Friday, October 26, 2007

Eastern Samar: Overnight in Borongan, Eastern Samar

They call Borongan, Eastern Samar the City of the Golden Sunrise. I finally arrived there after a four-hour van trip from Tacloban City. I asked the van to drop me off at the beach house of my brod, Councilor Jesse Solidon, where I was to stay for the night.

After getting settled, we took a pump boat to nearby Divinubo Island where they are currently organizing an eco-tourism project among the locals.

Aside from it's white sand beach, I was told that behind the island (the side facing the Pacific), there were caves as well as a light house. But since it was getting dark, we could no longer hike to that side. What is peculiar about the island is that during low tide, you can walk to it since a land bridge of coral rocks emerges. This I saw for myself the next morning.

Borongan has a lot of potential as an eco-tourism destination. It's a good place to invest for surf camps. In fact, locals were surfing when I arrived. There are several waterfalls in the city inlcuding Tres Marias, Masakpasak, Hinahanginan, Binabalarawan, Cansoriyaw, Mono, Pangi, Tagpuyucan, Bihid, Kaputian and Tumaligis Falls. There are several caves to explore too. You can also go white-water rafting (that's if you have your own raft since no one has set-up there yet). And I was told the coral reefs are also worth the dive.

I slept early since I literally did not have any sleep the night before. Although I got to enjoy some of the night scenes of Borongan such as watching crabs crossing the street or fireflies light up a nearby tree. The next day, I visited the historical core of the city. I passed by the monument and ancestral home of the local revolutionary hero Major Eugenio S. Daza, as well as the Borongan Cathedral and the Santiago Monument in front of it. Sad to say, the old Borongan Church was demolished a long way back and what's left of it is its circular belfry. There are only two other places where I've seen circular belfries namely Tumauini, Isabela and Mexico, Pampanga. But just like Borongan, Mexico's old church is gone.

Anyway, we proceeded to the town of Guiuan one hour south of Borongan, which is at the southern tip of Samar Island.
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