I had the chance to visit Calbayog City last May (out of a whim), and I couldn't be happier that I took the flight to this beautiful place in Samar Region! I went here last May without expecting much, but boy I was surprised to find a hidden gem that offers world-class facilities, which I heard were designed by a renowned Filipino architect, accented by really expensive furniture (made by an equally famous designer here in the Philippines)! My room, minimalist in style, was very spacious and had the best sea-view which I certainly don't mind waking up to every day! Their customer service was first class, everyone was genuinely friendly and displays the well-loved Filipino hospitality. The restaurant's humba de calbayog (pork stew that is sweet, sour and salty all at the same time), and sinakongan (red rice served with chocolate syrup - sounds weird, but believe, it tastes really good) were really mouth-watering and to die for! They also offer a wide variety of tours that is perfect for those who love nature and adventure. We availed one of their tour packages to see for ourselves what the region has to offer. Our group's tour guide, Warrren, was very informative and even went the extra mile to ensure that we are all having fun! He was not just our tour guide, but our photographer (a great one at that!). We went to Biri Island, and visited 2 of the more famous rock formations. We rode a Habal-Habal, a customized motorcyle that can carry up to 4 persons. The rock formations remind me of those in Grand Canyon. We crossed wooden bridges, dead corals, some mangroves, and the sea to get to these rock formations. After that, we went to Tarangban Falls - one of the most beautiful falls I've ever seen! We also went to Paranas (eastern samar) to try the Torpedo Boat Ride. The experience is similar to white water rafting, but what makes this one different (and more exciting) is that you have the option to jump into the raging waters! This is totally safe as the guide and the boatmen will be waiting for you (with a make-shift rope where you can hang-on) at the calmer side of the river, where the water will bring you on your way downstream. There are other tourist spots that our group was not able to visit due to lack of time (caves, beaches, lighthouse and more falls). I will definitely go back to explore the rest of the region, hopefully before the rest of the world discovers this great place!
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