Fun in Biliran: Islands of Maripipi and Sambawan

If you think island getaway that includes access to a breath-taking panoramic view is impossible, then you haven’t heard of Sambawan Island.

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Sambawan Island is an uninhabited island away from the beach crowd located at the Municipality of Maripipi, Biliran. The marvels of the island lies in its fine golden sand, clear seawater, tranquil accommodation, and its best feature that no other island could offer: the view deck.

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Trekking your way up to the view deck may entail catching up your breath, but when you reach the topmost, what catches your eye will totally take your breath away. The uphill walk is rewarded with magnificent view of the surrounding depths and enormous mountains nearby. Just sitting there watching the sunset makes it worthwhile and gratifying.

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Sambawan Island is a 20-minute ride from Ol-og, Maripipi and a 45-minute ride if coming from Kawayan port. Friendly motorized banca operators are always available to transport tourists to the virgin Island of Biliran.

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There are 9 big cottages for accommodation: 3 big, 6 small; and 3 lodging houses for an overnight stay. Cottages costs PhP500 while the lodging house costs PhP2,500 per night, perfect for the family. The lodges have 20 gallons of water and power supply available from 5pm to 5am for all cottages.

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Aside from swimming, one can do scuba diving in its 11 diving sites for PhP150 per dive. Your underwater exploration can be photo-documented for an additional PhP50. There is also snorkeling for PhP50 and paddle boating for PhP150 per 2 hours.

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When needing a break from swimming, you can visit the municipality of Maripipi, a bigger island nearby. The community in the island can be explored around for an hour riding their very own “2-wheeled taxi”: the habal-habal. The expedition will sometimes feel like a roller-coaster ride with its ups and downs but it is quite smooth in general because the roads are totally concreted all the way.

Visit the pottery making and “Nito” weaving of the locals producing durable souvenirs and gift items; the amazing beaches and the Viga Spring Water where big “Kikiro” fishes live. The local will invite you to try to drink the safe drinking water from the spring which is also the community’s source of water.

In barangay Caliban is where you find delicious home-made delicacies such as Sinaging, Binagul, and Molido. There is also suman tinambiran. It is like an ordinary suman except it has fillings of sweetened mangoes or jackfruit in the middle, laced with chocolates, and wrapped with anahaw leaves.

Biliran is one of the country’s smallest and newest provinces. Formerly a sub-province of Leyte, it became an independent province in 1992. Its biggest town is the municipality of Naval which is also the capital of the province, while the smallest is the island town of Maripipi.

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