As promised, I will be talking about the ”must-see” tourist spots in Region 8 ( for my first few entry of this blog), for my 2nd blog I will be introducing two of the hidden gem of Northern Samar- Biri and Capul islands.
Northern Samar is a province in the Philippines that is located in the Eastern Visayas Region. It’s capital is Catarman and is located at the northern portion of the island of Samar.
Honestly, at first, I was hesitant to do this trip because of it’s distance from Tacloban City (approximately 246 km) but gladly I did, because my memories with both islands are truly unforgettable. So here it goes..
Why BIRI and Capul Island?
“Unbelievable”- that is the first thought that comes to my mind upon seeing the rock formations in Biri. Witnessing the deep blue sea of pacific ocean as it collide with the splendid rock formations carved thru time due to ferocious waves of the San Bernardino Strait seemed surreal and out of this world experience.
Aside from it’s “painting-like” view the people are very warm and accommodating especially the tour guides who can also be your private photographer. (heheheh! They are just best!)
Meanwhile, Capul Island, has a combination of calm and exquisite atmosphere, It is a perfect destination if you want to unwind and take a break from the fast-paced world.
How to get there?
There are several ways how to get to Biri, you can do the Tacloban-Allen-Lavezares route or have a direct flight from Manila to Catarman Airport – Lavesarez (I suggest that you do the latter because it is easier and not time-consuming).
If your from Tacloban City, you may opt to ride either of the following: D’turbanada, Duptours and Grand tours going to Allen with a fare of Php 350 pesos. Estimated travel time is 4-5 hrs. so it is best to travel early in the morning to get most out of your Northern Samar experience.
Upon arriving to Allen, ride a tricyce going to Lavezares for only Php 20 (if regular rate not pakyaw). Ask the driver to bring you to the port going to BIRI.
Exploring the island
Upon arriving to the port, you have to wait for other passengers for you to get the standard fare of php50. If you can’t wait and wanted to leave you may charter the whole boat according to it’s seating capacity. Travel time is only 30-45 mins.
Once in there, habal-habal are easily available. The driver will take you to the tourism office so that you could register and pay for necessary fees (environmental fee -php 50, tour guide -php 300 & habal-habal- Php 195) .
After registering, you may take your lunch in the eatery (carenderia) located beside the tourism office. Once you’re ready you can now start your tour.
The tour guide will tour you to the different rock formations in the area. The 4 famous rock formation in Biri island are: Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at and Carana. All of them are equally beautiful. Each rock formation has it’s unique characteristic which is incomparable from other rock formations . So, don’t miss out any of it! No word could really describe the beauty of this place so I am leaving you with plenty of pictures below for you to enjoy:
After the half-day tour, we went back to Lavazares to stay with my friend’s house. but for your part, you may opt to stay at Magallanes Suite and Spa (fan room) for only Php 500/pax.
We woke up early so that we could travel from lavesarez to Allen port where boat going to Capul Island depart. There is only 1 scheduled trip heading to Capul everyday. The boat usually leave the port at 11am or 12nn. While boat leaving Capul back to Allen is only available at 7 am. So, make sure to make it on time or you’ll have to wait the next day or hire a private boat for a higher price.
Since we arrive at Allen port earlier than expected, we eat our early lunch at a restaurant located near the port.
Boat from Allen to Capul cost Php 100. Just like in Biri, there are already habal-habal drivers waiting at the port upon your arrival. You can haggle for island tour price, for our part, we had a deal of php 500/2 pax for all the destinations we wanted to visit which are as follows:
- St. Ignatius de Loyola Church
- Parola or Capul island light house
3. Acapulco Island Beach
4. Japanese WWII remains
After our long day, we settled to stay at Capul Island resort, which is definitely the best resort in the island. It is very affordable and the caretakers are really nice and accommodating.
Where to eat
There are no fancy restaurants in both Biri and Capul, but there are eateries (carederias) within the island. You can also ask the care take of Capul to cook for you. You can request food you wanted (as long as the ingredients are available).
Cost breakdown for 2 pax:
|Tacloban-Allen (duptours, Grand tours, D’turbanada)
||Php 350/pax ($7)
||Php 20/pax ($0.4)
||Php 50/pax ($1)
||Environmental Fee – 50/pax ($1)
Tour guide – 300/3pax ($6)
Habal-habal ride – 195/2pax ($4)
|Overnight stay (Magallanes Suite and Spa (fan room)
||Php 500/ 2 pax ($10)
||Php 10 /pax($0.02)
||Php 50/pax ($1)
||Php 20 ($0.4)
|Capul Island Resort
||Php 600/4pax ($12)
||Php 20/pax ($0.4)
||Php 100/pax ($2)
|Allen port -Daptours
||Php 350/pax ($7)
||Daye 1- bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300
Day 2-bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300
Day 3-bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300
||3,090 or $62
“No amount of wealth could compare your experiences as you discover the hidden gems that lies beneath your feet.”
Don’t forget to bring the following: insect repellant, sun block, handy bottled water, hat, swim wear, malong or scarf, sun glasses, action camera, and selfie stick
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