Adventure Samar Out There: Sohoton National Park

Samar is not really atop lists of places to visit whenever a local or foreigner goes on vacation in different provinces in the Philippines, but for those who make the journey, it is a rewarding experience.




Basey was our first stop when we traveled out of Tacloban. We were told about the many things we could do in this part of the province. As soon as we arrived, we hit the ground running and went right into eco-tourism activities.

Coursing through the River



We rode separate boats to get to some of the areas surrounding the national park. The karst and rock formations hugged the river with its rough and rugged hands. The lush vegetation on the rocks breathed life into them.




There were some parts where we had to alight from the boat and wade through water just below the knee. It was an adventure to ride the river and see the sights.

Caving

After a short boat ride, we made it to the famous Sohoton Cave.



The name of the island "Samar" came from the Spanish word "Samad" meaning cut or wound. It seems appropriate because of the many cuts and wounds created by nature to form the caves, rock formations and natural grooves that made this national park an attraction.


I was already impressed with the entrance to the cave and was eager to go inside and explore.




After exploring the cave, it is safe to say that this eco-tourism activity is fit for tourists of all ages. It was unlike the caves in Sagada where people had to duck, squeeze and crawl through tight spaces to get into some areas.







As caves go, we all had to use our imaginations to make something out of the shapes shown to us by our guides. There were formations that took the shape of people, things, body parts and animals.

Kain Tayo 


After exploring the caves and paddling the kayak, we were all eager to eat.


This is the part where I write about my feelings toward the meaning of life, love and the beautiful things one discovers through traveling.



The setting of lunch was perfect, it was nature at her finest. Food was placed right under natural chandeliers with sunlight pouring in. There was no need for fans or air conditioning because of the breeze blowing through.


The province is proud of their delicacies such as the local lechon, cheese, bola catalana and longanisa de Catbalogan.


The tamalos is the province's own version of kare-kare minus the vegetables. The peanut sauce and the texture of the pork were just right.


Samar also had their own version of suman called kurokod (on the right of the picture).


Before Eating

After Eating
"Tandaya" is the pre-colonial name of the island which the region is slowly recovering. They are establishing their own identity and love of what they have through tourism.

The province is ideal for eco-tourism because of the activities visitors can do. It is only right that the tourism office focuses on these to differentiate themselves from the usual beach destinations around the country. There are other caves, waterfalls and subterranean rivers waiting to be discovered, visit Samar to experience something different.

How to Get to Sohoton National Park

Take a van or jeep from the Tacloban City New Bus Terminal in Brgy. Abucay to the town of Basey, Samar. Visit the Municipal Tourism Operations Center situated at the Basey wharf which offers transportation and guiding services to the park.

Contact

Evangelina O. Ritaga
Sr. Tourism Operations Officer
Tel. # (055) 276-1471
dotreg8@yahoo.com

*DISCLAIMER: I was part of a familiarization tour initiated by the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines. Basey, Samar and Sohoton National Park were part of the itinerary.

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