around-samar-024.jpgIntroduction to Samar

Here’s a quick look at the island of Samar in the Philippines. This island is less developed than some of the others but that gives it a unique flavor.

This man is paddling the Blanca Aurora River near San Jorge.

around-samar-023.jpgBright blue kingfishers hang around at the waters edge and add a little color to the landscape.

around-samar-001.jpgThis is the Ulot River (Monkey River) cutting through the Taft National Forest. The forest is pristine and the water pure but illegal logging is going on at a terrific pace.

On both of these rivers it would be a good idea to have a friendly local with you, as a companion to smooth the way, because these areas are politically sensitive.

Catbalogan fish market – interesting video taken at my local fish market

around-samar-014.jpgTarangban Falls is in Western Samar about a 4 kilometer walk from the National Highway near Calbayog. It is a pleasant hike through coconut palm plantations but the trail is not well marked.

Going with someone that knows the area makes it an easy trip.


I just love this place!


around-samar-011.jpgJeepneys, vans and habal-habal motorcycle taxis are the most common forms of road transport in the province.

buying shoes – youtube video of the local shoe store in Catbalogan

around-samar-022.jpg…forgot to mention motorbike tricycles

around-samar-009.jpg…and manpowered tricycles.

around-samar-010This whole concept of roofed over motorcycles is an indicator about how much it rains in these parts.

around-samar-021.jpgHere is the old church in Basey.

around-samar-012.jpgThe San Juanico Bridge connects the islands of Samar and Leyte.

around-samar-018.jpgLeaf being used as an umbrella in Eastern Samar.

around-samar-016.jpgThis neat house and garden is on the east coast near Taft. The east coast gets hit regularly by typhoons during the stormy season and has some good surfing spots.

around-samar-007.jpgFishermen’s houses on the coast near Catbalogan. One of these fishermen brought us over to Guimit Island about 2 hours distant.

samar-samar-006 There we did a little research on the python population.

samar-samar-002.jpgBoats with outriggers for stability are the norm on the fishing grounds.

samar-samar-004.jpgThere are networks of caves running through the limestone of Samar.

Samar has an undeveloped tourist industry but spelunkers from Europe make regular visits to explore and map the area.

This is local caver, Sherwin, having a look at a flawless formation in Jiabong Cave.

samar-samar-007Sherwin displays a bat in Guimit Cave. I suggest not handling bats because they are are known to carry rabies in some cases.

samar-samar-001.jpgJoni in Jiabong cave near Catbalogan. This local cave system gets very few visitors.

You get a feeling like you are passing through the veins of the earth when swimming along in these underground rivers.

I prefer these smaller caves to the Calbiga Cave which is one of the biggest limestone caves in Asia.

around-samar-020.jpgFishing villages spring up where ever there is a river meeting the sea.

Hinabangan Samar – youtube video of a typical town in Samar

around-samar-002.jpgStreet parades are common through out the Philippines.

around-samar-005.jpgThis occasion was Charter Day in Catbalogan.

samar-samar-005.jpgPineapples are a major crop in Samar. It takes a bit of practice to cut them but you get the knack of it by watching the locals.

They are sold alongside the road – 5 for 100 pesos.

around-samar-008.jpgFish vendor in Borongon.

Imagine fresh caught yellowfin tuna for 120 pesos a kilo! Most of these photos come with a more complete story.

See the Samar section.


Sep 2, 2008

17 responses to “Samar”

  1. Hi there, I’m just wondering do you have any idea how much does a motorbike tricycle cost? I have a girlfriend in Catbalogan and I’m planning to buy 1 for her family so she can start earning some income. Cheers


  2. dp,

    You are very resourceful. Thanks. I will fly to TACLOBAN and then take a mini van to CATBALOGAN as per your advice.


  3. dp,

    I will take your advice. Regarding the boyfriend thing, I doubt it coz she wants me to meet her parents, which I will. Also she knows I will bring her home one day to settle down with me. As you said, I will check it out before venturing further. I will certainly txt u up when I’m there. Cheers

  4. dp, thanks! I have read your Waray Waray phrasebook and save a printout copy to keep it handy during my stay. I would love to see those whalesharks one day and swim with them. It’s every divers dream. I did txt u from my cellphone, just to say hi. Don’t know whether you have received it. Thanks again dp for a very helpful source of information, especially the Waray Waray phrasebook. I did recommend your website to other friends who are interested to visit SAMAR one day. But they let me do the adventuring first…hahaha…thanks again

  5. Hi,

    How long is the drive from Catarman to Calbayog and then from Calbayog to Catbalogan and then Catbalogan to Tacloban?

    I will need to go to Samar next month and visit each of the towns mentioned above.



  6. is there any transportation from calbayog to taft,samar? how much will it cost? thanks

  7. hi,

    can anyone please tell me what to do and see in samar? will be going there from tacloban and it will be my first time.
    so need your help.

    thanks a lot

  8. hi,

    i need your advise.
    i will be travelling to tacloban and after that i dont know exactly which is great to go next, either go ormoc to go back cebu
    or tacloban to samar and what are nice place to see and do there and after that which way to go next, i would wanted to go north of cebu if its possible after samar.
    so it will be tacloban-samar-sta fe cebu or bantayan island…. is it possible after samar not to dock in cebu city?
    pls help.

    thank you

  9. We took the shuttle bus from Tacloban down to the far Southeast tip of Samar at the city of Guiuan. The journey down Samar is hard because of the huge potholes (probably due to earthquakes). The whole area around Guiuan is nice due to its small size. You have to be careful finding a room at the local lodging establishments for sure. We ended up having a great time and want to explore the Calicuan Island (sp?) area in the future. This can be reached by a road that attaches to the main part of Samar in Guiuan.

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