Hugging the west coast of its namesake island, Samar is a scenic province in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. Its name derives from the Visayan word for “cut” in reference to the stream-carved valleys that give the area its rugged appearance. Samar centres around the lively capital of Catbalogan and encompasses a scattering of islands in the Samar Sea.
Things to do in Western Samar
Whether you’re into urban architecture or natural wonders, the province of Samar will satisfy your interests.
Visit the Langun-Gobingob Caves. A highlight of visiting Samar is exploring the largest cave system in the Philippines, which comprises 12 interconnected caves spanning an area of around 3,000 hectares. Follow the mountainous hiking trail that leads to the entrance of the Langun-Gobingob Caves before stepping inside to admire the stalagmites, stalactites and natural springs found within. Don’t miss the immense chamber known as the “Football Field”.
Explore the city of Catbalogan. Serving as Samar’s main commercial and political hub is the city of Catbalogan, which was founded by Spanish Jesuits back in the 16th century. In addition to its beautiful church dedicated to St. Bartholomew, it’s home to a bustling fishing port and a central park with children’s play areas, giant chess boards and a stage where concerts take place. A short drive south of Catbalogan is the busy Guinsorongan Beach, which offers views of the islands dotted offshore.
Admire the Lulugayan Falls. Samar is home to one of the widest cascades in the Philippines, the Lulugayan Falls, which tumble along the Calbiga River. It spans 50 metres in width and has been nicknamed the “Niagara Falls of the Visayas” for its resemblance to its North American counterpart. According to local folklore, Lulugayan Falls is said to be at its most powerful when the resident ferry loosens her hair clips.
Getting around Western Samar
Catarman National Airport is the main aviation gateway to Samar and has regular flights to Manila. Buses connect towns and cities throughout the province while ferries travel to the offshore islands. Renting a car or motorcycle is the most convenient way of getting around Samar.