Saturday, March 31, 2018

DIY Budget Travel Guide : Guiuan, Eastern Samar

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Located in the southernmost tip of Eastern Samar, Guiuan is an underrated tourist destination in Eastern Visayas. It is comprised of 60 barangays, including the historical island of Homonhon, the surfing island of Calicoan and the islands of Sulangan, Suluan and Tubabao. [Read: Biri Travel Guide]


Historically, it was in the town of Guiuan where Ferdinand Magellan and his men first set foot in the Philippines on the shore of Homonhon Island on March 16, 1521.


The town of Guiuan has made a headline in 2013 when it was hit by the eye of Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally named Yolanda. It was badly affected by the typhoon leaving hundreds of casualties and injuries.


Today, Guiuan has somehow recovered from that nightmare in 2013. The damaged homes and structures were already repaired and rebuilt. Tourism in the area is starting to pick up. Hotels and resorts are once again available to cater to the needs of the tourists most especially in the island of Calicoan.

What to See and Do in Guiuan?


See the Guiuan Church
Guiuan Church or the Immaculate Conception Parish Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was partially destroyed by typhoon Yolanda but with the help of some heritage advocates and government agencies it has now been partially rehabilitated. It remains closed for the public because the interior has not been restored yet. 



It is situated at the heart of Guiuan town proper so you can pretty much visit it when you arrive in Guiuan.

Surf in Calicoan's ABCD Beach Surf Camp
Dubbed as the "Surfing Capital of Visayas", Calicoan Island is the to-go place for tourists who want to play with the waves. It's about 30 minutes away from downtown Guiuan via multicab. Fare is only Php30 but the frequency of multicab trip is infrequent. If you are taking a shared public transport on a day trip, it is highly recommended that you go there in the morning so you can return in the afternoon. The multicab will pass in front of the police and tourism office (beside Andoks) but to be sure, just walk to the Guiuan public terminal. You can also charter a tricycle going to Calicoan Island for about Php300-500.




Beach Bum in the White Sand Beaches of Calicoan
If you are not a fan of the big waves, then the other side of Calicoan (near Sulangan) is the best spot for you. You can enjoy the white sand and the calm water in the island.To get there, ride a multicab to Sulangan and inform the driver you are going to La Luna Beach. He should drop you off before crossing the Sulangan Bridge. Fare is P40 from Guiuan town proper and Php10 from the surfing area.







Visit the Sulangan Church
Sulangan Church or the The Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua is one of the popular religious structures in Eastern Visayas made famous buy its miraculous Saint. The church has a Baroque-inspired facade which was reconstructed in 1957 and was repaired in 2007.



Where to Eat in Guiuan?


Tanghay View Lodge Restaurant
There are a lot of eateries and restaurants in Guiuan but if you are into fresh seafood, you should go to Tanghay View Lodge Restaurant. It is located close to the town proper and is accessible both by private and public transport. A tricycle can bring you to the restaurant from the town proper for Php10.

Where to Stay in Guiuan?

Tanghay View Lodge
A good place to stay in Guiuan is Tanghay View Lodge as it is close to the town center and has a restaurant to fill your tummy. Room rates is between Php500-Php2000. You may contact them at 09365319495.


Where to Stay in Calicoan


Calicoan Villa
There are a number of resorts in Calicoan Island but if you are looking for a place near to the surfing area, then Calicoan Villa is the right accommodation for you. I stayed in their non-airconditioned surfing hut for Php1,200 a night (goof for two). It was okay, I chose the beachfront hut so I had a great time. Their airconditioned room is at Php2,000 per night. You may contact them at: 09172069602




If you want to stay on the other side of the island where the water is calm, you can check out La Luna Beach and Banago Beach Resort.


La Luna Beach Resort contact number: 0905 288 7516 / Room rates start at Php1,500
Banago Beach Resort contact number: 0977 347 8304 / Room rates start at Php2,000

How to go to Guiuan?

From Manila: From Manila, take an Eagle Star bus direct to Guiuan. Travel time is over 24 hours and fare is around Php1,500. Another option is to take a bus to Borongan and take a van from there to Guiuan. If you want to fly, the nearest commercial airport is Tacloban.

From Tacloban: Take a van to Guiuan. Travel time is around 3 hours and fare is Php160. First trip is at 3am and last trip is 6pm. I highly recommend Duptours vans.

From Borongan: From Borongan, take a van to Guiuan. Travel time is a little over 2 hours and fare is Php110. The schedule of van trips from Borongan to Guiuan via Duptours is daily at 5am, 9am, 1pm and 5pm. Every Sunday, the 5am trip will go direct to Sulangan.


From Calbayog and Catbalogan: From Calbayog, take an Eagle Bus direct to Guiuan. It should pass by Calbayog around lunch time. Alternatively, you can take a van to Catbalogan and take a van from there to Borongan, then to Guiuan. The schedule of van trips from Catbalogan to Borongan is daily at 4am, 8am, 1pm and 5pm via Duptious Vans. Travel time from Catbalogan to Borongan is a little over 2 hours.


Itinerary and Expenses During my Recent Trip to Guiuan


Day 1
Depart Borongan, Eastern Samar at 9AM. Van Fare: Php110
Tricycle to Resto Php10
Lunch at Tanghay View Lodge Restaurant Php420
Tricycle to Guiuan terminal Php10
Multicab to Calicoan Php30
Accommodation at Calicoan Villa Php1,200 (fan room)
Dinner at Calicoan Villa Php250



Day 2
Tricycle to Sulangan Php10
Breakfast at an eatery near Sulangan Church Php100
Tricycle back to Calicoan Villa Php10
Tricycle back to Guiuan Php40.
Van to Tacloban Php160.


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