Samar : A Kiss of Pacific (Part 2)


Biri Island : Invading the Alien World of  Magnificent Rock Formations

 

Long before, I wasn’t awakened by this magic. I dreamt of going outdoors and wandering to places I have never been, but did not give any serious thought about it. It remained a dream. Eventually I had this scary feeling, the fear of the unknown.  I harbored unsettled doubts and I let negative thoughts dominate my being. That’s why I was stuck and remained stagnant and my world just revolved around me.

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Maybe I was peculiar.
Maybe I was weird.
Maybe,just maybe, I was just crazy.

And I loathed myself because of that.

Then later on, I opened my eyes to the  real world and embraced and welcomed this magic in me. Little by little I let go of that lamentable nonsense. I couldn’t cross the vast ocean and explore distant shores if I remained that way. I couldn’t  undergo other beautiful experiences by being stationary and not leaving ever. I couldn’t collect priceless moments if I continued my insanity. So I embraced and welcome this magic. And when I let this magic fathom  my existence, I mustered enough courage to fight any challenge that I might encounter when I would be on my way. Most of all I must conquer all my fears to become fearless.
For me this magic is to travel. 
  • To travel to be able to not just  see the view but  to witness and discover behind the sights
  • To travel to be able to experience and to go beyond the offered moments of such experiences.
  • To travel to be able to learn and gain knowledge  at the same time to learn to unlearn
  • To travel to be able to live a life that I had imagined long before.
I never dreamed to travel the world, but to see what the world would offer to me. After all, no distance is far, for we all live in one planet.

So join me as I go out to witness another magic. I’m going to chase potatoes again and this time it will be in Biri Island.

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The Philippines consists of thousands of islands, each of which is unique and has distinct features to offer. Some islands have magnificent mountains; some have great beaches; some have stunning waterfalls and so on and so forth. Each has different stories to tell.  I’m sharing now Biri Island that delivers picturesque views of its stunning  rock formations.

A BIT OF FACTS ABOUT BIRI ISLAND

Biri Island is located in the northernmost tip of the province of Northern Samar. It faces the blue sea of the Pacific Ocean to the East and the famous San Bernardino Strait to the west.

MY TRAVEL AND PHOTO DIARY IN BIRI ISLAND

I was grateful for the fine weather for we had a smooth sailing ride to Biri Island. In the midst of our boat trip, we saw this statue of the Virgin Mary that seemed to save a drowning human at the top of a concrete ship. I was so enthralled with this marvellous human creation that I couldn’t take my eyes away from it. I had no idea why it was erected there but I think it symbolizes guidance, mercy and perpetual help to seafarers or maybe it serves as a reminder to the people to live an ecclesiastical life.
statue by the sea2 photo credits to che by the sea
I was so stunned and fascinated by the sight that I forgot to take a picture of it . However, here’s the picture taken on the net for reference. Photo credits to Google, Che on the Road

Upon our arrival in Biri Island since our main purpose was to view  the rock formations in Biri, we then rode a habal habal and were directly led to the tourism office.

In the tourism office, I was impressed by the warm accommodation of the amiable staff and the extent of their tourism services. They gave us orientation and package tour arrangement. They provided tour guides with fixed guide rates to avoid overpricing. They were strict with payments to be impartial to their guests.
In the tourism office, I was impressed by the warm accommodation of the amiable staff and the extent of their tourism services. They gave us orientation and package tour arrangement. They provided tour guides with fixed guide rates to avoid overpricing. They were strict with payments to be impartial to their guests.

The tourism office also gave us this leaflet. The leaflet presents information about facts, history, tourist spots and other stuffs in Biri Island. They  gave us this information to give us a trip with  easy access and without hassles and I like it.  I hope other towns will imitate this kind of service.

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Aaaaand the tour began. Yey!

First stop. Magasang Rock Formation

As we started, we came across this concrete bridge.  That’s me at the end of the bridge. The beautiful scenery here started to unfold and it thrilled me so much that I captured a selfie shot.

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We went down the bridge. Luckily it was low tide.  We started to wade in the seawaters. As you notice in the picture, there are a lot of huge smooth almost rounded rocks here. I wonder what these stones are and why do they look like huge pebbles.
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At the right side of the photo is the Magasang Rock Formation. It looks like a mountain or an islet capped with a lush meadow.

And as we proceeded with our tour, we noticed that the rocks were becoming plentiful. We saw a bed of rocks. I had so many questions in my mind. Curiosity just sprouted in my nuts at the unbelievable sight (like how did those rocks form like that, where do the rocks come from, etc., etc., etc.) but naaaah I  had to stop all my queries and just be fascinated with nature.

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Finally we stepped on Magasang Rock Formation. And whoaa, just look at Ate Chen. She seemed to be devoured by a rock tsunami. Haha! When you are in Biri, your mind gets playful and creative in animating what you will see thus making your trip more enjoyable.

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Just posing around behind the stunning artwork crafted by nature. This place totally rocks! Literally. Ha-ha!

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This is one of my fave pics during our Magasang tour. I love the pale tint of the rocks and the reflection in the water of the three persons walking cautiously.

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If you have fear of holes, you better not look at this photo. For sure, this will make you uncomfortable. Sometimes nature provides odd looking things to make our skin shiver. Haha! Anyway, I don’t have that kind of fear. I was just intrigued how these holes were moulded and shaped. They looked like dried coral reefs. But still I was captivated with the sight. Tell me what do they resemble?

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Capture that picture perfect Kat.

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Here’s Katrina having a good time posing for a photo. In this picture you can see the different textures of the rocks. Behind her is a smooth wall with a wavelike-pattern topped with a rugged shaped rock and she is sitting on  a rough rock that looks like  dried corals. Don’t worry, most of the coral-looking rocks are sturdy enough to be stepped on.

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Here’s a funny photo of us trying to hide from the sun’s  hottest rays.

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Again I found a spot to hide from the unforgiving hotness of Mr. SUN, haha. I was grateful for taking this spot for I luckily got a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

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The rock formation here looks like a sliced cake. The blue sea is the Pacific Ocean which seems to be flowing infinitely. It looks like it doesn’t have any ending but beyond the thousands of miles of the ocean lies the other side of the world. There lies America! So when you are there, say hello to America. Haha!
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Be brave wild one.

And this is the perfect place to shout  your greetings to America  or rather clamour that you’re the king or queen of the world or just scream all the pains, disappointments and heartaches and release to your heart’s content all the negative feelings that had swallowed your being and for sure you’ll be okay after.  Biri Island is the ideal place for the healing of the broken-hearted to be able to move on and realize that life goes on and on and on! Char lang!

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In this photo you can see different rock formations, textures, colours, patterns, shapes and also  tourists. The comeliness and picturesque view of the rock formations attracts tourists to visit Biri Isand. This island is blessed to have this kind of natural beauty.

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As time heals wounds, it also beautifies things like the rock formations here in Biri. The constant waves of the sea and the strong current of the water sculpted these rocks into something extraordinarily spectacular and maybe in the next hundreds or thousands or millions of years, what will Biri look like? Hmmmm! I wonder. I bet it’s going to be more beautiful (if and only if no human abusive behaviour will intrude)

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In the middle of our tour, we saw these kids swimming in this nature pool. Touring around Biri Island is not complete without swimming in this natural pool of water. It is such a perfect way to cool off  the warm welcome of the sun in Biri Island.

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But since we had limited time, what we did was just picture taking with the nature pool.

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So this is the end of our Magasang Rock Formation tour. Time flew so fast for unknowingly we had consumed enough of it while enjoying taking snaps of this stunning world. So here’s my last photo featuring the rock islands. Just kidding. I called the place rock islands because the rocks are submerged in the water protruding their heads resembling islets or small islands. How I would love to hop from rock to rock here!  It may be called rock hopping, lol!

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Second Stop . Bel-at Rock Formations

So we went on  to the next part of our tour which was Belat Rock Formation, Again,  we crossed a bridge. Notice that some handheld part of the bridge is gone. Our guide told us that some parts of the bridge were destroyed by typhoons.
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In this pic, I was sitting on a rock and watching with enjoyment the waves coming from the Pacific Ocean and listening to the harmonious splashing  of  the waves towards the rocks. Moments spent in watching  the water kissing the shore were moments of blissful peace and serenity. True to its name, the Pacific Ocean provides an atmosphere of peace. One can find peace just by looking at this vast body of water. 

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So this is now the Belat Rock Formation. Look,  how massive the rock structures are! I can’t wait to explore more of the rocks. So let’s go on. . .

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As I took a closer look at the rock formations in Belat, I was captivated by what I saw.

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I wondered how nature did all  these. The wall looked like a pattern of waves. Biri Island’s geological features are truly incredibly amazing.

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Belat looked like a different planet.  What a beautiful place! Belat Rock Formation was just my favourite. It was perfect for a postcard photo.

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Finally, we rested here in this area and it had a bigger shade. Our tour guide narrated to us that long ago when he was a kid, he sometimes sneaked to this place just to rest and sleep.. Well I couldn’t blame him. This part is  ideal for relaxation after sauntering around the rock formations of Biri Island.

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This pic taken by Ate Chen was my fave pic so far. Looking at this pic, I noted that the rocks looked like a temple or a fortress from other parts of the world. It seemed we were transported to the ancient temples of Cambodia. These rock formations are truly fascinating and only nature can produce them marvellously.

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People come to Biri Island’s  stunning rock formations not just for sightseeing but also for photo shoot. We even saw people having their prenuptial shoot here.

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The rock formations here look like footprints of aliens or those of an astronaut after his trip from outer space. Look at my feet. They perfectly fit.

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But time did not stand still.  Darkness gradually enveloped the earth’s surface as the sun started to rest its shining rays. It was time to bid goodbye to Biri rock formations and part ways. Huhu
We bade goodbye to Biri Island. Thank u for the chance of seeing your beauty.

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As we bade goodbye, the waters gradually rose due to the approaching high tide. So we waded fast so as not to be totally soaked with the waters in going back to our destination. Haha!

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😤😤😤I was 99 percent amazed with Biri Island. It is less 1% to the perfect score because I noticed that some tourists threw their trashes anywhere. Our guide told us that there was nothing to worry as there were people who maintained  the cleanliness of the place. But I hope that people will take responsibility for their acts and not depend on other people to do tasks for them. I hope  they will realize that trashes make the place dirty.
Haaays. .. It’s not stupid to respect a place.

BiriIsland (24) (1024x768)So anyway, this is the end of our tour. So thank you, Biri Island. You are biri beautiful!   I’ll be back and that’s for sure.

There are seven rock formations in Biri. Due to limited time, we explored only two. There are still more places to visit and to explore.

HOW TO GET THERE
(taken from Biri leaflet)

 

·       By  AIR – Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific Airlines have daily flights to Catarman, capital of Northern Samar. Each airline has its respective flight schedule from Monday to Sunday daily. From Catarman, take 30 – minutes jeepney ride to Lavezares, and from there, a 45-minute motorboat ride to Biri Island.

·         By LAND – Air-conditioned buses from Manila are available daily to Allen and Catarman. Aircon vans and ordinary buses ply to Tacloban and Catarman routes. Get off at the municipality of Lavezares, the jump-off point and take pumpboats going to Biri Island.

·        By WATER – From Cebu, one can take a boat or vessel bound for Calbayog City or Ormoc City in Leyte. From Manila, passenger boats travel via Tacloban or Calbayog City.

HOW I GOT THERE

After visiting Capul Isand, from Allen we rented a tricycle to Lavezares, then we rode a  motorboat to Biri. After disembarking from the boat in Biri we rode habal habal directly to the tourism office.
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The boat we rode to Biri Island

WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at GLORIA Vista. The room rental is cheap, perfect place for budgetarian folks . The people in  Gloria Vista are accommodating and friendly…

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ESTIMATED EXPENSES IN GOING TO BIRI ISLAND

Php 50.00  – From Lavezares to Biri Island (motorboat)
Php 10.00Habal habal fare to Office of Tourism
Php 645.00Package tour for 3 persons –
the tour fee depends on the number of guests
Php 50.00Environmental fee

Php 150.00Lodge for one night
Php 50.00Additional fee for generator

*The estimated expenses posted is for Biri Island only.  Travel fare in going to Samar and some miscellaneous fees are not included.

TIPS FOR YOUR TRIPS

  • Tip No. 1 –  You can hire a boat going to Biri island through “pakyaw” system. It is better to avail of “pakyaw’ system   because waiting for other passengers for the boat to be full will take time. Boats will depart only if they are full of passengers. There is no scheduled time for the boats to arrive and depart.
  • Tip No. 2 –     Go directly to the tourism office for the orientation and package tour arrangement. If you hire tour guides who are not from the tourism office, your tour might be cancelled.
  • Tip No. 3 –     Take food and water with you for you might get hungry and thirsty in exploring the rock formations but never litter. Respect mother nature. What you take there, bring them back with you.
  • Tip No. 4 –     Use sunblock, wear eyeglasses, and hat to protect you from the sun’s hot rays.
  • Tip No. 5 –     Bring additional clothes in case you like to swim in the nature pool.
  • Tip No. 6 –     Be extra careful as you wade on the waters, you might step on some corals and other marine creatures.
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  • Tip No. 7 –     Do not get any rocks or anything as souvenirs. Leave the place as it is.
  • Tip No. 8 –     Some parts of the area are slippery because of the remnants of sea water that are left on the surface during low tide. With that, there is some kind of algae or moss that grows on the area making it slippery. So be cautious in walking along the rocks.
  • Tip No. 9 –     Always follow the guide, for the guide knows the place and he will always look after your safety. Never, ever wander away from him.
  • Tip No. 10 –     Electricity in Biri is from 12 noon to 12 midnight only.
  • Tip No. 11 –    Some parts of Biri town have limited network services but along the shore the networks are strong.
  • Tip No. 12 –    Bring extra cash for emergency purposes.
 

Words somehow can’t describe my delight in  Biri Island, so here’s our video about our musing in this stunning island.

Here’s my portrait photography in Capul and Biri Island.

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 I was recently inspired by Cotopaxi to share my thoughts on my favorite park in the world. They are an outdoors company that cares about adventure and giving back. A portion of their sales helps benefit world poverty initiatives. The travel backpacks tend to be the most popular and can help inspire people to get outdoors and see some beautiful parks.
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How about you? Have you gone to other places that look like from another planet? What are your experiences?Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you. Please connect thru  my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.

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49 thoughts on “Samar : A Kiss of Pacific (Part 2)

  1. I am back in circulation (internet hooked up two days ago, finally)–and I just had to stop by to say that I so appreciate your gift adventurous and generous spirit…the places you reveal are ones I couldn’t even imagine…you are such an incredible story-teller, and have a wonderful way of making seasoned travellers out of most anyone…okay, I really should speak for myself….you take me places in my imagination, heart, and mind that I would not visit otherwise…that is the magic of you…the magic and uniqueness of the connection you engender…thank you…thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • As always, thank you so much for your warm comments. You just keep me going and make me inspired to continue to travel and write. I know this is a late response, but your comments are always highly appreciated. Mwaaaah. xoxo

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  2. Awesome read. Great great photos!! I am actually taking some pointers on your blog as I am going to Biri Island this weekend. Thank you so much for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know how would I formulate my sentences to comment on your blog because it’s simply amazing and beautiful. Well written and your choice of word is way beyond intelligent. Your photos? It’s truly a wow. After reading your blog, I am motivated enough to visit Biri Island without doubts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy too Kat, because of you, this trip is made possible. HAHA.Ng dahil sayo nakapunta ako sa Capul and Biri. at dahil din dyan Samar is one of my fave places here in the Philippines na. So thank you very much Kat. ♥

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  4. wow, those rock formations are truly amazing! i didn’t even know they have that in samar. thank you for sharing. definitely putting it on my list of places to visit in the philippines. =)

    Liked by 2 people

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