Limasawa Island

philippines-limasawa-006Limasawa Island

This island off the southern tip of Leyte was one of the first places that Magellan stopped in 1521.

Limasawa is still amazingly undeveloped after 500 years and is a great little island to get away from the world for a few days.

philippines-limasawa-001.jpgThe ferry leaves daily from Padre Burgos at 10 or 11 am.

The fare was 60 pesos per person and 60 pesos for the motorbike. There was an additional tip of 50 pesos for the porters to help with the bike.

philippines-limasawa-002.jpgLimasawa has a hard surfaced single lane road system suitable for motorbikes and bicycles.

Going to St. Agustin on the north end is a bit more sloppy.

philippines-limasawa-046.jpgHere the road follows the coast.

Limasawa is thinly populated so there is a lot of beach that you can have all to yourself but there is very little sand.

There are 6 barangays or villages. Triana is the main one. Going counterclockwise you will get to Cabulihan and then Magellanes where Magellan’s people held the first mass. You can continue easily onwards to Lugsungan.

To reach St Bernardo and then St Agustin it is best to return to Triana and then head out of town the other way.

philippines-limasawa-017.jpgYou do not have to dig very deep to reach fresh water on this island so that might have been a good reason to lay over here back in Magellan’s day.

philippines-limasawa-019.jpgThis is the old boy, himself – Magellan

All these pictures are of the paintings hanging on the walls in the memorial to the first mass in the Philippines, on March 31, 1521.

philippines-limasawa-018.jpgThere is a hotel development planned for the year 2009. The Philippines has a strong Catholic influence so this place is very important to the country and it’s people.

philippines-limasawa-020.jpgThis guy had something to do with it too, but I forgot who he is.

philippines-limasawa-025.jpgAnother of the original crosses.

philippines-limasawa-022.jpgDark skinned native joins in.

philippines-limasawa-027.jpgThere are around 450 steps to the top of the hill where the “original” cross is.

philippines-limasawa-030.jpgThe view.

philippines-limasawa-038.jpgTraveling around this island is relatively easy. I brought along a motorbike because I don’t care to walk in the heat of the day.

There are a few fishing villages but this is a laid back place with very little tourist infrastructure.

As far as I could tell, there were no restaurants on the island so work with your home stay to organize your meals.

philippines-limasawa-044.jpgWe found a good supply of dried squid. I absolutely love this stuff and bought a bunch to take home.

It runs about 300 pesos a kilo and they threw in a bunch of free ones. We brought them back to Samar to eat.

philippines-limasawa-042.jpgSquid bulad – Delicious!

If you buy a bunch of dried squid do not put it in with your bags or your clothing will take on a strong odor.

philippines-limasawa-043.jpgThe local people here are very friendly and will make every attempt to help you enjoy your stay.

When you arrive anywhere off the beaten path in the Philippines it is considered to be common courtesy to check in with the barangay captain to let him know your intentions and ask his permission to visit.

philippines-limasawa-034.jpgI saw one guy on the ferry with a thresher shark tail and wonder if it came from this shark.

I can not identify sharks missing their head but the tail of a thresher is so singular that it can not be mistaken for anything else.

philippines-limasawa-037.jpgLimasawa Island beach

philippines-limasawa-035.jpgShark inspector! It really bums me to see finned sharks.

philippines-limasawa-040.jpgSouthern Leyte Divers on the mainland has done a lot of dive exploration around this island. The other dive shops usually concentrate on Sogod bay.

Check the dive shop info on the other pages. (Will put them up tomorrow).

philippines-limasawa-009.jpgWe had arrived on the island with no reservations or any idea of what to expect when we got there.

James here on the left was a big help in getting us set up. Annie, in the middle, is one of the Biliones family that rents rooms out to visitors for 400 pesos per night.

philippines-limasawa-013.jpgThey invited us to come along and watch some dances put on by a troupe from Cebu.

philippines-leyte-017.jpgThe beach at Triana where the ferry unloads the cargo and passengers. A steep gang plank is used so it takes a few guys to get heavy loads off safely.

philippines-limasawa-007.jpgHeading back to Padre Burgos. The ferry leaves Limasawa at 7am.

Limasawa Island

Oct 16, 2008

34 responses to “Limasawa Island”

  1. I love Limasawa island! Did you meet anyone with Solonia as their sir name?

  2. Hi I am going to build at Cabutan never been there my wife family has a lot of land there on beach by hiway and in the hills we were going to build in Davao but think i would like it at Cabutan could you tell me a little more about the island i had to come back to Texas to run my business ac business so had to come back but will go back in Oct been liveing in Roselina Villiage in Davao but ready to build now and i love to fish and be in country side so think i will like it

  3. Was an Easter mass held at Limasawa in 1521?

    Go to Wikipilipinas for the most comprehensive discussion of this episode in Philippines history, click

    You’ll be stunned to know there is no mention of any kind of mass anywhere in the story of Limasawa.

    (ginesdemafra @

  4. As I was researching on anything about “before there was the Philippines, there was Butuan,” I found a colorful website below which presented articles and pictures of artifacts discovered under the grounds of and other pictures of Butuan City:

    I cannot ignore how many times that some people in Butuan or sympathizers of the “Kingdom of Butuan” kept repeating, blogging, writing and posting in the Internet and repeating them regarding Magellan’s landing in Mazaua, Butuan City despite the logic or science on the “lost day.” They also ignore that at least 2 passenger ships ran aground off the coast of Butuan some years ago because its harbor is too shallow for ship navigation, and that Magellan’s 3 sailing ships could have suffered similar fate if they supposedly sailed to Mazaua. Butuan’s pier is about 30 kilometers west of the city to Nasipit because it is too shallow, dangerous and expensive to maintain by digging the mud, silt and sand next to and around the pier if it were built in Butuan City proper.

    So, again, I made a comment to Butuan Today which is the same as the one I had posted few years ago in the Internet:

    The pro-Mazaua groups are 100% sure and rabid about their contentions that Ferdinand Magellan anchored, landed and held the First Mass on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521 in Mazaua, Butuan, Mindanao. So much so that one of their commissioned historians wrote on Magellan’s lost landfall and has been writing, publishing, and blogging about it in the Internet superhighways all over the world. He has been calling the attention of the scholars and other experts globally to stand behind his and the pro-Butuanons’ backs. Some of them have criticized and insulted the intelligence of the highly educated staff of the National Historical Institute for “not doing their jobs.” Like the talking parrots, they have criticized repeatedly a former First Lady of the Philippines for her so-called pro-Limasawa (Southern Leyte) stand.

    However, the pro-Mazaua groups depended too much on the contradicting notes of the longitude, latitude and other descriptions of Mazzaua Island which Pigafetta, Albo and de Mafra wrote about. The pro-Mazaua groups relied too much on the eye witness accounts of the dead sailors, dead priests, dead historians, dead people, etc. that had insufficient knowledge of sea navigation, coordinates, world cartography, geography, history … They had no Global Positioning System (GPS) available during their era of exploration and circumnavigation. They relied too much on their unearth “balanghais” and hundreds of other archaeological artifacts found under the grounds of Mazaua, Butuan City.

    Above all, due to their lack of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom on the religious or biblical aspects of Magellan’s expedition, exploration and circumnavigation, the pro-Mazaua or Butuan groups failed to decode the science on the “lost day” which the survivors of Magellan’s expedition experienced at Cape Verde islands, located off the coast of northwest Africa, after they completed their first circumnavigation on Earth by sailing westward.

    Pigafetta logged: “On Wednesday, the ninth of July [1522], we arrived at one of these islands named Santiago, where we immediately sent the boat ashore to obtain provisions. And we charged our men in the boat that, when they were ashore, they should ask what day it was. They were answered that to the Portuguese it was Thursday, at which they were much amazed, for to us it was Wednesday, and we knew not how we had fallen into error. For every day I, being always in health, had written down each day without any intermission. But, as we were told since, there had been no mistake, for we had always made our voyage westward and had returned to the same place of departure as the sun, wherefore the long voyage had brought the gain of twenty-four hours, as is clearly seen.”

    Magellan and his Spanish-funded expedition forces sailed westward from Spain to search for the Spice Islands, which the Portuguese had colonized few years before including the islands of Mindanao – at least a year prior to Magellan’s departure from Spain. If Magellan’s expedition anchored and landed in Mazaua, Butuan, how come Pigafetta discovered too late about the “lost day” only after he and his fellow survivors had completed the westward circumnavigation and landed in Santiago Island, Cape Verde which was a Portuguese colony?

    Pigafetta should have known and written about the “lost day” if they anchored and landed in Mazaua, Butuan because the Portuguese had colonized and influenced the natives of Mazaua or Butuan before Magellan and his troops arrived. (The Portuguese authorities in Butuan erected years later a historical marker to honor Magellan, not because Magellan was in Butuan but because he was a Portuguese by birth.)

    The educated natives in Mazaua or Butuan knew about the calendar from their Portuguese colonizers that arrived in Mindanao via Indonesia, via the Indian Ocean, via South Africa, via West Africa, and all the way from Portugal. The so-called historians, professors, educators, scientists, experts, etc. that supported “Magellan’s landfall in Mazaua, Butuan” failed to observe, to learn, and to decipher from the clear and easily understandable logbook of Pigafetta on the “lost day.” It was and is similar to having a “Mark of the Beast” which millions to billions of the Christians around the world do not know about!

    Again, Magellan and his fellow sailors who carried the Spanish flag and their Portuguese counterparts traveled from southwestern Europe in opposite directions. The Portuguese had the monopoly to colonize the islands and continents east of the demarcation line all the way eastward to the entire Philippines and the rest of the Far East. The Spanish had the monopoly to colonize all lands west of the demarcation line all the way westward, including the islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the entire American continent including Alaska, Canada, Central and South America, and the entire islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    If the Spanish explorers landed in Mazaua, Butuan, Mindanao and spent several days communicating, exchanging gifts, eating and drinking “tuba” with, observing the “First Mass” on Easter with the natives and erecting the cross or introducing Christianity, and doing other gestures of friendships, why did Pigafetta notice the “lost day” too late or until he and his fellow survivors had completed their first circumnavigation, and dropped anchors off the coast of Santiago – one of the islands in Cape Verde? Again, Pigafetta observed: “And we charged our men in the boat that, when they were ashore, they should ask what day it was….”

    Let us put it in another way: if Magellan anchored and landed in Mazaua, Butuan and observed “Easter Sunday” on March 31, 1521, the Portuguese-influenced natives in Mazaua should have corrected Magellan that the Easter Mass was over with and that very same day was a Monday, April 1, 1521. Or was it March 30, 1521?

    When the Portuguese explored and colonized eastward up to the demarcation line which included the entire Philippine Islands, they carried with them the same calendar which the Spaniards used. Years later, when Magellan and his fellow sailors sailed from Seville, Spain to search for the Spice Islands via the uncharted west, at least from the west coast of the American continent, the Spanish-funded explorers carried with them the same calendar used by the Portuguese that sailed eastward from Portugal which was and is attached to the much bigger Spanish territory in Western Europe.

    Since the International Date Line did not exist until 1884, when Magellan landed and had the “First Mass” on Easter Sunday held with the natives of Mazzaua/Limasawa Island, Pigafetta – Magellan’s official chronicler – had to be the first person to observe or notice if there was a wrong date. It was neither the wrong calendar day not until the survivors of Magellan’s expedition on board the Victoria sailed across the biblical date line which started from the Garden of Eden! Before the turn of the 17th century, the explorers, navigators, colonizers and the other so-called experts believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth just as 1 in 5 Americans still believe today!

    For your understanding of the big differences between the Biblical or Hebrew Calendar and Julian or Gregorian Calendar, you should read the article, IDL = a Mark of the Beast which you can find in the Internet. One church minister will give you $1 million dollars (U.S.) reward if you can find a verse in the Old or New Testament Bible which says God commanded the Hebrews, 12 Tribes of Israel, the Lost Tribes, and the Christian converts to observe holy the first day of the week, Sunday, instead of the seventh day – Saturday!

    Since the Portuguese colonizers in Mindanao did not colonize Limasawa or Mazzaua Island in Southern Leyte, when Magellan, Pigafetta, Albo, del Cano, Valderama, and the other Spanish-flag bearing sailors landed in Limasawa or Mazzaua Island, Pigafetta did not write about the discrepancy regarding the “lost day.” The calendar used by the educated inhabitants of Homonhon, Limasawa, Cebu, Mactan, Palawan, and other islands in which del Cano, Pigafetta and other survivors landed on including the Spice Islands had to be free from the presence and influence of the Portuguese colonizers that sailed eastward from Portugal to Mindanao via Indonesia.

    Therefore, the Spanish-financed Magellan and his fellow sailors in the flagship Trinidad and those in 2 other ships, the Concepcion and Victoria, anchored, landed and observed the “First Mass” on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521 in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte!

    Let us stop the arguments or debates on Magellan’s exact location of the Philippines’ “First Mass” on Easter – which was and is a pagan festival or event which originated from Babylon or Iraq few thousand years even before Jesus Christ was born! The so-called important historical debates cannot provide the drastic needs for our fellow 90 million Filipinos!

    Bear in mind that Magellan studied Columbus’ achievements before Magellan and his fellow explorers risked their own lives to search for the Spice Islands via the uncharted west. He and his troops accidentally ended down in the Philippines where Lapu-lapu killed the unfortunate Magellan and few others in Mactan Island.

    Let us learn from Columbus’ re-discovery of America: “The first place Christopher Columbus landed when he came to the New World in 1492 was an island of the Bahamas. Columbus claimed the island for Spain and named it San Salvador. Historians are not sure which island Columbus landed, but they think it may have been present-day San Salvador (formerly Watling Island) or Samana Cay.” Although Columbus had explored the Caribbeans 4 times in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502, there are proponents for 7 other possible landing sites as to where exactly Columbus and his troops first anchored and landed during their 1492 voyage to the Caribbean Islands!

    For the sake of unity to our country’s diverse Christian denominations, for the sake of the independent Christian groups and other religious organizations and institutions, for the sake of the tourism and hospitality industries, and for the sake and success of the coming 500th “First Mass” Anniversary Celebration on March 31, 2021, we Filipinos need to get rid of the terminology “First Mass” on Easter – which is again pagan in origin. Instead the right and proper description of the historical and religious events which occurred during the expedition, exploration and circumnavigation should have been “Magellan’s introduction of Christianity” in Homonhon, Limasawa, Cebu and few of the 7107 other islands in the Philippines!

  5. sa totoo lang,LIMASAWA ISLAND,southern leyte is where the first mass in the philippines was held.ung mga evidence sa mazaua,butuan ay mga binili yan di2 sa limasawa island.

  6. Limasawa first mass is a hoax

    Go to

    Vicente Calibo de Jesus
    (ginesdemafra @

  7. let’s not argue about it…it’s already declared “Limasawa” as the site where Magellan first introduced Christianity to Filipinos…

  8. Limasawa Island??????????I grew up and studied in this island. And really missing this place as I have been in Yemen Middle East for such a long time.

    The last visit I had was in May 1991, so just imagine how am I feeling right now!!!

    Wish to come home sometime!!!

  9. hi rochelle,

    here dinnis solonia ubay from jeddah saudi arabia

    miss na daw nya limasawa, unsay latest dha?



  10. I Was here.. we back year 1994 hehehe 16 years ago_If im not mistaken 7 years old pa ko ad2..NICE gyud KAau ang limasawa Island…white sand…dn aside from that Historical pa gyud na Isla>> unta maka visit nasad ko sa limasawa inig uli naq dha sa pinas.>>>

  11. HI, just visited Limasawa island last January 22, 2010. We stayed at Nanay Lucring Lambot. They have a very beautiful & serene place for their equally beautiful beach house. We have the beach to ourselves, quite and peaceful. We did a full boarding and I love the native foods that Nanay Lukring prepared for us.

    We took the Cebu Air to Tacloban, hired a private car to Padre Burgos for 3,500 pesos. Aircon minivans are also plenty if you are on a tight budget. The Lambot’s beach house rate was 1,000 per night plus extra for the full board and the land/sea tours. I highly recommend them. The entire island knows where they are located. Simply ask for the “Lambot” beach house at the boat or upon arriving the island.

  12. hello…i have been to limasawa island and the people are very extremly friendly and i really enjooy there even the electricity starts at 5pm till 1am..but still fine..and the sanctuary erea were i took 3 hour of snorkling and very amazing place..i saw turtle 3 times at one dive…
    i meet one family there i forget there last name and there first name is rowena and juanito.they took us to the place were we could eat dried squids and dried sharks..
    i love to go back there.

  13. hinaut unta kamo maanaa sa maaung panglawas sa kanunay apil kamo sa ahong mga panalangin bisan layu ko sa akong yutang natawhan baya mingawon gyud ta diha kay pinaka maayu mupuyu kada adlaw sa atung yutang gidak an gitawag sa taga france (paradis ) karon ra ako naka sabot unsa ang atong nasud nga gitawag pa niadtung unang panahon 600 nga mga tuig Baybayin dili gyud ikabaylu sa laing yuta” MAHAL KONG NASUD”nga baybayung mga isla pinas modern name na

  14. Ok regards na lang sa tanan ilabina taga tibuuk southern leyte ug labaw sa tanan akong mga kamag-anakan sa Consolacion (Casa family ) Sogod southern leyte jai besoin plongeé dans l’eau pour oblieé les stress aure voir a tous jet’aime à tous.

  15. I have been to Limasawa during the tidal wave of 1984 or 1985 as part of the medical mission. It is great to see how much it changed and get back on it’s feet. I was really impressed with the hospitality of the people and the experience to see one of the most important place in the Philippine history. I am planning to visit the place one day.

  16. hello there? how limasawa now.. its been a long time i didnt go with my home town. which i grown up..i miss my classamte there.
    god bless

  17. I’ve been to Limasawa a few times, the last was in January and will go there this weekend with another set of friends. I can’t seem to get enough of this birthplace of our faith.
    Over the years, I have become good friends with the people there. Can’t wait to see them again.

  18. Tanong ko lang po sa mga dilabhasa sa history. Nang dumating si Magellan sa Limasawa Island. Ano oh ba ang tao noon pag dating ni Magellan sila ba ay mga pagano o mga taong walang kenikilalang mga dios?

  19. saan ba makikita ang pulo ng limasawa o ang pulo ng limawasa

  20. what else can i say??? such an amazing island,incomparable place.last xmas vacation 21st to be exact me and my friends decided to have an island getaway, and Limasawa Island provided us sunctuary.It was indeed a paradise. The people were extremely friendly and accomodating. as in grabeh talaga yong hospitality. The place is superb. how can i afford to forget the place,i always have millions of reasons to go back to this island. Much so the UY family thats ushered me to the entire island. and provided a nesting place for me. not to mention the fresh fish and vegestable serve for breakfast. In my two days stay, short yet memorable.I also had a share of psalubong na pusit…this time still has the same prize.hehhehe thank you very much. Limasawa will always be remembered.That once upon a time i set my foot in this beautiful Island.

  21. Hi there!

    My parents are both from this wonderful island. My siblings and I were all born and raised in Manila but we used to go there every summer when I was younger, and being there feels like you’re in a different world altogether. Unfortunately due to work and other schedule conflicts our trips there has since been tied to once every two or three years. Hopefully our plans to go there later this year will push through. Ü

  22. A lot of stories about Limasawa which is not true .If you want the truth,better ask
    the people from there or better read the story from the archives.

  23. im going to this island next week, any suggestion on what to see and do in there? thanks heaps.

  24. hi

    i’m very interested to visit limasawa next year.. please advice

    thank you

  25. Limasawa Island dili jud nako malimtam, all my good and bad memories are there. I grew up there, and thanks God na sa Limasawa ko nagdako cause its so nice place dili polluted ug mostly all people didto mahadlokon sa ginoo. I’m proud to be a limasawanian.

  26. hi…

    mouli kami karong semana santa.. sana walang habagat para unli ang pagtampisaw sa dagat..

Leave a Reply

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *