Into the Central Cave of Samar

The Central Cave is a massive dome underneath a karst mountain in Samar. Inside this vast, silent realm are sparkling formations of immense beauty.

The towering columns, massive flowstone curtains, walls of speleothem formations and still-growing stalagmites are embedded with gypsum crystals.

Those are also translucent, the reason they glow when you shine a light from behind. Such is a true sign of their state: raw, pure and immaculate.

 

Hence, you’ll see some in actual geological process. Like the stalactite and stalagmite growing into a column with a few more drops or the drapery developing lines of hard rock within its length.

Thanks significantly to its inaccessibility, this domain is preserved. You have to tread carefully, both for safety and its preservation. Even the lightest touch can destroy those precious rock formations.

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To get there, you must have Joni “the cave master” Bonifacio as the guide. He knows best this cave for he has discovered and explored it with Elezar Labtic of Huplag Speleologists.

Caving with the master means learning techniques, like the single rope technique (SRT). You’ll need this since it requires vertical caving.

Yes, the entrance to and exit from this cave is a sinkhole.

For further details,  check these caving narratives from  Adrenaline Romance and TravelUp.

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Burot Sandbars

Burot beach has four camping grounds, each with a swimming area.

It also has sandbars that are only a few minutes of boat ride from the shore.

The advantage of island hopping in the area is, you get to swim without the sea grasses, which are abundant in the said swimming areas.

You can stay in one of the sandbars until sunset, which in Burot is a breathtaking burst of skylights.

Here are some photos from my friend’s first visit and from our’s before it was closed for commercialization. Yes, Burot Beach is now being developed as a private resort.

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There are months when the sandbars are visible. In May, during our visit, it was submerged in waist-deep water.

Burot Sunset

Day Tour Itinerary

8:00 am -Pick-up in Legaspi (Pacific Mall, Terminal, Airport, Hotel Venezia, Oriental Hotel)

8:00 am – 9:00 am – Travel to Misibis Bay

9:00 am – 9:15 am – Registration

9:15 am- 10:30 am – Swimming at the Pools

10:30 am- 11:30 am – Snorkeling at the Marina

11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Swimming at the pools

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Kayaking/Stand-up Paddle/Wind Surfing at the Beach-Club

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Free time for other Activities (ATV/Cruising/HobieCat Sailing)

5:00 pm – Travel back to Legazpi

Water Sports

Snorkeling is at 450/person.

Kayaking/Stand-up Paddle/Wind Surfing are at 350/person.

All-inclusive (including Snorkeling) is 750/person.

ATV Tour (per ATV Unit)

To the Ecopark (roughly 30-45 minutes) is at Php 1,500.

To the Hilltop (roughly 1 Hour & 15 Minutes to 1 Hour & 45 Minutes) is at Php 3,500.

Albay Gulf Cruising (1 Hour):  Php 680/person; minimum of 6 persons.

HobieCat Sailing (30 minutes) is at Php 1,200 max of 4 persons.

3-Day, 2-Night Itinerary

misibis bay itinerary

misibis bay water sports schedule

 

Is Camotes Island Cebu’s Best-Kept Secret?

Secluded and underdeveloped – this group of islands in Cebu can be reached in one and a half hours via a fast craft vessel. Its prime islands are hosts to beachfront resorts whose infinity pools got the overlooking pristine beach for a background. Equally rustic are the other natural attractions in the area and with a vibe as relaxed and unhurried. Camotes Island hopefully would stay that way – that is, as Cebu’s arguably best-kept secret.

The Beach in Santiago, San Francisco

The Beachfront Resort

How to get to Camotes Island 

  1. Book a ticket to Camotes Island via fast craft ferries. At Pier 1, OceanJet plies to these destinations daily with scheduled trips at 6 am, 10 am, and 3 pm. There are also trips from Danao port from 6 am, and 9 am at Pier 2, and 1pm at Oanu Wharf.
  2. At Poro port, there are different public vehicles that can take you to your accommodation site. Consuelo port also serves as a gateway to the island, especially those that will be coming from Danao.
  3. Gutapay and Pilar are your gateways to Leyte and Ormoc via a passenger pump boat.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Points to Consider

  1. You can buy your ticket on the day of your trip to Camotes Island. Make sure you have enough time to avoid missing your preferred trip. Take a taxi to get there faster.
  1. Look for Hever Gonzaga, a multicab driver/tour guide in the area. He is an honest man for returning the wallet I left on his multicab. His mobile number is 09068271736.
  1. Ask the driver that takes you to your accommodation site to be your tour guide. They have a laminated collage photo of the places you can visit. The standard tour rate is P500 both for individual and group. It can go lower if you only go for the nearer sites.
  1. Likewise, the same driver can take you back to Poro or Consuelo (if going back to Cebu) or Gutapay or Pilar (if going to Ormoc). There is a daily trip at 5 am via Jomalia Shipping Line and at 12 noon via M/B Junmar. These vessels take this route: Gutapay-Pilar-Ormoc.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Eleazar Cuela.