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Biliran Island Mainland Tour | 13 Days of Summer of Love Mindanao







Day 9: Mainland Biliran

Visiting the Island Province of Biliran has  long been due on my list of places to wander in the Philippines.  With my delight to finally see the jewel of the eastern Visayas,  I decided to scrap some of my trips in Mindanao and set a 3-day escapade to Biliran Island.


Boris and I at Star Rockz Cafe, Tacloban
Before the sun was up on the 9th day of my  13 Days of Summer, I was already boarded on a domestic plane bound for Tacloban City. It has been two decades since the last time I stepped into the province of Leyte.

Okay , I confessed! Due to some circumstances , this trip made me nervous when my supposed travel buddy backed out and I was a little lost and have no memory on how the city looked like before. Good thing I was welcomed and assisted by  Leyte based photographer and travel blogger Boris Pascubillo who kindly shared some useful tips traveling to Naval.

Since the sun had just risen ,  my  stomach simply got attracted on Boris'  invitation for  breakfast and  coffee treat at Star Rockz Cafe, downtown of the city. 

Excited with our first meet up, our chit chat had made the time flown so fast that I did not realize it was already 8:00 am and already late for my Sambawan trip.

Fresh produce from Little Baguio in Biliran
Well, in travel there is always an alternative plan (from B-Z), and since I travel alone, I was a little flexible to change everything on my plan. Boris accompanied me to the terminal of Van-van's where I've waited til 9:00am for the PUV bound for Naval to depart.

The easy drive took two hours and a half to reach Naval, the capitol town of Biliran Province. There , Hector, the representative of the Provincial Tourism Office of Biliran welcomed me and offered me with a quick lunch at Weluisa. We did not waste a minute and took off for the mainland tour around Biliran Island.


It's A Hide and Seek to Tinago Falls

First on our list is the famous Tinago Falls  in the municipality of Caibiran.  To reach the famous waterfalls, we have to traverse the highway cutting through middle of the island the locals called "Cross Country" .

Passing by this paved road, we experienced the sudden dropped  of temperature that was almost similar to the chilling  micro climate of Baguio City, hence, they call it Little Baguio.

Along side of the road are stalls of fresh vegetables sold at very cheap price. According to a local, vegetables grew well in the vicinity due to perfect environmental condition for plant cultivation.

Tinago Waterfalls in Caibiran, Biliran Island
It was raining hard when we reached the secluded park of Tinago Falls in Brgy. Cabibihan. It took me awhile waiting until I have decided to run under the soft drizzle down to the concrete stairs leading to the foot of Tinago Falls. Unfortunately, the rushing  mountain waters made the falls turbid.

Tinago is just one of the many waterfalls in the island and almost each municipality has their own waterfalls, thus, I am citing this place as the Province of Waterfalls.

An Odd Thing to Find!

St. James the Apostle Parish
We temporarily took shelter at the gym of the municipality town square of Caibiran where a head turning Catholic church building caught my eyes.

The Saint James the Apostle Parish  stands in style with beautiful facade and images made of bronze angels and saints . This kind of  church look very different compared to the old and even modern conventional provincial churches in the Philippines. Looking at it for some minutes, I felt I was gazing on some old  historical, classical landmarks in Europe. The original church was 96 years old.

The exquisite and high class architectural design of the church was  seemed to be in contrast to the simple life of the people of Caibiran that can make visitors really wonder on the presence of such landmark in the rural place. Unfortunately, the church was closed that time for renovation.

You're Hot and You're Cold

Moving forward,  we visited the famous San Bernardino Cold Spring Pool in Brgy. Manlabang, Caibiran.  For some, the pool would look like a regular swimming pool , but according to the locals,  the free flowing water is coming from a natural spring that even on the hottest day of summer have remained very very cold. The spring pool is surrounded by a number of  giant century old banyan trees.

Century Old Banyan Tree in Biliran

Another spot not to miss in Caibiran is the Mainit Hot Spring that literally boils in Brgy. Villa Vicenta or better known as Brgy. Mainit.   The boiling spring can be spotted on both sides of the river cutting across the barangay. 

From the way it looks , anyone can conclude that it is volcanic in nature due to the sulfur found on the rocks surrounding the spring. Many believes that the water of the boiling spring cures skin diseases such as skin asthma and scabies. Men are cautioned not to dip into the water or else you'll have an instant "hard boiled eggs". Hahaha.

Romancing the Lover's Cave

Time have fled so fast that it was already late in the afternoon before we know it. Given with little time, we  decided to step onto one more place in Culaba since it was just few meters away from the highway- the Lover's Cave of Vista de Amor or simply known as Acaban Cave.

Acaban Cave

The land to where the cave is seated is privately owned . There are cottages set at the top of the hill where you can have scenic view of the coast of the whole municapality. 

To find the cave, there is a concrete stairs leading to the rocky coast of the underdeveloped resort. At the left side of the stairs is the mouth of the cave half submerged in calm turquoise  water suitable for swimming. Since we were not prepare to get wet in the mini blue lagoon, we just enjoyed the view of the surroundings.

Tired of the whole afternoon chasing some of the beautiful spots in Biliran we decided to retire and save our energy for tomorrow's much exciting activity in Sambawan Island.


Other Places to See in  Biliran

Municipality

Tourist Destination
Location
Caibiran
Mainit Hot Spring
Brgy . Villa Vicenta

Caraha Cascades
Brgy. Villa Vicenta

Tinago Falls
Brgy. Cabibihan

Tomalistis Falls
Brgy. Asug

San Bernardino Cold Spring
Brgy. Manlabang

Caibiran Volcano
Sitio Pulangyuta

Usin Fish Sanctuary
Brgy. Uson



Almeria
Bagombong Falls
Brgy. Caucab

Ulan-Ulan Falls
Brgy. Sampao

Recoletos Falls
Brgy. Sampao

Kinaraha Falls
Brgy. Sampao

Pondol Falls
Brgy. Iyusan

Iyusan Rice Terraces
Brgy. Iyusan

Capinahan Island
Brgy. Poblacion

Dalutan Island

Brgy. Talahid
Biliran
Nasunugan Watch Tower

Brgy. San Roque
Cabucgayan
Casabangan Falls
Brgy. Balaquid

Kasiawan Falls

Brgy. Kasiawan
Culaba
Acaban Cave
Brgy. Bool West

Hagimit Pagiriw Cascades
Brgy. VirgiƱa town proper

Dapanas Pool Cascades
Brgy. Kalipayan

Fish Sanctuary
Brgy. Looc

Harang Valley Rice Terraces

Brgy. Kalipayan
Kawayan
Bat Cave
Brgy. Balakson Tinangkasan Island

Tinangkasan Islet
Brgy. Balakson Tinangkasan

Tigasipol Island
Brgy. Poblacion

Tagnucan
Brgy. Poblacion

Generoan
Brgy. Balite

Masagongsong Public Spring

Brgy. Masagongsong
Maripipi
Ang Lantawan Watch Tower
Brgy. Ermita

Brgy. Ol-og

Viga Cold Spring
Brgy. Viga
Naval
Higatangan Island Rock Formation
Brgy. Mabini

Caray-caray River Cruise
Brgy. Caray-caray



Getting Around Biliran

If you plan to go around Biliran , you can hire the service of a habal habal or motorbike in Naval for at least Php 1000 for a whole day trip, the driver will serve as your tour guide. If you are traveling in a group , you can also rent a multicab type of jeepney in Naval.


Where to Stay in Biliran

There are several resorts and Inns in Biliran. But for this particular trip , I stayed in TJ Pension located in corner Magallanes and Inocentes Streets, Naval.

Contact: +63916.231.5279/+63908.48.76629/053.500.9917

Single Non-aircondition
Php 300.00
Twin Non-air condition
Php 380.00
Twin Air-condition  
Php 630.00
Matrimonial
Php 630.00
Family Room
Php 900.00


Getting there

By Air

Coming from Manila , there are daily domestic flights bound for Tacloban City , the nearest airport from Biliran. From the airport take the jeepney with the signage of San Jose bound for city proper (drop at BPI). From the city proper hop into a tricycle to take you to the terminal of vans bound for Naval . There are three major van terminals in Tacloban City. Fare is Php 130.00 for 2.5 hours travel.

1. Duptours , located along Avenida Veteranos, near the front gate of Divine Word University.

2. Van -vans , located along corner of Salazar-Burgos Streets

3. Grand Tours, located in Burgos Street, near Tacloban post office

By Land

Coming from Manila there are bus companies that operate daily bound for Tacloban City , fare is Php 1200.00 , travel time is 24 hours. From the Tacloban Bus Terminal just take a tricycle toward the chosen van terminals mentioned above.

Bus Operators
Terminal
Contact Nos.

Philtranco
Pasay

DLTB Co. Bus
Pasay,Cubao

Eagle Star 
Ali Mall Cubao
02 523-8944
Ultra Bus
Cubao
02 325-4980/0922.859.2388
Silverstar
Cubao
02 321-2529/327-9502
Super Five
Cubao
0928.763.2746

By Sea

There are daily scheduled fast crafts in Cebu port bound for Ormoc , Leyte, travel time  minimum of 3 hours depending on the weather condition . At Ormoc public terminal, there are van waiting bound for Naval, Biliran, travel time is 1-1.5 hours.


For more information contact:

Mr. Dionisio Oliva
Provincial Tourism Office
Naval, Biliran Islands
Email: olivajx@gmail.com


Credits: My sincerest thanks to the Biliran Provincial Tourism Office headed by Mr. Dionisio "Jun" Oliva and his staff , Hector Marcellones, for the assistance, making this mainland tour possible. My gratitude also to Ms. Diana Bernardes for the invitation and referrals and to the people of Biliran for the warm welcome and hospitality.

18 comments :

  1. thank you , I appreciate that , I am still learning to make my captures better :D

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  2. Biliran is a beautiful place indeed! Haven't been there yet, but friend keep on telling me how majestic the place is.


    P.S. stunning photos!

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  3. Tinago Falls is really beautiful. Also, it must have been nice to hug a century old tree.

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  4. Thanks for the online tour. Tinago Falls is a great site for Nature lovers. BTW what's that veggie, 'Upo'?

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  5. Yes , upo, ganyan ang variety na upo sa Biliran ....

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  6. Ang dami pala pwede puntahan sa Biliran Island I only intended to stay there for a day or two but is now seriously considering staying for a week.
    - Wanderer Juan

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  7. You take really nice pictures - I especially love yung nasa church. I agree. That looked like something from a grand cathedral somewhere in Europe.

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  8. I literally teared up a bit after reading your post. I was supposed to be bound for Tacloban today (if it wasn't for the cast), and was already set to visit Biliran with my friend. But your story also made me smile because there's more for me to look forward still.

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  9. pls cover the places i wasn't able to visit ... i ve heard maganda sa ulan ulan falls

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  10. That Tinago Falls is close to my homeland but unfortunately I never get the chance to visit there. I was just scared for some rumors about the place.

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  11. The falls looks so awesome and wonderful. That tree is really huge! I wonder how many persons will it take to embrace the body of it.

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  12. Wow hidden gem of the Philippines, sana makapunta ako dyan someday. I wanna explore that place too. I love the way you narrated your trip, very detailed and informative.

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  13. What else is lacking in this post? Everything seem to be laid out for a traveler to pursue a trip to BILIRAN... The place is really a destination to explore.

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  14. Wow that's a lot of great places awaiting us to explore in Biliran! and this post will serve as a guide to everyone.

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  15. tinago falls... such majesty. i remembered, we have similar falls like this in our province... it such a relief to swim in such refreshing water. Yahweh bless.

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  16. Maria Estrella LedesmaApril 25, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I did not know that Biliran had these attractions...that Church is beautiful! I will make a note to myself to visit one day soon. Will pin your post too, so I won't forget!

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  17. Nice place. I hope to be able to visit too, in the near future..

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