Higatangan Island is a part of Naval Municipality that is separated by a narrow channel located in the north west tip of Leyte.
The name Higatangan is derived from the word “atangan” meaning to wait for. Old folks say that the place was where the pirates ambush approaching ships laden with goods and also the place where the Moros lay in wait for their enemies going to Sumbul (Naval).
The island has several white beaches and blessed with exotic rock formations.
From the town of Mabini, which was named in memory of Apolinario Mabini, there is a 200-meter white sand bar that stretches out like a giant tongue. Because the current surrounding the sand bar is strong, some people lost their lives, some attribute this as “alay-buhay” to placate the gods.
The unnaturally beautiful rock formations along the south coast were said to be home to supernatural beings. There were cases that a sudden big wave or a gush of wind rock the boat when passengers were being noisy.
President Marcos temporarily took refuge during WWII on this little island, that’s why the highest point on the island (46m) is still called Marcos Hill to this day and a light house is erected on it to guide boat men.
It is said that this is where Marcos received his divine sign that he was destined to be a president of the Philippines.
The truth behind his stay is a source of controversy for the Biliranons. The long held belief was that it was Fidel Limpiado, member of a prominent clan who hid Marcos and his companions against the Japanese patrollers.
However, Professor Rolando Borrinaga, a known Philippine historian disproves that story. His long and arduous research give way to the fact that it was a simple skipper named Man Dising from Caray-Caray Biliran, who helped Marcos in hiding.
NOTE: The author is he teacher-in-charge of the Tag-abaca Elementary School in Leyte, Leyte)