CUATRO ISLAS PROTECTED LANDSCAPE/SEASCAPE (CIPLS)

Brief Description

 A striking marine milieu which nestle in the western part of Leyte, the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape (CIPLS) has been proclaimed under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS). The CIPLS is composed ot the four islets namely: Digyo, Apid, Mahaba and Himokilan. Each Islet is bordered by while sandy shore and surrounded by beautiful coral gardens, which are considered one of the best in Leyte Island.

 These unique Islets are important and close to the hearts of the people of Inopacan and Hindang, Leyte because they have resided here for long years back and have established distinctive beliefs and practices.A total of 287 species of reef building corals can be found in the island’s waters. It is also a rich fishing ground and a home to countless diverse coastal and marine organisms, wildlife and ecosystems.

 CIPLS likewise showcases an underwater paradise ideal for ecotourism, a marine sanctuary; beautiful view of Camotes Sea; ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The limestone formation in most of the islands, represent fossil of coral reefs and fauna in the area.

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Himokilan Protected Landscape

Among the quadruplets, the Himokilan Island which has a total land area of about 48 hectares is considered as the largest. This has a total population of 850 composing of 125 households. Although part of popular “Cuatro”, this Island is separated from the three islets in terms of territorial jurisdiction as it is within the municipal boundary of Hindang, Leyte.Shaped Like a large boat floating above blue waters, this Islet offers the best spot and trails for camping and mountain-trekking.

Adventurous tourists may also explore the cave and experience the excitement of watching the fascinating behavior of the bats. Important natural resource in the Island includes the “pandan” which is the source of raw material for mat weaving and other native handicrafts.


Apid Protected Landscape

Considered the second largest island among the four, Apid has a total land area of 36 hectares.   The most peculiar in the Island is the manner in which the women weave their mat. Members of the household take pleasure in weaving mats in the makeshift huts under the cool shade of breadfruit trees, thereby easing their tiredness with the continuous coolness and serenity of the sea breeze. One can take delight at the sight of giant water jars which proved expedient to the inhabitants as rainwater catchment directly conveyed through spouts attached to roof edges.

The native fishing villagers enthusiastically demonstrate to their visitors their mastery in making handicrafts.

 

Mahaba Protected Landscape

The Island is considered as the third smallest Islet among the quadruplets with a total area of 20.8 hectares. The endangered mangrove species mababuxifolia (bantolinao, local Philippine name) are found abundantly in the island closely in association with coconuts along the rocky coastlines. The islet also boasts for its pandanplants for mat weaving materials. The islet has a craggy terrain with numerous sinkholes that are tell-tale of the island’s geological history. There is also a cave in the island that is the haven for the furious nut-cracking coco crabs locally known as “Tatus” a native crab locally known as “Alikway”. The so called “red shrimps” are also abundant.

The island is ideal for hopping, bathing, and picnicking. The balmy breeze sweeping across the island could drowse anyone for a good satisfying sleep.

 

Didjo or Digyo Protected Lanscape

Digyoisland is the smallest of the quadruplets with just a total land area of 4.5 hectares. This is less inhabited. Being the smallest, this islet is very fragile and may not be capable to withstand the pressure of human activity. Being very delicate, minimal activities can only be offered in the land base. Diving snorkeling and kayaking are among the sustainable activities that can be offered in the islet. Corals abounding in the undersea environs lend much to the beauty of the clear water giving bathers and picnickers the feeling of splurging in paradise.

                                                                                       

Lake Danao

Lake Mahagnao