Limasawa is a small island located in the province of Southern Leyte in the Philippines. It is famous for being the site of the first Christian mass in the Philippines, which was celebrated by Ferdinand Magellan and his crew in 1521.
The island is home to several historical sites, including the Limasawa Church and the Magellan Shrine, which commemorate the historic event. Visitors can also explore the island’s beautiful beaches, clear waters, and coral reefs, which offer excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Limasawa is also known for its colorful festivals, which are celebrated throughout the year. The most famous of these is the Sinulog Festival, which takes place in January and features street dancing, parades, and other cultural activities.
Limasawa is a small island municipality located in Southern Leyte, known for being the birthplace of the Church in the Philippines. Its name is derived from the word “lima asawa,” which means “five wives” in reference to Rajah Kolambu, the ruler of the island, who had five wives.
The island is also famous for the first mass ever celebrated in the Philippines, which occurred on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521. Ferdinand Magellan and his crew landed on Limasawa Island and sent Father Pedro de Valderrama with some men to prepare for the mass and inform Rajah Kolambu of their arrival.
Rajah Kolambu agreed to attend the mass and sent some gifts. As Magellan and his troops approached the shore, a salvo of six guns was fired as a sign of peace. Rajah Kolambu and Si-Agu greeted Magellan and walked with him to the place of worship, along with the sailors.
During the mass, the Rajahs remained on their knees with clasped hands. At the elevation, the ships fired all their artillery in response to a musket signal from the shore. This event marked the beginning of the Christianization of the Philippines, with Limasawa recognized as the birthplace of the church in the country.
The Native Delicacies in Limasawa Southern Leyte
While Limasawa has made a huge contribution to Philippine history, it also has a lot of native delicacies that one can only experience in the town. When it comes to native delicacies in Limasawa, the following are a few popular ones that locals and visitors alike enjoy:
- Budbud Kabog – Budbud Kabog is a type of rice cake made from millet, coconut milk, and sugar. It is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until it is cooked.
- Pintos – Pintos is a type of snack made from cassava flour, sugar, and coconut milk. It is fried until it is crispy and golden brown.
- Sticky Rice with Coconut Milk– Tiktilaok is a sweet delicacy made from coconut milk, sugar, and glutinous rice. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until it is cooked.
- Puto Maya – Puto Maya is a type of rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. It is usually served with ripe mangoes or hot chocolate.
Make sure to remember your name while eating these delicacies. Because of its delicious taste, you will surely come back and revisit the town!
How to get there?
To get to Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte, you can take the following steps:
- Take a flight to Tacloban City, which is the nearest major airport to Limasawa. You can fly to Tacloban from Manila, Cebu, or Davao.
- From Tacloban City, take a van or bus to Maasin City, the capital of Southern Leyte. The trip takes around 3-4 hours.
- Once you arrive in Maasin City, head to the Maasin City Port and take a boat to Limasawa Island. The boat trip takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the weather and sea conditions.
- You can also take a direct van or bus from Manila to Padre Burgos, which is a municipality near Limasawa Island. From Padre Burgos, you can take a boat to Limasawa Island. However, this option can take longer and may be more expensive.
Be sure to bring everything you need on your trip. Always remember that the best experience that you can get on the journey may be the place, but it could be more memorable if you are with your loved one. So we suggest you bring your loved ones—your family, relatives, friends, or partner. Safe travels!
- Limasawa Southern Leyte