Quick preview of 10-day backpacking trip:
- Arrival in Tacloban Airport
- Sambawan Island in Biliran
- Lulugayan falls in Calbiga
- Langun Gobingob Caving in Calbiga
- Rock formation in Biri
- Surfing in Biri
- Subic Island hopping in Matnog
- Surfing in Gubat
- Bigg’s Diner
- Departure in Legazpi Airport
Tacloban marks our point of entry in our 10-day journey. From the airport, we proceeded to our first destination, Sambawan Island. It took us 5 hours of travel from the airport to the island so we arrived pretty much late afternoon already that made our stay a lot shorter, bummer! How we wish we could have extended our stay for a day more to explore the island in its entirety. See more about Sambawan Island in this link.
We had initially planned to wake up early to jog around the island and catch the sunrise but then the rain was pouring hard so we just enjoyed the morning cool breeze as we slept in. We took a morning dip in the cool water as we waited for our boat to arrive.
Off to our second stop which is in Calbiga, Samar. We were supposed to go to Lulugayan Falls on our second day but we were caught by the bad traffic going back to Tacloban, thus our late arrival in Calbiga. The Municipal Tourism Office does not allow the trip to the falls past 3pm thus we decided to just have it on another day. We have arranged our stay with couchsurfer Monst. He was too hospitable to tour us around his town and accommodate us for dinner at his house. Hi Monst! We are grateful for your very friendly gesture. So basically, our 2nd day was pretty much just commute travel from Leyte to Samar.
One of the highlights of our Visayas trip is caving the Langun-Gobingob. This is just the biggest cave system in the Philippines and the third in Asia. No biggie Haha! Does underworld fantasy piqued your interest now? Check out more about it in this link.
Another gem situated in Calbiga is this stunning Lulugayan Falls. So even though our body was still exhausted from the caving adventure we had yesterday, we made sure not to miss this one in town. Check more about it in this link.
After lunch, we proceeded to take the 1-hr van trip to Catbalogan and dropped by the store of cave master Joni for the copy of pictures and videos from our daring cave adventure(make sure not to miss that post!). We then transferred to a van that will pass by Lavezares town-our point of entry for our next destination.
After 4-hrs of travel, a very interesting night in the town of Lavezares happened to us. We arrived past 10pm and unfortunately, the only lodging house in the area couldn’t accept us. Then we met our heaven-sent angels Ms. Letty and Ms. Rowena. They were too kind to trust and offer their house to us. As desperate as we were, we humbly accepted the accommodation. We know Filipinos are well known to be hospitable people but it was this circumstance that we truly felt how warm Filipino hospitality is, to say the least that we were complete strangers to them! We couldn’t thank them enough for their gesture; truly there are still good-hearted people in this seemingly chaotic world. Oh our hearts! So for that we would like to share a picture of these awesome women doing wonderful deeds. Excuse our puffy face! Haha selfie photo grabbed from Faye.
Day 5 and Day 6
Woke up as early as 5 in the morning and guess what, our angels prepared some simple breakfast for us. So as to not show disrespect, we had some before we finally bid our utmost heartfelt goodbye to our hosts. Our next destination is the home of the 6 gigantic rock formations in the island of Biri, Northern Samar. Check more about this hidden treasure in this link.
Onto our fourth destination-Subic Island in Matnog, Sorsogon. We were quite lucky to have a passenger boat from Biri going straight to Matnog, Sorsogon – this is not a frequent route of boats so better to always ask. That can save some time and cash traveling back to Lavezares-Allen-Matnog. However, the morning sea did not turn out to be as calm as we had wished. It was a grueling 3-hour boat ride from Biri Island to Matnog. It was so terrible that a few children puked and some other few got seasick because of the rough sea that incessantly jolted our boat up and down.
Finally, we reached the port of Matnog. Ate lunch at a carindera that surprisingly offers very sumptuous meals, sourced our food then off we go to the pristine beaches of Matnog. See more about this paradise in this link.
Day 8 and Day 9
Our next stop is Buenavista Beach in Gubat, Sorsogon for surfing. The fate however did not turn into our favor once again. There were no waves at all so we couldn’t surf. We have actually checked the waves forecast beforehand in https://magicseaweed.com/ but we still went ahead to see the place. We just strolled along Buenavista Beach instead. It is the first beach we have ever seen that seems so flat and calm it soothes your soul. The place is still raw and unspoiled; hopefully it stays that way forever. Surfing season here starts during amihan or northeast monsoon that comes around October to May. Contact Kuya Noli for surfing and accommodation at Lola Sayong, 09994061497. Another accommodation option is Lacsa Hilton, 09392601102.
Our last stop is in Legaspi, Albay where we had booked our flights back to Manila. We stayed at my friend Joy for our last night where we also met his oh so cute puppy named Migo. Thanks Joy! We were also fortunate enough to see the majestic view of Mayon’s perfect coned shape landscape resting beneath the billion stars from their rooftop. And of course a trip to Mary’s home province is never complete without eating at Bigg’s Diner. Therefore, our last meal at Bigg’s must be in order.
Sample list of expenses for the whole trip:
|Airfare from Manila to Tacloban||1,039|
|Day1: Sambawan Island (see itemized expenses in Sambawan post)||2,119.66|
|Van fare from Tacloban to Calbiga (1.5hrs)||120|
|Day3: Langun-Gobingob Caving plus breakfast||3,575|
|Day 4: Lulugayan Falls (see itemized expenses in Lulugayan Falls post)||227|
|Van fare Calbiga to Catbalogan (1hr)||50|
|Van fare Catbalogan to Lavezares (3.5hrs)||250|
|Day 5: Biri Island (see itemized expenses in Biri Island post)||875|
|Day 6: Biri Island (see itemized expenses in Biri Island post)||1,108|
|Boat ride from Biri to Matnog (3hrs)*usually 1.5 to 2hrs||200|
|Day 7: Subic Island (see itemized expenses in Subic Island post)||2,297|
|Jeepney fare from Matnog to Abuyog (1hr)||80|
|Jeepney fare Abuyog to Gubat (20min)||15|
|Tricycle Gubat town proper to Lola Sayong (60php for one way) (10min)||30|
|Accommodation in Lacsa Hilton||375|
|Tricycle to Gubat (10min)||10|
|Jeepney fare Gubat town proper to Sorsogon City (30min)||29|
|Van fare Sorsogon City to Daraga (1.5hrs)||110|
|Jeepney Daraga to Legazpi (10min)||14|
|Grand Total of Expenses||13,295|