If you’re looking for a summer paradise, Samar should definitely be on your top list! With Samar’s unique geography, climate, and topography, there are a lot of things to try out, especially for adrenaline junkies out there. By paying a visit to this place, you can experience a Samar island tourism no other province can offer. With the rich culture and enjoyable ecotourism, this place is one of the trips you will surely want to have a part two.
Historically, Samar used to be more well-known as Western Samar because of its many divisions in the Visayas region. If you check out the map of Samar island, you will see that it is surrounded by multiple fellow archipelagos as well, such as Leyte and Northern and Eastern Samar.
If you are planning to go to Samar, you will most likely have Leyte as your potential next stops because they are connected by the San Juanico Bridge, which is one of the most famous bridges in the world. But overall, with Samar’s hilly topography, mountainous sites, and coastal peripheries, there’s a whole lot of activities you may look forward to.
Natural Hot Spots
Since a lot of natural treasures surround Samar, there’s a lot of exciting activities to watch out for on this island, may it be below water or inland. Allow us to name a few places that you may want to include in your travel itinerary when going to Samar:
Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park
One of the admirable things about Samar is the presence of multiple caves in the area because of its rich biodiversity and rock formation structures. A prime example would be the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, which is one of the places Samar island tourism has to offer.
Being a Samar natural park, many tourists often go here because of the serene view and ambiance, and the public activities here such as kayaking, viewing of limestone cliffs, and photoshoot with picturesque sights.
Langun-Gobingob Cave System
If we have natural bridges, we now go next with mysterious caves. One of the well-known tourist destinations in Calbiga, Samar, is their exciting underground cave system, which is known as the largest karst found in the country.
Since it is the biggest cave in the Philippines, it has a size of 2970 hectares, which tourists often explore and enjoy. Being a cave system, it is composed of 12 different caves. It is also considered a Samar natural park and a national protected area because of the ecotourism it offers for visitors and tourists.
Samar Water Paradises
As you can see on the map of Samar island, there are various bodies of water that surround the province. Given this, there are lots of aquatic adventures to plunge on, such as beaches, gulfs, waterfalls, and even rivers.
Waterfalls located in Samar are possibly some of the abundant bodies of water available for visitation in the area. With options such as Lulugayan Falls, Pinipisakan Falls, Bangon Falls, Blanca Aurora Falls, and Tarangban Falls, you inevitably won’t run of options. Luckily, each set of falls has a unique value of its own. Whether it’s the trike going to the main waterfalls, the scenic views, the visitable cottages, or the enchanting waters that flow across the area, the trail going back and forth is worth the travel.
Next up would be the beaches! If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss when traveling to Samar, it’s undoubtedly this. Given the location of Samar, multiple shores are naturally perfect for outdoor activities that can cater to various preferences like budget, facilities, and so much more. In Samar alone, you can visit beaches like Onay Beach, Calbayog Beach, Malajog Beach, Dancalan Beach, Malborak Beach, Acapulco Beach, Jagnaya Beach, and Bagacay Beach! It’s exciting to explore the beaches in this place because each one has a unique factor- whether it’s the sunset view, the beautiful forest background, the clear waters, the activities that can be done, and the marine life present and abundant in each beach area.
Jumping from the waterfalls and beaches mentioned, one of the most exciting things to do in Samar would have to do with its rapid rivers! Other famous activities that can be done in Samar would be going on a torpedo boat adventure in the Ulot River and go through the different waters and boulders that served as obstacles in the whole river. In a boat for three going through a fast water adventure, you’re sure to get that adrenaline all over your entire body, ready to go through some more exciting activities!
Strong Sense of Culture and Awareness
Despite the many fun things that can be done in the province of Samar, this humble community also had its fair share of problems and tragedies. Back in 1901, during the Philippine-American War, a Samar massacre occurred, resulting in the death of 48 people. This Samar massacre is then referred to as one of the worst battles, and it has been a talk of the town because it involved a cultural keepsake as well, which is the Balangiga bells which now belong to Samar.
After the Samar massacre that occurred, historians and townspeople now have a stronger sense of nationalism and love for not just Samar but even the province. This is why most people from Samar are known to be the most nationalistic, humble, and hospitable people, as this tragedy brought about a lot of other lessons. Tie this to their interconnecting social issues, which are still prevalent until today.
Today, people in Samar continue to share their culture and practices through exciting indigenous activities making of Tikog mats, which are most commonly found in the town of Basey. With the beaming patterns present in each rug, you can definitely see how colorful and how determined people of this province are.
Don’t even get started with the food of Samar! More than just the Samar island tourism, the cultural heritage, and historical riches they obtain, their food is also one of the best cuisines any tourist has to try. Since bodies of water and agricultural fields surround most areas, expect multiple seafood dishes and unique recipes that are sure to tickle your tastebuds. Examples of these include Lelang (native shrimp dish), Tamalos (Samar’s own version of tamales), Salukura (Samar-styled pancakes), and Tambis-Tambis (deep-fried coconut shreds).
Sama-Sama in Samar
Overall from the tourist spots to the culture to the history and the food, Samar is one of the underrated Philippine tourist destinations each one should definitely visit. You’ll not only explore a new world but also discover a beautiful place with a rich heritage.