Monday, August 20, 2012

Biri rocks!

I am an impulsive traveler (if there is such a term).  Sometimes all it takes is a picture for me to get excited and plan for a new destination.  That is what happened when I read a blog post about the Biri Rock Formations in Journeying James.  I immediately researched about it and vowed to get to the next seat sale to Samar!  Lo and behold, a few weeks ago I found myself and a new travel buddy on a plane bound to Catarman, Northern Samar - the gateway to Biri.

 Biri is a small island located in the northernmost tip of Northern Samar, facing the San Bernardino Strait and the Pacific Ocean.  Airphil Express has daily flights to Catarman.  From Catarman airport, one can hire a tricycle going to the public market (Php15) and take a 45-60 minute jeepney ride to the town of Lavezares (Php50).  Ask the driver to drop you off at the wharf where pumpboats going to Biri Island is located.  The boat ride going to Biri Island is approximately 1 hour and costs Php50.

The main attraction in Biri are the large and beautiful rock formations.  The most famous of which are the Magasang, Magsapad and Macadlao.  But other rock formations that are also worth a visit are the Bel-at, Puhunan and Caranas.

Upon arrival at Biri, you need to proceed first to the Tourism Office and pay the EVF fee of Php50.  There are a lot of tourist guides offering their services when you arrive in Biri.  For us, we hired one of the famous guides there, Orlando Bulosan whom I have also read about in other travel blogs.  He charges Php300 per person, per day for the tour to the rock formations.  You can contact him at +639205246773.  I would really advise that you get a guide since going to the rock formations and climbing it may be a bit of a challenge.  The guide can tell you where to step and he can also take pictures of you as you climb.

 It was almost lunch time when we arrived in Biri.  We headed first to Villa Amor, our home for the next two days to freshen up and get ready for the trip to the rock formations.  Villa Amor charges Php600 per night for a twin-bed fan room with private bath.  It is important to take note that electricity in Biri is from 12 noon to 12 midnight only so charge your cameras and cellphones during these times.

We rode a habal-habal (motorbike) going to our first stop, the Magasang Rock Formation.  Fortunately, it was low tide when we came, otherwise we would need to ride a boat going to Magasang.  We walked through small mangroves and ankle-deep waters to get to Magasang.  Up close, Magasang is even more beautiful. I can't help but be mesmerized.  I looked so small whilst standing beside the humongous rock formation.

Our guide told us that the view above the rock is even more beautiful.  We made our way to the back of the rock formation.  The climb was really challenging because the way up was composed of uneven and slippery platforms.  Be sure to wear comfortable and skid-free footwear if you plan to go there.  I was even joking that we must've weighed ourselves before we climbed and compared how many kilos we lost after we climbed Magasang.  We reached the top in what seems like an eternity and my skin, despite wearing sunscreen and long sleeves got really toasted because of the scorching heat. I am so glad we made it because we were rewarded by a very spectacular view!

Majestic blue waves crashing to the shore, birds flying above and intricate designs on the rock formation are some of the things that we saw.  Words are not enough to describe it - it was so peaceful, so calm and so beautiful up there.

Me and Elsie enjoying the magnificent view


  1. thanks for the mention che! nice photos you have here.
    spectacular rock formations as ever. grabe yung strong winds noh?

  2. Your welcome James, yung post mo talaga ang nag-inspire sa kin to go to Biri. Medyo malakas nga yung hangin when we came there buti na lang hindi naman umulan. Sobrang ganda dun!

  3. Biri is very unique! I will visit this soon! :-)