Wednesday, September 07, 2011


The last towns along the seacoast of Eastern Samar that Ihave not been to are the towns north of Taft: Can-avid, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpo and Arteche. I just not have found yet any pretense tovisit these places, besides, until very recently these places were so remote asthe roads were very bad or non- existent at all. To go to Arteche, they had to take the boatfrom Oras and endure the huge Pacific waves especially during the habagatseason. Suddenly out of the blue, I gotan invitation to join the fiesta celebration of Arteche from a former studentof mine in Theology who is now the parish priest of the place, Fr. Prescillano“Jun” Elardo. Arteche is the last townof Eastern Samar up north with Lapinig as its neighboring town already inNorthern Samar which I already have visited several years back.

When I texted my goodfriend Ronnie Ramirez inquiring about the road condition going there invitinghim at the same time to join me, hetexted back that the roads are rough and a bit dangerous and would take aboutfive hours travel from Tacloban. I texted back that since it was fiesta, therewould be many who would be traveling along the road and we will just go throughthe rough roads slowly. A bit later he texted back that he would comealong and even offered his own car to be used. That was heaven sent.

Just after five in themorning we departed for Arteche. The Alterra car of Ronnie was indeed fast andthe ride was smooth notwithstanding the rough roads especially the last 25kilometers from San Policarpo to Arteche. Since it was my first time to be up north in Eastern Samar, we took timeto visit the towns along the way starting with Can-avid, then to Dolores, Oras,San Policarpo and finally Arteche. Wetook pictures of their churches and passed by a beach we found that was very picturesquein Binogawan, San Policarpo. On our wayhome from Arteche we again stopped by this beach for a refreshing swim on thathumidly hot last day of August.

                                                             Binogawan Beach in San Policarpo.

Loop-d-Loop Bridge in the middle of the island of Samar.

The parish church of Taft, E. Samar

Inside the church of Taft.

The Station of the Cross inside the church of Taft

Can-avid Church

Renovation of the Can-avid Church is ongoing. They are trying to enlarge the church beginning from the altar.

The altar of Can-avid Church

Can-avid Public Market

There is a big river by the town proper of Can-avid which is still the main transportation to inland barangays of the town.

The Church of Dolores, E. Samar

Inside the church of Dolores.

The municipal hall of Dolores which is just across the church is imposing which eclipses the facade of the church.

The Dolores Municipal Hall

The Parish Church of Oras, E. Samar

Renovation is ongoing inside the church of Oras.

The altar of Oras.

The Choir loft of the Church of Oras
The town of Oras lies also at the mouth of a big river.

The same view as above during lowtide.

The bridge going to the town of Oras.

The Municipal hall of San Policarpo

The parish church of San Policarpo

The altar of San Policarpo

Binogawan beach is located just before reaching the town proper of San Policarpo when one is going up north.

A resort with overnight accommodations and function rooms can be found in the area.

Cottages for day picnics are also available.

One of the barangays of Arteche just celebrated their fiesta, hence the buntings along the road.

Uncemented road going to Arteche
The parish church of Arteche

The church is also under renovation.

The altar of the parish church of Arteche.

The new municipal hall of Arteche just near the parish church.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Got the chance to visit the famous Dakak Park and Beach Resort found in Taguilon, Dapitan City when a classmate of mine celebrated his silver anniversary to the priesthood in Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte last October 2010. The tour after the anniversary included the Cathedral church of Dipolog, the Dapitan church and the Rizal monument and park in Dapitan where Rizal spent his four-year exile.

About twenty kilometers away from Dapitan, passing through some mountains, the road to Dakak is about ninety percent cemented already. One can just imagine how it was some years back when the road was still rough. The resort sits on a cove which has a 750 meter private beach with powdery white sand. The cottages are native style some by the mountainside and others at the beachfront. Natural spring water and tumbling waterfalls feed the resort's two swimming pools. Water sports are also available, as well as a tennis court. Since we just stayed there for the day, we did not get to see the rooms which I heard have already passed their prime. After all the hype I have heard about the resort, I was a bit disappointed. Although the sand was powdery white but the sea was not that clear. But this did not hinder me from taking to the sea.
When we were there we noticed an unusual number of young people around. We just heard that these were youth from the different towns of Zamboanga del Norte who were being treated or “secluded” for a few days by different political parties as the election for the Sangguniang Kabataan was slated during that week.
Entrance to the park was 200 pesos per person, the half of which was consumable at the restaurant. Contact numbers: 0919-7959416/ 0915-3185238. Tel. 065-2136813. Email:

The Cathedral of Dipolog

Inside the Cathedral of Dipolog.

The Rizal Monument in Dapitan depicting his arrival to start his four-year exile.

A replica of the house of Rizal in Dapitan

The place where Rizal spent his four-year exile in Dapitan.

The parish church of Dapitan.

In front of the church is a map of Mindanao that Rizal made.

Church altar of Dapitan

From the entrance gate one has to take a ride provided by the resort to reach the resort itself.

The cottages are sprawled all over the place. Some are on the mountain side while the rest are by the sea.

Cottages by the sea.