Biri and Capul Island: explore the hidden gem of Northern samar for only Php 3090 or $62 for 3 days and 2 nights.

As promised, I will be talking about the ”must-see” tourist spots in Region 8 ( for my first few entry of this blog), for my 2nd blog I will be introducing two of the hidden gem of Northern Samar- Biri and Capul islands.

Northern Samar is a province  in the Philippines that is  located in the Eastern Visayas Region. It’s capital is Catarman and is located at the northern portion of the island of  Samar.

Honestly, at first, I was hesitant to do this trip because of it’s distance from Tacloban City (approximately 246 km) but gladly I did, because my memories with both islands are truly unforgettable. So here it goes..

Why BIRI and Capul Island?

“Unbelievable”-  that is the first thought that comes to my mind upon seeing the rock formations in Biri. Witnessing the deep blue sea of pacific ocean as it collide with the splendid rock formations carved thru time due to ferocious waves of the San Bernardino Strait seemed surreal and out of this world experience.
Aside from it’s “painting-like” view the people are very warm and accommodating especially the tour guides  who can also be your private photographer. (heheheh! They are just best!)

Meanwhile, Capul Island, has a combination of calm and exquisite atmosphere,  It is a perfect destination if you want to unwind and take a break from the fast-paced world.

How to get there?

There are several ways how to get to Biri, you can do the Tacloban-Allen-Lavezares route or  have a direct flight from Manila to Catarman Airport – Lavesarez  (I suggest that you do the latter because it is easier and not time-consuming).

If your from Tacloban City, you may opt to ride either of the following: D’turbanada, Duptours and Grand tours going to Allen with a fare of Php 350 pesos. Estimated travel time is 4-5 hrs. so it is best to travel early in the morning to get most out of your Northern Samar experience.

Upon arriving to Allen, ride a tricyce going to Lavezares for only Php 20 (if regular rate not pakyaw). Ask the driver to bring you to the port going to BIRI.

Exploring the island

Day 1

Upon arriving to the port, you have to wait for other passengers for you to get the standard fare of php50. If you can’t wait and wanted to leave you may charter the whole boat according to it’s seating capacity.  Travel time is only 30-45 mins.

Once in there,  habal-habal are easily available. The driver will take you to the tourism office so that you could register and pay for necessary fees (environmental fee -php 50, tour guide -php 300 & habal-habal- Php 195) .

After registering, you may take your lunch in the eatery (carenderia) located beside the tourism office. Once you’re ready you can now start your tour.

The tour guide will tour you to the different rock formations in the area. The 4 famous rock formation in Biri island are: Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at and Carana. All of them are equally beautiful. Each rock formation has it’s unique characteristic which is incomparable from other rock formations . So, don’t miss out any of it! No word could really describe the beauty of this place so I am leaving you with plenty of pictures below for you to enjoy:

            17817742_104704570083591_1940388180482064384_n17883616_1750267241655320_8021078733740569829_n17883931_1750267474988630_3184270323401549187_n17883589_1750269644988413_1322933691321187948_n17862793_1750267928321918_8730107126011230362_n17862598_1750270141655030_4116025541975785192_n17884217_1750267801655264_2233976127191497668_n6111013After the half-day tour, we went back to Lavazares to stay with my friend’s house. but for your part, you may opt to stay at Magallanes Suite and Spa (fan room) for only Php 500/pax.

Day 2

We woke up early so that we could travel from lavesarez to Allen port where boat going to Capul Island depart. There is only 1 scheduled trip heading to Capul everyday. The boat usually leave the port at 11am or 12nn. While boat leaving Capul back to Allen is only available at 7 am. So, make sure to make it on time or you’ll have to wait the next day or hire a private boat for a higher price.

Since we arrive at Allen port earlier than expected, we eat our early lunch at a restaurant located near the port.

Boat from Allen to Capul cost Php 100. Just like in Biri, there are already habal-habal drivers waiting at the port upon your arrival. You can haggle for island tour price, for our part, we had a deal of php 500/2 pax for all the destinations we wanted to visit which are as follows:

  1. St. Ignatius de Loyola Church 17952635_1755110511170993_1432260891814778019_n17663197_218688485281582_8900661963898486784_n17904237_1755112024504175_2821156608288482400_n
  2. Parola or Capul island light house

17903361_1755102851171759_7962257104208897391_n17951677_1755106417838069_1154778468859814086_n17663038_290320144738178_4038312754904301568_n17861715_1755107374504640_6909169597458518570_n17903335_1755103327838378_4296625259365958470_n3. Acapulco Island Beach

17861925_1755107107838000_930730142369240343_n4. Japanese WWII remains

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After our long day, we settled to stay at Capul Island resort, which is definitely the best resort in the island. It is very affordable and the caretakers are really nice and accommodating.

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Where to eat

There are no fancy restaurants in both Biri and Capul, but there are eateries (carederias) within the island. You can also ask the care take of Capul to cook for you. You can request food you wanted (as long as the ingredients are available).

 Cost breakdown for 2 pax:

Tacloban-Allen (duptours, Grand tours, D’turbanada) Php 350/pax ($7)
Allen-Lavesares (tricycle) Php 20/pax ($0.4)
Lavesarez-BIRI (boat) Php 50/pax ($1)
Biri Tour Environmental Fee – 50/pax ($1)

Tour guide – 300/3pax ($6)

Habal-habal ride – 195/2pax ($4)

Overnight stay (Magallanes Suite and Spa (fan room) Php 500/ 2 pax  ($10)
Hotel-Biri Port Php 10 /pax($0.02)
Biri-Lavesarez Php 50/pax ($1)
Lavesarez-Allen Php 20 ($0.4)
Allen-Capul 100/pax ($2)
Capul tour Php 500/2pax($10)
Capul Island Resort Php 600/4pax ($12)
Hotel-Capul port Php 20/pax ($0.4)
Capul-Allen Php 100/pax ($2)
Allen port -Daptours Php20/pax ($0.4)
Allen-Taloban Php 350/pax ($7)
meals Daye 1- bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300

Day 2-bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300

Day 3-bfast/lunch/dinner- php 300

total 3,090  or $62


“No amount of wealth could compare your experiences as you discover the hidden gems that lies beneath your feet.”

Tips:

Don’t forget to bring the following: insect repellant, sun block, handy bottled water, hat, swim wear, malong or scarf, sun glasses, action camera, and selfie stick

still to buy? No worries you can shop online at discounted price! Check the link below:

Shop now to get big discounts on your travel gears!!!

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Limasawa island: Travelling through history for only Php1,448 or $29 per person

Can’t believe it! after months of thorough personal deliberation and second thoughts, finally!!! I am writing my own blog. I am a newbie, so please bear with me, hahahaha! But for sure, my passion for travelling at lesser cost is unquestionable. Well, anyway. For a my first few blogs, I will be introducing travel itineraries in famous tourist spots here in region 8. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to comment below.

For my very first blog, I will talk about how you can travel in the famous historical place, LIMASAWA island for only php 1448 ($28) per person. YEP. You read it correctly. Just php 1448($28) for 3 days and 2 nights!!!

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so here it goes…

Why go to Limasawa?

Well, Visiting the First Cross and the First Mass Shrine located in this island will give

you a rare experience of retracing the historic footsteps of the Portuguese explorer

Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 who paved the way for the beginning of Christianity in the country, on top of that, the island lagoon and white sand beaches are also to die for. Definitely worth every penny you spent and will give you a perfect snorkeling experience.

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How to get there?

  • From Tacloban City ride a van going to Maasin (Vanvans, Duptours or in New Bus Terminal), fare is Php220. The estimated Travel time is 3-4 hours.
  • If your traveling from Cebu there are daily trips of fast craft directly to Maasin.
  • Once your in Maasin,  ride a jeepney or multicab to Padre Burgos for only 30 pesos . estimated travel time is 45 mins.
  • From Padre burgos, ride a boat to Limasawa Island for only 50pesos (daily trips are as follows: 8am, 12nn, 1pm,3pm).
  • Once you’re there, you can haggle with a habal-habal to bring you to your hotel for only php10 and you can hire them in advance to tour you around the island for only php 350 good for 2 pax.
  • For your accommodation,  I will recommend Dakdak Beach Resort, it is by far one of the cheapest resort in Limasawa, they have cottages near the beach for only 700 pesos per night (common CR),  you can also opt for air conditioned room which cost Php 1500. (all rooms and cottages can occupy 2-4 pax or even more)

Getting around the island

  • Day 1- It is better to spend your day 1 at your resort, you can enjoy sun bathing, snorkeling, swimming or even just rest and enjoy the beach.121_2198523561979829602
  • Day 2 – with your hired habal-habal,  the driver will tour you around the island such as the famous national shrine where in a tour guide will give you a brief discussion on the history of the island (donation and tips are optional). Before heading to magellan’s cross, you may visit first the house of Raja Bankaw which is located near the national shrine.
  • In order to reach the very first cross in the Philippines you have to climb more than hundred steps to cross atop of the hill. I hoped you prepared yourself physically!!ha! because definitely it will leave you grasping for air, but good thing there are cement benches at rest areas where you can rest and enjoy the view.

*note Try to schedule your trip in a way that you can attend a mass in National shrine to complete the historic vibes. (every Sunday at 11:00am)

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  • After your historic experience, ask the driver to take you to the light tower, and take a mandatory selfie overlooking the island lagoon. You can even climb through the top of the light house for more picturesque view.
  • 119_170908051159092665118581025_1842729082648183_659645322410065920_n
  • And to end your long day, you can have a cold dip at the island lagoon for only php10. And if you feel like enjoying the view under the cold clean lagoon you can also snorkel (just also rent a snorkeling gear for only php50.)34

Where to eat?

  • There is no fancy restaurant available in the area. but there are eateries (carenderias) within the island. You can also ask the caretakers in Dakdak to cook for you. Just let them know your request and they will prepare it for you for a minimal cost. Isn’t it amazing?

Cost breakdown for 2 pax

Places to visit Cost
Tacloban-Maasin Php 220/pax ($4)
Maasin-Padre Burgos Php 30/pax ($0.58)
Padreburgos-Limasawa Php 50/pax ($1)
Limasawa port- Resort Php 10/pax ($0.2)
Chill at Dakdak resort Php 25/pax entrance fee ($0.5)
Tour aound Limasawa via habal-habal

·         Magellan’s cross

·         National shrine

·         House of Raha Bankaw

·         Limasawa Light Tower

·         Island Lagoon

Php 350/2pax  ($7) + php 10 entrance at island Lagoon ($0.2)
Limasawa-Padre Burgos Php50/pax
Padre Burgos- Maasin Php 30/pax
Maasin-Tacloban Php 220/pax
Other expenses
FOOD

Day 1-bfast/ lunch/dinner

Day2- bfast/lunch Dinner

Day 3-bfast/lunch

100/pax/meal

Php 800/pax
Accommodation

Dakdak beach resort (cottage, non-aircon, common CR)

Php 700/2-4pax x 2 nights= Php 1400 ($28)
TOTAL Php 1,448 ($29)/person

Limasawa island is definitely a great catch! What is $28 for a lifetime experience? This only proves that you don’t have to be rich to travel, you only need a good amount of courage to explore the beauty of the world

tips:
don’t forget to bring: action camera, selfie stick,  sun glasses, cellphone, hat and other travelling equipment. you may check the link below for discounts!!!
http://ho.lazada.com.ph/SHWfrj

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