my Western Visayas trip that I was invited for a wedding in the Eastern part of the Visayas specifically in Baybay, Leyte.  Yes! The opportunity to travel for two consecutive weekends is quite rewarding and blissful. (Later on I overheard that we will be island hopping in Cuatro Isla.)

The ship made its final maneuver at the port of Baybay, Leyte 'round 3:00 in the morning. Since, I couldn't control my hunger, I settled for a traditional Filipino breakfast, "puto" and "sikwate" (sticky rice and chocolate drink) at the bus station some meters away from the port.

While I was waiting for the car to fetch me, I gaped at the first streak of the morning sun. I already had a great view of Baybay, Leyte. The mountain literally met the sea. I was beyond bliss. All note-worthy!
Then, I heard the honking of the car. I got in and then, it accelerated. I found myself in a place still locked in the olden times. The church and the houses were structured like that of an old Spanish architecture. I felt I was transported in the ancient times even through its remnants. Truly, the present is the key to the past.

And then the altitude changed along with its cool air. I saw the massive Mt. Pangasugan glaring back at me. How wonderful and powerful the mountain is! Baybay, Leyte is a hidden gem and I must say, an off the beaten path. 
Well, the day after the wedding, the family headed to Cuatro Isla for an island hopping. I honestly never heard about it. However, when the motorized boat docked at the first island, my ordinary expectation turned something beyond what I imagined. 
The turquoise-emerald seawater temptingly surrounding the outstretched pristine white sand of Mahaba Island made me jump with glee. I immediately hopped down and submerged myself to its waters. I never minded the heat of the sun. I was totally focused to its  clean and translucent water, and to its fine and powdery white sand. 
We headed to the next island trip, Apid Island. It was at this moment when I had my greatest appreciation. The residents in the island strongly advocate for Environmental Protection. They shared to us that trash bins are designated in the island and proper disposal of garbage is strictly followed. At the same time, marine and beach life including coconuts are kept and prohibited for tourists' consumption.
Though we never completed the four island adventure. I must say that Cuatro Isla is truly a great example of a marine sanctuary maintained diligently. The preservation is an influence that could spread to other islets that was once beautiful and tourist-flocked until exploitation presented its effects on the island and to the visitors. As for me, Cuatro Isla is simply a paradise untouched!
(Photo Credits: Ryan Dy, my cousin who just got married! Best wishes!)

How to get to Cuatro Isla, fees and others:
1. Cuatro Isla is located in Inopacan, Leyte. It is an hour or two from Baybay, Leyte. I just knew that we passed by 33 bridges. I was on a topload when we were off to Baybay. So, I counted bridges.
2. Pumpboats costs depend on the number of passengers. Since we were more than 25, we rented one that cost P5,000.
3. An Environmental Fee is collected for only P50 per head.
4. The Government of Inopacan is strictly imposing the No Garbage Policy. Please follow and please learn to throw litters properly.
5. Since it is a protected marine sanctuary, collecting of shells, catching of fish and worse, destroying the coral reefs is punishable by law. Adhere with the rule and please help preserve this island gem.
6. Bring food, and water as there are nothing for sale in the islands.
7. Enjoy the beauty of nature! 
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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  1. Gel, take us here please. Gian and I have been stuck with work the past couple of months and we badly need this kind of break. :-)

    1. Hi Ate Shei! Sure! Let us arrange this excursion. I am feeling the same here.