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IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO SAMAR, THEN DARLIN' START PACKING!

February 17, 2018

    I've always been a traveler at heart, but I find myself stuck on a dreadful office and school routine that kills all my capacity for enthusiasm. And oh! how my heart longs to put on my trekking shoes, drink that wild air, get lost in nature and indulge in that fresh earthy scent that raindrops gives off before it hits the ground. To wake up in a city that I do not know my way around and have conversations in a language I can't entirely comprehend, because it feels good being a stranger and explore unfamiliar places. I always knew I'm a wanderer, having a free-spirit that thirst to do more than just exist.

But thank heavens, for the fusion of spontaneity and adventure in the flesh of my friend Mark Engelbert Labay who happened to be a YouTube Vlogger whom in the middle of my rather exciting hours at work asked me to "Pack up! We're going to Samar for an adventure!" folks, let me tell you right now. We all need that one kaladkarin friend. At first, I doubted. What is there to do in Samar? It doesn't sound that much exciting. But I have never thought that I'm in for a beautiful surprise, and here is our journey to perhaps the most underrated destination in the Philippines.

5 INTERESTING FACTS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SAMAR.
 

 
1. It is the 3rd largest Island in the Philippines with a total land area of 559,100 hectares next to Mindanao and Luzon, divided into 3 provinces East, West and Northern Samar, each are gifted with vast wonders of nature that will leave you breathless.

 

2. It is the Caving Capital of the Philippines and home of Langun-Gobingob, Asia's 3rd largest cave, that takes its pride in having the biggest Karst formations in Asia, located in the municipality of Calbiga.

 

3. The island of Samar is made up of 60% limestone and is rich on jaw-dropping majestic rock formations visible everywhere.


4. Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) is the largest land-based protected site in the Philippines covering over 333,000 hectares and another 125,400 hectares for a buffer zone across three provinces, protecting multitude of species in the country.


5. ILLEGAL LOGGERS TURNED TOURIST GUIDES! - Is just one of the many inspiring stories of life changing experiences of now Samar's People Organizations, an initiative to raising community awareness of the importance on the ecosystem and how to protect it for generations to come.  

 

NOTE: This blog post is a 3-day worth of tourist sites in Samar, comes with an itinerary, and includes information for accommodations, contact persons/rates of every destination and details on how to get there.

DAY  1

 

SAN JUAN FLOATING RESTAURANT & BOARDWALK BY THE BAY

 

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."

 

   We started our journey with a sumptuous breakfast comprised of a delicious fried rice, tinolang isda, tapa, boiled eggs, of course it won't be complete without pritong danggit and coffee, finished off with a fresh vegetable salad served by kind locals. It was our first time taking breakfast on board a beautiful floating cottage overlooking the picturesque view of San Juanico Bridge. It was a refreshingly unique experience for an Ormocanon like us, and the surroundings itself filled our hearts with contentment and warmth.

 

 




Setting foot to this place, we’re immediately embraced by the serenity of its surroundings, the beautiful change of scene fueled our mood. It's a must for family vacations or simply for people who needs to escape from the hustling world of the city.


 


 

 

 So if you need a place to think or a recreation for the whole family? Then, this might just be the perfect place for you to consider. You'll get to enjoy a surprisingly new perspective of the iconic San Juanico Bridge, the longest in the Philippines, along with the mangrove trees ecosystem, as you walk along the 400-meter bamboo foot trail going to the floating restaurant. While, you can also enjoy Kayaking along the San Juanico Strait or taking a dip in the swimming pen. There's a variety of meals to choose from and they also accept walk-in visitors, but, I suggest you make reservations before going there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE?




1. The entry point would be the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City.

2. Go to Tacloban City New Terminal: You can either ride a bus or a van going to Sta. Rita, Basey for about 24 to 30 minutes. Fare is only around 30 to 40 pesos.          

 

 

 

 

 

RATES?
 

Entrance Fee – ₱ 20.00
Floating Cottage Rent - ₱ 1, 500.00 (minimum of 10 person/cottage)
*A bit pricey for my taste, that’s for the entire day for those who wanted to stay longer and enjoy all the activities offered by the place (fishing, Kayaking, swimming etc.)

Note: You need to make reservations prior to your scheduled trip, if you want to have a meal in there.

 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 

TM/GLOBE:  09362410371                              SMART:  09292198955
                       09978397922

 

 

 

 

 


SOHOTON VISITORS CENTER & ECO-LODGE, BASEY

 

      After our sumptuous breakfast, we then made our next stop at the Sohoton Cave Visitors Center and Eco-lodge here in Wespal, Basey. We were immediately welcomed by their warm local staffs as we got off our van, composed mainly of young persons and Senior highschool students having their on-the-job training. 

 

   This is where you can register to avail of the Sohoton Cave and Natural Park Eco Tour Package:

  1. Starting with a Grand Yellow River Cruise on board the Katamaran or simply a motorboat.

  2. Next, is a Spelunking Adventure inside the majestic Sohoton Cave where you'd surely marvel on God's wonderful creation.

  3. Lastly, is the unforgettably unique Kayaking experience of our lives through the Natural Stone Bridge.

   

 

 

 

 

 
While waiting, you will be served with a complimentary Taragon Tea, perfect to warm your stomach and help you relax from the exhaustion of land travel. The Tarragon herb serves as an antioxidant rich in minerals that help to neutralize free radicals in the body. When taken regularly it can help reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke, and naturally lowers blood sugar levels.

 

It has a slight licorice flavor, fret not! you simply have to soak its fresh leaves in hot water and viola! there's your cup of tea. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

And since it's too relaxing, it def can be your resolve after a long difficult day. You can grow it in your garden or even in your kitchen. The Visitor Center has a Tarragon garden, where you can buy this herb at a very affordable price.

 

It's the hero for those people like me, who takes 3 hours, 200 position changes and a sacrifice to gods just to be able to sleep.

 

This is quiet a lengthy post about an herb, but I'm just really amazed on it's medicinal properties, it's a must have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here's our wonderful Sohoton Cave Natural Park Adventure


Are you ready?

 

You better be!

 

 


THE GOLDEN RIVER CRUISE

 

      This is called a Golden River, because of the golden leaves that dramatically falls off from the Narra Trees beautifully hovering towards the river. It is very much humbling to have the privilege of being one with nature and experience it's soothing effect to your soul. Allowing yourself to relish its serenity and breathe its earthly innocence, which can give you the strong urge to protect it, that's what I felt.

 

In a country where nature has been so lavish and where we have been so spendthrift of indigenous beauty, embarking on a river cruise enjoying it's natural state once in awhile, should be considered an obligation. 

 

 

 

 


We enjoyed listening to the sweet serenade of the river flows, on board the Katamaran Cruise.

 

As we pay utter attention to the contaminating enthusiasm of tour guide, Mr. Larry Rambacod, who filled us with instructions and the tales of Sohoton River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Irong ni Kahuraw"

 

Since, 60 % of Samar Island is made up of Limestone. It is studded with amazing rock formations visible almost everywhere.

 

This one particular formation is called "Irong" which means a "nose", yup! I couldn't argue with that, it definitely looks like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Panhulogan Cliff"


This rock formation made its history during the Filipino-American War, when Filipino rebels used to cloak themselves in this towering cliff fighting invaders by throwing off large quantities of rocks.

 

It is called "Panhulogan" from the root word "hulog" a Waraynon term, which means "to drop off".

 

Take a picture, but make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes. It can get really slippery and some rocks are sharp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arrival to the docking area from a 30 minute of River Cruising. Prepare your imaginations to run wild and be creative for the Spelunking across deep cavernous wonders of the Sohoton Cave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were welcomed with the strums of a guitar and singing of a Waray-waray Folksong by local musicians, allowing us to catch a glimpse of their musical culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOHOTON CAVE SPELUNKING

 

   This is called Sohoton Cave, from the root word "Sohot" which means "passing through the stones". Since, the passage way through its cave systems have very low elevations where you need to bend over in order to pass through the other chambers. It is said  to be 42 million years old, evident on its magnificent large Stalactite and Stalagmite formations. Dwelling in the Limestone hills, with richness in biodiversity and serving as the lifeline of the forest. Yet, something wonderful could just be as fragile and if we're not careful, is in great danger of disappearing.

 

As a Biological Student, I stand in awe of its Geological importance that forms a part of the natural world that is so critical to this planet's life support system. Such beauty takes a long time to form, but once gone, it's irreplaceable, and with it the entire ecosystem.

 

 

 


Here's the team, in the cathedral like entrance of the cave. Prepared and equipped of our protective helmets for the 45 minute journey into the dark underworld.

 

Note: Bring only the necessities and a bottle of water, preferably a water resistant mini bags for your gadgets. All will be paid prior to entering the cave, no need to bring cash.

 

The untouched beauty and the captivating mysteries of  Sohotons' cave system and rock formations, surely would leave people breathless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Column"

 

 

When a Stalactite and a Stalagmite meets, it forms a column.

 

(100 years is equal to 1 cubic inch) 

That's how long it is to form a single column and we're greatly amazed on nature's patience with its architecture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stalactites forms from the ceiling as a little circle of calcite filtered through a limestone. While Stalagmites, are mineral deposits of calcite that builds up from the floor.

 

While perhaps it looks like it's about to form a column, we were stunned that such 3 cubic inches distance of growth will take 300 years to meet. Wow! I can't believe how God carefully makes each columns we see in a cave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"White Calcite"

 

Calcite is the purest form of calcium carbonate, it's metaphysical properties amplifies and cleanses energy from the environment.

 

This also indicates if a cave is alive or dead and we were so blessed to have seen it during our tour. It's white color is highly sensitive, so defer not to touch it. When exposed to the foreign elements such as the human touch, it loses it's purity and starts turning brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Sohoton Cave is truly a hidden gem of Samar Island, it's interior boast curious shapes of rock formations that plays with your imaginations. I honestly haven't seen anything like it in my life before.

 

Here's some of them covered by ABS-CBN news.

 

 

 

 

 

 




Yet, the highlight of it all is the Natural Musical Organ that takes the shape of a "giant otap" known to Cebuanos. When our tour guide Larry started tapping, it brought different tunes and created a purely natural melody. We just stood there rooted to the ground with tears in our eyes, unsure if our ears are playing tricks, it's just marvelous. What an awesome experience to hear music created by our great God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

KAYAKING TO THE NATURAL BRIDGE

 

   Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy or rent you a Kayak and that's kind of the same thing. Adventure is out there, so let the river take you to where it flows. Take time to indulge yourself in a leisurely Kayaking in the Sohoton river, where you get to enjoy the lush verdant forest and  marvel at the different rock formations along the way.


 

 

  

"Kayaks at the dock of Panhulogan Cliff"

 

1 boatman: 1 tourist, Suitable for all ages, you can either choose to paddle on your own for upper body exercise or leave the paddling to the boatman.

 

They say that Kayaking is cheaper than a Psychiatrist, which is very true. On our way to the natural bridge, we saw river dwellers washing their clothes and children waving at us by the riverbank. They seem so happy and content, enjoying the simplicity of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Natural Bridge" 

 

We were astounded as these two Limestone joined together forming  a bridge beholding its utmost beauty coming to our sight.

 

This masterpiece untouched by the hands of man. makes Kayaking in the Sohoton River, a unique and memorable experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"A Natural Pool within the Bridge's Arch"

 

The Natural Bridge forms an arch creating a pool hidden in the lush forest and mountain cliffs.

 

I believe that nature is the epitome of adaptation and invincibility. When Yolanda wrecked it's havoc, this place suffered, yet it stood its ground, wonderful how it heals itself and turns out being even more beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we reached the destination of our Kayaking adventure, I realized that travelling is about finding wonderful places you never knew existed. It's not about the money, for it is incomparable to happiness I found when nature cast its spell and had me captured in its net of wonder forever.

 

"There's no art, nor a better architecture than works of nature here in Sohoton." Was what I said to myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BASEY, You are truly beautiful!

 

 

I am an overly opinionated person, but I have been rendered speechless of the grandeur of this place. It simply took my breath away as it captivates my heart, making it gentle.

 

It's too much for any adjective on the vocabulary to describe and I believe that's what the whole team felt as we stood there realizing how tiny we, and our problems are.

 

Definitely, the perfect place to allow nature's peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. 

 

 

 

Side Note: I'm so jealous in this photo I took of my friend Mark, it makes me wonder if I'm the better photographer. Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE?




1. The entry point would be the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City.

2. Go to Tacloban City New Terminal: You can either ride a bus or a van going to the town of Basey for about 40 minutes. Fare is only around 30 to 40 pesos.       

3. From the town of Basey, 13 minutes by a car, yet try to experience riding a habal-habal for about 30 minutes to get to Brgy. Wespal for only 50 pesos per head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RATES?
 

The Eco Tour comprises of 3 main activities: (Grand River Cruise, Spelunking and Kayaking)
 

ENTRANCE FEE

Locals - ₱ 20.00               Foreign - ₱ 200.00               Senior Citizen - ₱ 20.00


TOTAL PACKAGE COST - ₱ 1,825.00

 

Here is your breakdown!

 

RIVER CRUISE
Golden River Environmental Fee - ₱ 50.00

           Katamaran                                                                   Motorboat
1 Person:      ₱ 1,500.00/pax                                      1 Person:            ₱ 500.00/pax
2 Persons:    ₱ 750.00/pax                                         2 Person:             ₱ 250.00/pax           
4 Persons:    ₱ 375.00/pax                                         4 Persons:           ₱ 125.00/pax
5 Persons:    ₱ 300.00/pax                                         5 Persons:           ₱ 100.00/pax
10 Persons:  ₱ 150.00/pax
15 Persons:  ₱ 100.00/pax

(Rate varies according to the number of passengers.)

 

CAVE SPELUNKING - ₱ 300.00
KAYAKING - ₱ 150.00 (1 person:1 guide)                        Kayak Rental - ₱ 50.00


PERFORMERS
Guitarist - ₱ 200.00
Folk Dancing - ₱ 200.00

 

CONTACT PERSON


       Mr. Larry R. Rambacod, Tour Guide
       SMART: 09109850673


For the front office contact information, please refer on the photo beside.





 

MAMANWA TRIBE, CULTURAL IMMERSION

 

   The term Mamanwa means ``First Forest Dwellers”, derived from ``man” (first) and “banwa” (forest). They are black-skinned people, small of frame, kinky haired, snub-nosed and with black eyes. However, they are popularly called “Kongking” because of their kinky hair.  The Mamanwas still uses their own dialect when they communicate among themselves although most of them can now speak the dialects of the lowlanders. 

 

The tribe resides in a small community in Barangay Guirang in Basey, Samar just a walking distance from Sohoton's Visitors Center.

 

It is a blessing that the Department of Tourism included them in the tourism loop, providing them skills training, equipment, materials, marketing and promotion of their products. It helps improve their way of life, at the same time  allows tourists to learn about their culture and traditions for the better appreciation of the Mamanwas presence.

 

 

 

Shirley Calinawan, 35, a mother of five.

She's making necklaces made out of seeds they call ``kabug-kabug'' from the salugay vine that thrives in the thick forest, about 25 kilometers away from their community. As well as bracelets and souvenir pens bracelets made out of bamboo.

 

I bought a necklace and had been wearing it for the entire time that I spent in Samar. Make sure to buy one yourself, it helps support the needs of their family. 

 

Necklace - ₱ 50.00                          Bamboo pen - ₱ 20.00

 

 

I honestly expected more because when cultural immersion comes to mind, I expect seeing them wearing traditional clothing, which they weren’t, as of our visit. As a tourist wanting to know the ways of Mamanwa, I was hoping to see cultural dances or practices; this is something I’d like to suggest for the Dept. of Tourism. While it is important for them to learn the modern ways of us low-landers and how we clothe ourselves, I believe it is equally important to educate them the importance of retaining their unique culture as well.

 

Note: I’d like to thank Mr. Gerry Ruiz, for allowing me to use his photographs in this content.



 

 

 SAOB CAVE, MAT ``BANIG'' WEAVING AND INTERACTION

 

   In the warm and humid tropics, the Filipinos devised ways to make sleeping comfortable and the solution they came up with is through Mat Weaving. "Banig" means handwoven, in Basey the material is "Sedge Grass" or "Tikog" which created the identity of a Samarian Mat, wherein the material remains cool in the heat of the day, are smooth to touch, and porous enough to let ventilation through.

 

 

 


``Weavers underneath the cool shade of Saob Cave" 

 

According to the locals, this used to be a haven to hundreds of Banig weavers and on most days the weavers, mainly adult women, would fill the whole length of Saob cave’s spacious cleft, busily working on their colorful crafts. The sounds of rustling “tikog” grass, laughters and hearty conversations would joyfully resound within the cave’s walls.

 

As of today, there are only few weavers left in the cave. During our visit, we’ve noticed how old most of them are, having spent years with their back bent over and with  skillful calloused hands, they long for the old days, where their younger generation weaves with them.

 

 

 

 

It's not just a sleeping mat, it's an heirloom supposedly inherited in every generation made with passion and love. We were shown and introduced around by Ms. Gina Pequiño, my hopes are that the patterns such as Dama-dama, Binagaybay and Bitu-bituon lives through for more generations to come.

 

These are some of the artsy finished products displayed in various tourism outlets in Samar. With its quality and fine craftsmanship, be sure to buy one and have the opportunity to support locals products.

 

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE?


1. The entry point would be the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City.

2. Go to Tacloban City New Terminal: You can either ride a bus or a van going to the town Basey for about 40 minutes. Fare is only around 30 to 40 pesos.       

3. From the town of Basey, ride a van going to Saob cave for about 45 minutes. 

 

 

 

RATES?

 

Prices varies according to sizes.

 

Single Size - ₱ 500.00
Double Size - ₱ 600.00
Family Size - ₱ 800.00

 

CONTACT PERSON

 

Ms. Gina Pequiño, Weaver/Tour Guide
SMART: 09505885373




 

CALUWAYAN PALM ISLAND RESORT IN MARABUT, SAMAR

 

   We had a quick beach get away on our way to Western Samar, we stopped by in this dreamlike location of Caluwayan Palm Island Resort just along the road before reaching the Municipality of Marabut. The place is an absolute treat as you get to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere of palm trees and ocean breeze. It's not your typical white sand beach resort, but if you need a place to laze around getting a tan and lavish in the view of being surrounded by the breathtaking towering rock islets in its exquisite Karts formation, then it's perfect for you.

 

 

 

 

 "Infinity Pool"

 

 

You're only one swim away from a good mood.
So swim your worries away in this infinity pool with a gorgeous backdrop of beach. 


Adult - ₱ 200.00
Children - ₱ 175.00

(10 years old & below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it's a weekday, we had the place for ourselves. We occupied one of their cozy native designed cottages and ordered our tasty snacks served with a refreshing cucumber lemonade. The service is good and the food was served quite fast. However, the resort requires an advance booking of the beach cottages, especially on weekends. Here we spent a lovely afternoon having a leisurely chat recalling our adventure in Sohoton, while enjoying the serene ambiance of the ocean.

 

Beach Cottages - ₱ 500.00/per day

 

The resort sits in a gorgeous cove and the fine craftsmanship fusion of European-Filipino native designed architecture elegantly accenting its beauty. To accommodate the guests who wanted an overnight stay, the resort offers hotel rooms and beach villas perfect for visiting families. They also have a spacious function hall ideal for wedding receptions, birthdays, and seminars. A Bistro bar where you can spend a lovely time sipping in the refreshing taste of your favorite drinks, cocktails or maybe even a bottle of rum as you relish the magnificent sundown. During the night, you can also visit their clubhouse to enjoy dancing with the locals and experience kuratsa or be an audience to their cultural shows.

 

What makes Caluwayan Resot unique and special, is being surrounded by scenic towering rock islets where you can explore its coves secrets by boating, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling. However, it's kind of a resort where you can't get wet because of the jellyfish in the beach, but there's a special swimming pen where you could swim without the fear of getting stung. It's too bad that we didn't have much time to explore it, I'd definitely be back to experience it all firsthand. 

 

We highly recommend this little paradise on earth where you can relax, being wonderfully free from negative trappings of so-called civilization.

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE?


1. The entry point would be the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City.

 

2. Go to Tacloban City New Terminal: Ride a bus or a van for 1 hour and 2 minutes going to Caluwayan Palm Island Resort and Restaurant (CPIRR) in the Municipality of Marabut, Samar.

 

 

 

 



3. If you are coming from the town of Basey, find the nearest terminal and then here is your route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RATES?

 

 

 

 

Note:  
 

Strictly no bringing of food and drinks inside the resort.
Appropriate swimming attire is a MUST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Website:        caluwayanresort.com
Email:             caluwayan@gmail.com
GLOBE:          09773545692



 

 

 

LOLA ROSA BED AND BREAKFAST

 

   It is hard to be away from the comfort of our homes and finding a place to spend the night after a long day of adventure, is the most crucial part of travelling. Our team is really glad with our pleasant experience in a meticulously restored 1930's house of Lola Rosa here in Calbiga, Samar. The antiquity of place is very refreshing, the moment we've set foot on its foyer, it gave us the feeling of being welcomed home as it took us to the ways of old times.

 

 

Here we spent our first night in Samar, Dec. 4 , 2017 a subtle Christmas decoration accented the living room nicely. In the middle, there's a table with an exhibit representing  a Christmas eve in the cold winters' night of New York. It's awesome! my first time seeing one. While, on the right side by the wall is a painting of Lola Rosa herself watching over how beautifully her house had been kept throughout the years. 

 


 

 

 



 

Old houses are full with memories and that's probably why they resist to collapse. We were very fortunate to have the house to ourselves as we are freely able to explore around in what I can describe as a semi-historical tour of the 90's. The house is full of the antique collections of Lola Rosa. Even the interior is articulately decorated with painting of portraits, mosaics, abstracts made by national and local Filipino artists. 

 

I can still remember how overjoyed I am when I opened the door to our room and this is how cozy it looks, knowing how we got it at such low price. The smell of fresh warm sheets and musk wooden scent envelopes my body as I laid on the bed, relaxed as ever. The house have (7) bedrooms with spacious bathrooms, each are wheel-chair accessible.

 

Note: Although we experienced lack of water supply during our visit, which we didn't mind because the staff though few of them are quick to provide us with pails of water and we're also able to request hot water for us to shower. So, it really helps that their staffs are attentive and approachable.

 

So, when you happen to be in Calbiga whether to explore the 3rd largest cave in Asia or hunt for waterfalls. Then Lola Rosa bed and breakfast is the best choice that I could recommend you.

 

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE?



1. The entry point would be the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City.

 

2. Go to Tacloban City New Terminal: Ride a bus or a van for 1 hour and 2 minutes going to Lola Rosa bed and breakfast in the Municipality of Calbiga, Sto. Niño Street, Samar.

 

 

 

 


 

RATES?

 

It's just a small inn, so they don't have a brochure.

 

Total of 7 rooms, price ranges from 1200-1500
(Breakfast is not included but can be arranged)

 

 


CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Website:          https://lolarosacalbiga.wordpress.com/
Facebook:       https://web.facebook.com/LolaRosaBedandBreakfast/
GLOBE:           09773545692

 

 DAY 1, VLOG

 

Our first day in the beautiful Island of Samar has been amazing, we just can't wait to uncover more of its hidden gems. Here's the full video log of our days adventure, do check it out!



 

DAY  2

 SAMAR ISLAND NATURAL PARK (SINP), DENR COMPOUND

 

   We opted for an educational tour to start our second day and so, we made our first stop at the (DENR) office compound of Samar Island Natural Park located in Paranas, Samar. There are lots of information of biological importance  to learn here about the crucial role that (SINP) plays in the balance and preservation of the ecosystem. With it being the largest low-land forest site in the Philippines covering over 333,000 hectares and another 125,400 hectares for a buffer zone across three provinces, protecting multitude of endangered species in the country.

 

 




Our team is thankful for the things we learned from here and for the infectious enthusiasm of Mrs. Eires Mate in her craft, who rendered her time to show us around the compound. The place is not only inspiring, it also takes its haven surrounded by mountain ranges serving us a dreamlike backdrop of their infinity pool. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PHILIPPINE EAGLE

 Scientific Name: Pithecophaga Jefferyi 
 Status: Critically endangered
 

First sighted in Paranas, Samar on June 15, 1896 by a British naturalist John Whitehead. Also known as the great monkey-eating eagle, endemic to the Philippines.

 

1. It has a wingspan of between 184-220 cm and a body mass of 4.5kg-8kg. 

2. It is among the rarest and most powerful birds in the world, found nowhere else except in the Philippines where it is  declared the country’s national bird on 1995. 

 

 

 

 

THREATS TO SURVIVAL:
Losing the Philippine Eagle to extinction would also mean losing our nation’s precious biological heritage.

  • Shootings and Trappings

  • Deforestation


 

We have learned that SINP, is said to be the only remaining forest frontier of Region VIII, with its primary mission to protect both diverse endangered animals and plant species in the Philippines, that are globally significant.

 

Such biological richness is subject to enormous threat, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) can't do it alone. That's why DENR Officer, Mrs. Eires Mate dedicated her life in forestry and educating people on importance of preserving our forests. Because of the efforts on establishing biological awareness, Samar's People Organization and with the support of Gov. Sharee Ann Tan are now working hand in hand in an extensive campaign on forest protection and law enforcement to deter illegal loggers and charcoal makers from their destructive activities.

 

As Filipinos, we must do what we can to protect what remains of our forest. If it is possible in Samar, I believe it is also possible for Philippines as a whole to unite as stakeholders of our natural heritage.

 

As travelers it is our duty to share our precious experiences face to face with nature's grandeur, to inspire them to explore and appreciate the value of preserving it. So we won't only have stories to tell, but hopefully a healthier environment for generations to come.

 

 

ACTIVITIES OFFERED IN (SINP), DENR COMP.

  1. Torpedo Boat Ride (Downstream & Upstream, Deni Point Boulder Jump, Swimming).

  2.  Exploring the Eco-Trail.

  3.  Bird Viewing. 

  4. Taking a refreshing dip on the infinity pool, with a backdrop of lush verdant forest.


     

HOW TO GET THERE?

 



1. The nearest entry point would be the Catbalogan City Airport in Samar. 

 From there, ride a van for 1 hour and 8 mins going to SINP, DENR Comp.
in Paranas, Samar.

 

 

 

 

 

 


2. If your coming from Tacloban:

Go to Tacloban City New Terminal. Then ride a bus or a van for 1 hour and 55 minutes going to SINP, DENR Comp. in Paranas, Samar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. However, if your'e coming from Lola Rosa in Calbiga, Samar.
Ride a van for 45 minutes going to SINP, DENR Comp. in Paranas, Samar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RATES?

 

ENTRANCE FEE
Local - ₱ 30.00
Foreign - ₱ 180.00

 

Infinity Pool - ₱ 150.00/pax
Eco Trail - ₱ 250.00/pax

 

ACCOMODATION

For those who wish to stay overnight, specially bird viewers.

DORM ROOMS (7-14 Beds/Room) - ₱ 150.00/pax

 

 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Mrs. Eires Mate, DENR Officer
SMART: 09397793518


 

 

 EUPHORIC TORPEDO BOAT RIDE, ULOT RIVER


   You’re no doubt familiar with the dictum of Eleonor Roosevelt, ''do one thing every day that scares you.

 

The rigorous battle between terrifying rapids vs. a wooden canoe without outriggers here in Ulot River, definitely scares a terrible swimmer such as myself. It's just something that is out of my comfort zone and I wouldn't have tried it, if not because of my neutral thirst for thrills supported by the reliably competent tour guides and boat operators who assured us with their skills, able to encourage my team with the passion they have in their work. 

 

 

 


"Ulot River"


Spanning a distance of 90 km, this strong beauty is Samar's longest river. However the adventure route only traverses a total of 23 km. It is called "Ulot" a Waraynon term which means a "Monkey", used to be seen living near the riverbanks.
 

The adventure here is managed by Tour Guides and Boat Operators for River Protection and Environmental Development Organization, where the term TORPEDO boat ride is being derived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
"TORPEDO, Head Quarters"

 

In here we had a short orientation on what's to expect and the safety procedures that we have to follow. It might be too little to be called a headquarter, but it is complete with quality safety gears from life vest to helmets

 

The Adventure is composed of 4 parts:
1. (11.5 km/45 mins.) Downstream Ride.                                 
2. River Crossing by a Rope.
3. Boulder Jump on Deni's Point.
4. (11.5 km/1 hr.) Salmon Ride.