Canceled. That was the fate of our plan of visiting the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Basey, Samar. The Basey Tourism Office said it would be too dangerous to travel up the river to the park. The river current was too strong, they said. You see, the park was somewhere inland and the river provides the best access to it. The Poor Traveler lived up to his name again. Poor me, indeed.
“What’s our Plan B?” my friend Emcy asked. That’s another problem, there was no Plan B. We sat in our beds and tried to come up with something — anything — that would keep us busy for the rest of the day. And then we remembered the day before, the driver initially dropped us off at another beach resort in Marabut. We liked the resort but one of the other passengers burst our bubble instantly. “That’s not Marabut Extreme,” she said. So we climbed back into the bus and they dropped us off at the right place this time.
That resort, the one we initially thought was Marabut Extreme, was actually Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort. When we were thinking of another place to see in Marabut, we all agreed to move to Caluwayan.
About Caluwayan Beach Resort
We only walked from Marabut Extreme to this resort, passing through some residential areas. And when we arrived the first thing we noticed were the flags of the Philippines, Germany and Sweden dancing softly in the wind.
Located in Barangay Caluwayan in Marabut Samar, Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort is roughly an hour away from Tacloban city. It lies in a secluded cove facing the majestic San Pedro Bay with several rock islets easily seen from the beachfront.The resort offers a variety of activities including snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking. They also have a restaurant and a pool.
Rooms and Rates
Caluwayan has four beach villas and a couple of open cottages to accommodate guests who wish to spend the night or more at the resort. Here are their room rates:
Peak Season (December 15-January 12, March 15-May 31, October 1-November 9)
Low Season (January 13-March 14, June 1-September 30, November 10-December 14)
- Open Cottage Php 1,300
- Beach Villa Php 4,200 with breakfast for 2 pax
- Beach Villa Suite Php 4,800 with breakfast for 2 pax
We booked one of their open cottages. That’s P1300 split threeway — P433 per person. At first we thought it would be uncomfortable but it was actually a nice experience. Their open cottages were nearest the beach. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the waves could even give the cottage floor a good saltwater bath. (Just don’t put your belongings on the floor and it should be fine.) I had never slept that close to the sea.
There was only 1 double bed with another pull out bed so there was enough room for the 3 of us.
The only letdown was that the open cottages, of course, don’t have private restrooms. When we were there, we had to use the communal restrooms, located on the far end of the resort. It wasn’t much of a bummer because the restrooms were impressively NEAT and looked topnotch. They were quite spacious, too. We didn’t have to worry about sharing them with other guests because we were the only guests at the time. #WooHoo
Enjoying Caluwayan Beach Resort
We had an early lunch that day. We ordered pancakes, halo-halo and buko juice from the restaurant.
As soon as we finished lunch, it rained. Hard. Really hard. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying the day. The waves were much more violent here than in Marabut Extreme Adventure (yes, the irony) so we settled with the pool. It had been a while since the last time I walked in the rain. It was very liberating. Like my childhood had just been freed from the sorrowful cage of too much responsibilities brought by being a grown-up. That afternoon, in the middle of the rain, I swam. I swam like it was the last day of childhood.
We didn’t bother kayaking because the waves were terrifying. And besides, kayak use was not free.
We also found a swampy garden somewhere at the resort. It had an imposing cliff on the background that we felt the need to camwhore. LOL.
Time flew by so quickly that before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We ordered tinola and nilasing na hipon. Each serving is good for 2-3 people, by the way.
After a few rounds of cheap wine, we called it a night.
There was a bit of sadness on my part. I knew we could have enjoyed the place better but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. The waves were too strong and the rain was just heavy. Maybe that was a sign that I should come back. And next time, I swear I’ll get the most out of it and will make sure to visit Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, too.
This post was published in July 2011.
Caluwayan Palm Island Beach Resort
Brgy. Caluwayan, Marabut, Samar
Telephone Number: 63 55 276-5206
How to Get to Caluwayan Beach Resort: If you’re planning to go straight to this resort from Tacloban City, go to the New Tacloban Bus Terminal. Take a shuttle (van) or bus to Marabut. Note that it is very likely that the shuttle will leave until all seats have been occupied. Tell the conductor/driver to drop you off at Caluwayan Beach Resort. Get off at Caluwayan Beach Resort. The bus/van will stop right at the entrance as the resort is just along the highway.