You Rock!By Katherine Marfal-Teves
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Fall in love with nature all over again at Biri Island, one of the most enthralling towns in Northern Samar and home to one of the most serene scenic spots in the Philippines—the Biri Rock formations.
Land travel from Manila to Biri Island takes approximately 14 hours. You can also take a one-hour flight from Manila to Catarman, the capital town of Northern Samar.
From Catarman, head to Lavezares some 30-45 minutes way. Take a motorboat and lull your senses as you travel in harmony with the waves and the sky. At Lavezares, get a habal-habal, a motorcycle that can accommodate from 2 to 12 passengers, depending on the length of the vehicle.
After a bumpy ride on rough roads that passed through the Mangrove Highway, Biri Resort, Villa Amor Hotel, a beautiful old mansion and Sunset Villa, we arrived at our main destination-the Magasang and Magsapad rock formations.
As we set foot on the place, a lush mangrove plantation welcomed us.
The mere sight of the Biri Rock formations had us awestruck at this natural sculpture carved through generations by the endless interaction of time, wind and water. The huge waves of the San Bernardino Strait have shaped rock and earth into this massive art, as the strait stirs practically 70 percent of the water that flows in and out of the Visayas.
No wonder Biri Island is a favorite destination of photography enthusiasts with its naturally tranquil atmosphere, as well as surfers who troop to the island from October to January to ride its surging waves. Other tourists flock to the island for its crystal clear blue waters that mirror the peaceful calm all around.
Rock climbers looking for a rare nature exploration also visit this rocky landscape for the challenges it offers.
There are several routes to get to these breathtaking rock formations, but we chose the relatively long, rocky and slippery crossing across the sea through relatively small to moderate waves.
We realized however that though the waves were manageable, it is crucial to wear the proper footwear like rubber sandals or non-skid beach shoes. You might also want to hire a tourist guide from the area who can help you find the safest route to the Rock.
Once you get to Magasang and Magsapad, be sure to climb the summit for an extensive and breathtaking view of the surrounding coves and beaches. It is one peaceful scene that will dwell in your mind and heart for a long time, and one sight that makes you realize just how blessed we are with nature’s gifts in this country.