Sambawan Island

Sambawan Island is a small island located north of Biliran(former sub-province of Leyte) and nearest to Maripipi island.

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Maripipi main island as viewed from Sambawan

Me and my close friends have been eyeing Sambawan Island for so long, but due to forgotten reasons we kept on postponing the plan. We’ve been itching to visit the island because of its picturesque nature and a promise of crystal clear waters.

At long last, we were able to execute our plans last April 10, 2015. The funny thing is that we visited the island without concrete planning and organized itinerary. All we know is that, we just have to get to Leyte and take whatever rides to get to the island. And we even dared to add side-trips. Of course we don’t want to spend our two and a half days of trip on the island alone. We managed to list down all our possible side-trips just hours before but with no further research of each destinations as to where there exact locations are and how to get there. **and yes that’s how we do things. If anything fails just ask the locals, they know better**

We met in Cebu Port’s terminal 1 and got into the first trip to Ormoc City.  It took around two hours to reach Ormoc City. There are plenty of vans right outside Ormoc’s Port. We then got in a van bound for Naval and arrived at around noon.

There are two ways to get to Sambawan:

Via Kawayan

  • From Naval, ride a habal-habal to Kawayan
  • from Kawayan, charter a boat to Sambawan

Via Maripipi

  • From Naval, catch boat to Maripipi
  • From Maripipi port, ride habal-habal to Ol-og
  • From Ol-og, charter a small boat to Sambawan

As what we initially researched, we will save a decent amount of money when we choose the second option. So we chose the latter.

A funny mistake we made was thinking that we can buy our food supplies in Maripipi for our Sambawan stay. Unfortunately, all their supplies come from the mainland either from Naval or Kawayan, and they do not have any market as we imagined. With no choice left, we just looked for a sari-sari store in Ol-og and hoarded their canned goods, crackers, and anything ready to eat. Though thank fate, they got rhum!! Hahaha. So if you are planning to go to Sambawan, secure your supplies from the mainland.

At Ol-og, we were able to charter a small “bangka” for a cheap price. It was small, just enough to fit the four of us and the two “bangkeros”. The ride was a thrill for a small boat on a huge waves. Regardless, we arrived safe after twenty minutes of heart-pounding ride.

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Upon arriving on the island, we paid their entrance and environmental fee. We also rented one of the available open cottages for an overnight stay. Right after settling our things, we then enjoyed what has to be enjoyed. The crystal clear waters, the pebbled beach, and the picturesque scenery.

About getting back to the mainland, you can always do an on-the-spot deal with “bangkeros” right on the island the day prior to leaving the island. As for us, we were able to get a trip back from the island to Kawayan right on the island and through rigorous haggling. **the price really depends on your haggling skills**

Here are some of our shots on the island:

List of expenses:

Super Cat Cebu to Ormoc 725 php
Cebu Port Terminal fee 25 php
Ormoc to Naval 100 php
Naval to Maripipi ferry 60 php
Maripipi port to Ol-og 25 php
Ol-og to Sambawan 250 php for the whole bangka
Sambawan entrance fee 80 php
Environmental fee 20 php
Cottage overnight rent 500 php

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