Friday, April 22, 2016

How To Go To Malalison Island, Antique

Malalison Island or Mararison Island is an unspoiled 55-hectare island blessed with a picturesque mountain ridges for a background and clear turquoise waters.  The island is still unpopular to tourists and has not been frequented by visitors yet.

How To Go To Malalison Island

Getting to the island is quite straightforward. The fees have been regulated by LGU so all you have to do is to get to Culasi Information Office.

by Land | from Kalibo, take the bus to Culasi and tell the bus driver to drop you off at Culasi Municipal Hall. Travel time is 2-2.5 hours.

by Sea | take an outrigger boat going to Malalison Island. Travel time is 15-20 minutes.

Fares and Fees as of April 2016:
Ceres bus Kalibo to Culasi - P130
Culasi Environmental Fee + Terminal Fee - P30
Boat P750 for 5 persons
Trekking Guide P200 per group
Guide Tip (optional)

I was traveling solo and got lucky to have found a group that I could share the expenses with. Plus they were really, really fun to be with!  Another one of my happy trips!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Dalupirit Island, Northern Samar: Undisturbed Paradise

Dalupirit Island lies in the east central periphery of the Philippine archipelago. It is bounded by San Bernardino Strait in the north and east. The island is famous for its kilometers-long white sand beaches and pristine waters. With its coral reefs, Dalupirit Island is ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, and marine life observation.

The resort provides rafts for guests want to go farther for snorkeling or just simply relaxing.  We didn't go for a swim when we arrived. We decided to use one of the rafts to go near the snorkeling area to watch the sunset and to chill.

We woke up early to catch the sunrise and then we prepared to go for a swim. I loved how clear the water was. While snorkeling, I noticed that the water was not that salty. The resort caretaker said that it's because of the natural spring lying along the shoreline. Me and my companion had fun diving for "swaki" -- a variety of sea urchin, "wasay-wasay" or hammer shell, "saang" or spider shell and scallop shells. I asked the lady at the restaurant if we can have the shells steamed but they didn't know how. It turned out that they don't know about the wasay-wasay at all. I told them that it can be eaten and that it's really good however they were really reluctant about it.

catch of the day

We chartered a boat along with a group of travelers going back to the port of Allen. It was also like a tour on that side of the island. Everything that I saw was beautiful. Going to this island was unplanned but it's one of my most unforgettable experience. This island is worth checking out.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dalupirit Island, Northern Samar Travel Guide

While we were on a jeepney from Calbayog going to Allen for our Biri Island trip, we saw an island with a long stretch of white sand beach. My companion checked it on her mobile map and it showed to be Dalupiri Island aka San Antonio Island. I never heard of this island nor seen pictures of it but it really looked enchanting from afar. I asked some locals about how to go there and so happy to get good inputs from them.

How to go to Dalupiri Island:

by Air | Cebu Pacific Air has daily flights to Catarman, the capital of Northern Samar.

by Sea | From Cebu City port, take a boat to Calbayog. Check the schedules and fares at Cokaliong Shipping Lines site

by Land | from Catarman, take a jeepney to Victoria port
                 from Calbayog, take a jeepney to Calbayog proper (30 mins). From Calbayog proper, take a jeepney to Victoria Port (2-2.5H)
NOTE: If you can catch the only jeepney from Calbayog to Allen the better. Get off Victoria and take a tricycle going to Victoria Port

From Victoria Port, you can rent a boat for P360 one way for 12 people. If you have time and patience, you can take the public boat. Fare is only P30. Travel time is 30-45 minutes.
You can also charter a boat to and from Allen port if it's more convenient for you. Rate starts from P800 depending on your haggling prowess.

Fares and Fees as of April 2016:
Environmental Fee - P10.00
Dalupiri Terminal Fee - P2.00
Padyak Fare (per way) - P5.00

Other Tips: 
.: Electricity runs from 12noon to 12mn only
.: Best time to visit is during dry months (March to May)
.: There's no ATM in the island

Where to Stay in Dalupiri Island:

We were lucky enough to get a twin sharing fan room at Seahorse Spring Beach Resort for P700.00 without reservation. The resort is named after the natural spring lying along the shoreline of the beach resort. The room is simple yet comfortable enough and it is by the beachfront. 

Other options: Puro Resort and Haven of Fun. These three resorts are just lined up along the shoreline.

Biri Rock Formations: Picture Perfect Wonders

If you want to see the most spectacular rock formations in the Philippines, it's time for you to head to Biri Island. It is located at the edge and is the largest island of Northern Samar.  Since Biri Island is still not so easy to reach, it makes the rock formations untouched and now declared as a protected seascape and landscape area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

How to go to Biri Island? (link here)
Biri Rock Formations Itinerary
Day 1 (link here)
Day 2 (link here)

Here are more photos I took of the rock formations (however these will not give justice to the beauty of the place).

Biri Rock Formations: Makadlao, Magasang, Magsapad

Biri Rock Formations deserve a spot on everyone's bucket list. These rock formations were shaped by the Pacific Ocean for millions of years. From the distance, these rock formations look like an islet that line up a few meters away from the northern shore of the island.

Makadlao Rock Formation

We woke up early and prepared to catch the sunrise from the top of Makadlao Rock Formation. I was just sitting there admiring everything that my eyes could see. All natural, all wonderful, and highly therapeutic! Kuya Jun mentioned that some of his guests compared Makadlao with Batanes. I have not been to Batanes but I am sure that these two are incomparable! (I hate comparing anyway)

Magasang Rock Formation

Magasang Rock Formation, according to Kuya Jun, is the most photographed one. Amid the scorching heat of the sun, we climbed up to the top and indeed the view is magnificent. It is probably the tallest one as well. What's more amazing is that each of the rock formation has its own character yet equally breath-taking.

Magsapad Rock Formation

Magsapad Rock Formation is separated from Magasang by flat ground dotted with small tidal pools. Swimming is also allowed here and according to Kuya Jun, some Pinoy movies were shot here: Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon, Spirit Warriors, and Iisa Pa Lamang. I may have seen Iisa Pa Lamang but I gotta watch these movies.

Interesting Stories

While admiring what's in front of me when we were at the top of Magasang, I suddenly remembered the photo that was shown to us by a couple from Dumaguete City while we were having breakfast. The lady took a photo of the guy in the tidal pool area and the shadow appeared to be like a lady taking a selfie -- well, for me it was more like a mermaid taking a selfie. Their guide also analyzed the photo and said that they were there after lunch so the sun should be at the opposite side and his shadow should not be positioned that way. I also remembered the blog by a guy who almost lost his life (click the link here). He said he knew he saw the element guarding these rocks that his guide was telling him about -- could be a woman, a lover, a brokenhearted soul. We also had a conversation with some locals and they mentioned that a cargo ship docked and sank at the rock formation. The captain thought that it was a port. The ship sank and they had to remove their cargo (rice and other goodies) and gave it to the locals so they can take the ship back. Another story from Kuya Jun was when he took a photo of a group of travelers, there was this "lady" that joined. He only knew about it when one of the guys texted him about it and asked if it's something bad. He said that it should be good because everyone of them was safe. Another story from Kuya Jun was when he took the model and actress Angel Aquino to the area, he instructed her not to go near the edge where the water splashes because it's dangerous and not to shout because the sea gets angry. She was screaming, probably of excitement, saying "I wanna stay here for a bit! It's so nice here!". Then a big splash of water came for her and then she was slipping towards the tidal pool. She left Biri hurt and with scratches. I verified if there's something written about this incident online and I found this article (link here)

I'd have to admit that these stories gave me goosebumps! Nothing happened to me and my companion, that's what's more important. We enjoyed our visit and we made sure to listen to what Kuya Jun was saying for our own safety. And of course, I respected everything that was shown to us and was very grateful that I got to experience all this beauty that the Creator has made.


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