Admittedly, the regions of Eastern Visayas are some of the areas I haven’t visited as much. Joining the #SailEast fam tour with Tourism Promotions Board was a great opportunity to familiarize with the area. To experience, even partially, what these places have to offer. In our four-day tour we ventured to Southern Leyte’s idyllic shores and islets, Leyte’s island gem and Samar’s Eco-adventure spots.
This was stuff I only read on textbooks when I was still studying. I remember reading about Sohoton Coves and Natural Bridge Park before and has always been fascinated by this place in Basey, Samar. But it was only in our last day of #SailEast tour that I had the chance to visit this nature wonder of a lush jungle, dramatic limestone formations and a meandering river snaking through the vast 840-hectare park. It is only an hour away from Tacloban city proper, a worthy day tour when in Eastern Visayas.
The recent #SailEast fam tour brought be back to one of the exciting river adventures I had. The Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure in Paranas, Samar was quite memorable a couple of years ago. And I’m quite happy this eco-adventure destination is still going strong. This time around, the water volume was not as high as my first visit but still managed to deliver a splashing good time. I won’t delve more on the experience as you can read it from the previous post. This time, I’m updating with an informative video on this river adventure. Watch below and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
The port city of Ormoc is the largest city in Leyte and the second largest in Eastern Visayas. It’s landscape of gentle plains and low rolling terrains is home to probably one of the world’s sweetest pineapples – Ormoc’s queens pineapple. There are more than 500 hectares of agricultural land and at least 210 hectares are devoted to pineapple plantations. In our stay in Ormoc, we drove one early morning to visit one of these plantations to get a glimpse of how the city’s prime crop are harvested.
I have passed by this iconic bridge in Eastern Visayas several times already. I realized I have not written about it yet as this megastructure deserves its own entry. The San Juanico Bridge is the longest bridge over a body of water in the Philippines. Connecting the city of Tacloban, Leyte to the town of Sta Rita in Samar. The bridge spans 2,164 meters (7,100 ft) crossing over San Juanico Strait. This meandering steel bridge is a man-made wonder worthy a stop when in Tacloban to marvel at this architectural feat. Travel on foot along its side pedestrian lane to enjoy the picturesque views at the strait.
For the past four years, Kalanggaman island has risen to fame. It started when German luxury cruise company Hapag-Lloyd made a stop to this small island in Palompon, Leyte back in 2013. The MS Europa, considered as the “most beautiful” of its luxury cruise ships unloaded about 400 passengers on this 6-hectare large island. They only stayed for a couple of hours but it was enough for visitors to be awed by this small island with a beautiful white beach, coconut tree dotted island and picturesque sandbar. Soon, photos and videos of the island went viral in the internet dubbing Kalanggaman Island as one the most beautiful sandbars in the world and has one of the best beaches in the country.
Coming from Baybay, Leyte, our route was all the way down to Southern Leyte. Looking at the map, both provinces combined looks like hips and dangling legs. We visited a few dive resorts for our travel agency companions to inspect. The day ended checking in at Kuting Reef and Resort Spa. The beautiful seaside resort with plenty of towering coconut trees at the garden and a pool became the venue for the fam tour welcome dinner. The next day, it was a jump-off to our adventure.