Sunday, May 21, 2006

Enchanting Sambauan, an island in Maripipi, Biliran

The church and convent of the town of Maripipi

Church altar of Maripipi

Across the church is the Adoration chapel of Maripipi which overlooks the sea.

One has the surrounding view of the sea from the Adoration Chapel

The crystal blue waters of Sambauan beach near Maripipi island in the province of Biliran, Philippines is so inviting that one would just like to stay in the waters forever. This is an uninhabited island good for day tripping and camping.

The beach in Sambauan with the island of Maripipi at the background.

My classmate, Fr. Tony who was then the parish priest of Maripipi.

From the town of Kawayan in Biliran island, where one takes off for Maripipi, the sunset is so breathtaking, its like being cuddled in the arms of God as one sails through the sunset.

Suluan: An Island in the Pacific

Have been wanting to visit this island for sometime already. Got the chance one day when the parish priest of Guiuan invited us to go with them to celebrate the yearly fiesta which falls on the 6th of May.

Suluan is a barangay (village) under the town of Guiuan, E. Samar. It is east of the island of Homonhon where Magellan first landed when he discovered the Philippines in 1521. It is a two hour ride by boat (motorized banca) from Guiuan. Since it is already facing the Pacific, the waves are so huge and treacherous that there are seasons in the year that it becomes isolated from the mainland. It is during the month of May and two weeks of June that the sea becomes calm. Composed of about five thousand inhabitants, the people occupy only the southwestern portion of the island, hence it is a safe haven with still waters as it is guarded from the huge Pacific waves by the mountains and cliffs on the eastern front of the island. There are seven small islands that dot around the mainland of Suluan.

These pictures are from the island of Suluan in Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines. This two kilometer- stretch island is composed of beautiful white beaches on the western front and breathtaking cliffs and rock formations on the eastern side which faces the Pacific. There is a lighthouse on the southern part of the island which is reached by hiking through thick vegetation and a 490 step staircase from the foot of the mountain. After the arduous climb, one however is gifted with a picturesque view of the forest and the ocean. Just nearby is a cave called Panamboan that looks out into the blue ocean. One could see the waves wildly striking at the rocks below.

View of Suluan as one approaches the island

A yacht was moored in Suluan when we visited the place

The chapel of Suluan and its retablo altar (below)

Bp. Medroso was the celebrant of the fiesta of Suluan last May 6, 2006.

The streets of Suluan on a festive mood
This is the ancestral home of Msgr. Felix Sabenecio, a priest coming from this island of Suluan.

The white sand beaches are found in the western part of the island.

Climbing up the 490 steps to the lighthouse
The lighthouse

Upon reaching the lighthouse one is gifted with a breathtaking view of the ocean and the surrounding vegetation.A few distance from the lighthouse, one can get to the Panamboan Cave. At the end of the cave is an opening which overlooks the Pacific ocean, hence the name of the cave.

Panamboan cave overlooks the Pacific ocean

One of the wild plants that can be seen from the top of Panamboan cave.

At the eastern part of the island by the Pacific side are rugged mountain cliffs and stone formations

There are also pools of sea water that one can bathe in during low tides.

Some of the new coral formation that could be seen in Suluan. This is found in the other side of the island, the one facing the Pacific.
Sunset in Suluan