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Roughly about 6 hours from Kalanggaman Island is a chunk of paradise with a million dollar view. Sambawan Island in Biliran boasts of its mountainous coastline with an easy trail going up the view deck.
On the other side of the island you will see a gentle giant - a dormant volcano called Mount Maripipi.
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Known as "No man's land", this hidden gems in Biliran is now starting to make noise on social medias. Sambawan Island is located 5km of the west coast of Maripipi Municipality, south of the Samar sea, is fast becoming the most visited attraction by the tourists. The semi- curved beach with soaring rock formations covered with green grass as a backdrop create a bubble of fantasy that you are entering another dimension. Sambawan island is a marine sanctuary and a popular dive site. It has an extensive wealth of marine life, good visibility and corals that are in good condition. Turtles, sea snakes and reef sharks are also found there often. Current is mild and suitable for all range of divers. With its crystal clear water and a 360 degree view of surrounding naturescape, there's no doubt that this island is a backpacker's choice. It takes a lot of traveling and effort to get here but you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view that will surely melt your heart.
YOU NEED TO KNOW!!
High tide finds Sambawan as a group of three islets jutting out from the sea, as the causeway connecting the three islets gets submerged. It’s the ideal time for divers to explore the island’s famous dive sites called Sunken City, Buga I and II, and the black forest, where underground marvels like fan corals, awesome rock formations, a sunken garden, rock walls, reef sharks, and amazing schools of fish abound.
If you're a baratPacker like me who wants to save money for accommodation, you can bring your tent that'll serve as your accommodation during your stay. Pitch a tent on the beach for P100, and be rewarded with a cloak of stars on a clear night. There's a free water drinking water available at the Sambawan Camping Dive. There is no electricity on the island, but the resort has solar lamps and a generator set that runs from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.
HOW TO GET THERE
-To get to Sambawan Island, you can ride a van from Tacloban in Leyte to Naval, Biliran. Travel time is approximately 2 hours and a van fare of 150.00
- Once at Naval Port, there are three ferry boats that leave Biliran Port to Maripipi Island and the schedule of these trips from Monday to Satuday only. The ferry boat leaves 10:00 in the morning and back to the mainland at 5:00 in the morning the following day. If you're going to visit the island in a local way based on their schedules, it's clear that you'll spend a night either in Sambawan Island or Maripipi town. Travel time from Naval Port to Maripipi is roughly 1.5 hours.
-Once you're at Maripipi, hire a habal habal that could take you to Brgy. Ol-og where you can hire a motorized boat that will bring you to the island of Sambawan. The travel time from here is 15-20 minutes and the boat rent is 500 pesos.
-There's no boredom moments when you're here! There's a lot of things that you can enjoy like snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving. Just make sure that you'll bring your swimming gears with you.
- Before heading to the island, make sure you'll buy stuff needed during your stay.
- Make sure to waterproof everything! Bring waterproof camera like gopro etc. Make sure to keep an eye on your valuable things.
-Bring sunblock and sunglass
-What you see, Just leave it there! Don't bring corals, starfish etc.
-Avoid playing loud musics as respect to other guests/visitors.
-Don't swim if you're drunk.
-If you have kids, make sure to always pay attention especially when they'll go on swimming.
-Pick up your trash! Practice leave no trace ethics.
I agree that it's time consuming and takes a lot of patience but you'll be amazed and rewarded with its picturesque view. I also think that it's time for us to discover and explore more rather than going to the crowded places just to feel the heat of summer. With its unique characteristics and breathtaking view, there's no doubt that Sambawan Island is a must go to place in the Philippines.
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mapapa wow ka sa ganda :)
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SAMBAWAN ISLAND, Biliran - Finally! I remember reading looloo insights about Biliran, an emerging toursit destination. Tacloban City is the best jump off point if you plan to visit Biliran which is why I flew to the said city last week.
Sambawan Island cannot be located yet by Google Maps which makes every traveler's visit more exciting. The island cannot promise you a long strip of white sandy shores like Calaguas or White Beach in Camiguin. However, it's the island's pure beauty that gets people frantic to visit the place. For some reason, the island made me fee like I was in Batanes because of the grasslands, cliffs and hill formations surrounded by vibrant blue water. I did a 5 minute hike to the top of the highest hill and the view will get your phone's battery drained. The view of the tallest peak of Maripipi, a neighboring island, took me from Batanes to Hawaii. Also, standing on a hill while watching the sun getting gorged by the sea was the icing on the cake.
The place started to develop 2012 and now offers cottages and rooms. For those like me who likes unmarred islands, it's a little disappointing to see cottages but it's an island owned by someone and there's nothing we can do but appreciate that he opened this gem to the public.
Entrance Fee - PHP100 / person
Small Cottage - PHP300 overnight
Big Cottage - PHP500 overnight
Rooms - PHP2500
It would be best if you buy your food and drinks before you set sail unless you're okay with canned goods. There's a mini tindahan where you can buy canned goods and have them cook it for you for a price. There are decent restrooms and shower areas as well.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take a van to Naval, Biliran from Tacloban City. You can choose between VanVan and Duptours for PHP120. Travel time is 2-3 Hours. From Naval, ride a boat to the island of Maripipi. The boat leaves at 10AM and returns to Naval the next day at 5AM, except Sundays, so make sure you plan your trip well and do a lot of reading before you visit Sambawan. Travel time is 2 Hours depending on weather condition. From Maripipi, ride the Habal-Habal to Ol-og. They charge PHP150 per motorcycle that can accommodate two passengers. From Ol-og, take a small outrigger boat going to the island of Sambawan. Travel time is 30 minutes and cost is PHP150 per person
It takes a lot of effort and planning due to transport availability but it's all going to be worth it.
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