Philippines has everything a thrill-seeking tourist could ask for – world-class beaches, adventure-packed destinations, loads of sun, beautiful friendly people, and countless of unexplored territories (just try seeing all its 7107 islands) – name it, Philippines has it.
In this post (and many other posts to come), I will make it my life’s mission to show you that Philippines
IS must be an ultimate stop in your travel trail. Let’s start with Samar.
Why Samar Should Be Your Next Destination
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Empty Surf Spots.
Why surf in a crowded line up when you can surf all day without someone dropping in on you? In Samar, you can catch them all for yourself! Surf spots in Samar are mostly reef breaks suitable for intermediate, advanced and expert surfers due to its powerful, hollow and barreling conditions. But beginner surfers can also have their share of fun on beach breaks.
2. Glorious White Sand Beaches.
Gone are the days when we all thought white sand beaches only existed in Boracay or Palawan or Maldives. Wear your favourite bikini and get a gorgeous tan because Samar’s beaches are always Instagram-ready!
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3. Enchanting Falls & Caves.
When the days are way too hot and you can’t stand to be outside, cool down a bit and trek to caves (there’s Sohoton Cave in Basey, Samar and Cave Linaw in Eastern Samar) or falls (Bangon Falls in Catbalogan & Lulugayan Falls in Calbiga) that you can trek to.
4. Amazing Locals.
Samar locals (and Leyte locals as well) are the epitome of resilience in the Philippines. Almost two years ago, Samar and Leyte have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan leaving several hundred thousand families without a home & nothing but strength to get back on their feet. Today, when you visit these provinces, you will see signs hanging by their newly constructed homes and on road signs as well expressing how grateful they are to everyone from all over the world who aided them relief and helped them get back on their feet. Ah, it’s an amazing world!
5. Get Everything Fresh.
Fresh air, fresh water, fresh food- none of those fast food, GMO stuff you’ve been chowing down in the city. Here in Samar, they only serve fresh food to fuel you for an adventure-filled day.
6. Local Transport Habal-Habal.
Habal-habal is the popular transportation in the Southern and Central part of the Philippines. One cannot complete an experience in the province without riding on a motorcycle together with 5 other people. No kidding.
7. Less Tourists.
Its almost as if the tourist spots are exclusive to you. It’s not for the lack of push in tourism. Logistically speaking, this place is not easy to get to. If you’re coming from Manila or other part of Philippines, more often than not, the only way you can get to Samar is if you book a flight to Tacloban. Don’t worry about the travel time. Trust me, it’s worth it. And let’s be honest, you won’t go spelunking when you have to wait for a hundred people to rappel down a rope or to squeeze their bodies through crevices (I’m talking to you, Sagada).
8. You Never Run Out of Things to Do.
No surf? No problem! Go fishing with the locals, rent a boat and go camping on islands nearby. Go snorkelling! If you want to take the sunburn down a notch, you can opt to go the town proper and visit churches instead. At night, you can join the locals for drinks while doing their most favourite thing in the world – Videoke!
9. Samar is Huge (and small at the same time)!
There’s northern, eastern, western and southern parts to explore and each points have different landscapes to offer. Have you heard of the amazing Biri Island’s Rock Formations in Northern Samar? I bet you haven’t.
10. Samar Basically Teaches You How To Live the Dream.
Kick back with a half a dollar beer, get to know lovely people and their stories, get destroyed in great surf sessions, soak up the sunny weather while indulging in a good book, cook/eat fresh food and when you wake up next morning, you get to do it all over again. I met a couple of Australian surfers who have been coming back to Samar every 6 months during surf season and living the life that most surfers can only dream of. I asked them what kept them coming back, they happily replied: It’s the simplicity of life and the lovely people that kept us from going elsewhere.