Friday, March 8, 2013

Eastern Visayas Tour

Sembreak 2012.

I've always wanted to explore Eastern Visayas ever since I was a child. Eastern Visayas is one region full of historical events. When I was still young, Philippine history had fascinated me and the notion to visit the region started.

Anyway, my tour started in  Surigao City. Originally, the flight was bound to Butuan but for one reason or another, I was informed by my favorite airlines (Airphil) that there was a change in the flight and the flight was redirected to Surigao City.

Actually, Surigao City was the best spot to start the tour due to its proximity to Eastern Visayas.

My tour was slated to start from Southern Leyte, then to Leyte, then to Biliran, then Eastern Samar, then to Western Samar and ending in Northern Samar.

But first let's start in Surigao City!

Lake Mainit


From the airport, I took a jeepney ride to Lake Mainit, Surigao Del Norte. It took me more than an hour to reach the spot.

Lake Mainit is the fourth largest lake in the Philippines. The surface area of the lake is shared between the provinces of Surigao Del Norte and Agusan Del Norte.

After two hours, I went back to Surigao City and spent the night in the city.

The following morning I went to the Port of Lipata, Surigao City. I chartered a tricycle for P200.00 from the city to the port.

I waited for about an hour before I was able to board a bus en route to Samar.

The sea trip was almost two hours. It was cloudy that day but the sea was calm.

At first I thought our destination was  the Liloan Ferry Terminal. But we reached another ferry terminal, the Port of San Ricardo on the southern tip of Leyte.

Our Lady of Assumption Shrine

I alighted at Maasin City, the capital of Southern Leyte. Maasin City is the gateway to Southern Leyte's tourist destinations like the Maasin Cathedral and Our Lady of Assumption Shrine.

I climbed all the way to the top just to see the shrine. And it was worth it!

It was raining hard that day when I went to Maasin Cathedral.  I was soaking wet when I entered the Maasin Cathedral. I prayed again for my health and safety, and went back to the van terminal. 

My destination - Ormoc City.

It took me one hour and 45 minutes to reach Ormoc City from Maasin City (99 kilometers).

And the first thing I did was to go Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church! I was very religious that day..

One thing I like about Ormoc is the variety of ihaw-ihaw, street food and seafood they offer.

I enjoyed my dinner in Ormoc City!


The next morning, I went to Lake Danao in Ormoc, Leyte. One of the 32 ecotourism spots promoted in the Philippines. From the city, this can be reached by land transport in just 30-45 minutes. The lake offers a variety of water activities. The serene atmosphere of the lake is one of the things you can enjoy while staying. 

Lake Danao

After seeing Lake Danao, I went to my next stop - Biliran.

It took me almost two hours just to reach Biliran. Normally, it takes only 1 hour and 30 minutes but there were several stopovers that day.

I spent the night in Biliran.

I spent the whole day going from one tourist spot to another.

Agta Beach

Then, Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls.

Then around 2 pm, I went to my next stop - Tacloban, Leyte.
It took me more than two hours before reaching Leyte. Another van ride.

I was able to visit only one tourist spot in Leyte apart from its Cathedral, i.e. the Sto Nino Shrine.

The Santo NiƱo Shrine is one of the 29 presidential rest houses that the late President Ferdinand Marcos had built. It was built for his wife Imelda Marcos. Now, the place is a museum housing the artifacts of the Marcoses.

From Tacloban, the next stop was Balanggiga, Eastern Samar.

I boarded a van again bound for Borongan and it was past nine pm when I arrived in Balangiga. I had to see the famous Balangiga Church. I spent the night in Balanggiga and paid P130.00 only for my room. 


After seeing the Church, I went back to Tacloban, Leyte. This time with another mission. 

Another 1 hour and 30 minute ride back to Tacloban.

I alighted at the spot of the most famous bridge in the Philippines - 
San Juanico Bridge.

I made another stop that day. At another historical spot in the Philippines.

Basey Church
St. Michael the Archangel Church was constructed in the 17th century. It features murals of biblical characters on the ceiling. 

Last stop for the day was the Sohoton National Park and Caves.

I chartered the boat ride for P1,800.

Sohoton National Park and Caves is one of the 32 recognized ecotourism spots in the Philippines.

From Sohoton, I went to my next stop - Catbalogan City.

I spent the night in Catbalogan and I planned for my next journey.

I was excited that finally I will be able to see the famous Calbiga caves!


Calbiga Caves 

The largest cave system in the Philippines, reputed to be the second largest in Asia and the world's third largest karst formation, is 7 km. long with an area of 900 square km.

A little bit of bird watching and hours of trekking.

I also went to Lulugayan Falls.

Numerous waterfalls cascade down the rapids from Lake Kalidongan but the most majestic  is the Lulugayan Falls at Barangay Literon. Approximately fifty meters wide, Lulugayan Falls has been dubbed by tourists as a Mini Niagara Falls.

I would never forget that day. There was a typhoon signal number 2 in Visayas and there I was touring Calbiga.

After the tour, I went back to Catbalogan and I slept soundly that night.

DAY 7 

The next day, from Catbalogan I went to Calbayog City.

Travel time is more or less an hour depending on the pace of your van.

But we reached Calbayog in just 47 minutes.

I stayed in Calbayog for only an hour and roamed the city.

Calbayog Cathedral

Then after an hour, I went to Catarman, Northern Samar.

 Here is the inside peek to the interior of the Catarman church.

Again, I roamed the city even though it was slightly raining.

From Catarman, another bus ride to Allen, Northern Samar.

It took me only 45 minutes to reach Allen.

Reaching the port, I boarded a Roro ferry boat and went to Matnog. From Matnog, I took a bus to Batangas.

Concluding my 7-day tour of Eastern Visayas!

It was one week full of thrills and a variety of experience!

Till my next tour in Eastern Visayas! =)


  1. sir ano po name ng pension house sa balangiga?im backpacking eastern visayas dis july!

    1. Honestly, I cannot recall. There are 3 lodging houses that you can stay there. Yung tinulugan ko ay Konsehal ang may ari, near the church itself. I paid P150-200 ata for one night. He is also the person in-charge of tourism. Very accommodating. Have a safe trip. enjoy!

    2. tank you sir.cge hanapin ko nalang!:)

  2. wow! thank you for visiting our place. so how much did it cost you with that 7-day non-stop trip?