Note: This is a part of my May 2 - 8, 2015 Samar-Leyte-Biliran-Mactan-Cebu Trip which includes: Capul Island, San Antonio Island, Dalutan Island, Sambawan Island, The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Shrine, Ciriaco Hotel, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Other Calbayog tours, San Juanico Bridge, MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, Limasawa Island
Sambawan is a part of Maripipi, and island municipality of Biliran province with 8 municipalities located northwest and considered as the smallest municipality of the province. Sambawan Island is a part of Maripipi but politically speaking, it does not belong to any of the 15 barangays of the municipality, not even Barangay Ol-og which has a port leading to Sambawan.
Sambawan is indeed an island paradise with such an enchanting turquoise blue waters. There are 12 diving sites on its vicinity which have been identified showcasing variant and rich biodiversity of coral gardens. The whole of it offers a very rich marine life.
The resort of Sambawan is managed and operated by the local government and with my experience it is well-organized. Of course, to get a chartered boat would always depend on your haggling skills. You have the option to take a boat from the Kawayan Wharf which would cost P3,000 to P3,500 for 50 minutes. Traveling there late in the afternoon will take longer as the sea becomes lightly rough even during summer, thus, it would take more than an hour. Another option is taking a boat from Naval Port which would cost you around P7,000 to P8,000 for one and half hours but again, during late afternoon, the sea becomes rough and this can even take you for 2 and half hours reaching the island.
For my trip, I was in a group of 10 for a 7-day Samar-Leyte-Biliran-Cebu Trip. Our trip to Sambawan was such a long one coming from Barangay Malajog, Tinambacan District, Calbayog City leaving there at 3:30 A.M. and reaching Naval Port of Biliran at 12:40 Noon for a total of 341.2 kilometers. On our way, however, we dropped in Catbalogan (Samar) – 5:25 A.M., Calbiga (Samar) – 6:05 A.M. for breakfast, San Juanico Bridge – 7:53 A.M., San Rafael Farm (Babatngon, Leyte) – 8:05 A.M., McArthur Leyte Landing Memorial Park in Palo (Leyte) – 9:05 A.M. and Biliran bridge – 11:40 A.M. via Pan-Philippine Highway just for pictorials.
We had our lunch in Naval and decided to market our drinking water and all other food supplies we need in the island. Lunch in Naval was in a decent carinderia where costs varies from: viand is P30 and P10 for rice, fried and paksiw fish costs P15 for two pieces and vegetable per order is P20 while buco is P25 which is the same with Manila’s price. Its public market offers P160 a kilo for yellow fin fish and same with tuna. Practically, all the food supplies you need are in Naval. There are banks there and grocery stores.
We left Naval Sea Port at 2:05 P.M. and docked at Capiňahan Island at 2:30 P.M. We just stayed there for short pictorials and headed to Dalutan Island where we reached there at 3:00 P.M. The island has a stunning scenery overlooking the nearby islands and so we stayed for 20 minutes there. We reached Sambawan Island at exactly 5:00 P.M. with a total travel time of 2.68 hours from the port of Naval.
Sunset in Sambawan island offers a superbly majestic scenery where one can readily capture it without any obstruction in any part of the island most particularly from the island's viewdeck.
Going to Kawayan wharf from the entry point of Biliran bridge will give you another 18.60 kilometers for it is nearer to Sambawan as compared with the Naval Port. There are available jeepneys which are always jampacked with passengers and cargoes.
Personally, touching the ground of the majestic Sambawan Island is an event. I felt I was then close to mother nature. The place was so serene. The fresh sea breeze massages my skin and I find it so soothing. Friendly and accommodating staff guided us to our booked accommodation. They were actually giving us the usual briefing which included the house rules but I begged with them not to be disturbed and we just dropped our things in our cottage and we ran up to the 130-concrete stairs view deck to capture the best scenery, the one which I usually see in the blogs and their webpage.
I also captured a picture of a breathtaking sunset. My adrenalin rush of taking pictures came to a halt when the night gradually invaded the island. It was only that time that I came back to my normal senses. We had booked for two P2,500 cottages but we found out that each cottage has its own attic where it can accommodate 10 people in the cottage. This is not to mention that the spacious balcony of the cottage can accommodate four people to sleep. With this, I requested from the management if we can all stay in just one cottage and we were granted.
Our cottage is equipped with three beds only with soft pillow and a blanket. It has two electric fans, one in the main room and one in the attic. Outlets are available for charging cellphones and other gadgets enjoying a sundown-to-sunrise electricity supply. There is one comfort room and one bathroom equipped with fresh water. There is a strong network signal where you can enjoy net connection all night and day long.
It was at this time, too, that I negotiated with one resort’s staff to cook our food for dinner and breakfast. All the cutleries for dinner and breakfast were provided. We were charged for P300 for the cooking and the cutleries but satisfied of the service, we opted to pay the staff with P500.
After dinner, while enjoying the huge moon above us during a night swim, one of the resort’s staff approached us giving some in-house rules and we learned the following: (1) getting shells has penalty of P2,500; (2) no liquors are allowed in the viewdeck; (3) guests are responsible for the proper waste disposal where we are given three garbage bags segregating the recyclables, biogradable and non-biogradable; (4) our cottage has its own water meter where the first 200 liters is free and the excess would be charged for P1 per liter; (5) entrance fee is P100 per head; (6) boat docking fee is P125; and (7) minimizing noise is enforceable.
We woke up at 5:00 A.M. the following day to make sure that we can dip in the beach early in the morning. The water was really clear and irresistibly inviting. As early as 5:30 A.M., our breakfast was already served in our balcony. After rinsing, we trekked around the island which we knew that during high tide, the island transforms into three small islets.
We really wanted to stay but we still had scheduled trips ahead. Thus, at 7:08 A.M. we left the island boarding our chartered boat and reached Naval Port Terminal at 9:05 A.M. It was at the port that we eat much the chicken and pork barbecue and the puso rice. Then, at exactly 9:45 A.M. we left Naval boarding our chartered van heading to our next tourist destination – the Limasawa Island.
For the resort's reservation for accommodation, you may contact in advance Mr. JC Manuel in his mobile phone at 09264104866.