Biliran, an unspoiled paradise in the Philippines!
Biliran used to be a sub-province of Leyte before it became an independent province in 1992. The province is indeed reach with natural resources that are unspoiled and undiscovered, maybe because of the distance and lack of tourist information. Sambawan and Higatangan Island made us decide to go to Biliran and it surely did not disappoint!
How to get there:
From Tacloban – Get to the nearest Van-Van’s terminal and take a van bound to Naval (Biliran’s capital town). Fare per person is at P120 ($2.5) and travel time from Tacloban to Naval is at 2.5 hours. When you reach Naval, you can ride either a tricycle or habal-habal to take you anywhere in Biliran.
How to go around:
Tricycle and habal-habal are the main mode of transportation around Biliran. Their habal-habal have roofs/cover attached to their motorcycles making it more convenient for travellers.
Where to stay:
Aside from the good reviews I read about Agta Beach Resort, I have experienced first-hand how accommodating its owner, Melo Sabitsana is. He addressed all my inquiries about Biliran and gave me several options on how we can maximize our 24 hours stay in Biliran, even before we confirmed our booking with Agta Beach Resort.
Since we are travelling on a non-peak season and on a weekday, we have opted to rent our own habal-habal to take us to Tinago Falls and boat to take us to Biliran’s beautiful Islands – Sambawan, Higatangan and Dalutan. All bookings were taken cared for by the resort. And btw, we got our spacious room for P1,200 ($25) too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo but it has a queen bed, A/C and its own toilet and bath.
Vast greeneries and yes, dark clouds greeted us as we go around Biliran via our habal-habal.
Tinago means hid/hidden in english and so is Tinago Falls, it was hidden in the rainforest of Caibiran, Biliran but don’t worry since your habal-habal can take you to the jump off point of Tinago falls. As you reach the jump off point, you can already see that the municipality of Caibiran did a great job in making a pave path going to the falls, making it easy and convenient for tourist to see the magnificent falls.
Exactly what we are looking for – a serene place to relax and unwind, we are lucky that day to have it all to ourselves Entrance to the falls is only P20 ($.40)
Sambawan Island is a one-hour boat ride from Agta Beach Resort and since it’s a Friday, we have the island all to ourselves, woohoo!!! The P100 ($2.5) entrance fee to the island was worth it since it is evident that it is very well taken cared for by the Municipality of Maripipi. You can find a clean bathroom, comfortable tables and chairs that you can sit on while appreciating the island’s beauty, a canteen plus a walkway that will lead you to the best view of the island.
Tip: Bring packed lunch or food as prices in their canteen is quite high.
Higatangan Island and Sandbar from afar.
Our boatmen brought us first in the swimming area of the island hence we were not enticed so we asked them if we can view the sandbar at that time and when he said yes, we immediately ride our boat and went to there and it didn’t disappoint. The waves on that part are strong and the sea bed has a lot of urchins hanging around so hold your excitement and be extra careful when dipping.
Our boat and Higatangan Sandbar and its turquoise water.
Dalutan Island is a 20-minute pump boat ride from Agta Beach resort. It is said to be perfect for snorkeling and diving. After paying the P20 ($.40) entrance fee, we immediately put our snorkeling gears to work and explore the beauty of Dalutan’s water despite the dark clouds and rain. Luckily we were able to see the beautiful corals and fishes. Too bad we weren’t able to buy bread to feed them, hence we still had a great time watching them.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore what Biliran has to offer in terms of food due to the bad weather and the unexpected distance from one place to another. We have only tried the food in our resort – a traditional pansit bihon & canton plus fried chicken for both lunch and dinner and Lucky Me pancit canton for breakfast. I also hope that Agta would soon offer fresh seafoods and a hefty menu when we get back.
Our detour to Biliran instead of Samar, was definitely worth it. It was truly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered in Eastern Visayas. Wanted to know more about this trip, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be happy to assist you.