Marcos took refuge at Higatangan Island during World War II
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 the 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.
Higatangan Island is a simple fishing village, blessed with coconut trees and abundance of fish. For many decades this island was just a pretty place along the way riding a boat from Naval-Cebu-Naval. Recent years have brought a number of tourists to this place, with its white beaches, crystal clear waters, shifting sand bar, rock formations, light house and the coconut trees that keep the place cool and breezy; it is fast being the number one destination in Biliran province.