Tuesday, July 03, 2012

THE PINK SAND OF SAN VICENTE



After hearing stories and having read a feature in a national paper, my assistant priest kept  telling that he would like to go and see for himself the pink sand of San Vicente, N. Samar.  He got his wish fulfilled when I was able to secure a date which was free for all of us. The month of  May was just impossible since there were plenty of fiestas. Early June was the best available date for us. The only setback was that in June the “habagat” season would be starting and the waves might  already be strong which will ruin our outing.  But it did not really concern me at all since in almost all my previous outings the weather would always turn out fine once we get to the place. Indeed there was  a storm trying to strike the country and warnings were sent  out against going out to sea. A boat capsized in Palawan and there were few casualties.  It was just two days after the storm passed when we had our scheduled island hopping trip.  That very day, the waves subsided.

To go to San Vicente one has to take the boat from San Isidro, N. Samar, the first town of N. Samar if one is coming from Calbayog.  The boat docks at the private port of Sanvic,  a large business establishment in the  town.  There is only one trip daily to San Vicente. With a fare of 100 pesos, the boat departs every  two o’clock in the afternoon. From San Vicente the departure time is seven o’clock in the morning.  Since there were plenty of cement bags that they were trying to load, our boat actually left at 2:35pm that day.

We had an uneventful  two hours and fifteen minutes ride to San Vicente.  Fr. Rey Lagrimas, the mission priest in San Vicente was already waiting with native snacks of bibingka and fried bananas ready  when we arrived at the convento. I  had previously asked him if he could be the one to prepare our meals and to secure a boat in going to the islands.  The island beaches of San Vicente are  still a 45 minute boat ride from the town proper. Since it was already getting late we had to hurry so that we could arrive in the island of Sila,  the island where the pink beach is found and where we planned to have an overnight camping before it got very dark.  The owners of the boat that Fr. Rey hired had with them a portable generator that they right away set up upon arrival at the island.  Fr. Rey also brought along with him helpers who prepared and cooked our dinner that night. We had a to die for inadobong seashells called “lapas”, barbecued pork, an 8-kilo lapu-lapu, squid,  and shrimps. We indeed had an enjoyable night of eating and drinking with the tuba bahalina that we brought from Palo. By midnight we took to our respective tents.

We beheld our first sight of the pink sand early in the morning upon waking up. A contributing factor to the making of the pink sand we found out is the hill besides the beach which is reddish in color that when pulverized by the waves and the wind becomes pink. The pink sand is found only in this one part of the island.  There were plenty of small jelly fishes early in the morning in this part. Those with sting were quite itchy. However they disappeared by noontime.  There were some good coral growth in this area.  There are actually six islands and two islets almost surrounding each other: Sila, Tarnate, Sangputan, Panganuron, Maragat and Mahaba.  At the back of the island of Sila where the local population reside there is an inland cove which can accommodate a hundred boats and where they would hide their boats  during typhoons. Even boats from the town proper of San Vicente would come to this place to take cover from a storm. In fact it was only that very morning that the owner of the boat took out his boat as Fr. Rey requested that his boat be used for our island hopping. After a hearty breakfast, we went for an island hopping. It was timely since it was already getting hot. Since the pink beach faces the east we were a direct hit from the sun with only a few cover from the few coconut trees that were around.  This time we only visited two islands, that of Panganuron and Mahaba. On the way back to Sila we went inside the cove where the inhabitants of San Vicente would hide their boats during typhoons. 

How to go to the Pink Beach
As of now it is quite difficult and bit expensive to get to the pink sand of San Vicente found in the island of Sila since there are no direct trips going to the island unless of course you know somebody from the island.  What I heard is that there is only once a week trip that would depart from Sila to San Vicente then to the mainland of Samar in San Isidro on Mondays. Then on Fridays the boat would leave San Isidro for San Vicente and proceed to the island of Sila.    For those coming from Luzon, I heard there are trips during the week going to the islands of San Vicente which departs from Bulan, Sorsogon.  Most of the residents of these group of islands go to Bulan, Sorsogon to buy their household supplies.  There are at least three trips during the week that would go to Bulan, Sorsogon. Aside from passenger boats, other boats carrying fish would also go to Bulan. This would probably be the most practical and least expensive.  However, for groups, I suggest that the Dalupiri island of San Antonio would be the best home base for exploration since there are already resorts there for ready accommodation. (Just read my entry about San Antonio for further info about the place).  From San Antonio one can hire a boat for an island hopping trip to San Vicente.  The charge is usually about five thousand pesos. Hence, the more persons in the group, the lesser the expense.  From San Antonio one can also make an excursion to the island of Capul for about two thousand pesos or less.  One boatman I have a contact number in San Antonio is named Kenny at this number: 0946-166-2243. Or if one would like to go first to San Vicente, there is somebody there who owns a boat that could be rented. The name is Virgelio Rojas at this number: 0947-802-4959.

My first blog on San Vicente is on this site: 
http://beachanatic.blogspot.com/2006/11/san-vicente-northern-samar.html



The view of San Vicente Islands from the air, a day before our trip. The main island town of San Vicente (not seen in the picture) is still further to the right of Sila and Tarnate. 

 The boat going to San Vicente docks at the Sanvic private port in San Isidro. 

 Getting off the boat upon arrival at San Vicente


A group pose at the pier in San Vicente

 Native delicacies awaited us at the convento in San Vicente

 The mission church of San Vicente. They have built a new church on top of the hill where masses are being celebrated every Sunday. 

 The town proper of San Vicente has two barangays: Mongolbongol and Destacado, the old name of the island. 


 The boat that we will use in going to the Sila and the other islands of San Vicente

 Sailing through the sunset.



 The sunset while we were sailing to the island of Sila where the Pink beach is found


 One of the helpers barbecuing our food.



 Fr. Rey, overseeing the whole dinner preparation

 Sunrise in Sila. 



We had our first glimpse of the pink sand early in the morning upon rising. 

 The sand is really pink

 The Pink Beach of Sila.



Fr. Rey busy preparing for our breakfast.







 There were plenty of jelly fish in the morning. 




Some of the corals in Sila.

 Docking at the beach of Panganuron

 The white sandy beach of Panganuron

 In another part of the island of Panganuron

 Corals in Panganuron island



 Some of the corals in Panganuron

 Mahaba island.

 The inland cove of Sila where boats hide during typhoons

 A pedestrian pathway crosses to the other side of the cove.

The inland cove of Sila.

9 comments:

Whacky Adventures said...

My heart jumped when I saw the pictures and read about the trip father. I'd love to get here someday. :D

tabian said...

This is too lovely to pass. ^_____^

Oh the love for the beach plus the pink sand makes me drool over your photos...I'd say I would definitely add this to my "go to" places!!!

Anonymous said...

FROM TATA:
THE BOAT U USED IS OWNED BY VIRGELIO ROJAS, TO WHOM I STAYED BEFORE. THAT BOAT IS OUR FISHING BOAT. AND THAT BEACH IS REALLY AWESOME. EVEN THOUGH I STAYED SAN VICENTE FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS, I LOVE GOING BACK THAT BEACH OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
NOW I HOPE THAT I CAN VISIT THAT PLACE AGAIN.

VERGEL ROJAS.

vergel said...

hope to be in san vicente soon

david booth said...

I think that is one of the most significant blog today i have seen.And i am glad that you have shared wonderful little story with us with this lovely pictures. I would love too see all this pictures in one personalized photo books to make more attractive all the pics.view more

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Benedict Mary said...

I would like to inform you that I used your link in my travel blog post about Ciriaco Hotel at https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=363076804188524486#allposts. Thanks. Kindly notify me if you dont want me to use this as one of my posts links.

joannie gasid said...

After reading the blog it makes me feel proud coz i'm from san vicente

joannie gasid said...

After reading the blog it makes me feel proud coz i'm from san vicente

Hotel in Clark said...

San Vicente is an underrated place. This place is a paradise and heaven for people who love beaches.