Islands and Beaches
Belle Piccio | May 02, 2013
Biri Island is blessed with natural beauty. The island is one of the most fascinating towns of Northern Samar. It is famous for its large number of unusual beautiful rock formations. Found in the northern shore, it faces the San Bernardino Strait. These rock formations are the ones who draw most of tourists in the island. The pounding waves at the sea cliffs complete the scenery for beach fanatics, making your trip and vacation worthwhile.
Biri is a 5th class municipality in the province of northern Samar. It is politically subdivided into 8 barangays:
- Poblacion (Biri)
- Kauswagan (Basud)
- Pio Del Pilar
- Progress or Talisay
- San Antonio
- San Pedro
- Santo Niño
Biri Island is one island of the island clusters off the northern end of Samar. The island cluster is known as the Balicuatro Islands.
Biri Island got a calm and laid back way of living. Don’t expect you’ll see tall buildings or large establishments, just enjoy the relaxing way of life has to offer. If you’re a backpack traveler, you’ll be alright. There are beachfront resorts that offer room accommodations that are cheap yet comfortable (fan rooms for as low as Php500 per night). And, enjoy the quiet beaches!
Biri Island is also a perfect place for scuba divers or diving enthusiasts. You can get up-close and personal with nature. Biri offers a wide variety of underwater flora and fauna. You will be amaze to see sharks, sea snakes, corals, clams and etc.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to either Catarman (estimated cost Php2,400++, round trip, 1 hour 25 minutes) or Calbayog (estimated cost Php2,400++, round trip, 1 hour 25 minutes).
Catarman is the closest to Biri Island while Calbayog is on the western side of Samar, south of Biri Island. Take note that there are only a few flights going from and to Catarman or Calbayog, better book ahead or check your selected airlines for the flight schedules.
From Catarman/Calbayog airport, you can ride a tricycle or jeepney to get to the town of Lavezares, the jump off port, to get you to Biri Island. Before riding, it is best to negotiate the fare first. Best route to take is to fly to Catarman. It will only take you a short trip west along the coast to Lavezares.
From Lavezares, go to the town market along the beach. You will see small boats or pump boats. Ask which boat will take you to Biri Island or just simply check it. There is also a ferry (around Php50++, one-way trip, 1 hour) that leaves at around 1:00 in the afternoon.
When you’re already in the island, it is best to rent a bicycle (around Php50) to explore its natural beauty. Biri is just a small island; it’s around 8 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide.
(Thank you to Nelson Petilla for sharing his Biri Rocks photos)