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To the Island Paradise of Sambawan | A Biliran Summer Escapade





Day 10: Off Coast Biliran

The Island of Biliran, just north of Leyte, is another emerging tourist destination in the Philippines. It may be new to our senses  but this neophyte province holds some of the nation's treasured jewels that could challenge the nearby commercialized tourist spots.

The mainland island alone is surrounded by with must visit places in Biliran, giving emphasis on more than a dozen of  waterfalls littered around the island province. But of course your Biliran escapade won't be complete without stepping into the iconic  Sambawan Island.

Sambawan Island is located off coast of the mainland Biliran and is part of the island municipality of Maripipi.

At 7am in the morning, we hurried to the Municipality of Kawayan to hop into a motorized boat bound directly to Sambawan . It took us less than 30 minutes to reach the beach of the island. Even from afar, the elongated snake-like islet has its astonishing view  under the clear blue sky.

Sambawan Island (the southern tip)
The beach of Sambawan has a number of open cottages and comfort rooms. The "operator" have created also concrete staircases leading to the view deck located on a hilltop with a 360 degree panoramic view . I would prefer if the development in the islet be limited to keep its pristine look . 

Erecting human made facilities are some of the big mistakes in the Philippine tourism industry, capitalizing more on the business interests rather than  foreseeing a sustainable operation that would benefit the next generation through preservation and conservation. I just hope that the local government sees this before things turn out ugly in the future.

Two of the  stewards of the island, Arnel and Pete Casio, accompanied and assisted me to one of the hills of the island.  At the view deck , you will have a 360 degree panoramic view of the crescent moon like islet including the island municipality of  Maripipi.

Turquoise crystal water of Sambawan island

I was so determined to reach  the southern tip of the  island that even  the  two meter tall sharp blade prairie-like grass did not stop me from exploring the place.

The splendor of Sambawan is accentuated  with turquoise crystal  water that would entice everyone who sees it to immediately jump into its tropical warm water  .

Pointers!

a. There is an entrance fee of Php 50.00 in the island. 

b. Visitors can stay overnight in the island by pitching your tent on the beach or simply sleep on the open cottages. 

c. Remember to bring enough food and water and other personal necessities . 

d. Do not bring any flammable materials on the grassland of the hills like cigarette as this can ignite grass fire.

d. And don't forget to pack your garbage before leaving to keep this paradise pristine as always .


Getting there

Find your way first to Naval, the capital town of Biliran . Check my previous post for guidance.

There are two ways to reach Sambawan Island .

1.  Naval-Maripipi-Sambawan (Public)

In Naval port , the ferry boat operated by  Ma. Lourdes Bega Express leaves at exactly 10:00 am  transporting passengers to the Island Municipality of Maripipi and returns to Naval 5:30 am the next day. 

Ferry schedule is only Mondays to Saturdays. Fare is Php 60.00 and travel time is 2 hours. From Maripipi you can hire a motorized banca  to Sambawan Island for Php 500.00 back and forth or depends on the arrangement you make with the boat man. 

2. Naval-Kawayan-Sambawan (Special Trip)


From Naval , as early as 6:00 am you can take the regular jeepney bound for Kawayan . Travel time is 30-45 minutes but the waiting time at the terminal  is almost an hour. In Kawayan port, there are motorized boats where you can haggle for the price of the transport to Sambawan Island. 

In the case of this trip , we rented the boat for Php 1400.00 for a half day service with a direct route of Kawayan to Sambawan vice versa . For an overnight service the boat  with a capacity of 10 people usually charge Php3000-3500.

36 comments :

  1. ang ganda sir how to get there?? send mo naman info sa akin sir hihihi (y)

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  2. merong guide dun sa article po :D

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  3. Beautiful Islands!
    recipe for darkened skin..
    most sought after tan. :)

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  4. i wont regret it getting my tan here ..

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  5. Hi Love Mindanao, just noticed, you have not been to my hometown Bacolod & Negros Occ.? Visit it during Masskara Festival - October.

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  6. I would love to experience the Masskara Festival. I missed my opportunity last year due to conflict of schedule.. I hope to find a friendly local host in your lovely town.

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  7. Beautiful Island. I'm sure it's romantic to stay there overnight with someone special and the sea on each sides :) Never been to any places in Mindanao yet. Hopefully I'll get to visit one soon :)

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  8. thanks Lyrech , i just hope the credit goes to Visayas where this beautiful island is located. I just hope you read the article doesn't speak of mindanao... but an island in Biliran Province

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  9. I was smitten with the photo of you going on foot the hilltop. Sambawan looks exquisite. The size of the island is something that I think I can trek all day. It wouldn't stop me from exploring, just like you did. It is quite a charm.

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  10. Before I type in comment, I google where the hell is Biliran, and I thought it was in Bicol Region, lol. My HEKASI teacher would spank, lol. Anyway, I Just hope the beauty of Sambawan will be preserve and not be raped just like what happen to Boracay or Puerto Galera.

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  11. The island looks interesting, especially its form. I never realized there are still a lot of places to be unraveled in our beautiful country!!

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  12. Sambawan Island look real pristine and really beautiful. Beating the heat here would be really nice.

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  13. I am a certified Mindanaoan, I spent all my life in Mindanao but haven't heard of this Island. So shame on me. :(. But I have put this on my bucket list already.

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  14. I love all the photos, it makes Sambawan Island more breathtaking. The entrance fee of 50.00 is not bad. Awesome place!

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  15. simply because this island is not in Mindanao

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  16. Wow, Sambawan looks so beautiful! The waters look so pristine and the view's breathtaking! Your photos are enough to convince me to visit Sambawan and immerse myself in its beauty, although I'm sure being here and experiencing everything in person is more exhilarating. Let's hope the local government preserves the natural beauty of Sambawan. It'll be such a shame if this island will have to suffer the same fate as that of Boracay.

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  17. That elongated snakelike island is awesome. It could have been better if you stopped by the island even for just 15 minutes to take a closer look. But you have captured it well. I wish someday I get to visit Sambawan

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  18. Rochkirstin SantosApril 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Another pristine island in the Philippines, Sambawan Island should stay that beautiful and nice for years to come. :D So when you say overnight for the boat service, you would sleep in the boat? I sense that there are no hotels there for more convenient accommodation.

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  19. The southern tip of the island looks like a great place to do your morning jogging don't you think? This place is beautiful and I wish that it remains as beautiful as it is now.

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  20. This looks like a great place to visit in Mindanao (kidding I know it's in Visayas). Biliran has been one of the places I've wanted to go to since I started to love traveling. I'm thinking of doing this trip while traveling to Leyte.
    - Wanderer Juan

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  21. Hello Daddy struggles , if you are really that adventurous and physically prepared , i think doing morning trekking and jogging would make you satisfied. simply walking on the zigzag path made me sweat already but the glam of scenery made it worthy :D

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  22. The shots are stunning! What lens do you use? Are you using any filter? =)

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  23. Hi kim . Would you believe if i tell you tha i am just using the Point and Shoot type of camera and a mirror less ... I have never used a DSLR .

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  24. Great shots. What a nice place to visit. Malapit lang sa mga lolo ko.

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  25. Coooool! You're a great photographer! =)

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  26. Pwede mg camp sa beach.. wow!
    I'd love that! The stairs leading on top of the hill, is a throw off.
    And I think this place is good for both Sunrise and Sunset photography,
    judging by the 360 view, and some of your photographs :)

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  27. Wow so crystal clear water, sarap lumangoy ang mag snorkel. Hope I could also visit this place someday. Your shots are great, wala sa camera yan, nasa photographer. hehehe

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  28. Another hidden paradise yet to be discovered by most Pinoys especially here in Manila. One word: breathtaking! Thanks for sharing this with us and hopefully my friends and I could visit Sambawan Island soon! :)

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  29. i love that southern tip of the island. it's breathtaking. ^^

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  30. I only went to Palo and Tacloban. Biliran is famous for EVRAA. Never heard of Sambawan too. I am from Ormoc City. The place is great and interesting based on what you convey in your post. Although it's a typhoon destination I am enticed with your photo of clear water.

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  31. may mga Banca pro ba sun name available if we opt torent one way lng ?kc mahal ang 3500 overnight bka may pabalik na 500 LNG.is that possible ba?

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  32. yes , there are fish sanctuary around , but i have not tried it since i dont have any googles with me :D

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  33. Hi roseline, You can rent you boat in Maripipi . More cheaper ..You can ask the voat operator to fetch you up the next day for the same fare , at least 500 .. use your negotiation skill with them :D

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  34. thanks for sharing this itinerary and tips. I just have a query. You can go directly to Kawayan Port without any boatman or contact and just find one you can haggle for trips to Sambawan?

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