As Philippine tourism continues to grow, more and more islands and provinces are becoming huge draws as their natural beauty and historical landmarks are showcased. Among the most popular nowadays are the Samar group of islands, Eastern, Northern and Western Samar.
The Sohotan Cave
It will only take less than 15 minutes from Borongan to get to one of Eastern Samar’s most famous sites, the Sohotan Cave.
While there are several such caves to be found in the province, this cave is singularly notable for its highly varied rock formations and rugged landscape. While it is ideal for trekking, rock climbing or even rock studying/collecting, it was actually used as a hiding place during the olden days by the natives.
The Calbiga Whitewater River
If your idea of a grand adventure involves kayaking and water rafting, then look no further than the Calbiga Whitewater River,
which is quickly becoming the top tourist attraction in Samar.
The length of the river is over 10 miles (18 km). As you cross the wild waters you will find yourself surrounded by hills and valleys, and a lush jungle. What’s more, there are over 60 rapids here. There are more than 100 drops, with depths up 10 meters (16 ft).
The Marabut Marine Park
Southern Samar has always been known for its beautiful bay, and nothing brings you closer to the wonders and beauty of its waters than the Marabut Marine Park.
Because it is situated right at the San Bernadino Strait, it features some of the most varied selection of corals, reefs and aquatic life forms in the island province. After checking out the various fish types in the seas, you can always go relax and grab something to eat, as the place offers the finest in seafood.
The Calbiga Cave
One of the most exciting things you can do in Western Samar is exploring caves, and for sheer size, nothing beats the Calbiga Cave.
Occupying more than 3,000 hectares, the Calbiga Cave actually consists of a series of interconnecting caves, an underground watercourse, dozens of passageways and chambers, and numerous rock formations. If this was not enough, the area itself is home to some of the most exotic and unique animals in the world, including, but not limited to, cave crickets, shell fishes and several species of bats.
Traveling to the heart of Borongan, one will find an impressive looking stone edifice. Built during the Spanish times, the wall holds the Hamorawon Spring.
This is a natural spring, and its cool waters can sooth even the most weary traveler. However, it is no ordinary spring, for the legends speak of its power to heal the sick. Furthermore, there are also those who believe that those who immerse themselves in the waters will also find true love.
It was this tiny piece of land that the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan first set his feet on Philippine land. The date was March
16, 1521, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Homonhon Island itself is some 60 miles (96 km) off Tacloban, and is near Guiian. Today, the island is recognized as a historical landmark, and there is a marker to denote the spot where Magellan first stepped on Philippine shores.
The Samar Archaeological Museum and Research Cetner
Samar is not just rich in natural wonders, but it also boasts of a long and storied tradition, and this can be seen in the collection at the Samar Museum.
The Museum, established in 1970, stores a vast amount of relics culled from various time periods. There are priceless antique jars, bowls, utensils and religious artifacts dating about a century before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Of course, there are also several artifacts dating from the Spanish period, and also a sizeable treasure trove of statues, paintings and sculptures of Christian saints and martyrs.