Sunday, May 30, 2010

Calicoan Island

Few places in the Philippines can rival the beauty of Samar’s dramatic landscapes. Calicoan island is located on the tip of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, and is dubbed the “Surfing capital of Visayas”.

Large waves from the Pacific Ocean lures surfers and adventurers alike, and curiously enough, religious devotees of St. Anthony of Padua. The barrio of Sulangan has a church that is said to be miraculous, and special trips from Tacloban City via vans (travel time around 4 hours) allow people to hear the pilgrim mass around mid-morning.

Seafood is cheap and plentiful at the town market of Guiuan. For sand and surf enthusiasts, white sand beaches circle the coast while comfortable accommodations are available both in the town proper and in Calicoan Island.

This place is particularly memorable for me because the entire family used to travel and stay a few days in Guiuan during summers.

Where to stay: If you favor 4-star accommodations (costing you about Php 14,500 for an overnight stay for two), the fabulous Surf Camp is for you. Amenities include an infinity pool, an Indonesian-style villa with interioir decoration, a restaurant, viewing deck with an awesome view of the Pacific.

Those with more modest pockets can stay at Calicoan Villa- just beside Surf Camp. A cottage with no airconditioning costs somewhere between Php1,500-2,500. 30 minutes away in the town proper are hostels that cost around Php600 for overnight twin accommodations.

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