Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way

Thomas Gray (published 1751)

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Last week, my family & I were on holiday in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte… getting away from it all, off the beaten path, in the rural village of San Pedro Island.

We went away by ourselves by car and later by a small boat to a solitary place, a very quiet and serene place – a friendly one at that – all making for a very welcome break – one of the best times we have ever had in years!

Consider the following:

incessant lapping of waves upon the fine, powdery sand beach
emerald-green, crystal clear waters
live colorful corals with matching Discovery channel fish colonies
fireflies around you while having dinner and beer
a complimentary full moon to cast unearthly shadows on the shoreline
a dissertation of bird chirps trying to outloud each other upon sunrise
the tuko (lizard) counting off the time of day
hopping on a bike and following the island trail
palm trees all around you and the occasional rice farm break in the scenery line
friendly and most hospitable island residents

We have had what I’d consider a fairly good-enough track experience of rural living vacations and we are no longer shocked nor discomforted when things don’t quite turn out like what we thought it would be (what? no ice water?!)

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I’d like to think most of us have our own private Shangri-las — vacation memories that carry us through our daily grind in life.

Well, we found our newest one at San Pedro Island.

The island now holds a piece of my soul.

View the full gallery

~ by gerryruiz on 25 March 2008.

7 Responses to “Far from the Madding Crowd”

  1. hi!… taga maasin, southern leyte ako originally but live and work in canada for 15 years now. i’m interested on this san pedro island in hinunangan. how do we book a cottage for longstay in the island, and how much are the rates, any restaurants in the island or we just buy seafoods from local fishermen and have them cooked for a fee? appreciate much if you can help us for more info, salamat! – raoul vecina (aircrew_787@yahoo.com/raoul.vecina@aircanada.ca)

  2. Hi Raoul! For details on the San Pedro Island arrangements, kindly email leytegulf(at)callezaragosa(dot)com or click on the Leyte Gulf Travel & Tours link found at the Blogroll on the right panel of this site. I shall likewise forward your inquiry to them. Big thanks!

  3. Hi Gerry,
    Many thanks for your posts on Hinunangan, So. Leyte. My wife is originally from there and we have been there recently in 2001 and 2005. By the way, do you have any relatives in Hinunangan as my wife, Lydia Gabut, seems to recognize your surname. Her mother is Florencia Gabut, formerly a teacher at Hinunangan and San Pedro Island.
    I have a favour to ask next time you are in Hinunangan. Can you take some pictures of the rivers where you can take a small boat from the sea and also the anchorages where you can stay for a short time on San Pablo and San Pedro islands. My wife tells me she was born on San Pedro Island when her mother was teaching there. I hope to take one day a small boat, even a mirror dinghy to explore these places and some pictures may be of help.
    Many thanks,
    James Robinson

  4. Hi James,

    Thanks for dropping by. You’re not the first to ask – nope, unfortunately I don’t have relatives in Hinunangan.🙂 Probably because I heard there are Ruizes in the place. My father came from Nueva Ecija; I hail from Tacloban City.

    As you can see in some of the photos, there are small piers in both islands of San Pedro and San Pablo. I have not been able to go and see if there are rivers in Hinunangan large enough for a dinghy to sail through. I will try to inquire.

  5. My wife and I will be heading there next year.

  6. we had been there, too.. me and my barkada… nice adventure … “Coral Island of San Pedro” (agree ka, Gerry?🙂 diri kaya mag tini-il ha shore ano? hehehe ) and also that time waray pa signal an smart ngadto. Just near beside San Pedro is San Pablo, kaya ngani butangan hin tulay🙂 Anyways, it’s paradise out there…

  7. i had my honeymoon with my wife in San Pedro in 1986… my brother was the parish priest in hinunangan then… the boat trip to the island was very scary! wavy ride… no boat jetty yet… we just jump from the boat to get to the beach…full of bermuda grass, but on the other side of the island were full of stones (facing the pacific ocean, i think) yes!.. we didn’t get enough sleep because of the “toko.” we were afraid it might jump on us…. he he.. dinner were freshly catch eel (long fish) and rice… but was really a nice place, untouched paradise! i recommend a visit to this place… a certified WOW!

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