Philippines country of contrasts – Calbayog



Samar Island


I woke up sleepy, traffic calmed down around 24 and started again at 4 am – it was noisy and I could not sleep well. It was hard for me to understand how in a such small city there can be so many vehicles (mainly scooters and motorbikes) and so much traffic.
Despite the weariness the route from the Naval – Tacloban passed me very quickly, although in the 15-person bus there were 15 adults, 7 children and luggage – surprisingly, there was no rooster :).

At the train station in Tacloban I had an unpleasant situation. I got a ticket to Catbalogan from a ticket controller with 150 pesos price written on it. I was already sitting in the bus when the ticket controller demanded 100 pesos extra. I showed him the price on the ticket, he just ignored it, took the ticket, looked it changing the price using the pen to 250. I was given this ticket back and asked to pay the additional money again.

I paid for it. I was feeling a bit baffled, I would probably do nothing about it , but when I saw the mocking smile of this guy, I decided that I would not leave it that way! I asked the passengers about the cost they paid, it turned out that I paid twice as much as they did. Mildly speaking, I got my blood pressure up.

I left the bus, I found this ticket guy – he knew exactly what I meant. I just told him to give my 100 pesos, he gave me the full amount of 250 without a word of opposition. Of course, I had to leave the bus, but I was at a crowded train station, so there was no stress – I only had a slightly broken mood.

Maybe I became a scum as in the end 100 pesos is about 8 PLN, but it was about the rude way he did it. Summing up I lost 30 minutes waiting for another main of transport, but I have met a lot of nice people and I got a lot of suggestions what I should see in the area.

Thanks to the information I obtained, instead of Catbalogan, I went to Calbayog, although the there was only a small reference where to sleep and where to eat described in the guide book. Another change of the travel plan – welcome adventure :)!


On the spot I stayed at Eduardos’s Hotel – the years of glory of this object passed long time ago. The price was reasonable, and I ate dinner at Carlos’s & Carmelos – a place also recommended in LP and I admit that it’s very cool.

After the meal, I asked the owner about the possibility of hiring a guide. She told me to come back in the evening, but she had broken my humor much earlier. She warned me not to go anywhere alone. When I asked her “Why?” she replied: “Do not you watch the news? They’re kidnapping people.” Then I learned about the incidents on the island of Bohol a few days after my departure (shooting, bombs blast) – I thought what a surprise…

Since then, I had eyes around my head, a knife in my pocket and a monopod to the camera handy. To make matters worse, everyone I was passing were commenting “el Americano” – I was thinking great, soon a car would come up, pick me up and that will be end of my trip. I already had a prepared version for the kidnappers “I am from Poland and nobody will pay for me” :).

In the evening (constantly looking around) I went to the restaurant. I met the owner who introduced me to his friends and asked them to take care of me the next day :). They agreed and we were going to meet on the next day at 9am.

In the hotel, I was still a little scared, I decided to set the door with a bed (maybe a bit of exaggeration, but I have a very strong sleep after doing it and I can literally be taken away no doing it) I was hoping that if I woke up I would have time to defend myself. Fortunately, the night passed peacefully and nothing happened.

Daily expenses in pesos:

  • 130 Naval – Taloban ticket
  • 5 toilet
  • 200 Tacloban ticket – Calbayog
  • 115 water, rum, cola
  • 20 both ways 3 wheeler to the beaches
  • 10 entry ticket to the beach
  • 400 rooms at Eduardo’s Hotel
  • 10 riksha to the hotel
  • 120 3 small San Miguel

Malajag Beach

Before 9 Monina and Liza (two older ladies, friends of the restaurant’s owner) took me from the hotel. We went to Malajag Beach, where there was a zip line – they also came down :). A nice ride by the sea, just a pity that one way. Duing the day it was a main point of the program. I admit that I was a bit disappointed, I thought I would see something else.

After returning, I took a walk around the city, took some pictures and gave my first autograph :D. I know how it sounds :), it amused me too, but that’s how shopping at the stationer shop ends :).

Walking around the city I still heard “Americano” – meaning of the word can be easily guessed without knowing Spanish. I was denying “no, no el polako” and everyone always laughed – not from my nationality, but because the fact that I understand them – at least I understood this single word. They were calling me a “photographer” – also good :).

Daily expenses in pesos:

  • 66 small papaya, 5 bananas, 6 small tomatoes, mandarin
  • 54 2 liters of water, 9 sachets of shampoo
  • 400 room
  • 300 zip line
  • 235 grilled chicken
  • 35 Sinapao
  • 167 dinner at Jollebee
  • 200 grilled chicken

Tarangban Falls

At 8am together with Monina and Liz we went to see Tarangban Falls, about an hour’s drive from Calbayog + 30 min walk from the parking through the mud. It’s worth going there! The place is impressive, it was the biggest waterfall I’ve seen – a nice place. We spent about an hour there. I swam, jumped and took some pictures. On the way back, we also stooped of in one more smaller waterfall Bangan – also nice.

After the trip, I planned that I would go straight to Victoria City, and from there I would sail to the Island of San Antonio (the official name of Dalupiri Island) – I had my luggage in my car. Monina offered me a ride to the city – it could not be better. At the port I literally changed from the car to the boat that was already leaving – better and better. After about 20 minutes I was on the Island of San Antonio. On foot I got to the Cristal Place, where I rented a room. The price is inadequate to the standards, but it was located only 10 meters to the sea :)It was a very good day, that I ended up relaxing on an empty, quiet beach with my new friend Tanduay 🙂 and I spent the night with other friends – cockroaches.

I will mention a few attractions around Calbayog, which are not described in the guide:

  • Tarangban Falls
  •  Bangan Falls
  •  Guinog Cave
  •  Busay Falls
  •  St Peter & Paul Cathedral
  •  Rock Slide
  •  Pan-as Falls
  • City Forest Macble Park
  •  Malajog Beach

Now I know not to rely too much on the guide, you need to take a small adjustment. In the end, in a place that was not mentioned, there were quite a lot of interesting attractions 🙂 and I spent a very nice time there.

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