Water Rafting and Falls Jumping at Ulot Cave, Paranas
This has got to be one of my favorite activities throughout the whole tour. Like hitting two birds with one stone, you can have an adventure of a lifetime by going to Ulot River. At Ulot River, there’s a spot where all the mini-falls collide, creating a massive river current. Falling there would be scary, but falling there with a life-jacket? Now, that is fun!
With supervision from experienced tour guides, you will be instructed on how to jump properly before venturing into this incredibly fun water activity. Scared you might drown? The guides will stay nearby and will always be ready to save you if needed! Most of the time, though, it’s just like a natural water slide!
Going to Ulot River will require you to go water rafting, as well. It’s not as intense as jumping down the falls, but it’s just as exciting!
The stop of our water rafts as the rocks were heavily scattered at this point
Spelunking at Lobo Cave, Jiabong
If you are up for a challenge and are looking for a thrill, spelunking at Lobo Cave is something you should not miss. After an hour and a half of hiking, you will reach a cave at the bottom of the mountain. This cave is one of the most challenging caves in the country, so going there entails a lot of preparation. At this point, I didn’t bother bringing my camera because I knew I wouldn’t have time to hold it; I would prefer to hold on for dear life instead.
Since I am afraid of heights, spelunking at Lobo Cave was extremely hard for me. There were numerous points where we had to skiddle along edges or else we’d fall (and most likely incur severe injuries, if not fatal ones). However, I am proud to say that I made it and I’m glad I mustered up all my courage to venture into this cave because this stunning view greeted us near the end of the tunnel:
Credits to Adrenaline Romance for the photo. If you think this is edited, it isn’t. This is exactly what it looked like when we went there. The road is hard, but the treasure at the end is extremely valuable. After this, you will no longer be surprised as to why Samar is crowned as the Caving Capital of the Philippines.
Where to Stay / Eat in Samar
San Juan by the Bay
After an-almost luxurious 4-man-powered wooden boat cruise, there is a restaurant by the bay overlooking the San Juanico Bridge. In this restaurant, you will be greeted by friendly locals who have prepared the best of Samar on plates. There will be seafood, chicken, grilled meat, vegetables, fruits, and, of course, kakanin. With that view and scrumptious food that we had, it was impossible not to fall in love with the beauty of the simplicity of it all.
Lola Rosa Inn Bed and Breakfast
There’s an old house located in Calbiga, Samar that might look creepy at first; but it turned out to be one of my favorite lodging houses. Owned by a wealthy family, Lola Rosa Inn Bed and Breakfast decided to turn their mansion into an inn for travelers. The place is well-kept and everything is spot-on. Just by basing on its interior and displays, it’s like a museum that turned into a house.
The rooms are also very homey and spacious, so it won’t be a problem if you want a whole lot of space for yourself after a tiring day. At night, the place is pleasantly cool with a breeze coming in from the big windows. We maximized this by staying up at the living room playing sungka. Afterwards, we took a satisfying shower, complete with a water heater and a bidet for the toilet.
Might I add: there’s also WiFi and a lot of sockets everywhere!
The caretakers of the house are very accommodating, as well; feel free to ask them anything, like if you need hot water for coffee or something.
Aside from the tourist spots, Gov. Tan also created sustainable plans to increase the livelihood of the people. Since she wanted to unveil the talent and craftsmanship of the locals through hand-woven products, her team created a product line called Lara.
Fun Fact: When Gov. Tan noticed that hand-weavers are usually all elderly people, she became concerned that this craft might soon be forgotten. As such, she added this to their curriculum as part of their sustainable development in creating a more progressive Samar.
Lara is a beautiful collection of bags (other products to come soon!) that beautifully promote the beauty of the province and the whole Philippines itself. Beautiful, isn’t it? Make it a point to go to Samar and have the adventure of your life.
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