The Wandering Island is a geographical enigma that constantly defies state boundaries and persistent territorial claims— easily slipping through Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines, depending on the wind and tide. Located in the middle of Dangerous Ground in the Spratlys group of islands, somewhere in between the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea, L'Gau is a little piece of paradise for the shipwrecked, the lost, the stateless, the wandering.

Paradise Beach, L'Gau Island

L'Gau is a private island belonging to the Maitim-Weissmann family. The hostess, Alexandra, inherited the island from her Philippines- born mother Lucia Maitim and German father Ulrich Weissmann. The couple purchased the island in 1986 from a Philippine fisherman, and in 1989 began constructing a shrine to commemorate the People Power Revolution and its supposed influence on the fall of the Berlin wall.

L'Gau Shrine

Inside the L'Gau Shrine

The shrine served as a Catholic retreat house and accepted visitors from 1992 to 1995, until the lack of fresh water on the island took its toll, and operations had to be shut down. It stayed abandoned for 20 years until Alexandra decided to reopen it to the public. She then discovered that the shrine was hiding an elaborate secret oil drilling operation.

Inside the L'Gau Shrine

Much of the original structure has been converted into a foreign military outpost, and the coastline has been greatly eroded by strong winds and typhoons. Yet the beauty of L'Gau, the Wandering Island, endures to this day.

L'Gau coastline