Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Western Samar Province, Philippines

By James Barcelona
Tourist Attractions 
Mapaso Hot Spring
Mapaso Hot Spring. Located in Barangay Rizal II, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. A 30-minute ride to Oquendo from Calbayog plus 15-minute hike to the spring. “Mapaso” literally means hot. Fresh crustaceans (pokot) abound. They are naturally pinkish resembling scalded shrimps due to the high temperature.

Bangon-Bugtong Falls
Bangon-Bugtong Falls. Located in Brgy. San Joaquin of Calbayog City, an hour-and-15-minute ride to Barangay Tinaplacan plus 45-minute walk to the vicinity of the falls. Among the family of waterfalls of Calbayog City, Bangon, Bugtong Falls is one of the most majestic and spectacular spots that is worth visiting. As one ascends the stream, he will be amazed to see a circular pond about 30 meters in diameter, wide enough for swimming and deep enough for diving. The cascading water seems to come from streams flowing endlessly, resulting from the pressure of its disgorge, which becomes even bigger in volume and noticeable as the time of the day passes. Bugtong Falls is not only a tourist spot but also a potential source of power for Calbayog City and its neighboring localities.

Tabokno Falls
Tabokno Falls. Located in Barangay Caybago, Oquendo District, an hour drive from Calbayog City and 40-minute walk from the villages. A beautiful and scenic waterfall. This wonderful creation of nature is a favorite picnic site of local residents and their source of potable water.

Pan-as Falls
Pan-as Falls. Located in Brgy. Pilar, Oquendo District, an hour drive from Calbayog City proper plus 1-hour walk onwards from the village. More than a beauty spot, this falls is the primary source of water for its residents. At places where the cataract is so high, the water falling into the pool below becomes a mere mist.

Blanca Aurora Falls
Blanca Aurora Falls. Located in San Jorge, Samar. A favorite bathing resort of Samarenos. The ruins of Bangahon in Gandara is a historical landmark as it was once a town during the revolutionary days. It was abandoned by the old residents who later found the present town of Gandara.

Western Samar, formerly Samar, is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas Region. It is 802 kilometers from Manila and occupies the westernmost section of the Samar Island. It is bounded on the north by the province of Northern Samar, on the east by Eastern Samar, on the west by Samar Sea and on the south by Leyte Gulf.
Prior to the coming of the Spaniards in 1596, many names were given to Samar Island such as Samal, Ibabao and Tandaya. The name Samar was derived from the local dialect “samad” which means wound or cut. This term appropriately describes the rough physical features of the island that is rugged and directly cut apart by streams. 

The province was once part of the Samar province which comprised the whole island of Samar. It became a separate province through the approval of Republic Act 4221 on June 19, 1965. Under this act, Samar Island was divided into three provinces: Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Western Samar. Presently, the province is composed of 2 congressional districts, 24 municipalities and 2 cities. Catbalogan City is the provincial capital. 

Relative to its location, Western Samar serves as a reference point for tropical cyclone occurrences as it is within the typhoon belt of the country. But this does not mean that it is frequently hit by tropical cyclone. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and the province has no distinct dry and wet season. 

The major industries in Western Samar are agriculture, cattle raising, fishery, forestry, mining and tourism. Hematite and magnetite chromate, nickel and manganese are the major ores which can be found in the province. It is the main supplier of fishes in the country due to its relatively long coastline in the western side extending over 300 kilometers. 

Western Samar has two existing airports namely, the Calbayog Airport and the Catbalogan Airport. Calbayog Airport, considered as a secondary airport, can accommodate aircraft for general aviation. Flights from and to Manila are available in this airport. On the other hand, there are no commercial flights available at the Catbalogan Airport. 

Western Samar has its share of nature’s beautiful spots. Among its jewels which attracts tourists and local folks include unexplored mountains and caves with exotic wildlife, unspoiled shores with coral reefs, beautiful beaches and waterfalls.

1 comment:

  1. I read your site with interest. I am based in London but my wife comes from Burgos, halfway between Catbalogan and Babatngon. We are building a family house in Burgos, which is next to Bacsal Island. We want to bring more tourists to the area, which will help the locals, so we plan to rent it out. We will be there in June for the house blessing. The family in Burgos also have a large boat which will also be included when someone stays at the house. My details are on face book


    I’ll keep you posted on how things are going.


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