Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trekking Borongan

Borongan in Eastern Samar is not exactly isolated. But its relative obscurity among tourists and the difficulty in reaching it (up to 5 butt-numbing hour ride via van) have their advantages as much of the province's natural attractions are still intact. Borongan has a lot to offer to naturists and hikers. A cursory look at any decent guidebook will point to numerous caves, falls and hiking areas in and around the province. With very limited time on our assignment period, we barely scratched the surface as to what Borongan can offer.Island-hopping to Divinubo, we hiked across a limestone-laden slope and palm-filled forest to the rocky shores on the eastern side to catch the sunrise. The lighthouse is non-descript but the rocky coastline is beautifully-rugged as illuminated by the morning sun. towards noon, we had our r&r at the Karawisan Eco-Tour Park, eating fresh seafood and later retiring to a string hammock catching some zzz's under the Talisay trees. (If I had a tent, iIwould've gladly pitched one but then again, who's to pass up on the lulling sea breeze?) When the noon sun had cooled down a few notches, we took a five-minute walk to the Guiporo-e natural pool, a calm pool hemmed by limestone formations jutting out of the sea.Back on the mainland, there are several falls in the periphery of Borongan. Most are a full day hike away so we decided to visit the nearest one, Kaputian Falls. From the town proper, we took a roof-less, motorized pedicab for a 10 kilometer trip across rough, unpaved roads to Brgy. San Miguel. From the jump-off, it's another 30 minutes of hiking through a mix of underbrush, muddy, rocky paths and a river before we got a glimpse of the small yet charming falls. Popular with the locals due to its proximity, it can get crowded (and the path very slippery as I found out) especially on the weekends but it still is a good destination to cool off your heels. 

Tourist info: For a tour of Divinubo Island, get in touch with the CBRM (community-based resource management) or the Borongan City Tourism Office c/o Tourism Operations Officer, Marissa Acorin, (055) 5609700 or 0927.9321377; email muntour@yahoo.com or tourism staff, Marguerite Garcia at 0928.3931020


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