Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Borongan: Backpacking Eastern Samar

Welcome arch to Eastern Samar from Tacloban

There are 2 main cities that might be interesting for travellers in this province: Borongan and Guiuan.
In Borongan, there is the Ando island, Hinantangan beach in Tres Marias, and some waterfalls, but nothing fancy for me. I then limited my plan to just surfing.

Surfing in Borongan is not as convenient as it is in Baler, or La Union, or any other destination. It seems it is so novice to the reach of the local lifestyle.

Borongan is at least where you can get an accomodation. Otherwise, there is really nothing to go there for. Nevertheless, the city is vibrant enough with plenty of dining options, including the boulevard, where you can get chicken/port barbecues at night. It is the local hangout destination, with a few videokes and acoustic bars on the roadside.

Church in Borongan, Eastern Samar

Then, for surfing, while the bay in the boulevard would have been a great destination, there is no surf shop. Surfers who come here bring their boards as I was told.

Baybay shore in Borongan, Eastern Samar

To do surfing, traveller will have to get an 18km, 30 minute, P25 multicab ride to Brgy Owamas. From there, while if you are a rough traveller, you can arrange to stay in the resort’s accomodation (though their facilities are not complete. More than the 4 corners of a cube, there is none, not even a foam). In case traveller plans to sleep the night in Borongan, leave before 4pm, as the last trip for the multicabs may just be out.

Surf Omawas in the town of Maydolong, Eastern Samar

You can eat from P25 up in the local carinderias (P15 veggie + P10 rice).  Chickenitos seems to be a popular destination for Chicken BBQ at P45 for a part (even cheaper than the P50 from the stalls in the boulevard.

To get to Guiwan from Borongan (or vice versa) take the Duptours to Crossing. From there, take another van going the other city. Fare to and fro the city is P180. Borongan to Crossing was P120 and said to be P60 from there to Guiuan.

Guiuan seems to have so much to offer, though the popular destination is the ABCD beach in Calicoan for surfing. During my visit here, which was 1.5 years after typhoon, nothing seems to have recovered. All there is in the beach are the ruins of the resorts that were there previously, and the cottage of the surfiing boys that somehow have reclaimed the surfing in this city.

ABCD Beach in Calicoan, Guiuan, Samar
The Surf Camp in Guiuan Samar
On my way back to guiuan town proper, I decided to stop by a bridge. It seems it is where locals often go to with a few groups spotted there, including one group who was drinking right in the river. The river (seawater) is actually a channel between 2 sees on either sides of Guiuan.

Fares from Guiuan Town Plaza to ABCD Beach in Calicoan costs P25. From ABCD to Bridge costs P25, and Bridge to Town is P15.

the bridge in Guiuan

The 400 year old church would have been picturesque but badly torn to powder after the typhoon.
In Guiuan, the food around the market tend to be more expensive at P20-P25 for vegetable dish, though I was able to get to a carinderia a bit outside the town plaza for P15 per dish.
In Lupuk (port) you can catch boats to Sulapan and Homonhon islands. 

400 Year old church in Guiuan, Samar

To get to Borongan, from Manila, there are  direct  business  trips by DLTB. Alternatively, take a flight to Tacloban and from there, take a van (Duptours or Van Vans) to Borongan. Van fare with Duptours is P200 as of May 2015. Travel time is 3.5 to 5 hours.
From Catbalogan, you may also take jeeps going to Taft, and from there, take another jeep to Borongan.

To get to Guiuan, just like Borongan, there are direct  business  trips by DLTB  business . Alternatively, take  a flight to Tacloban and from there, take a van (Duptours or Van Vans) to Guiuan. Van fare with either is P150. Travel time is 3-4 hours.

There are jeeps going between borongan and guiuan with P120 fare. Travel time is about 1 hour more than the van trip. These are also buses from Terminal in Tacloban to both cities.

Better not to pick seats 1 (beside the driver) and those at the far end of the van. The road is a twirl and will surely keep you insane on the road.

Signal from crossing to these cities is obnoxious. If you want to keep your battery life, keep them on airplane mode.

For Surfing in Calicoan, contact Jun Jun of Guiuan Surfing Club. 0906 451 9719
Tanghay View Lodge in Guiuan at 0936 531 9495
Ednalyn of Omawas Surf Camp at 0936 835 1831

No comments :

Post a Comment

Popular Posts