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Northern Samar - My Best and Worst Experiences in Northern Samar


This is just another "I'll go and see what happens" trip that I had recently. I managed to book a round trip airfare tickets with Cebu Pacific during their seat sale last March. For only 378 pesos all-in, I had a quick tour around Catarman in Northern Samar and its nearby towns. No plans, no itinerary prepared, I just want to be there.



DAY 1 - July 16, 2011

ARRIVAL


Flying on a turbo prop aircraft, we reached Catarman National Airport at around 7:00 AM. I was amazed to see that one end of the runway actually ends on a semi-white sand beach. Wow! It's my first time here and this is a great welcome for me.


Outside the airport I took a unique-looking pedicab to bring me to a nearby hostel. The "padyak" as they call it, is so cute. It’s a bit small and could only fit me and my bag. Hahaha!!! Colorful and definitely a feast to my eyes.


FINDING AN ACCOMMODATION

The hostel nearby is a bit pricey so I took a tricycle to get to the city center. I roamed around to find the cheapest and affordable hostel that could fit in my budget. Good thing I found North Hill Pension House in Marcos St., an affordable pension house in the heart of Catarman.


The room is clean and well maintained. It's like a home away from home because of the very accommodating staffs. Their spa on the 2nd floor is also an added treat after going around the city. This is one of the best accommodations I’ve had so far, I highly recommend it to all who plans to stay in Catarman.

I settled my things, rested a bit while watching from the LCD TV then decided to go out and explore.


FB Status : I'm here in Catarman Northern Samar.. I came here with no prepared itinerary.. I still don't know where to go.. Perhaps, I'll find a beach nearby.. Next time na ang Biri.. Hehehe!


AN ATTEMPT TO HIT THE BEACH

After having a quick brunch at the public market, I went to the central terminal and took a jeepney bound for Allen. I wanted to visit Spice of Life Beach in Brgy. Buenos Aires in the town of Victoria. I heard it has a very nice white sand beach and is easily accessible from the hi-way.


FB Status : I'm on my way to spice your life beach in Buenos Aires..

I dozed off from the moment the jeepney started to move. Allen is about 1.5 hours away from Catarman and fare is 60 pesos.


GOT PISSED OFF IN ALLEN

I arrived at Allen terminal at around 1:30 PM. The weather is so hot so I hurriedly looked for a transportation that could bring me to the town of Victoria. After asking around, some locals told me that I could take the tricycle as it would pass by the hi-way leading to the resort. The fare from the terminal to the beach is only 10 pesos. I took the back seat of the tricycle parked at the terminal. Since we’re only four, we need to wait for one more passenger for it to go.


When 2 passengers came, the driver told me to get off as the 2 passengers have to go together. Ok fine! I’ll wait another tricycle. But another driver were somewhat forcing me to rent his tricycle for 50 pesos. What??? No! Sorry I won’t give in to this trap!

I believe, I was asked to get off the first tricycle for me to be forced to rent the second one, which they were offering me the moment I asked for a ride to the beach. No way! Public transportation is available, why should I rent?


Yes, it’s only 50 pesos, but I will NEVER allow such unfriendly treatment to tourists. This should serve as a warning to those who plan to take a tricycle in Allen as well as a wake-up call to the authorities who govern these rude tricycle drivers.

To my dismay, I just decided to go back to Catarman.

FB Status : I'm on my way back to Catarman.. I won't push thru with my plan of visiting Spice of Life Beach.. I got pissed off with the tricycle drivers in Allen.. Mahirap sila kausap!


LIFE'S A BEACH

I arrived in Catarman Central Terminal at around 3:00 PM and took a tricycle going to Makiwalo. It passes by the UEP White Beach, which is about 15-20 minutes away from the city proper.



Upon reaching the beach, I paid for 10 pesos as entrance fee and started to walk along the shoreline. I stayed in one of the cottages and enjoyed some quiet time with my self.



FB Status : I'm here at "white beach" in Catarman.. Just spending some quiet time and enjoying the sound of the waves and the cool sea breeze...



BIGGEST UNIVERSITY IN SAMAR

From the white beach, I took another pedicab (PHP 10) and dropped by the University of Eastern Philippines.


UEP is the largest University in the region. It has a manicured sunken garden, an amphitheatre carved at the side of the mountain which could sit 10,000 people and a Boy Scout Jamboree site known as Scout City.


A RELAXING FOOT SCRUB AND MASSAGE

After exploring the different sites, I went back to North Hill Pension House. Since it has a spa at the 2nd floor, I opted to have a foot scrub and massage after a tiring day of exploring the province. I love the spa's services! Their therapists are good and extra pleasant. They are well-trained and go beyond an extra mile in providing excellent service to their guests. It was a great treat to myself. Because I so 'luv et!!! I gave my therapist an extra tip! :)

I had a great time, and I forgot to take a photo... Hehehe!


GOODNIGHT!

FB Status : Had the best and worst experiences here in Northern Samar... Good night Adventuristas!!! :)



DAY 2 - July 17, 2011

HOME-BOUND

FB Status : I'm here now at Catarman National Airport, waiting for my flight back to Manila.. Good morning Adventuristas!


It was a short but sweet stay in the province of Northern Samar. Though there were unfortunate events that happened, it was definitely washed out by the good people I met along the way. The enjoyment of being away from the busy and fast-paced life in the city is truly an experience worth remembering.

I will always remember Northern Samar as a place where I was able to slow down and just enjoy every minute that passes by. Thanks Northern Samar! I promise to see you again soon!



This is a series of blog posts on my "off-the-cuff" weekend getaway to the province of Northern Samar last July 16-17, 2011. To date, this is my 6th solo trip and the 30th province on my list.
Map By: Wikipedia





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32 comments :

BON said...

galing!! ^^ adventurista talaga! taragis! hehe

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@BON - wahahaha!!! thanks Bon! Tara na! Byahe Tayo! :)

killrfillr said...

Kakainggit ka pre andami mo lakad at ang bilis mo mag-sulat.lol

mike said...

it's good to hear that you did not give in to the tricycle driver.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@killrfillr - napansin ko nga, medyu ang sipag ko magsulat this week... hahaha! thanks po! :)

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@mike - yeah, thanks po... :)

AXL Powerhouse Prod Inc. said...

ang ganda... nakakarelax yung place... :D

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@AXL Powerhouse Prod Inc. - yeah! thanks Axl! :)

Ding said...

I'd like to do this, too...no plans at all...

dong ho said...

i believe northern samar is a top spot. often underrated before. now more and more spots reveals what it's best for.

lupit ng mga byahe.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@Ding - yeah, enjoy din ang mga spontaneous trips! thanks Ding! :)

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@dong ho - I agree! maganda ang Northern Samar... definitely, babalik ako to explore more... thanks Dom! :)

Nortehanon said...

Hala, sori naman dun sa bad experience mo. I could have saved you from that experience kung kinuha mo phone ko at tinext mo ako hehehe. I would have advised you to take a Calbayog-bound jeepney dyan sa terminal ng Allen na nasa picture mo sa itaas, instead of taking the tricycle. The jeepney leaves every after 15 minutes lang.

I'm hoping you'll be back, and that next time you'll be bound for Biri ;)

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@Nortehanon - no worries... that little incident will not hinder me to visit Northern Samar again... hopefully soon! Thanks po! :)

journeyingjames said...

ay sandali ka lang pala... i understand you with the tricycle drivers, it happened to me in a diff place. still, n.samar is a must-visit place.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@journeyingjames - yeah, yun ang mahirap minsan especially pag solo traveler ka.. thanks James! :)

Tripper10 said...

Akala nila dahil tourist ka, bibigay sa trap nila... Kainis yung mga ganyan...

SunnyToast said...

Hi..oh sorry for the bad experience..taga Catarman ako and I grow up within the university...we really have alot of beautiful beaches kahit nga ako yong iba di ko pa msyado na pupuntahan:) thank you thank you for featuring my hometown:)

SunnyToast said...

And agree you should go to biri or maybe let me know when ka pupunta baka masamahan kita and I'll show what really Northern samar is:)

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@Tripper10 - oo nga... hehehe! salamat po! :)

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@SunnyToast - thanks po! i will definitely be back soon! i really wanna see the biri rock formations... thanks thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

hi, how much was your stay at north hill pension house? me and my friends (with an infant) will be visiting catarman this coming weekend and we still do not have aplace to stay...

also, is there anyone here who knows how good or bad is the weather there now? we plan to visit biri island... :(

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@Anonymous - the weather depends on the day of your visit, check out the TRAVEL GUIDE that I made for the contact details... thanks!

Ruth Tio said...

I've seen some of your trips bukod d2. I would like to ask lang po how much was your budget in Bohol and Cebu? Were planning to go there this year po kasi. Thank you.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

@Ruth - if I could remember it right, umabot yata ng 7K gastos namin dun per head... 6 kami in a group.. it wasn't a budget travel though... :)

rendigsjr said...

have you been to Ilo-ilo? punta kc ako dun this feb. 10-13, 2012... solo backpacker. (try ko lang) baka may maisudgest kang places to visit in ilo-ilo... thanks...

rendigsjr said...

Have you been to Ilo-Ilo?
Punta kc ako dun this February 10-13, 2012.
try ko magsolo backpacker... :-) baka meron kang
alam na magandang puntahan dun...

thanks...

catarmananon said...

Sorry for that bad experience in Allen. Ganun naman talaga kahit saan satin may mga naloloko. Kung pupunta ka na rin lang sa Victopria I suggest na diritso ka na lang sa San Antonio Island. but you have to stay overnight there.

chadex said...

Yeah, sorry for the bad experience in allen. You should've ride the jeep to calbayog. Stayed @ Spice of life for a while then go to San antonio for overnight stay. You'll enjoy your stay there. Then, Get back to the Allen, go to Biri or rosario. They also have a small scale version of Biri Rock formation. hehe! Then, drop by Dancalan beach for a walk before heading to catarman. Or you can have your dinner @ bobon (fishpond near the bridge) madadaanan mo un on d way to catarman. Hope you can go back to our home town and blog some more about it. hehe! Have a safe trip!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

you're not alone, my mga salabahe tlgang ibang drivers s allen, kahet yung ibang padjak drivers. palibhasa kase my ferry terminal, alam nila madameng dayo na dumaraan s lugar nila. ako naman, pagkababa ko ng allen, 30 pesos chinarge saken. in fairness my konte naman na mababaet pero asar tlga yung mga abusado, lalo na yung mga nakapila.maba-bad trip ka tuloy na ikutin at i-promote ang lugar nila.

Pinoy Adventurista said...

na experience mo din pala... nasira nga mood ko nuon at bumalik nalang ako ulit ng Catarman... hehehe! :)

JessDC said...

hayss...ganyan talaga minsan ang mga driver sa allen. Minsan, naranasan ko yan nung umuwi ako samin. Sayang naman, hindi mo napuntahan ang Spice of Life. Maganda dun, white sand talaga. Yan ang namimiss ko at unang pinupuntahan kapag nasa Samar ako :)

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