Calbayog is a first class city in the province of Samar. It lies along the coastal region of the province, stretching about 60 miles from the northern tip of the island and 180 miles from southern boundaries. Calbayog comprises 157 barangays, 25 of which are urban and 132 are rural. According to the 2010 census, Calbayog has a population of 172,778 (37,395 households) making it the third most populated city in Eastern Visayas and the most populated city in Samar Island; the city alone makes up 23.5% of the population of the province of Samar. Calbayog is one of the commercial trade centers in Eastern Visayas and is the center of commerce in Samar. Its airport and a seaport make it an ideal gateway to Samar. Calbayog is subdivided into three major districts: Calbayog, Tinambacan, and Oquendo.
Points of interest
Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Constructed in 1800s, it is the central church of the Diocese of Calbayog. Considered to be the biggest church in Samar, the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral being rebuilt and renovated through the years has evolved to a blending of many architectural eras. The old dome, the spire, and the thick walls are what is left from the original Spanish-built old church. In general, the Spanish influence in the architecture and materials used is but revealing.
The largest park in the city, it is named after the local hero Benedicto Nijaga. It is located beside the Calbayog River which separates Downtown and Brgy. Obrero which leads to the northern parts of the city. The park also has an artificial replica of Bangon-Bugtong Falls.
Sacred Heart (Julio Cardinal Rosales) Plaza
Located across the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral and the City Hall, it is a conspicuous plaza with the image of the Sacred Heart where socio-civic and religious activities are held. Its bright lights and relaxing ambiance attract strollers.
Around the city’s main square is the Handumanan Museo de Calbayog. The building was a former jail but is now renovated with a 2-storey 19th-century Filipino building look and houses a museum that tells much of the city’s history. The museum is also a regular host of art exhibits in this part of the country. The building is where the Calbayog City Tourism and Information Office is located as well.
Samar Archeological Museum and Research Center
Located in Christ the King College, opened on April 11, 1970, it is the first museum in Samar Island. It houses a collection of archeological artifacts including burial jars and covers, log coffin, jarlets, cups, howls, saucers and dishes dating back to the 14th Century; coins, heirlooms, old household items, religious items such as saints, altar, chalices, and monstrance.
Natural tourist attractions
Situated at the fringes of Barangay Longsob, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. Accessible in a 30-minute ride to Cabugawan plus 50-minute hike to Lungsod Cave. Its large entrance leads to a natural tunnel with an uneven ceiling, some portions touching one’s head giving him an eerie trip through the dark, cool interior.
Mapaso Hot Spring
Located in Barangay Rizal II, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. A 30-minute ride to Oquendo from Calbayog plus 15-minute hike to the spring. “Mapaso” literally means hot. Fresh crustaceans (pokot) abound. They are naturally pinkish resembling scalded shrimps due to the high temperature.
Accessible in a 35-minute ride from Oquendo District, Calbayog City proper to Barangay Mawacat plus 25-minute walk along the foot trail lined with tall shady trees. It is a natural spoon-like formation which inclines more or less by about 45 degrees and stretches 50 meters long. Water flows along this giant cistern and from the top one can slide through the mossy lane to the cool inviting pool below.
Located in Brgy. San Joaquin of Calbayog City, an hour-and-15-minute ride to Barangay Tinaplacan plus 45-minute walk to the vicinity of the falls. Among the family of waterfalls of Calbayog City, Bangon, Bugtong Falls is one of the most majestic and spectacular spots that is worth visiting. As one ascends the stream, he will be amazed to see a circular pond about 30 meters in diameter, wide enough for swimming and deep enough for diving. The cascading water seems to come from streams flowing endlessly, resulting from the pressure of its disgorge, which becomes even bigger in volume and noticeable as the time of the day passes. Bugtong Falls is not only a tourist spot but also a potential source of power for Calbayog City and its neighboring localities.
Located in Barangay Cagbayang, Oquendo District, an hour drive from Calbayog City and 40-minute walk from the villages. A beautiful and scenic waterfall. This wonderful creation of nature is a favorite picnic site of local residents and their source of potable water.
Located in Danao, some 14 km toward the western coast of Calbayog City. Made up of seven chambers inhabited by various species of snakes and bats, as evidenced by a good deposit of guano. The cave serves as an initiating place for those who want to acquire a talisman.
Located in Brgy. Pilar, Oquendo District, an hour drive from Calbayog City proper plus 1-hour walk onwards from the village. More than a beauty spot, this falls is the primary source of water for its residents. At places where the cataract is so high, the water falling into the pool below becomes a mere mist.
Located in Brgy. Maguino-o, Tinambacan District, Calbayog City, it is separated from the mainland by the Silangan Channel. A potential deep diving spot, about 40 to 50 meters from the water surface and measuring less than a hectare in area. The islet is surrounded with aquifers equally and uniformly spread at the peripheral limits of the islet with white sand and pebbles. Beneath the deep waters are sea corals of multifarious varieties, rare white pebbles spread all over the floors, 20 types of shells, and ornamental types of aquamarine species – which can all be explored by the diver for as long as in his underwater gear.
Located in Barangay Lungsod, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. “Tinago-an” means hiding place. Its natural dark tunnels offers excitement and thrill to adventurers.
A 40-minute drive from Calbayog City. Grayish sand, blue waters, swaying palm trees, towering rocks, and three balconied cottages give this spot a South Sea island appeal. Magnificent view of sunset behind nearby islands. Made famous by the visits of VIPs, movie stars, and diplomats.
A 45-minute ride to Barangay San Joaquin, Tinambacan District from Calbayog City proper and a 25-minute hike onward to the falls. It is separated from the mainland by the Silangan Channel. A series of towering altars of rugged stones where between its depressions flow ribbon-like cool water that appears to cleanse the hair of a legendary lady. A source of potable water for local folks.
A 45-minute drive from Calbayog City proper to Sigo plus 30-minute hike to Ton-ok falls. A scenic waterfall hidden in lush tropical vegetation. Nature has placed it out of easy reach to preserve its beauty. A source of hydroelectric power.
A ten-minute drive from Calbayog City proper. Cottages line along its grayish sandy shore. Its cool fresh water, scenic view of Samar Island attracts picnickers and beachcombers.
A 20-minute walk or 7-minute drive from Calbayog City proper. It is located along the Maharlika Highway. An uncrowded pearl white strip of coastline with coconut trees offering a scenic view of islands and towns.
Located at Calbayog City, near Malajog beach.
Calbayog, being crowned as "The City of Waterfalls" by the Department of Tourism has much to offer, and to cater those visiting Calbayog, hotels have been established, here are the most prominent:
- Ciriaco Hotel & Resort: Is the largest and highest rated hotel in Samar Island, it is located at Barangay Bagacay, Maharlika Highway, the hotel offers an incredible view of the Samar Sea. It is known for hosting international events like the recently concluded Samar International Music Festival which was held at the hotels convention center, the hotel is rated as a 3-star hotel. It is the only de luxe hotel in Eastern Visayas.
- Marju Krisel Resort: The Hotel is located at Barangay San Policarpo, Maharlika Highway, it offers the best of services and includes two swimming pools that cater both the locals of Calbayog and those staying in the hotel.
- S&R Bed and Breakfast: The only Bed and Breakfast in Calbayog City, ensuring that each guests receive personalized service. It is conveniently located a few minutes away from Calbayog Airport and ideally located less than 10 minutes from the city proper. It's a serene place where guests can unwind and enjoy a laid back ambiance. Each room has its own private veranda. Website: https://srbedbreakfast.blogspot.com
- Almira Garden Hotel: Situated at the heart of Calbayog lies this tumbling 5-story hotel, you can see the entire city and you have a fantastic view of the Calbayog River
- F & A Suites: Also found at the heart of Calbayog's commercial district, the hotel offers the finest quality of service in the cheapest ways.
Calbayog is roughly 256 nautical miles from Manila, and 56 nautical miles from the region’s capital, Tacloban City. Buses ply Manila-Calbayog and Davao-Calbayog routes daily for approximately 18 hours. Buses daily take passengers to as far as Manila in Luzon and to General Santos in Mindanao. Provincial buses and jeepneys as well as vans take travelers to almost all the key towns in the Eastern Visayas regions. Tacloban City, which is 183 kilometers away, is accessible by regular transport vans and buses in about 3 hours. The common mode of transportation within the city limits are buses, jeepneys, motorized cabs, and tricycles.
Calbayog is 114 nautical miles from Cebu. Calbayog City Port is used by passenger boats plying the Calbayog-Cebu-Calbayog route and chartered cargo ships to transport copra and abaca hemp to other points of the country. Another port is also situated at Brgy. Manguinoo, Tinambacan District. Such could accommodate bigger cargo ships and inter-island vessels as well and considered to be an alternative seaport in the locality. Coakaliong Shipping Lines with a 3X a week schedule From Cebu to Calbayog MWF 7AM-5AM. Motorized boats also ply to Masbate Island and the neighboring island towns of Tagapul-an, Santo Niño and Almagro
Airphil Express, Zest Airways and Cebu Pacific operates daily flights from Calbayog-Manila and Manila-Calbayog. ETA Air also offers Calbayog-Cebu and Calbayog-Tacloban flights. The Calbayog Airport is the secondary choice for those from Eastern Visayas who want to travel by air to Manila.