Cabong Beach, Borongan City, Eastern Samar
Even though it is the busy provincial capital of Eastern Samar, Borongan City remains close and in harmony with nature, boasting of some of the best rivers, beaches, islands and diving spots the Philippines has to offer. One is in for a treat should they get to experience the many sights and sensations this wonderful land has to offer even to the most jaded of adventurers.
The city of Borongan is the provincial capital of Eastern Samar, Philippines. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of San Julian, in the south by the municipality of Maydolong, in the west by the Samar municipalities of Hinabangan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao and Basey, and in the east by the Pacific Ocean.
The City of Borongan is located along the middle coastal part of the province of Eastern Samar. The city proper itself is situated along the northern banks of the Lo-om River and is set back a little distance away from the shoreline of Borongan Bay. The province itself comprises a part of the Eastern Visayas region (Region VIII) of the Republic of the Philippines.
Borongan City has many of the Philippines' most wonderful natural attractions from resorts to beautiful white- as well as black-sand beaches. Its pristine and undisturbed forests contain spectacular streams, river rapids, waterfalls and caves so very sought after by nature lovers, trekkers and spelunkers local and foreign alike. Many more of its scenic spots can be found by those who have the time and the energy to search for them within the vast, idyllic territorial expanse of the city.
There is said to be a famed hidden cave in one of the offshore islands of Borongan Bay containing the long-boned remains and antique artifacts, like necklaces and porcelain ware of apparently ancient people whose true history has been obscured by the mists of time and only snippets of which have survived to this day in tales and legends among the local folk who continue to zealously preserve as well as guard and protect them from the curious and from the occasional vandal/looter, believing that allowing such remains and artifacts to be disturbed or taken away will bring bad luck or misfortune to the nearby local inhabitants.
- Best Eastern Hotel
- Domsowir Inn
- Doña Vicenta Hotel
- GV Pension House
- Mabaroca Beach Resort
- Pebbles and Tides Beach Resort
- Silver Cepeda's Bed and Breakfast / Motel Restaurant
- Villa Brozas Pool & Beach Resort
Beaches and Surfing Spots
Borongan City has many fine beaches, the most notable of which can be found in Divinubo Island and in Ando Island, both of which boast of white sand beaches, vibrant coral formations alive with marine life in sparkling clear blue waters, incidentally ideal also for diving and snorkeling. Cabong gray-sand beach is a favorite destination of the locals, with excursionists, bathers and picnic-goers spilling over from one end of the beach to the other especially during special occasions, weekends and holidays. The strip of white-sand beach in Guintagican or Punta Maria is also a good bet, although it takes some effort to get there as it is several kilometers away from the town proper and accessible only through a feeder road, the final stretch of which can reached on foot only because of the narrow width of the footpath. Surfers' haven is the surf at Baybay Boulevard, in Brgy. Bato, and in Brgy. Locso-on, respectively.
Islands and Island Beaches
- Ando Island white sand beach
- Butay island (located at the middle of Lo-om River between the upstream concrete bridge connecting the city proper to and from Brgy. Taboc and the downstream steel-and-concrete bridge connecting the city proper to and from Brgy. Alang-alang)
- Divinubo Island white sand beach
- Monbon Island white sand beach (the sparse island vegetation is supposedly infested with small blood-sucking red ticks - locally called "tungaw" - which however are easily killed off by immersion in seawater)
- Pamuloton Island beach (Tabunan)
- Balacdas River
- Borongan or Sabang (formerly called Guiborongani) River
- Can-obing River
- Lo-om River
- Maypangdan River
- Naghahagong underground river located past Sitio Cati-an (its "snore" or "hagong" - hence the name - can be heard by the locals when there is heavy rains as the onrushing torrent of water gushes and rumbles underground), ideal for spelunkers although it has remained unexplored up to this day and thus relatively unknown to outsiders
- Palanas River
- Salog River in Brgy. Cancaligdas
- Suribao River (serves as common city/municipal boundary with the adjacent town of Maydolong)
The Hamorawon park is located at the center of the city proper itself and can easily be located by the presence of the giant acacia tree beside it. It contains the stylized rendition of a concrete giant clamshell, the upper half of which being held up by two mermaids while at its base are two crocodiles with their mouths agape. This giant clamshell served as the then town's cultural stage where social presentations were held while the fenced grounds fronting it served as the venue for social gatherings. This was the brainchild of the late Mayor Pablo "Buaya" Rosales. On its left side but still within the park grounds is the city tourism building.
From underneath this giant clamshell bubbles and flows the Hamorawon natural spring, the only one place in the entire province of Eastern Samar which has a naturally-occurring freshwater spring, flowing from the very center of the city itself towards the Lo-om River a short distance downstream. The waters of this spring have been said to be miraculous; the site itself having allegedly been the place where appearances of a lady in white (supposed to be the patroness saint of the city) have reportedly been seen. Unfortunately, access to this natural water source has of late been impeded and virtually blocked, its previous access road having been long fenced off leaving the spring almost unnoticeable already to busy passers-by.
The City of Borongan can be reached from Manila or Tacloban City principally by means of land or sea transport. The Borongan Airport is already minimally serviceable, however, there are currently no commercial airplane flight services available to and from the city
The Port of Borongan is classified as a national port and can accommodate medium-draft sea vessels, linking the town with the other coastal and riverine towns of the province as well as major coastal cities of Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Bicol regions. Access to and from the outlying inhabited offshore islands of Borongan Bay is either through motorized as well as sail- or oar-driven outrigger bancas.
Bus transport, air conditioned and ordinary, is the dominant means of public land conveyance to Borongan City from Manila (and vice-versa) passing overland through the Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway) through southern Luzon, a short roll on, roll off 1-hour boat ride across the San Bernardino Strait from Matnog, Sorsogon to Allen, Northern Samar, then southwards to Catbalogan City, Western Samar, east across the mountainous geographical spine of the island, then southwards again from the town of Taft until finally into the city on the eastern coast of Samar. There are also ordinary minibuses and air-conditioned shuttle vans from Tacloban City going to Borongan City (and vice-versa). Another route from Tacloban City is through the Pan-Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway on a west-to-east-to-north course that traverses the southern coastal fringe of the island of Samar crossing the San Juanico Bridge from Tacloban City turning right at the junction southwards to Basey and then Marabut, Samar then eastward across the provincial boundary to Lawa-an in Eastern Samar passing by the famous municipality of Balangiga, turning left at the junction past Quinapondan town northward to the municipality of Gen. MacArthur and onwards to Borongan City itself. The main forms of public mass transport in and around the city are motorized tricycles, motorcycles, passenger jeepneys, multicabs and bicycles.
Travelers to and from Borongan City must still take the airplane flight from Manila to Tacloban City and vice-versa in order to reach and/or depart from the place and then take either a connecting minibus or air-conditioned shuttle van ride from Tacloban City to Borongan City and vice-versa. There is still no direct airplane flight service between Manila and Borongan City up to the present.