Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Road to Adventure: Northern Samar Series

When I found out that I was going to Catarman in Northern Samar for an event, I knew I had to visit one place. We landed in Catarman, and after getting over with the Grill Fest in the town's park, we drove straight to the port town of Allen.

Allen is the gateway of Samar, having a regular ferry from mainland Luzon through Sorsogon. The journey to Sorsogon takes only 45 minutes via ferry, so it's around 2.5 hours to Legaspi City in Albay.

We stayed in Kinabranan Resort, owned by our hosts. You won't miss Kinabranan along the highway of Allen, as you will see this huge Montery Meatshop sign.

The resort is 15 years old, and is listed in Lonely Planet. It had recently renovated its rooms, making it cleaner, but still very basic. After all, it's more of an inn, than a resort. So don't expect luxuries here.

Nevertheless, we spent a comfortable night here, and the next day, we rose early to drive to the town of Lavezares, which is actually the town before Allen coming from Catarman. You can take a tricycle from Allen to Lavezares if you're commuting.

From the port of Lavezares behind its public market, we hopped on a passenger boat that will take us to our ultimate destination. The scenery was uplifting as we crashed lightly on the moderate waves. There was an interesting landmark of the Risen Jesus on what seemed to be a ship.

After around 40 minutes of passing through seemingly deserted islands, we ended up in a port filled with bystanders. I didn't expect that our destination would have a port like this. I thought the destination would be isolated, located on a small island facing the vast Pacific.

I was wrong. The destination was located on a town, a real municipality, that had a sizeable population. I'll be sharing more on the town in another entry.

It was 11AM and the sun was high and hot. We were a big group of 16, and we had to hire 8 motorbikes to take us to our destination (the cost was P50 per bike, and you don't have to negotiate since their rates are written on a billboard).

I couldn't contain my excitement, since this place is something that I have always wanted to go to. Although a part of me was worried, since I never expected the place to have a town like this. Populated town = abuse of nature.

After passing through narrow dust roads, rice fields, and patches of nipa huts, we reached the other side of the island. A shoreline revealed itself dramatically and made my jaw drop. All my worries were washed away in an instant. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.


Friends, welcome to Biri.

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