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
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!
FB Status : Had the best and worst experiences here in Northern Samar... Good night Adventuristas!!! :)
DAY 2 - July 17, 2011
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.|
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