Biri Island, Northern Samar

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”

After my island hopping experience and swimming with the fishes at the sanctuary, I immediately packed my things and went to the Port of Matnog because I decided to go to Biri Island in Northern Samar. From Matnog, you need to take a boat going to Allen Port in Northern Samar with a travel time of 2 hours. Unfortunately, the next trip was at 4pm going to San Isidro Port. Only a cargo vessel was available at that time and the only option I had was to wait for the next schedule.

I was so fortunate that one of the crew from that cargo vessel offered a trip going to Allen Port. Though, I was a bit scared but I decided to push through aiming to get the last boat trip to the island. It was my first time in a cargo vessel and the experience was awesome. I arrived at Allen Port, Northern Samar around 3pm and took a tricycle going to Lavesares Port where the boats going to Biri Island are waiting.

How to get to Biri Island, Northern Samar

The municipality of Biri is located at northeastern part of Samar. It is facing the Pacific Ocean to the east and San Bernardino Strait to the west. The island is known to have large numbers of massive rock formations facing along the pacific.

From Lavesares Port, you need to take a boat ride going to Biri Island with a travel time of 1-1.5 hours. The boats are considered a public transport with regular fare of php50. But, you will need to wait for other passengers. The capacity of the boat is between 10-15 people. However, you can get a special trip to the island for php750. First trip from Biri is around 5:30am to Lavesares and last trip back to Biri is at 5pm.

I arrived at Biri Island around 6pm and along the way, I witnessed how beautiful the sunset in the west region. There are a lot of resorts, homestay and hotels in the island. I decided to stay at Gloria Vista Homestay because it is cheaper and recommended by travelers.

I rode a habal-habal (modified motorcycle to seat more than 2 persons and to my surprised the driver was also a tour guide and at the same time, the president of the tour guide association in Biri. We had a coffee at boulevard near the municipal hall and discussed with them my itinerary.

I was given an option from the tour guide to start the tour as early as 4:30 am to witness the sunrise at the Macadlaw Rock formation. However, I decided not to take it because there is a lesser chance because of the weather. He arrived at exactly 6am and our first destination was to pass through Bel-At Mangrove 500 meter walkway going to the rock formation.

There are 7 massive rock formations in Biri Island and each rock formation has its own unique physical characteristics. The form of rock formation is a Stack or Sea Stack where it is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, formed by wave erosion.

  • Magasang Rock Formation
  • Magsapad Rock Formation
  • Macadlaw Rock Formation
  • Puhunan Rock Formation
  • Bel-at Rock Formation
  • Caranas Rock Formation
  • Pinanahawan Rock Formation

The rock formation in Biri Island are called Stacks. They are formed over time by wind and water, processes of coastal geomorphology. They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, which is the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_(geology)

There are also Tide Pools near the rock formations. Tide pools or rock pools are shallow pools of seawater that form on the rocky intertidal shore. Many of these pools exist as separate bodies of water only at low tide. Tidal pools exist in the intertidal zones. These zones are submerged by the sea at high tides and during storms, and may receive spray from wave action. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide_pool

I ended my tour at around 11am since I need to go back to Bulan, Sorsogon to get the last trip going to Ticao Island, Masbate for another adventure. If ever you missed out the boat trip in Allen Port, you can go to Santa Clara Port. The Santa Clara Port is just less than 4km away from Allen Port. There are daily boat schedule going back to Sorsogon with only 1 hour travel time.

Contact Information

  • Jun Giray (Tour Guide Association President) – 09288309396
  • Ning Borbon (Gloria Vista Homestay) – 09472967737 or 09174552500

Note: You need to contact Jun Giray if you will go there in a group so he can make arrangements for your tour. He is also a very good photographer. He knows what to do.

Travel Expenses

  • Allen Port to Lavesares – Php 50 (tricycle fare/special)
  • Lavesares to Biri Island Boat Fee- Php 60 RT 120
  • Gloria Vista Homestay – Php 400 (fan room)
  • Tour Guide Fee – Php 495 (day tour)
  • Environmental Fee- Php 50

Sample Itinerary

  • 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Boat ride from Matnog Sorsogon to Allen Port
  • 2:30 pm – 3: 00 pm – Rode a tricycle from Allen Port to Lavesares Port
  • 3:00 pm- 4:00 pm –  Had a late lunch near the port area. Yes, it was late.
  • 4:30 pm – 5: 30 pm –  Off to Biri Island with travel time of 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • 6: 45 pm – 7:00 pm – Checked in at Gloria Vista Homestay
  • 7: 15 pm – 7: 30 pm – Dinner at Tourism Office with my Kuya Jun (tour guide)
  • 8:00 pm – Lights off
  • 4:30 am – Woke Up and went outside to check the area since according to the locals, the electricity is only up until 2 am.   Stargazing was my goal. Yes, there were a lot of stars and the place was in total darkness.
  • 5:30 am – 6:00 am – Preparation for my day tour and while waiting for Kuya Jun, I had some chatting with the locals while they were cleaning the streets.
  • 6:00 am – 7: 30 am- Kuya Jun was on time. He arrived at exactly 6am and had breakfast at the tourism office. I asked him to join me with breakfast.
  • 7:30 am – 8: 00 am – Off to Bel-At Mangrove Pathway going to the rock formations.
  • 8:00 am – 10:00 am – Rock formation Photo ops at Bel-at, Puhunan, Caranas and Pinanahawan and swam at the tide pools near the rock formations.
  • 10:00 am – 11: 00 am- Rock formation Photo ops at Magasang, Magsapad and Macadlaw. Photo ops with Kuya Jun.
  • 11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Went back to the home stay and prep to departure.
  • 12:45 pm -1:00pm –  Waiting for additional passengers.
  • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Boat ride from Biri Island to Lavesares Port.
  • 2: 30 pm- 3:00 pm – took a tricycle from Lavesares Port to Allen Port for boat ride back to Matnog, Sorsogon,
  • 3:00 pm- 4:30 pm – The boat left from Allen Port and some locals told me to go to Sta. Clara Port since there is a scheduled boat ride at 4:30 pm.
  • 4:30 pm – 5: 30 pm – Took RoRo from Sta. Clara Port back to Matnog, Sorsogon
  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Took a bus ride from Matnog to Bulan. I need to ride a jeep back to Bulan since I did not notice I was already at Irosin while I was checking my video inside the bus. It was funny experience.
  • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Arrived at Bulan, Sorsogon and checked in at Gotis Lodging House and had my dinner. I also took a chance to stroll at the area.
  • 8:00 pm – Lights off

 

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