Friday, October 26, 2007

Eastern Samar & Samar: From Guiuan to Catbalogan

From Borongan, we drove to Guiuan which was an hour away. The church there is a national cultural treasure. Before visiting the church, we had lunch at Aling Celing's in the market. We had kind of shell called sambong among others.

Entering the church outside Mass hours is not that easy since they are very protective after incidents of theft. But we got in thanks to some through channels. Aside from being relatively intact, what is unique about the church are the shell ornamentation in the transepts and the baptistry.

If only I had more time, I would have wanted to visit Calico-an Island, the surfers' haven of Eastern Samar. But it looks like I'll have to save that for another day.

After checking out the church, we proceeded to Balangiga to check out the church and monument. We've all heard about Balangiga Massacre and the quest to return the bells to the town. In Balangiga, I boarded a bus to Samar Province.

My plan was to sleep in Catbalogan for the night which was a long way to go. But first, I dropped by the town of Basey to check out the church. The old church in Basey is the most intact colonial church in Samar Province. Outside the church were a group of kids playing and they were excited about my camera and egged me on to take their photos which I happily did to satisfy their curiosity. If I only had time and funds, I would have checked out the caves of Sohoton, also in Basey. But you'll need a whole day to do that.

There's no direct transport to Catbalogan. So I had to try my luck by rushing back to Tacloban's Abucay Terminal to find a van. Another option was to wait at the foot of San Juanico Bridge but it was risky since it was getting dark and I might not find a ride. Good thing I caught the last van which left a little past 6 p.m.

They warned me the roads were bad. But I didn't realize they were that bad. I felt like I was on a speeding moon buggy. From Calbiga to Catbalogan, potholes were like craters on the moon and I pitied the suspension of the van as the driver sped across the bad road.

In Catbalogan, I had dinner at Tony's Kitchen. But I didn't realize that serving sizes were for groups. So I had to eat the sizzling steak all by myself. After dinner, I went around the nicely lit Samar Capitol.

The next day, I went around Catbalogan before taking a bus to Calbayog City.
More photos in Multiply.
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