Higatangan Island sand bar “vanishes”

I was in Higatangan Island Wednesday, May 14. Despite the stormy weather brought by the southwest monsoon or habagat winds, we braved the rough sailing from Naval to the island (the waves were much taller than me!) just to show off to some guests the famous “Shifting Sand Bar.”

But lo and behold when we finally reached the island – the shifting sand bar, which normally extends some 200 meters into the sea was truncated by the strong waves. Two-thirds of its length had vanished! hehe 😉

I’m sure, though, that once the winds and strong current calm down, the sand bar would re-emerge.

Here’s how the sand bar normally looks like during calm days:

~ by gerryruiz on 17 May 2008.

18 Responses to “Higatangan Island sand bar “vanishes””

  1. Gerry, your takes continue to amplify this inner voice which has long been telling me to visit & see these beautiful places lying around right in my own backyard. I did not have the money then as I don’t have the money now, but that’s a lame excuse. I had heard how beautiful and historic Higatangan Island is. A lot of Tess’ (my wife) folks live right across from this island in Naval. I had taken a picture of the remarkable sunset against this island from a remote coastal barrio in Calubian with my Miyata during one of my trips to visit a friend way back when digital SLR was unheard of. Thanks for this vicarious experience courtesy of your Canon EOS I feel like standing right in front of the house overlooking the sandbar. Keep ’em coming through your viewfinder, Mr. Gerry!

  2. Gud day sir Gerry. I went back to Higatangan Island last Wednesday, May 28 for the Shore Line Clean-up as a part of the Ocean Month Celebration. The Sand Bar was back to its usual beauty and the weather was very nice also. We should have gone their during these days…

  3. Gerry, I was here, in this place, last June 24 1995 (Feast of San Juan) with my friends. The current was so strong… and some parts were quite deep that time… I don’t know if it’s still the same now… But it is a beautiful white sand beach… I hope the local government will do something about it… to invite more tourists over…

  4. can you please tell me how to get there in higatangan?

  5. Thanks, Tina, for dropping by.

    It’s a 2-hr drive from Tacloban (or Ormoc) to Naval, the capital of Biliran. If you don’t have a car, there are aircon vans which regularly ply the route. From Naval, one can rent a pumpboat at the pier (roundtrip). Suggestion is you head for the island in the morning (8AM would be fine) so you can return early; the sea can sometimes get rough in the afternoon. It’s a 45-min pumpboat ride, by the way.

    • Higatangan Island is my place! hehe… I love the place so much.. they say the reason why the sand bar is starting to vanish is because of the port constructed about 6 years ago. The port blocks the sand that piles up at the sand bar…

  6. salamat hin madamo. one of these days I’ll try to visit the island, but I’ll have to check the weather forecast before we proceed. see you in calle zaragosa as well. once again thanks for the information.

  7. Hi Gerry,

    ..amazing pictures! that’s my grandparents’ house right there where I spent most of my summers when I was growing up. Your photos have brought back good memories.. basking in the sun, swimming, colourful underwater, lying on the sand at night star-gazing, line-fishing with Inyong (a very kind blind man) on a tiny boat, picnics on the sandbar (we called it “lawis”)….

    Anyway, I was just wondering… would it be possible to get a copy of your Higatangan picture/s? I’m thinking it would great to have one or two on my wall.

    Thanks a lot!


  8. Yes, try and experience Higatangan Island. But you have to stay more than a day to enjoy its beaches -front (lawis or sandbar) and back side. The water is so fresh and clean at the back of the island especially under the rock formation. It is a must to have a local person to escort you though for safety purposes. You can contact the barrio captain for assistance if you dont know anyone there.

    No need to worry about accomodation. There is one waterfront resort available- Higatangan Island Resort located about 5 minutes walk from the sandbar. It has cottages complete with flushed toilets and showers; a canteen and a 200 guests capacity Function Hall. You can bring your camping tents for additional family members, rent bikes and boats. Soon there will be a tennis court, a mini golf, and an organic farm – veggies, root crops, chickens and pigs for meals on demand.
    You may text/contact Beth Comadizo Ngoho at (905)262-2010.

  9. Hi Janet,
    Just wondering who among the Limpiados are your parents? i know most of you but Tio Indeling’s and Tia Mila’s kids. i have beautiful pix of Lawis too but Gerry’s the best for you because of that historic old house overlooking the Lawis as we locals call it.

    Thanks to Gerry for this beautiful picture of Higatangan.

  10. i really miss this place. we used to spend summer vacations here & never got tired with the travel. this is my mom’s home. my cousins are here haha! halos tanan paryente hehe… i’ll visit this year & i’ll make sure to get good photos of those pristine nooks my cousins and i used to explore up in the hill and down the rocky formations at the back of the island. ^^

  11. ka-gerry
    salamat hin madamooo

  12. sir gerry i’ve put your link in my twitter account. awesome photos.

  13. hello ka gerry,
    me & my fiancee were planning to spend 3 days in higatangan island (we are from cebu)… how can we access? can we get a nice hotel in higatangan island near the shifiting sand bar…… ratzboy_skeptron@yahoo.com

    • Hi Ran-Ran,
      You have to travel to Biliran province (from Cebu, you go to Ormoc either via slowboat or fastcraft), then take an aircon van from Ormoc to Naval, Biliran where I suggest you establish base. We usually stay at Marvin’s from where you can make inquiries and arrangements for a motorized banca to take you to Higatangan Island. Last time we went to the island, there was a small development by the beach with a few cottages being planned to be constructed. I cannot say for sure whether this is now open to the public or whether there are now rooms available for rent. Your best bet is to visit the Provincial Tourism Office at the capitol center and hopefully get updated status of room for rent availability in Higatangan Island. Try reaching them by googling, too. 😉

      Sent you more by PM. Let me know how your trip goes!

  14. Hi Gerry,

    Thank you for sponsoring this photoblog. Your photos bring back good memories when the whole tribe of Fidel Limpiado used to congregate for annual reunions in his house. The house in the background of your photo was that of Fidel Limpiado’s. I used to swim on the inner side of the sandbar (lawis) when I was a kid. It was deep and crystal clear down the sea floor plus the sand was so white. I plan to go back in the near future. Llo

  15. thanks for the featured article. i am happy that somebody took notice of this place… this place is very special to me, considering the fact that i was born here and lived half of my childhood days in this island…

  16. just arrived from higatangan … a very beautiful island, the shifting sand bar is so awesome! i’m going back to that place again and again! 🙂

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