Hello to the one reading this! I am sharing you our amazing experience on the island of Biri, home to the magnificent rock formations.Once you get here, expect a never-ending awesomeness!:)
Traveling is something I always look forward to. Packing stuff excites me regardless of time (sometimes I packed on the 11th hour and I love it!haha).I’m just an ordinary travel bug who never gets tired wandering around and truth be told, it keeps me going.Well, since last August of 2015 had two long weekends, I and my friends, Lindsey and Wednesday visited Biri Island.
How to get to Biri Island?
To get to Biri Island, from Cebu City, you may take a plane (Mactan-Catarman) airport. From Catarman airport, you may take a jeepney that takes you to Lavesarez and from Lavesarez take a boat going to Biri. You may also take a ferry just like what we did especially if you are on a budget.We booked a roundtrip ticket for only Php 1,700 (Cokaliong Shipping Lines) via Calbayog City. Make sure you have checked the schedules because from Cebu City going to Calbayog City the trip is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and going back to Cebu is only every Tuesday and Thursday. If you want also to take via Ormoc and Tacloban, you can also do that, just check schedules. It took 12 hours to reach the port of Calbayog (7pm-7am). Upon arrival, the warmth of the sun greeted us with people living simply. I love the quaintness of the place! 🙂
From the port of Calbayog City, we took a jeepney going to Brgy. Allen. It took 2 hrs to reach Allen and the fare is only 60 Php per person. You may also take a V-Hire that costs 100 Php faster than jeepney but if you want to experience riding like a local, experience the unlimited stops, I recommend to take a jeepney, it’s fun!:) We were dropped off at Allen terminal and took breakfast at 3 C’s eatery then took a trike going to Lavesarez where small boats dock- the gateway to Biri Island.
The fare for the trike is only 20 Php per person if you go with other passengers and wait till its full. Since we had a lot of things being carried, we exclusively took the trike for only 120 Php.
Finally, we reached Lavesarez wharf and waited for the boat to be filled with passengers. The boat fare is only 50php and it takes an hour to reach Biri.
By the way, what I love about traveling is that you learn the value of patience. Relax and we’re halfway there. For the meantime, while sailing you will get to see this statue.
After an hour of sailing, we finally set foot on the island of Biri. We docked at Brgy. San Vicente, and walked to Villa Amor where we made reservations for our stay. We arrived noon time so right after we have checked in, we had lunch and then went to the tourism office for a briefing. We paid 50 Php for the environmental fee. They have accredited tour guides which are only 300Php for the whole day and ours was kuya Gerry who also owned a habal-habal so he helped us in getting to around and paid additional 120 Php for the trip.
What to do on Biri Island?
Rock Formation Hopping
We headed first to Magasang rock formation. From the resort, it took us 10 mins to reach Magasang. Right then and there, giant rock formations welcomed us and we were all amazed the whole time we’re there, breathing in wonder. There were also tourists that time, however, they were on their way back when we just started to cross the waters and climb those giant rocks, as if we owned the whole place, that was amazing!:)
On our second day, we woke up at 4:00 am to catch the sunrise in Bel-at. We started passing the boardwalk around 4:30 which is 429 m long and then climb the Bel-at rock and set up the cameras since Lindsey filmed it. We were on top and the experienced another magnificent view especially when the sun started to show up. We all watched it with great amazement. That was perfect!
Another rock formation that we went to was Makadlaw. It was not easy to reach the top. We did mangrove exploration first for almost an hour. I suggest wearing brimhat or a sarong to protect you from the heat of the sun. When you reach the top, you’ll never stop saying wow. The place is just beautiful that you don’t need to filter your picture.
Island Hopping and Snorkelling
You may go on an island hopping adventure. You may rent a boat for only 600 Php that takes you to neighboring islets. Please listen to the local guides because normally they don’t encourage you to cross even if it’s sunny if the waves are huge, based on our experience. We went to the island of Suliran instead. We took the habal-habal that took us to Brgy. Sto. Niño (5 mins), and from there, we took the boat going to the island of Suliran that will only take you 10 mins to reach the island and then rented the boat for only 150 Php for 3 hrs. We had snorkeling gears which we rented for only 50Php at the nearest dive center where we stayed. We enjoyed the white sandy beach, the turquoise ocean with a lot of colorful corals and school of fish. Oooops! please be careful of the sea urchins, they have plenty and healthy of those! I hope I didn’t scare you! 😀
In Brgy. San Vicente, there are a couple of resorts to choose from. If you prefer homestay, it is available as well especially if you go in a group of 5 or more than that. We stayed in Villa Amor for only 1500 per night for the whole room that can accommodate four people. There were three of us so we divided it into three so its way much cheaper. It is an air-conditioned room and you’ll have the perfect spot to catch the sunset fronting the ocean and Mt. Bulusan. By the way, BIRI POWER is from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight so do charge everything you need before the power shuts down.
Where to Eat?
G&S GRILL and FOOD HUB
In Biri, the famous G & S Grill and Food Hub is commendable. It is just beside the tourism office. You may order in advance as to what food would you like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The price is reasonable. oops. it’s just across the municipal hall. 🙂
Ate Emmy’s Gotohan
If you are craving for a goto, I suggest dropping by Ate Emmy’s gotohan. It is a kind of porridge with meat, egg on it and with spices of your choice too. It’s only 25Php, very affordable and delicious! 🙂 Just a few steps away from G&S Grill, before you reach Villa Amor.
We cannot trade the experience we had in Biri. The photographs cannot give justice to how beautiful the place is. From giant rock formations to naturally big waves. Of long walks and picturesque view, the long trip was all worth it! 🙂
But hey! We didn’t end our journey in there! Since the ferry going back was scheduled on a Tuesday, and we went back to the mainland on a Monday, we stayed in a hostel (Paradise Inn) in Allen and left our things then headed to Brgy. Tinaplacan, Calbayog City to visit Tarangban Falls. The photos we saw were all beautiful and we were curious so we had a side trip to Tarangban Falls.
How to get to Tarangban Falls?
It’s easy! From Allen, take a jeepney going to Calbayog City and tell the driver to drop you at Brgy. Tinaplacan. Once you get there, local guides will greet you. You have to take a habal-habal for only 100Php each round trip going to the starting point which is Bangon falls and 200 Php for the guide.
From Bangon falls, you have to trek for 20-30 minutes depending on how fast you walk to reach the majestic Tarangban Falls. When you reach Tarangban, get a massage from the natural flow of its cold waters. It’s refreshing and the view is just awesome! I can just stare at it the whole time.
Rates divided by 3 Including sidetrip to Tarangban falls (Calbayog City)
Php 6, 570/3 = Php 2, 190 per person
Php 3, 540/3 = Php 1,180 per person
Php 4,650/3 = Php 1, 550 per person
For the whole trip, we spent Php 14, 760/3 = Php 4, 920 per person.
Hello again to the one reading this, I hope this blog finds you well and hopefully when you get to Biri, make sure you have extra batteries and memory cards. We just made it to Biri! Another one of a kind experience has been added to my travel journal. After our amazing Biri escapade, we traveled back to Cebu with our backpacks full of Biri wonderful memories. 🙂